Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

PlaySys ships Real HDR

PlaySys founder Luca Deriu has released Real HDR, an interesting new tool for designing 32-bit HDRIs for CG lighting work: in particular, product and automotive visualisation.

The software is a sister tool to Real IES, designed for creating synthetic IES light sources.

Design synthetic HDRIs on a 2D canvas in 32-bit linear colour space
Like Lightmap’s HDR Light Studio, Real HDR enables users to design synthetic HDR images for use in studio lighting set-ups by placing light sources on a flattened HDR canvas.

That includes both point sources and a range of simple shapes, shown at 08:00 in this demo video. The size, intensity, colour and orientations of the light sources can then be adjusted with simple slider controls.

It’s also possible to mask out parts of the HDR canvas by adding ‘DarkMarks’.

The software displays colours in 32-bit linear space, with the option to convert output to RGB or HSV colour space, and includes a Hex converter for “maximum portability”.

To judge from the demos, there’s no built-in 3D render preview: workflow involves exporting each iteration of the HDRI to an external DCC application, although in Corona Renderer, it’s a live link.

The online documentation is currently limited, but more unusual features shown in the teaser include support for animated light sources, and a ‘Surprise Me’ feature, which randomises the lighting.

Pricing and availability
Real HDR is available for Windows only. It costs €59.99 (around $70), which is a one-off payment entitling buyers to free updates “forever”. You can see the product roadmap on Trello.

The software is licensed on a per-user basis, so you can move it between machines.

Read more about Real HDR on the product website