London U.K. - Lighting design can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the visualization process, particularly for those professionals seeking photorealistic results suitable for design, advertising, and marketing imagery.
Lightmap Ltd., makers of HDR Light Studio, are excited to announce an important advance in the area of lighting, visualization and HDRI rendering: HDR Light Studio 2.0. The newest version of Lightmap's flagship product for interactive image-based lighting, HDR Light Studio 2.0 provides 3D computer graphics (CG) artists with an interactive tool for designing image-based lighting environments for their 3D models, and an accelerated way to light a 3D scene with photo-real results.
"Our clients have been steadily moving toward a CG workflow as it oftentimes reflects a significant cost savings over traditional photography," said Greg Peruski, digital artist at Midcoast Studio. "Advertising imagery constantly dances the line between reality and idealism, and HDR Light Studio 2.0 allows me the flexibility to achieve the right look quickly and easily."
HDR Light Studio 1.5, which launched in October 2010, is a tool for creating your own HDRI maps, but these maps are designed in isolation from the 3D model, which makes development time-consuming and frustrating. HDR Light Studio 2.0 provides users with a totally new approach to lighting by providing real-time feedback on 3D models. This new and innovative approach to lighting provides a photo-real approach where reflections and lights are working in harmony to produce truly realistic render results.
"Using HDR Light Studio 2.0 has cut my lighting time in half," said Johan Folkesson, CEO of Digifex AB. "We have been able to take half of that gained time to rework our lighting rigs to get cleaner, better results out of the render, which has also made the post-process quicker."
Significant updates to HDR Light Studio 2.0 include:
LiveLight: a real-time lighting preview that lets users see their image-based lighting design evolve around a 3D model; allows users to light 3D models in minutes instead of hours.
LiveLight Supports: HDR Light Studio 2.0 now supports .OBJ and .MI files allowing the software to fit into almost any existing rendering pipeline. .MI files contain the camera viewpoint, providing much more useful integration with Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage, so users of these applications can design their lighting knowing that the results will be a pixel perfect match within their 3D package.
HDRI Backgrounds: Photographic HDRI environments provide a wide range of detail and add realism to 3D renders. HDR Light Studio 2.0 enables users to add various lighting and effects over the top of existing HDRI environments, allowing the user to craft a custom lighting environment to bring out the best in the subject matter. .EXR and .HDR files are supported.
Additional enhancements include significantly faster render times for final high-resolution HDRI output; larger and brighter lights; the ability to focus on each individual light source in a model; and additional picture light packs, providing an even larger choice of subtle lighting effects.
"The real-time rendered preview of lighting designs provided within HDR Light Studio 2.0 has transformed the product into a remarkably fast, intuitive and simple way to light a 3D CGI object," said Mark Segasby, CEO of Lightmap Ltd. "With the added support to load existing HDRI maps into the background, users now have the ultimate tool to make the most of HDRI rendering technology and we're very excited to see what they'll do with it."
"The introduction of LiveLight has greatly minimized the guesswork involved with studio lighting," said Peruski. "HDR Light Studio 2.0 maximizes productivity without compromising the final image and could easily slash hours from the production process."
"I honestly can't think of anything I dislike or would want to change about HDR Light Studio," said Jeff Patton, a freelance artist. "Version 2.0 adds some great features to an already excellent program and has quickly become an important part of my daily workflow."
Pricing and Availability
HDR Light Studio 2.0 is available immediately in two versions: The Standard Edition, which features the new LiveLight preview renderer is available for £399 plus VAT. The Pro Edition, which includes Live Light and HDRI background support is available for £599 plus VAT.