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 →
To coincide with our latest release of HDR Light Studio Carbon – Drop 4, we have developed a new training video for users new and old to demonstrate the core concepts of how HDR Light Studio works. These helpful tips and shortcuts will ensure all users have a solid understanding of our software.
You may find this video tutorial useful. Dave Cox is a Senior Automotive CGI Artist and Automotive Photographer. He has produced a step-by-step guide to how he shoots and then edits real-world light painted automotive photographic layers – to create the final shot.
What peaked our interest is how these techniques are transferable to CGI shots. Picking and choosing how each light contributes to the shot, painting away areas where you don’t want the light to affect the subject to get the look you want. You can definitely use these techniques with HDR Light Studio on your automotive projects by soloing lights and rendering out the passes you want to composite.
Dave kindly let us share this video tutorial here on our blog. He has actually been a long time HDR Light Studio user with his CGI work, but it’s nice to see his real-world photography in action.
After joining Lightmap in late 2017, I was set the challenge of creating a Christmas themed image to be included in the companies Christmas email, which required using software and techniques I was relatively unfamiliar with. I found this project to be very challenging, and I have to admit, it didn’t go exactly to plan. By sharing my progress with you, I hope I can highlight all the challenges I faced, and the solutions I learn along the way to improve my skills as a 3D artist.
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 →