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Entertainment Technology News

HDR Light Studio from Lightmap Provides New Lighting Workflow for VFX Shots

posted Jul 8, 2013, 15:04

More and more VFX and animation studios around the world are now discovering the power of interactive HDRI map creation and editing using HDR Light Studio software. This innovative lighting tool works within their existing pipeline and provides an interactive approach with point and click light placement directly within the camera view. Because it provides direct control to place lighting within a shot, the result is a liberating and creative process that light artists love.

HDR Light Studio has already been widely adopted within the automotive and design industry. Its ability to let the user create very precise and high quality lighting and reflection environments to perfectly accentuate the form and character of new cars and products has been key to its success. Of course these attributes apply themselves to any subject matter, even CG dragons!

Andy Rowan-Robinson, CG Supervisor, Framestore, explains their recent use of HDR Light Studio in an award winning TV spot for Qualcomm.

“In the Snapdragon spot HDR Light Studio was used from blocking out the lighting right through to adding the final tweaks. It allows an extremely quick method to correct our orientations and quickly balance the base HDR images that we send to our renderer. We can play with the general levels of these base images before we go in and lighten and darken specific areas on the fly to create the shape and look that we are after.

As the shot progresses the LightPaint feature is great for placing specific highlights and rims in the exact places that we want. Instead of experimenting with specific light positions we can simply click in the view where we want the reflection to appear. We found this especially useful for accurately placing highlights in the eyes to really bring the dragon to life.

Production wise we found it really easy to share settings between artists and shots and found the tool is flexible and modular enough to fit well within our pipelines.

In summary the tool was invaluable for getting quality and fast results in the lighting - we were able to light accurately and in a very creative way, definitely making the process very enjoyable and intuitive for the lighting artist. By the end of the spot the tool had been employed on almost all dragon shots in the spot.”

Other large studios have also seen the light and are now adding HDR Light Studio to their lighting tool kit. Using it from early look development through to final shots, they gain the ability to easily share these lighting project files and the HDR output between artists and different renderers with ease.

HDR Light Studio 4 ships with a wide range of plug-in compatibility including: Maya, Houdini and 3ds Max, with support for renderers including: Arnold Render, RenderMan, V-Ray, Maxwell and Mental Ray making it a perfect complement to almost any VFX workflow.

About Framestore

Framestore is an Oscar-winning visual effects company that uses innovative talent and technology to create hi-end images for every platform. Framestore partners with clients ranging from Hollywood studios through to advertisers, ad agencies, production companies and video game developers. In addition to being recognised for its globally celebrated visual effects, Framestore has more recently made its name as an innovator in the digital space by focusing on the immersive engagement potential of interactive visual effects.

About HDR Light Studio

HDR Light Studio software provides interactive creation and editing of image based lighting for computer graphics. Launched in 2009, the software provides a fast and efficient way to light a 3D scene with photo-real results, while fitting into all major 3D rendering pipelines on the market. HDR light Studio can be used to light any 3D content and is becoming an industry standard worldwide in automotive/product visualisation, photo/retouch/CGI studios and VFX studios.



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