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.
My first project at Lightmap was to download a 3D watch model and texture, light and render within Maya and Arnold. Although the model was good, it was not smooth or detailed as required, so I re-modelled a large part of the watch to increase the detail required for a high quality render and optimised the remaining elements, tweaking and altering to achieve a smooth and detailed outcome.
If you install a new version of HDR Light Studio or a Connection, you may see this message when you next start HDR Light Studio.
Requested version not supported (-6) HDRLightStudio. This is most likely due to your subscription/maintenance expiring.
If you have a permanent license of HDR Light Studio, this message is showing because the version of HDR Light Studio or Connection being used is newer than the version date in your license file. Continue reading
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
Hello, my name is Sophie. I’m a graduate 3D artist working and training here at Lightmap Ltd. I studied Computer Games Modelling and Animation from the University of Derby and prior to this I completed an Interactive Media Course at Vision West Nottinghamshire College. 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
In this tutorial we will use HDR Light Studio 5 to combine two HDRI maps, using the floor area of one, and the sky area of another, mixing them with a soft blend at the horizon. We will then add a gradient across the whole map acting as a color filter.
1. Delete the Default Gradient Background light
2. Create a Picture Background and load a HDRI map
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.
Maciek Ptaszynski has produced this fantastic ‘Automotive Studio Lighting’ Demonstration Video using HDR Light Studio 5, standalone. The final result above looks gorgeous.
Watch the video below to see Maciek light this shot from scratch, building up the lighting one light at a time in HDR Light Studio. The final shot is rendered in Maxwell Render.