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.



  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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


HDR Light Studio 5 - Promo Video


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


  • 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


Try HDR Light Studio 5 today

Download the Trial Version