Mark Segasby is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lightmap. His background as a first class product designer and visualization artist led to the development of HDR Light Studio lighting software in 2009. Since then he has been working with 3D artists and designers around the world, helping them light their shots faster and with more creative control. Because HDR Light Studio works with all leading 3D software and renderers, Mark has gained considerable knowledge and experience of the rendering industry, being up to date with all the latest developments through Lightmap’s partnerships with the companies in this field. He is on a mission to teach 3D artists the importance of lighting as a key ingredient in the success of their imagery.
An unhappy customer recently emailed us. They were using an older version of HDR Light Studio and wanted to use it with the new Cinema 4D R20 connection. They couldn’t do this because the maintenance had lapsed on their permanent HDR Light Studio and Connection licenses and the last plug-in they were entitled to was compatible with Cinema 4D R19.
The customer felt that with other plug-in software they use – they buy it and get free compatibility updates when new versions of Cinema 4D are released. Then they pay for upgrades of the plug-in to get new features if they want them. So they felt our model was unreasonable.
After some attempts to reply to this email, I realized a couple of sentences were not enough to adequately explain why we have our current business model. So I decided to write a blog post to explain better. I’m taking the time to do this because I can see the customer’s point of view and have a lot of sympathy with it. I hope with a good explanation they will at least understand the challenges we face in developing HDR Light Studio and our plug-in connections, and how our business model supports this. Continue reading →
HDR Light Studio provides plug-in Connections to a wide range of 3D software, including 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and MODO.
When a new update is released for a supported 3D package, we begin to receive numerous support emails asking when our HDR Light Studio plug-in connection will be updated to support the relevant release. A hot topic from our users recently is the Cinema 4D R20 update.
We appreciate that sometimes you as a customer are frustrated that HDR Light Studio do not have a ready-made update or definitive date of release for a particular connection – we are too. Therefore, we thought it would be helpful to explain why we are unable to release updated plug-in connections as quickly as some customers would like. Continue reading →
To make a realistic, high quality CGI image, you need everything to be right; a perfect 3D model with realistic shaders/materials that react to light (illuminations and reflections) correctly, with render settings that balance sensible render times with a high image quality. Only when all of those ingredients are working well you can start lighting a shot to a high standard using HDR Light Studio.
Here are some tips to help you fix jagged edges on lights when using HDR Light Studio
STEP 1 – Do a Production Render
When using HDR Light Studio connected live with your 3D software, a lower resolution and non sub-sampled HDRI map is shared. The default resolution of this HDRI map is just 646 pixels wide. Even at this low resolution, this is more than enough to provide a really good impression of the lighting/reflections, it’s calcualted fast and updates fast in your 3D software. (You can change the resolution of this live image (proxy) using Edit > Preferences, and changing the Proxy Map size to a higher resolution)
If there is a procedural light with a hard edge seen at this lower quality and lower resolution, this can result in jagged edges especially if the light is seen in a smooth flat reflection, or see in the background. Continue reading →
Here at Lightmap we believe passionately that each 3D render you create deserves hand crafted lighting. That’s why we don’t create and sell stock studio HDRI maps. In this article we explain why we feel like this. Continue reading →
Welcome to the first episode of 3D TALK – where I talk to 3D artists and learn about their journey into 3D, the tools they use and anything else interesting that crops up.
I had a really enjoyable conversation with Polish 3D artist Wojciech Portnicki. We chatted about his path into 3D, his use of MODO with Octane Render working for Harman in China, and much more. The sound quality is poor, as it was recorded over skype, but stick with it, he has a great story. Not many 3D artists start out as librarians.
I had the pleasure to spend the 1st week of October visiting existing and potential customers in Sweden. Climaxing in a demonstration of HDR Light Studio at the Cinema 4D User Event organised by our Swedish authorised reseller Creative Tools.
It was an extremely busy week, with many miles being driven on the road between locations, and many miles being driven by my computer mouse, as I provided in depth demonstrations of HDR Light Studio features with 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and MODO. Continue reading →
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.
I’m a long time admirer of Irinel Papuc’s renders, many of which are posted at the Octane Render Facebook Group. I like how each render is about solving a particular challenge, be it trying out a new special effect/process or perfecting a material. I can see how doing these experiments, out side of the day to day workload, will really increase the skills you have at your disposal.
So it was great news to hear that many of those images were also lit with HDR Light Studio. This was the excuse I needed to get in touch with Irinel and find out more. Continue reading →
HDR Light Studio 5 has seen the biggest set of changes we have ever made in the software. Some of those changes can at first seem like a step backwards for our existing users. The way version 5 handles loading image files is a good example.
We had a customer recently report that when a photographer client comes into the studio to art direct the lighting on CGI shots, then it is taking too long to load the huge HDRI maps he brings with him into HDR Light Studio 5, and that HDR Light Studio 4 was much faster.
We decided this subject was worthy of an article to explain the difference between version 4 and 5 in this respect, and check these load times for ourselves. Continue reading →