Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Lightmap ships HDR Light Studio 5.3

Lightmap has released HDR Light Studio 5.3: the latest update to its real-time lighting design tool, adding the option to create lighting set-ups based on area lights as well as HDRIs.

The update enables users – initially, only users of the software’s Maya connection plugin – to create both an HDR map and a set of area lights for a scene simultaneously, seeing changes in real time.

The 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Modo and Nuke/Octane connections will get support for area lights “soon”, but the release announcement doesn’t mention the other connections, which include Houdini and Maxwell Studio.

Add area lights to a scene by ‘painting’ highlights directly onto objects
Area lights can be added to a scene automatically using the software’s LightPaint workflow, which enables users to click on the points on the surface of an object where they want highlights to appear.

Highlights of an HDR map can also be converted to area lights, and vice versa.

HDR Light Studio sets only the “essential” settings for the new light – colour, size, position, falloff and visibility to the camera – with the other properties adjustable directly in Maya.

Scenes containing the new area lights can be rendered by Maya users without access to HDR Light Studio.

Other new features in the 5.3 update include the option to convert existing lights to multi-purpose Uber Lights and continuous updates in the render view while moving lights.

Pricing and availability
HDR Light Studio 5.3 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Pricing starts at $995 for permanent licenses and $445 for annual subscriptions. The update is free for users on subscription contracts.

Read a full list of new features in HDR Light Studio 5.3 on the product blog