Category Archives: HDR Light Studio News

The HDR Light Studio Tea Pot – For Real!

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 is 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

fxguide article

FX Guide

We are delighted that fxguide has written their first article about HDR Light Studio. John Montgomery interviewed Andy Rowan-Robinson, from Framestore, about theiruse 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.

 

HDR Light Studio 5.4

HDR Light Studio 5.4

Watch this video for an overview of the new features:

How do I get my hands on it?

Don’t forget, we’re here to help.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact sales@lightmap.co.uk

 

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 is easily moved using the sliders or by dragging directly in the Light preview image.

In the image below 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.

Light Handle Example

In the example below the light is also being placed onto the bottle using its edge.

Light Handle Example

 

Advanced Rotations
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.

Adding content to HDRI map

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.

Area Light Rotations

Rotation Modes
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:

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)

New Preset Lights in HDR Light Studio 5.4

 

 

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.

Enhancements
Cinema 4D Connection now supports R18
DeltaGen Connection now supports 2017x
15 day fully functional trial now includes all Preset Lights at lo resolution


Watch demo videos of the new features in action on our What’s New page.

 

15 Day Trial

Area Lights added to MODO Connection

MODO Area LightsFriday 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

HDR Light Studio – Now listed at Behance

Behance - HDR Light StudioWe are delighted that HDR Light Studio is now officially listed in the ‘Tools Used‘ at the Behance portfolio web site. Now our users can officially add HDR Light Studio as a Tool Used when showing their work.

Tools Used Dropdown

We would be very grateful if our users could make sure HDR Light Studio is listed as a Tool Used on Behance for their projects lit using HDR Light Studio.

We know that many customers have tried their best in the past to give us credit. But there have been quite a variety of spellings of our product name – We have seen: hdrlightstudio, HDR Lightmap, HDRI Studio and HDRI Light Studio to name a few. Now we have the official listing, this should avoid those spelling problems.

Already there is a huge body of work you can see on Behance lit with HDR Light Studio:
https://www.behance.net/search?content=projects&sort=published_date&time=week&tools=149481

We would love to see your work there too!

Area Lights added to 3ds Max and Cinema 4D Connections

12th May 2016 – Today, Lightmap announces the immediate availability of HDR Light Studio version 5.3.3. This new release adds ‘Area Lights’ to the 3ds Max and Cinema 4D Connections, allowing users to interactively create and control both a HDRI Map and set of Area Lights with the same ‘artist friendly’ ease of use that has made HDR Light Studio a favourite lighting tool with professional 3D artists.

Introduction to Area Lights in 3ds Max


The 3ds Max Connection supports Area Lights for these compatible renderers:
V-Ray, Maxwell, Octane, Thea and Corona.

 

Introduction to Area Lights in Cinema 4D


The Cinema 4D Connection supports Area Lights for these compatible renderers:
Cinema 4D, V-Ray, Arnold, Octane, Maxwell and Thea.


HDR Light Studio – Area Light Key Features:

• A Natural Evolution – Area lights have been added with the same intuitive controls and ease of use as you would expect from HDR Light Studio. A single tick box promotes a light from the HDRI map into a 3D area light. Lights can be moved back and forth between the HDRI map and 3D space with ease.

• LightPaint – Area Lights can be positioned ‘in shot’ by clicking on the 3D model in the Render View using one of the LightPaint modes: Reflection, Illumination, Rim.

• Smart Dolly – Controls both the distance and size of the area light, using scaling algorithms specific to the LightPaint mode used to place the light. For example, if the area light is positioned using Illumination mode, Smart Dolly scales the light to maintain the illumination intensity whatever distance the light is from the model. This eliminates the constant back and forth between distance and scale settings, instead allowing the user to concentrate on the visual effect they want whilst using minimal controls.

• Connections – When using HDR Light Studio via a Connection to your 3D software, the Area Lights are instantly built by the Connection with the correct shader network for the chosen Renderer. Area lights are always in sync with HDR Light Studio. Start an IPR session to see a live preview of the lighting effect as you work in HDR Light Studio.

• A Light Touch – HDR Light Studio controls only the essential core settings for an area light, i.e. The RGBA image data mapped to the light surface, light size and position, falloff method and visibility to camera. Additional area light settings can still be set within your 3D software, and are not altered by HDR Light Studio.

• Portable Lighting – The lighting design is completely independent of the 3D software/renderer and can be moved between 3D software/renderers using HDR Light Studio.

 

Pricing and Availability

Existing customers within their maintenance or subscription period can download this update today from www.lightmap.co.uk.

HDR Light Studio 5.3.3 is available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux through the Lightmap website (www.lightmap.co.uk) and its authorized resellers. Pricing starts at £695 / $995 / €945 for permanent licenses, and £295 / $445 / €395 for annual subscriptions.

15 Day Trial

Subscription and Maintenance Renewals

Customer Information:

Renewing 1 Year Licenses (Subscriptions)

Renewing your 1 year license of HDR Light Studio and its Connections is easy. Simply buy another subscription.

Facts:

  • Just buy another subscription whenever you need to use the software again.
  • The new subscription does not need to be on the same account as the original purchase.
  • The new subscription does not need to be continuous from the expiry of the previous license.
  • The license start date is the date the Activation code is used, not the date of purchase. You have up to 30 days to activate your software after purchase.

Continue reading

Lightmap Launches HDR Light Studio 5.3

Innovative computer graphics lighting tool adds revolutionary new Area Lights feature.

1st March 2016 – Today, Lightmap announced the immediate availability of HDR Light Studio version 5.3. This new release adds ‘Area Lights’ to its feature set, allowing users to interactively create and control both a HDRI Map and set of Area Lights with the same ‘artist friendly’ ease of use that has made HDR Light Studio a favourite lighting tool with professional 3D artists world-wide.

Maya Connection - Renderers

The ‘Maya’ Connection is the first to take advantage of the new Area Lights feature, supporting all leading renderers: MentalRay, V-Ray, Maxwell, Arnold, Octane, Redshift, RenderMan and Iray for Maya.

3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Modo and Nuke/Octane Connections will be updated soon to support the new area lights feature.

“We are very excited about the HDR Light Studio 5.3 release. The ability to control both the environment map and area lights using one unified lighting workflow is a totally unique approach and a significant evolution of our software. In fact it’s the biggest update we have ever made” says Mark Segasby, Lightmap CEO. “Our customers love how fast they can block out lighting and adjust it using HDR Light Studio’s interactive HDRI map, and how fast this renders. By adding the ability to promote a light from the HDRI map into 3D, users can use all of HDR Light Studio’s controls and content to light details on their models too.”

Area Lights in Maya

Left: Area Lights in the Maya scene    Right: Area Lights lighting effect

IBL and Final Shot

Left: Just the HDRI map lighting     Right: Area Lights and HDRI map lighting together

Area Light – Key Features:

• A Natural Evolution – Area lights have been added with the same intuitive controls and ease of use as you would expect from HDR Light Studio. A single tick box promotes a light from the HDRI map into a 3D area light. Lights can be moved back and forth between the HDRI map and 3D space with ease.

• LightPaint – Area Lights can be positioned ‘in shot’ by clicking on the 3D model in the Render View using one of the LightPaint modes: Reflection, Illumination, Rim.

• Smart Dolly – Controls both the distance and size of the area light, using scaling algorithms specific to the LightPaint mode used to place the light. For example, if the area light is positioned using Illumination mode, Smart Dolly scales the light to maintain the illumination intensity whatever distance the light is from the model. This eliminates the constant back and forth between distance and scale settings, instead allowing the user to concentrate on the visual effect they want with using minimal controls.

• Maya Connection – When using HDR Light Studio via the Maya Connection, the Area Lights are created on the fly in Maya, instantly building the correct shader network for the chosen Renderer. Area lights are always in sync with HDR Light Studio. Start a Maya IPR session to see a live preview of the lighting effect as you work in HDR Light Studio.

• A Light Touch – HDR Light Studio controls only the essential core settings for an area light, i.e. The RGBA image data mapped to the light surface, light size and position, falloff method and visibility to camera. Additional area light settings can still be set within Maya and are not altered by HDR Light Studio.

• Portable Lighting – The lighting design is completely independent of the 3D software/renderer and can be moved between 3D software/renderers.

• Pipeline Friendly – A Maya scene containing HDR Light Studio lights can be opened and rendered by any other user without the HDR Light Studio Connection installed or licensed. This makes the solution ideal for larger studios where a subset of artists use HDR Light Studio.

HDR Light Studio 5.3 also includes additional new features: Convert existing lights to Uber Lights, Continuous updates in the Render View when moving lights, and an updated License Management dialog providing users with comprehensive information about currently installed licenses. Plus added support for Iray for Maya, SOLIDWORKS Visualize, MODO 902, and a large number of improvements and fixes.

Pricing and Availability
Existing customers within their maintenance or subscription period can download this update today from www.lightmap.co.uk.

HDR Light Studio 5.3 is available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux through the Lightmap website (www.lightmap.co.uk) and its authorized resellers. Pricing starts at £695 / $995 / €945 for permanent licenses, and £295 / $445 / €395 for annual subscriptions.

15 Day Trial