Thursday, December 7th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Lightmap releases HDR Light Studio live link for Unreal Engine

Lightmap has released the HDR Light Studio plugin for Unreal Engine, a new add-on live-linking HDR Light Studio, its lighting design tool, to Unreal Engine 5.

It enables vizualization artists to use HDR Light Studio’s LightPaint system to position highlights precisely on the surfaces of objects being rendered in real time using the game engine.

A real-time lighting design tool with a number of interesting workflow features
First released in 2009, HDR Light Studio is a multi-platform real-time lighting design tool.

Although it began as a tool for authoring synthetic HDRIs, it has since evolved into a much broader toolset, including the option to generate and control HDR-textured 3D area lights.

Although used in motion design and VFX, its key market sector is product visualisation.

New connection plugin live links HDR Light Studio to Unreal Engine 5
The new plugin is HDR Light Studio’s latest connection to other CG software, joining add-ons for 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, and key CAD tools.

It creates a live link between the software and Unreal Engine 5, making it possible to view changes in real time inside an Unreal Engine-rendered viewport inside HDR Light Studio.

Although Unreal Engine already has a broad set of native lighting tools, the plugin makes it easier to use features unique to HDR Light Studio with UE5.

Of those, the main selling point will probably be LightPaint, which lets users position highlights on the surface of a 3D model by clicking on its surface in a render view.

According to Lightmap’s blog post announcing the release, it can be used to position new light sources in the HDR cubemap used by Unreal Engine’s Sky Light.

Price and availability
HDR Light Studio is compatible with Windows 10+, CentOS 7.9 Linux and macOS 11.4+, although the new plugin is only supported on Windows. The software is rental-only.

The plugin itself is compatible with HDR Light Studio 8.1.1+ and Unreal Engine 5.2.1+.

The new Unreal Engine plugin is only available as part of HDR Light Studio’s highest-tier Automotive subscriptions, which cost $1,495/year, and include the full set of connections.

Read more about the new HDR Light Studio Unreal Connection on Lightmap’s blog

See a table of HDR Light Studio features supported by the plugin in the online documentation

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