At Lightmap, we enjoy doing customer surveys to understand what you love about HDR Light Studio and what you want us to improve. We are grateful to our customers who took time to complete the survey and share some amazing insights. It will definitely help us shape the software in future.
Lightmap announces the immediate availability of the HDR Light Studio Connection for MODO 11. Compatible with MODO, Octane and V-Ray renderers.
Please Note: LightPaint in the MODO viewport in MODO version 11.1 does not work.
We are working with Foundry to find a fix for this issue. LightPaint works fine in MODO 11.0 viewport.
Ars Thanea is an award-winning CGI Studio and home to very talented creatives, thinkers and makers who blend mixtures of ideas and craft around extremely engaging stories to deliver stunning, effective results for their clients.
Ars Thanea loosely translates from Greek as ‘the art of imagination’ and when we visited their Warsaw studio it quickly became apparent that they live up to their name.
The predominantly glass building is papered with drawings penned by their artists. The space is broken up creatively by wood, rope and other structural features that retain a feeling of openness. A variety of interesting lighting rigs add to the ambience of the different areas and there’s even a bed if the day becomes a bit much and you feel like a nap.
We were there to understand the role that HDR Light Studio plays in the creation of their beautiful work and spent time getting under the hood on some recent projects. You can see the results in our video below.
A massive thanks to our amazing hosts at Ars Thanea for being so welcoming.
Left to right: Marcin Molski (Ars Thanea), Mark Segasby (Lightmap), Lucy Cooper (Lightmap), Aleksandra Watras (Ars Thanea)
A big Thankyou to all the users lighting their projects with HDR Light Studio. We have put together a Behance collection with some of our favourites, check it out here: Behance – Lit with HDR Light Studio
We fell in love with the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 at the CGIC event, Hamburg. What a great way to use HDR Light Studio- fast, fluid and creative lighting. Unfortunately we had to give it back 🙁
Earlier this year my friend Mark, from Goodman Precision Engineering, offered to machine the HDR Light Studio tea pot out of a solid block of aluminum. The tea pot is the default model loaded in the HDR Light Studio. It is essentially a sphere with the bottom chopped off, making it an ideal shape to see the whole HDRI map in the reflection. It’s become a bit of an icon for us.
After a few weeks from sending the CAD file over, we got an exciting package in the post. The end result was amazing. It’s so weird to see something you have been looking at almost every day for the last 7 years, on your computer screen, now in front of you on your desk, for real! The team did an amazing job! The tea pot now takes pride of place in our meeting room. Thanks so much Mark!!! Here are images/videos of the process and the final result.
The final result – totally stunning! Continue reading
We are delighted that fxguide has written their first article about HDR Light Studio. John Montgomery interviewed Andy Rowan-Robinson, from Framestore, about their use of HDR Light Studio for lighting CGI content in commercials. The article also covers the new features found in version 5.4. Read the full article here.
Watch this video for an overview of the new features:
How do I get my hands on it?
- If you’re an existing subscription or maintenance customer the release is all yours. Simply login to your account and download now.
- If your subscription or maintenance has lapsed you can renew online now.
- Alternatively you can take a fully functioning 15 day trial.
Don’t forget, we’re here to help. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Juicy Details
Adjustable Light Handles
Since HDR Light Studio 1, lights have been positioned by their centres, as indicated by the orange dot – we call this the handle. But sometimes when using LightPaint to position lights on the 3D model, you don’t want to place a light by its centre. HDR Light Studio 5.4 introduces adjustable handles that can be positioned anywhere within the light.
The handle can be easily moved using the sliders or by dragging directly in the Light preview image.
In the image below, you can see how the light handle has been moved to the top edge of the light preview and that LightPaint has been used in the Render View to position the light by its edge.
In the example below the light is also being placed onto the bottle using its edge.
3D mapped lights are no longer limited to being orientated ‘normal’ to the lighting sphere, or for area lights, facing directly at the LightPaint location. X and Y rotations allow lights to be orientated in any direction. The light orientation is controlled with X,Y,Z rotations click and drag controls, these work relative to the light’s current orientation, so are easy to use.
Full 3 axis rotations allow new content to be added into a HDRI map and precisely orientated to simulate any 3D positioning. This provides far greater control over your existing HDRI maps.
In the example below new windows, signs, a wall and much more has been added to the existing HDRI map. This is only possible due to the new rotation controls. Even the tube lighting in the ceiling has been boosted with new lights positioned to match up exactly with those existing tube lights.
Area Lights can now point in any direction and are not limited to face the LightPaint location. So LightPaint can be used to position the light, but the direction it faces can easily be adjusted. In the example below the light has been positioned using LightPaint but orientated to uplight the ogres face. It is true that orientating lights in 3D software is easy, the difference using HDR Light Studio, is the fluidity and ease in which the lighting can be created, adjusted and positioned in a very creative way – concentrating on the lighting effect in the final shot and not worrying about moving lights in 3D space.
Rotation Modes allow the user to change the orientation characteristics of a light, providing useful behaviours for the lighting artist. There are 4 Rotation Modes:
Free: Behaves the same as when the Advanced Rotation setting is off (lights are normal to the lighting sphere and area lights face the LightPaint location), but you are able to manually adjust the X,Y,Z rotations of the light.
V-Lock: Light is always vertical, and aligned with the LightPaint location – This is ideal for pack shots, maintaining the vertical alignment of lights.
H-Lock: Light is always horizontal, but aligned with the LightPaint location.
Fixed: Ignores the LightPaint location, default to horizontal and aligned with world X axis – Ideal for placing the light over a car with a fixed orientation.
The X,Y,Z rotations are applied as an offset to these default behaviours, and this offset is maintained even when moving the light. So for example if V-Lock mode is used, the light can be tilted a little off vertical and wherever the light is place it will face a little off vertical.
New Light Sources
32 additional Studio Light Sources have been added to the Preset library.
(Customers should download Studio Lights 2 to get these new lights, for trial users they are included in the trial lights at lo-resolution)
Nice New Touches
The cursor is now updated to indicate which tool is active when using the Canvas, Render View and Light Preview.
Double click on any slider label text to reset the slider to its default value.
Cinema 4D Connection now supports R18
DeltaGen Connection now supports 2017x
15 day fully functional trial now includes all Preset Lights at low resolution
Watch demo videos of the new features in action on our What’s New page.
The Survey has now ended! The winners have been notified by email.
Friday 1st July 2016 – Today, Lightmap announces the immediate availability of HDR Light Studio version 5.3.4. This new release adds ‘Area Lights’ to the MODO plug-in Connection, allowing users to interactively create and control both a HDRI Map and set of Area Lights with the same ‘artist friendly’ ease of use. The Area Light feature is compatible with: MODO Renderer, Octane and V-Ray. This update also adds compatibility with MODO version 10. Continue reading