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.
Press the ‘Play’ button below to listen
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.
The final result – totally stunning! Continue reading
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
At first glance, the Render View in HDR Light Studio can appear inferior to most modern renderers. First impressions can be deceptive. Let’s find out why the Render View is actually very smart and is making our users more productive than ever.
Tuned to the task in hand
First off, let’s remember the Render View is highly tuned to provide a fast and fluid interface for placing your lights and providing instant visual feedback on the lighting effect on the loaded scene. It’s not a final frame renderer!
The Render View is optimized to light a fixed camera view. Reflections will move position on your 3D model if the camera is moved, so it’s important to choose the camera views you want to light before loading your scene into HDR Light Studio. Your cameras will be imported into HDR Light Studio when using Alembic, FBX or Collada file formats.
Hogging the CPU
In HDR Light Studio 4, the Render View (LiveLight) behaved the same as other progressive ray-tracers. The rendering would start and collect more samples over time to improve the image quality/accuracy. But when the HDRI lighting is changed, the rendering would begin again from scratch using the new HDRI map. The end result: The renderer hogged the CPU and the render quality remained low for all lot of the time whilst lighting the shot.
A Smarter Approach
In HDR Light Studio 5 the Render View is smarter. At a small sacrifice to its speed of collecting samples, once rendering begins, changes to the HDRI lighting do not require the renderer to re-start because the image based lighting is cached. Therefore once the Render View has reached the desired sample level it no longer hogs the CPU and you will always be lighting a high quality view.
These advantages are less apparent with small simple scenes. But when a larger scene is being lit, it makes a really big difference.
The new Render View in HDR Light Studio 5 is good news for those using our Connections to 3D apps. The Render View can be used at the same time as your 3D apps interactive renderer without hogging the CPU resources. The end result is faster more responsive rendering in your main 3D software.
Additionally, HDR Light Studio 5 can be used on a very modest specification computer, with RAM being the only limiting factor in being able to load and light larger models. Because the render view is not invalidated with each lighting change, the longer the view collects samples, the higher quality render you are lighting. This makes HDR Light Studio responsive even on a 2 core computer.
No special graphics card or drivers are required as the Render View is CPU based only. So HDR Light Studio also plays very nicely with GPU renderers and is not competing for GPU resources.
Just one of the many new features in HDR Light Studio 5 is the ability to zoom into the HDRI design. Older versions of HDR Light Studio had a fixed size HDR canvas and only displayed the entire HDRI map. You couldn’t make the canvas any bigger or zoom into details.
In HDR Light Studio 5 you can zoom into any area of the map and see just how much detail and quality is contained within the image based light sources that come with the software. Here is a great example, see the detail contained within the bulb, both the dynamic range and resolution. You would never know it had that level of detail unless you zoomed in.