Category Archives: Maya

Delicious Computer Generated Imagery

caramel-loves-chocolate-closeup

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.

caramel-loves-chocolate-fullshot

The Complete Shot

caramel-loves-chocolate-sculpt

Sculpting in Mudbox

Lighting in HDR Light Studio 5

Lighting in HDR Light Studio 5

Maya Artist: Frédéric Müller

We are delighted that Frédéric shared one of his recent projects with us. Lit with HDR Light Studio. We love the photographic and restrained quality of this image.

Pepermolen Olijfolie

 

HDR Light Studio 5 interfaceThe lighting is very simple but perfectly positioned to bring out the detail in the olives and leaves.

Detail

To see more of Frédéric Müller’s work, visit: www.fredericmueller.ch

Lightmap Launches HDR Light Studio 5.3

Innovative computer graphics lighting tool adds revolutionary new Area Lights feature.

1st March 2016 – Today, Lightmap announced the immediate availability of HDR Light Studio version 5.3. This new release adds ‘Area Lights’ to its feature set, allowing users to interactively create and control both a HDRI Map and set of Area Lights with the same ‘artist friendly’ ease of use that has made HDR Light Studio a favourite lighting tool with professional 3D artists world-wide.

Maya Connection - Renderers

The ‘Maya’ Connection is the first to take advantage of the new Area Lights feature, supporting all leading renderers: MentalRay, V-Ray, Maxwell, Arnold, Octane, Redshift, RenderMan and Iray for Maya.

3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Modo and Nuke/Octane Connections will be updated soon to support the new area lights feature.

“We are very excited about the HDR Light Studio 5.3 release. The ability to control both the environment map and area lights using one unified lighting workflow is a totally unique approach and a significant evolution of our software. In fact it’s the biggest update we have ever made” says Mark Segasby, Lightmap CEO. “Our customers love how fast they can block out lighting and adjust it using HDR Light Studio’s interactive HDRI map, and how fast this renders. By adding the ability to promote a light from the HDRI map into 3D, users can use all of HDR Light Studio’s controls and content to light details on their models too.”

Area Lights in Maya

Left: Area Lights in the Maya scene    Right: Area Lights lighting effect

IBL and Final Shot

Left: Just the HDRI map lighting     Right: Area Lights and HDRI map lighting together

Area Light – Key Features:

• A Natural Evolution – Area lights have been added with the same intuitive controls and ease of use as you would expect from HDR Light Studio. A single tick box promotes a light from the HDRI map into a 3D area light. Lights can be moved back and forth between the HDRI map and 3D space with ease.

• LightPaint – Area Lights can be positioned ‘in shot’ by clicking on the 3D model in the Render View using one of the LightPaint modes: Reflection, Illumination, Rim.

• Smart Dolly – Controls both the distance and size of the area light, using scaling algorithms specific to the LightPaint mode used to place the light. For example, if the area light is positioned using Illumination mode, Smart Dolly scales the light to maintain the illumination intensity whatever distance the light is from the model. This eliminates the constant back and forth between distance and scale settings, instead allowing the user to concentrate on the visual effect they want with using minimal controls.

• Maya Connection – When using HDR Light Studio via the Maya Connection, the Area Lights are created on the fly in Maya, instantly building the correct shader network for the chosen Renderer. Area lights are always in sync with HDR Light Studio. Start a Maya IPR session to see a live preview of the lighting effect as you work in HDR Light Studio.

• A Light Touch – HDR Light Studio controls only the essential core settings for an area light, i.e. The RGBA image data mapped to the light surface, light size and position, falloff method and visibility to camera. Additional area light settings can still be set within Maya and are not altered by HDR Light Studio.

• Portable Lighting – The lighting design is completely independent of the 3D software/renderer and can be moved between 3D software/renderers.

• Pipeline Friendly – A Maya scene containing HDR Light Studio lights can be opened and rendered by any other user without the HDR Light Studio Connection installed or licensed. This makes the solution ideal for larger studios where a subset of artists use HDR Light Studio.

HDR Light Studio 5.3 also includes additional new features: Convert existing lights to Uber Lights, Continuous updates in the Render View when moving lights, and an updated License Management dialog providing users with comprehensive information about currently installed licenses. Plus added support for Iray for Maya, SOLIDWORKS Visualize, MODO 902, and a large number of improvements and fixes.

Pricing and Availability
Existing customers within their maintenance or subscription period can download this update today from www.lightmap.co.uk.

HDR Light Studio 5.3 is available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux through the Lightmap website (www.lightmap.co.uk) and its authorized resellers. Pricing starts at £695 / $995 / €945 for permanent licenses, and £295 / $445 / €395 for annual subscriptions.

15 Day Trial

 

 

Previs: Lighting a BMW Commercial with HDR Light Studio

Thanks to Matt Workman for letting us re-post this interesting article about his unique HDR Light Studio previs workflow for a video shoot.

Author: Matt Workman

In this article I walk through my process of lighting a “Social Videos Series” for BMW and the Super Bowl XLVII. First, visualizing the framing and angles in Autodesk Maya, then designing the lighting and reflections using HDR light Studio, and finally translating those results into a real world lighting set up.

INTRO / CONCEPT
In January 2013, producer Daniel Roversi @ KBS+ contacted me about a “Social Videos Series” for BMW. I was given several reference photos of what angles we were looking to capture and some basic CAD files of the cars. I collected a large sample of BMW renderings and photos from their previous campaigns as reference for lighting and framing. BMW is a very well known brand so I wanted the cars “read” as BMW and to stick with their overall lighting style.

“Part of the concept is the ability to react almost in realtime to events. We estimated, approved, pre-produced, shot and edited in 10 days.” It’s a new frontier in advertising where brands are in direct contact with their customers through outlets like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. When the Ravens won the Super Bowl the “Winner” spot was released within seconds.

FRAMING / ANGLES
Using the floor plans of the stage and some reference photos I had taken on the tech scout, I recreated the stage and cyc in 3D using Autodesk Maya. It was important that any angles and lighting setups I created in 3D could be possible within the physical restrictions of the stage. After calculating where the camera would need to be for each angle (front, three quarter front, and profile) with Maya’s 3D camera I was ready to start lighting.

LIGHTING PREVIS

LEFT MONITOR: Canon C300 live video tap, RIGHT LAPTOP: Autodesk MAYA running HDR Light Studio 4.0 + Maya Plug-in

My original digital lighting workflow was to create a single large-ish area light, move it around until it’s reflection landed where I liked in the hood, windshield, roof, etc. and then slowly tweak the shape, intensity, and quality. While amazing results can be achieved using this method, it requires a good amount of guesswork and a lot of time. Also, if you change angles or you change cars, you are effectively starting from scratch every time.

HDR Light Studio 4.0 eliminates all of the guesswork of placing placing and designing reflections. Using the new Light Paint feature, you can literally paint on the car where you want a reflection and HDR Light Studio generates and places the appropriate light in the scene for you. Using this new technique, I was able to create precisely placed reflections for each angle in a fraction of the time.

After I had created an HDR lighting plan for each angle of the car, I created an equipment list and several lighting diagrams to bring my digital lighting setup into the real world.

THE REAL WORLD SHOOT

Canon C300 + Canon 30-105mm T2.8 Cinema Zoom Lens

For each shot, I walked through the lighting in HDR Light Studio with my gaffer Haroun and key grip Che. Because the angles and lighting model were based on the physical dimensions of the set and the car, translating the 3d lighting into reality was surprisingly intuitive. Both Haroun and Che, instantly had a feel for how to accomplish what was needed. After roughing in the lighting we’d compare our lighting with the render and make adjustments.

This was a challenging shoot, we shot 10 different spots in one day! Having previsualized the stage, angles, and lighting, I was able to work more confidently and efficiently. Thanks to our director Matthew Pizzano, producer Daniel Roversi, and our crew, we finished everything on time and on budget.

HDR Light Studio lights the way for Framestore’s award winning Qualcomm Snapdragon spot

Framestore and HDR Light Studio

Framestore have been using HDR Light Studio to light more and more shots recently. We caught up with Andy Rowan-Robinson, CG Supervisor, who explains their use on a recent TV spot for Qualcomm.

HDR Light Studio Screen Grab with Maya and Arnold

“In the Snapdragon spot HDR Light Studio was used from blocking out the lighting right through to adding the final tweaks. It allows an extremely quick method to correct our orientations and quickly balance the base HDR images that we send to our renderer. We can play with the general levels of these base images before we go in and lighten and darken specific areas on the fly to create the shape and look that we are after. Continue reading

Holomatix SprayTrace 1.5.20 adds support for LightPaint

SprayTrace supports LightPaint

Users of HDR Light Studio 4, by Lightmap Ltd, can now take advantage of native LightPaint support from directly within the SprayTrace 1.5.20 viewport. It’s the ultimate combination of Maya plug-ins for those looking to quickly and easily light their MentalRay shots to perfection. It’s like a fully rendered version of LiveLight in a live connection with Maya!

Continue reading

RenderMan – Physically Plausible Tutorial

Physically Plausible Pig

Out now at RenderMan University, The Piggy Bank Breakdown.
A
Maya, RenderMan and HDR Light Studio tutorial for the fast creation of physically plausible results.

This five part “How To” will show the workflows involved in shading and lighting a hypothetical CGI job for the advertising industry, an industry notorious for tough deadlines and fast turnarounds. During these lessons we will explore techniques to quickly create photorealistic images with image based lighting, as we take a simple model and use interactive ray-traced re-rendering to deliver rapid iterations for look development. These lessons will focus on using the physically plausible shading system in RenderMan Studio to achieve our final polished result.

Click here to visit RenderMan University and see the tutorial