Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Lightmap releases HDR Light Studio 8.2

Lightmap has released HDR Light Studio 8.2, the new version of its real-time lighting design tool.

The update adds new Shadow and Shade modes to the software’s signature LightPaint system, enabling users to position shadows by clicking directly on objects in the render view.

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 its original use was authoring synthetic HDRIs, it has since evolved into a much broader toolset, including the option to generate and control HDR-textured 3D area lights in many of its host applications.

Noteworthy features include LightPaint, which lets users position highlights on the surface of a 3D model by clicking on its surface in the render view.

Connection plugins are available for most major DCC applications, including 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D and Maya, and several key CAD tools, creating a live link to the 3D software.

It is used in industries including motion design and VFX, but its key use is product visualisation.

HDR Light Studio 8.2: click in the render view to position shadows
Key changes in HDR Light Studio 8.2 include an update to the signature LightPaint system.

The Shadow and Shade modes work in similar ways to the standard Illumination mode, but Shadow mode places the location clicked in the render view in the shadow of a light.

Shade mode places a light on the HDRI on the opposite side of the model.

New Reflection Filter for HDRIs, and updates to Scrim Lights and presets
Other changes include a new Reflection Filter, for mirroring lights on the generated HDRI, with the option adjust the intensity, alpha and blending of the reflections.

The Scrim Light introduced in HDR Light Studio 8 gets an Infinite Plane setting for softer falloff.

There are also changes to lighting presets, including a new Audition mode, with users able to mouse over a thumbnail in the Library panel and see the preset applied in the render view.

In addition, 405 of HDRMAPS’ free 2,048 x 1,024px HDRIs are now bundled with the software.

Pricing and availability
HDR Light Studio 8.2 is available for Windows 10+, CentOS 7.9+ Linux and macOS 11.4+

Connection plugins are available for a range of common DCC and CAD tools: you can see a table of versions supported and HDR Light Studio features available here.

The software is rental-only. Indie subscriptions, for users with revenue under $100,000/year, cost $220/year.

Pro subscriptions cost $445/year for a node-locked license, $975/year for a floating license.

Both include 12 of the connection plugins, including all those for DCC apps.

Automotive subscriptions cost $1,495/year for a node-locked license, $2,245/year for floating, and add connections for DeltaGen, Patchwork3D, VRED and the new Unreal Engine connection.

Read more about the new features in HDR Light Studio 8.2 on Lightmap’s blog

Read a full list of new features in HDR Light Studio in the online changelog

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