We were very pleased to hear that Mr. Shirasawa of HAKUHODO PRODUCT’S Inc. demonstrated their use of HDR Light Studio 5 in their visualisation pipeline at his presentation: A Making of the Fastest and High-Quality CG using QuadroVCA, MDL, IRAY by HAKUHODO PRODUCT’S INC. at the GPU Technology Conference Japan on September 18, 2015. He was also kind enough to share one of his slides with us from this event.
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
Ars Thanea is an Advertising Agency and Creative Production Studio based in Warsaw, Poland. They constantly deliver award-winning works for international and local brands, with a reputation for a bold approach with a huge love of polishing every detail. The company emphasise that every success they earn, they owe to the most professional people on board and the highest quality tools used on a daily basis.
Ars Thanea have been HDR Light Studio users since version 1.5. We caught up with them recently to find out how HDR Light Studio 5 was helping their lighting workflow.
“HDR Light Studio is definitely great software. The most important thing while using it is the huge improvement on efficiency for the whole Ars Thanea team. We can speed up production processes still keeping the highest standards of quality in our projects, which is priority number one for us.”
Marcin Molski – Business Unit Director
Peter Nowacki, 3D Artist, Ars Thanea – www.pnowacki.com
“HDR Light Studio is a perfect tool for product renders. I like it both with lighting up various materials, my favourite one is metal, and for creating the light for the main scene. While working on one of the recent projects, HBO Oscar Night, I used HDR Light Studio to get rid the reflection from the statue edges and to create the overall scene mood. I love this possibility of adding all the little lights – it allows me to present every single detail and show the product in a full glory. I also do appreciate that the software works very fast and has a enormous impact on my workflow.”
Anna Mierzejewska, 3D Artist, Ars Thanea – www.anagraphics.pl
“I like to use HDR Light Studio in projects that combine a photo shoot with 3D CGI. It’s so great that I am able to recreate and match the whole lighting set up so easily with HDR Light Studio. Most of all I love that, despite the simplicity of user interface, there is a huge variety of individual, realistic lighting. One of my favourite features is the Light Paint option, which lets you add highlights easily, right where you want them to be.”
Pawel Szklarski, 3D Artist, Ars Thanea – www.pawelszklarski.pl
“I have worked in the CGI industry over 10 years. I may say now, that over that time the automotive field became my hobby horse, which you can clearly see through my portfolio. They know this very well in Ars Thanea, and I’m consequently assigned to such projects. I’m responsible for lighting, shading and the rendering stages, so HDR Light Studio is like my second hand. The software is just irreplaceable in lighting-up the models in the scene, but I also use it to create the HDRI reflection maps of every part of the vehicle model – such as body, wheels, headlights, etc. Then I put the main HDRI maps to the “reflection” feature in the Light Dome, which makes combining the extra reflections much easier in the compositing process.”
Many thanks to the whole team at Ars Thanea for being awesome HDR Light Studio users, producing amazing work and spending time working with us on this feature. To see more amazing imagery from Ars Thanea – visit their web site at: www.arsthanea.com
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.
In few minutes, HDR Light Studio can make a real difference to the final image. See how Spellwork Pictures enhanced this shot using HDR Light Studio, to add more lighting to enhance the appearance of the car. A polished final result, rendered in V-Ray for 3ds Max.
Thanks to spellwork.de and moofe.com
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.
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.
Lightmap Ltd are looking forward to exhibiting at the ‘International CGI Workshop 2015‘ event in Hamburg, on the 17th and 18th of June.
We are excited to meet with many existing customers and partners at this event, and to create new ones. The speaker line up is fantastic and also includes many users of our software.
The venue is a photographic studio in the heart of Hamburg. A fitting location for an event focused on those using digital technology to produce the finest photo real imagery for advertising and marketing.
Of course we will be demonstrating HDR Light Studio 5 and will be able to preview some improvements coming in version 5.2 also. We hope to see you there!
Find out more and book tickets here: International CGI Workshop 2015
Just some of the exhibitors at this years event.