Procedural Lighting

HDR Light Studio is best known for creating studio style lighting – especially suited to reflective materials which are difficult to light. Procedural lights can be precisely controlled and positioned to create a wide variety of lighting effects – be it a perfect softbox or a soft reflected lighting effect. Alpha controls allow a gradient or image to provide additional transparency control over the lights appearance. HDR Light Studio is simply unrivalled when it comes to studio lighting creation.

Image Based Lighting

For the most realistic lighting effects – load HDR images as light sources in HDR Light Studio. Using image based light sources brings higher levels of realism with subtle details and imperfections seen in reflections. A totally photographic approach.

Matching Photography

When blending photography and CG imagery, matching the lighting between the photographic content and the CG elements is key to a successful and believable image. If a HDRI map of the location has not been captured then a lighting setup needs building from scratch. HDR Light Studio makes this process easy – enabling the rapid creation of a suitable lighting environment.  

Enhancing Reality

When reality isn’t enough. Load HDRI maps shot on location and add additional light sources to bring your subject to life. Just like on a real photoshoot, beauty lights are added to make your subject the star of the show. Be it a highlight in the eye of a creature or a studio light reflecting in a car body.

Area Lights

NEW - Lights can now be liberated from the HDRI map and promoted into full 3D Area Lights (Light Cards / Emitters)

Area Lights are controlled with the same intuitive 'click to light' interface with the addition of a distance control. It's so easy.

The Area Light feature is currently compatible with 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and MODO Connections. Area lights are built in real-time in your 3D software, for your chosen 3D renderer, as you work in HDR Light Studio. This includes creating the light geometry, appropriate shaders and mapping the RGBA image content onto the light. This saves lots of time in tedious setup. Lights are moved and scaled in your 3D software as you work in HDR Light Studio.

Presets - A Library of HDRI Light Sources

HDR Light Studio includes a library of over 200 high quality HDR photographs of soft boxes, spot lights, windows and even clouds.
We call these Presets. View a PDF Brochure of all Preset Lights included with HDR Light Studio

Lighting Preview and Placement

The Render View is a key feature of HDR Light Studio's lighting interface. 3D models are loaded and a basic lighting preview of the shot is progressively rendered in the view as you work. The CPU based renderer is optimized for fast and responsive updates - even on large models. The active light is positioned by clicking and dragging on the Render - we call this patented process LightPaint.

3D models provided courtesy of TurboSquid - Artists cvbtruong and cecoaliensa

LightPaint means you can instantly put the lighting effect precisely where you want within the shot. You also have the luxury to freely experiment by dragging lights around on the model until you find the sweet spots.
HDR Light Studio loads Alembic, FBX*, Collada, OBJ and MI file formats.
*Windows OS only

Mix Up Your Maps

Load more than one HDRI map into HDR Light Studio and use the alpha ramp to blend between them. Use saturation adjustments and color filtering, via blend modes, to take control of color and create a better match. Enabling you to get more out of your existing HDRI collection.

More than Lights

The HDR Canvas is a powerful compositor for HDRI content and supports a range of mappings and blend modes.

Lights are not limited to representing light sources. A light can be a loaded HDRI map background or an additional cloud added to the sky. You can load any LDR or HDR imagery and add it to your HDRI map. The procedural light sources are very useful when combined with blend modes. Allowing precise local adjustments of color and brightness on the HDRI map – shaping the lighting effect.

Procedural Sky

HDR Light Studio includes a procedural sky shader. Replace the sky on an existing HDRI map and use an alpha ramp to control the horizon position and softness. Drag and drop the included Cloud preset images onto the sky for added realism. The sun disc can be increased in size whilst maintaining its overall lighting contribution, allowing for creative decisions about the sun scale. The sun disc has a controllable soft edge.

Industry Standards

VFX artists will be pleased to know HDR Light Studio has progressed to embrace some some industry standards.

HDR Light Studio uses OpenColorIO color management and supports loading Alembic scene files. In order to efficiently handle working with very large image files, HDR Light Studio will automatically convert image files to mip-mapped and tiled images, saving them as .tx files. When using .tx files, HDR Light Studio only loads the image resolution and area needed – this vastly improves image load times and performance.

Portable Lighting

HDRI maps are the ultimate portable lighting format. They can be used with different renderers and produce predictable and accurate results. Especially with physically based rendering.

When implementing the new Area Lights feature, we ensured these lights were portable too. For example, you can create a lighting design in Maya for Arnold Render (using a HDRI map with Area Lights) and then switch renderers to V-Ray, the Area Lights will be rebuilt using V-Ray lights. You can also light a shot in Cinema 4D with Arnold, and load the same lighting design into Maya with Maxwell Render to get the exact same lighting.

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