Lightmap releases Blender plugin for HDR Light Studio
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Lightmap publishes the Blender plug-in for HDR Light Studio

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker

Lightmap has released HDR Light Studio Xenon Drop 1, the latest version of the lighting design tool that introduces a new TCP / IP-based API for its live links to other DCC and CAD applications.

The API is currently used in the OctaneRender connection plugin and in a new Blender plugin that provides a live connection between HDR Light Studio and the open source 3D software.

Design your own HDRI-based studio lighting
HDR Light Studio is used in a number of industries, from automotive and design visualization to visual effects. It optimizes the process of developing HDRI-based lighting configurations.

Users can create synthetic HDRIs by dragging 2D lights on a rectangular canvas or by clicking directly in the render view to position markers in host apps that support the software's LightPaint system.

The software can also be used to create additional area lights in the host 3D app.

Lightmap also includes tools for editing HDRIs with the option to add synthetic light to existing photographic images, as well as a procedural sky system for illuminating outdoor scenes.

New in Xenon: The new TCP / IP-based API improves the connections to host apps
To this end, HDR Light Studio adds Xenon Drop 1 – effectively HDR Light Studio 2020.1 – as Lightmap now uses code names for its annual version series – a new TCP / IP-based API.

It improves the performance of the connection plugins that create a live connection between HDR Light Studio and a range of DCC and CAD applications, and provides a "far more responsive lighting experience".

Apart from the new Blender connection, the TCP / IP API is currently only used in the OctaneRender connection from HDR Light Studio. However, Lightmap intends to port the other plugins to it "where applicable".

The new Blender plug-in makes the lighting toolset available to open source 3D users
The most important change in the Xenon version, however, is the Blender connection itself, making HDR Light Studio accessible to users of the open source 3D application for the first time.

The move reflects growing interest in Blender for design and visualization as well as entertainment work after posting the 2.8x milestone last year and making high profile donations to the Blender Development Fund.

"With the significant recent investments in Blender development, many of our existing customers want to use it for their professional work," commented Mark Segasby, CEO of Lightmap.

Prices and availability
HDR Light Studio Xenon Drop 1 is available for Windows 7+, MacOS 10.12+ and various Linux distributions.

Connection plugins are available for a number of popular DCC and CAD tools: A table of supported versions and HDR Light Studio features can be found here.

Node-locked perpetual licenses are priced at $ 1,295, including access to the new Blender connection and 10 other DCC and CAD applications, including 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, and Modo.

Subscriptions start at $ 140 / year for artists with sales less than $ 100,000 / year. Automotive is also planning access to plugins for VRED, DeltaGen and Patchwork 3D. Full pricing details can be found here.

For more information on the new Blender connection for HDR Light Studio, visit the Lightmap blog

For more information on the new features in HDR Light Studio Xenon Drop 1, visit the Lightmap blog

For a full list of what's new in HDR Light Studio Xenon Drop 1, check out the online changelog

Full Disclosure: While working outside of Greenscreen as a freelance technical writer, I helped prepare some of Lightmap's marketing materials for the new Blender connection for HDR Light Studio.

Tags: 3ds max, API, Blender, Cinema 4D, connection, Corona Renderer, DeltaGen, HDRI, HDR Light Studio, HDR Light Studio Xenon, HDR Light Studio Xenon Drop 1, HDRI, Houdini, Lichtdesign, Lightmap, LightWave, live Link, Maxwell, Maya, Modo, new features, OctaneRender, Patchwork 3D, plugin, price, Solidworks, synthetic HDRI, system requirements, TCP / IP, VRED, Xenon


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