HDR Light Studio – Tungsten is go

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If you’re deep into your visualisation game, chances are you’ll have heard of HDR Light Studio, which has just announced its latest Tungsten update.

For those that are using Physically-Based Rendering (PBR) systems, it has become a tool of choice to help with both tweaking existing HDR environment images (which the PBR systems use to generate their lighting conditions) as well as to create new environments from scratch.

Over the years (it’s now 10 years old), the system has grown in capability as well as integration with other visualisation tools.

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The big functionality news for this the Tungsten release is the addition of composites.

According to the team, the key difference is that while previous releases of HDR Light Studio contained all of the light in a scene in a linear list, the composite method expands this so that a light gets its visual appearance from a nested set of HDR Light Studio lights that have their own Light List and Canvas.

The composited result of these lights is the texture used on the parent light. It’s worth digging into some of the instructional videos that the team produce – I particularly like this one.

Composite Example: Controlling lighting in existing HDRI maps from HDR Light Studio on Vimeo.

Another key change is in how the product is licenced and sold – which has seen some changes – with the addition of the new Indie licence for those smaller teams and one-man bands – while the Pro and Automotive licenses add additional connections and support on top.

Essentially, the core capabilities of the system remain the same across all licences with connections to 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, MODO, LightWave3D, Houdini, Maxwell Studio, Rhino 3D, Octane Standalone and Solidworks Visualize.

If your revenue is under $100K, you can get the indie licence for £95 per year with support being through email only.

If your revenue is over $100k, you want to add in priority support, floating licences and such, the next step up is the Pro licence, starting at £295. The Automotive licence adds all this with connections to Vred, DeltaGen, Patchwork 3D, phone and web meeting support costs £995.