Author Archives: Lightmap

About Lightmap

Lightmap are the developers of HDR Light Studio - a dedicated lighting application for 3D artists. HDR Light Studio enables artists to light their shots faster and with more creative control than traditional tools. The dedicated lighting interface speeds up the lighting process with drag and drop simplicity - but with precise lighting controls.

Delicious Computer Generated Imagery


Luminous Creative Imaging have produced a really gorgeous personal project: Caramel Loves Chocolate.

It’s about fluid dynamics, color, taste, and chocolate and caramel in a loving embrace. Everything was created in 3D and sculpted in Mudbox. Lighting was done in HDR Light Studio 5 and rendered with Maya/Mental Ray.


The Complete Shot


Sculpting in Mudbox

Lighting in HDR Light Studio 5

Lighting in HDR Light Studio 5


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

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.

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.


Cinema 4D Connection now supports R19
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.

15 Day Trial


3ds Max Artist: Jomar Machado

Jomar Image 1

Jomar Machado Is a freelance 3ds Max Artist from Brazil who creates beautiful product images for advertising agencies in Rio de Janeiro. He specializes in automotive imagery.

We caught up with Jomar to ask him how the tools of the trade have changed during his career and how he’s managed to stay at the top of his game. Continue reading


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:

We would love to see your work there too!


Lightmap Labs: Octane for Nuke / Frame Buffer

We have been doing some R&D recently with Octane for Nuke plug-in developer. This has led to a really cool new feature we are exploring – a Frame Buffer in the HDR Light Studio interface. This is not available in our release software yet and is something we are still developing and evaluating.

In this video skip to 6 minutes 30 seconds to see this in action.

Continue reading