What's new in 5.3.5

Release Date: 2016-08-11

Connection Update:
3ds Max 2017 support - including ART Renderer and Arnold
Maya 2017 support
DeltaGen 2017 support

What's new in 5.3.4

Release Date: 2016-07-01

Area Lights in MODO Connection

Now you can create and control Area Lights in MODO via the
HDR Light Studio connection.

What's new in 5.3.3

Release Date: 2016-05-12

Area Lights in 3ds Max Connection

Now you can create and control Area Lights in 3ds Max via the
HDR Light Studio connection.

Area Lights in Cinema 4D Connection

Now you can create and control Area Lights in Cinema 4D via the
HDR Light Studio connection.

New Compatibility:
Maya Connection supports Maya 2016.5

What's new in 5.3

Release Date: 2016-03-01

HDR Light Studio 5.3 Launch Video

Promotional video showcasing headline new features

Area Lights in Maya Connection

Now you can create and control Area Lights in Maya via the
HDR Light Studio connection.

Area Lights
Lights in HDR Light Studio with 3D mapping can now be promoted to become Area Lights in 3D space. The first Connection to support this new feature is the Maya Connection. The updated Maya Connection supports live HDRI map and Area Light creation with renderers: Mental Ray, Arnold, V-Ray, Maxwell, Redshift, Octane, Renderman (RIS) and iRay for Maya. (Renderman (RIS) is currently supported on Windows and Linux only.)

Convert to Uber Light
There is a new menu command that can be used to convert any selected light into an Uber Light. For example, the user may place a Picture Light from the tool bar, and decide they want to add an alpha to the image. This is only possible when using the Uber Light, therefore using ‘Edit > Convert to UberLight’ allows the light to preserve all of the light’s settings, and gain the flexibility of being an Uber Light with more properties available to change.

Render View – Continuous Updates
Users can drag lights using LightPaint on the Render View, and experience continuous updates to the Canvas and Render View.
New Area Lights can also be moved, scaled and rotated with continuous updates in the Render View.

Aspect Ratio on Images
New button in image content,  to adjust the height of the light to match the image's aspect ratio.

License Management Panel
Users can now easily see what licenses they have installed and when they will expire. The new License Management panel displays both main app and connection licenses, their type, expiry date (days left), plus the last build date that the licenses will run.

New Compatibility:
Maya / iRay for Maya
Modo 902
SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2016


Improvements:

Canvas
Canvas view has been flipped horizontally, so the user is now looking at the HDRI map from world origin. Therefore when area lights are added, the Canvas is an accurate view of the lighting scene from the world origin viewpoint.

User Interface
Keyboard shortcuts are now displayed in menu commands where possible. Example: Edit > Undo   Ctrl + Z

Render View
Support for specifying the fresnel as an IOR.
Display LUT is active during camera moves.
3d scene file slot, and the background image file slot both support dragging and dropping files from the OS.
Performance has been improved when moving the camera.
New Fit Scene to View button for Freecam mode.
The time in the Render View is now specified as a frame number, which is more useful for a 3D artist than the seconds that are embedded in an Alembic file. Therefore we have now added a FPS setting in the Render View, so the user can input the frame rate for the shot.
Added Tilt Camera Tool for Freecam mode.

Render Settings
New roughness setting for the reflection roughness/glossiness value
Added checkbox for toggling floor plane on and off.

Production Render
New optional settings for the additional output of Thumbnail PNGs for lights, Render View PNG, and a Saved HDR Light Studio Project File.

Light Controls
New keyboard controls to change the sensitivity when dragging.
New Smart Dolly button, click and drag and Smart Dolly selected area light.

What's new in 5.2

Release Date: 2015-07-27

Sun Softness Control

Sun edge softness controlled through a falloff gradient

Sun Disc Size

Sun disc size can be increased and is automatically darkened to provide consistant illumination (energy conservation)

Sky Alpha Ramp

The sky now includes an alpha gradient to control horizon softness. Ideal for sky replacement of existing HDRI maps.

User Layouts

Save and load up to 4 user interface layouts

Render View

Significant improvements to the Render View

Render View Changes in Full:

  • The resolution of the render view image is set in the Render Settings rather than
    from the size of the user interface panel. Changes to the position and size of the
    panels no longer triggers a re-render of the model and makes layout changes much
    more responsive. Default sample level is now 80 samples.
  • 'Ctrl Left Click' to zoom into an area of the render view.
  • Render Settings layout improved.
  • Keyboard shortcuts to switch 'LightPaint Modes' have been added:
    'Ctrl + 1' for Reflection, 'Ctrl + 2' for Illumination, 'Ctrl + 3' for Rim.
  • Render View image can be saved as an EXR - Project > Save Render View Image.

 

Improvements:

  • Default display LUTs can now be globally set in the Preferences panel.
  • Picture Lights - Image files can be dragged from the file system directly onto the image path
    in the Light Properties panel, rather than browsing for the image.

 

Connections:

  • New Houdini Connection - supports Houdini 12,13,14, Mantra and Arnold.
  • 3ds Max Connection adds support for Corona.
  • Cinema 4D Connection adds support for Arnold and Thea Render.
  • Maya Connection adds support for Renderman 20 environment node
  • MODO Connection adds support for Alembic scene export.

What's new in 5.1

Release Date: 2015-06-01

Improvements

  • Significantly improved HDRI lighting updates performance with plug-in connections - particularly Maya/MODO with Mac OSX or Linux.
  • Fixed crash bug with Wacom tablets on Max OSX.

What's new in 5.0

Release Date: 2015-05-12

Overview

HDR Light Studio 5 - Promo Video

Interface

New Full Screen Interface

Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop from a Library of Preset Lights

Load Images

Load your own LDR and HDR imagery as lights, backgrounds, reflections

Instant Re-lighting

Instant re-lighting in the Render View

Uber Light

One light type - so many possibilities

Lighting Content

  • New underlying architecture for light layer generation and compositing
  • Faster multi thread final rendering of HDRI maps
  • Light positioned with 100 x more precision
  • Light sizes specified with 100 x more precision
  • New sky background – procedural sky generator
  • New Gradient Light Type – Linear or radial gradient
  • Gradient background light now includes an alpha ramp
  • Planar and spherical content mapping
  • New blend modes: Multiply, High Pass (via low pass with invert), Hue
  • Blend mode has ‘preserve alpha’ and ‘invert’ options
  • Load images as lights
  • Apply a LUT to a loaded image
  • Flip image content horizontally
  • Unpremultiply alpha on loaded image
  • Invert the alpha channel of loaded image
  • Saturation slider control for loaded image
  • When coloring a loaded image using a gradient, this can be positioned anywhere with a radial or linear gradient
  • New secondary alpha control on lights via Alpha multiply using gradient or image
  • New Uber light type has all properties swappable providing all possible lighting settings from a single light type
  • Lights can be now be renamed in the Light Properties panel
  • New content type – flat color

Flexible New User Interface

  • New UI with panels that can be moved, scaled, docked/undocked and tabbed
  • Preset layouts for different size displays
  • Color and value ramps are now part of main UI, no longer pop ups

New Presets Panel

  • Presets replaces the old ‘Picture Lights’ concept
  • Presets display is controlled using the drop down ‘tags’ filter
  • Drag and drop preset thumbnails onto the render view, canvas or light list
  • Double click a preset thumbnail to add the light to the canvas

New Light Controls Panel

  • Click and drag buttons to scale, rotate and change light brightness

3D file formats

  • Load Alembic files
  • Load FBX files (windows only)

Render View (was LiveLight)

  • Integrated into main HDR Light Studio app
  • Faster render engine powered by Embree 2
  • Intelligent renderer, no re-rendering needed to change: HDR lighting, view exposure, diffuse level, reflection level, shadow level or background image adjustments
  • Pause/Resume button with progress bar
  • Time(Sec) setting for Alembic files
  • Tool bar for render view interaction mode
  • Channel drop down – Includes HSVA, HSV, Alpha
  • Color LUT drop down – select display LUT for render view
  • Drop down camera selection
  • Freecam mode – unlocks the camera and adds buttons for camera controls

Render Settings

  • Apply a LUT to the background image
  • More background image formats now supported as above
  • New fresnel controls for shader
  • Max rendering samples setting
  • Faster floor shadow rendering
  • Displays loaded 3D model file path
  • Simpler presentation of material settings, no longer tabbed

Image Formats

  • HDR Light Studio supports loading: BMP, Cineon, DDS, HDR, IFF, Jpeg, OpenEXR, PNG, PSD, Targa and Tiff

New Canvas Features

  • Resizable canvas view
  • Canvas can now display transparency via checkboard pattern
  • Channel display drop down – Includes HSVA, HSV, Alpha
  • Color LUT drop down – select display LUT for canvas
  • Tool bar for canvas interaction mode
  • Zoom in and out of the canvas
  • Zoom into a cropped area on canvas
  • Pan around the zoomed canvas view
  • Fit canvas into the view
  • Pixel Probe – Displays RGBA and HSV values under the cursor position on the canvas

Light List

  • New solo state – isolate lights display without affecting their on/off status
  • New selectable state – make lights non-selectable via the canvas or render view
  • New light lock state – lock lights so their properties can’t be changed
  • Includes a light preview thumbnail in the list
  • Right click on light list for context menu – duplicate, delete, deselect

Tool Bars

  • New repositionable tool bars for adding lights, duplicate, delete, undo/redo, production rendering of HDRI maps
  • New ‘re-render’ production HDRI button using last settings

Light Preview View

  • Scaleable light preview
  • Now includes transparency display via checkerboard pattern
  • Channel drop down – Includes HSVA, HSV, Alpha
  • Color LUT drop down – select display LUT for light preivew
  • View exposure control

New HDRI Image Output Options

  • Now uses EXR 2.0
  • Choose 16bit half or full 32 bit
  • Mip-map option
  • Add a LUT to the rendered output

Menus

  • Load 3D models into HDR Light Studio from Project menu
  • Menu entries to control light list states
  • Turn light orange selection handle display on an off
  • In app software activation via activation codes
  • Production rendering of HDRI maps from menu
  • Enhanced project assets management window

New Application Preferences Panel

  • Change proxy image resolution used in Render View and shared with 3D apps
  • Apps image cache size
  • Select OpenColorIO preferences
  • Change directory locations for presets, proxy image and licenses

 

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