Lightmap HDR Light Studio for CINEMA 4D  Carbon Drop 2


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CINEMA 4D Connection for HDR Light Studio

Light Cinema 4D scenes faster with HDR Light Studio. Unleash your creativity and raise image quality to the next level.


hdr lightstudio c4d
Images lit with HDR Light Studio

HDR Light Studio transforms your Cinema 4D lighting workflow:

  • Studio Lighting
  • Lighting to match a back-plate image
  • Adding lights/adjustments to existing HDRI maps

Creative Benefits:

  • Fast
    • Craft lighting to a higher level
    • Explore more lighting treatments
  • User Friendly
    • Puts the art back into lighting
    • Easy to use with real-time feedback
  • Accurate
    • Precisely position lighting and reflections on 3D models

Commercial Benefits:

  • Cost Effective
    • Works with your existing hardware/software
    • Image based lighting can significantly reduce render times
    • Increase productivity – light shots in minutes not hours
  • Improve Quality
    • HDR lighting raises image quality to the next level

Key Features:

  • LightPaint – click/drag on the 3D render to position lights
  • Create and edit HDRI maps in real-time
  • Create and position 3D HDRI Area Lights/Emitters in real-time
  • Procedural lights, image based lights and procedural sky
  • Includes a large library of HDRI light source captures
  • Ideal lighting solution for Physically Based Rendering
  • OpenColorIO Color Management
  • HDR Light Studio project is stored in the Cinema 4D scene file
  • Can be used Standalone: Loads Alembic and Collada scenes

hdr light studio c4d

How does HDR Light Studio work with Cinema 4D?

The model has materials assigned, the camera view is setup, you are now ready to light…

  1. Start HDR Light Studio from the Cinema 4D plug-in
  2. Export the Cinema 4D scene into HDR Light Studio’s live 3D view
  3. Paint your shot with lights in HDR Light Studio (Lights are automatically created in Cinema 4D as you light)
  4. (Optional) Start interactive rendering in Cinema 4D and see the results as you light
  5. To finish, HDR Light Studio generates high-res HDRI images for your lights
  6. The completed Cinema 4D scene is now ready for rendering locally, or on a farm

HDR Light Studio for Cinema 4D is compatible with these renderers: Cinema 4D, V-Ray, Maxwell, Octane Render, Arnold, Thea, Redshift.

A full version of HDR Light Studio is required to run a Connection.  The purchased connection must be the same variation as the main HDR Light Studio (ie. If a permanent license, must purchase permanent connection, or a floating license must purchase a floating connection).

Connection Features

Area Lights

Area Lights are created and controlled for your renderer by HDR Light Studio through the connection. As lights are adjusted in HDR Light Studio, they are instantly updated in Cinema 4D. Area Lights are positioned using LightPaint and Smart Dolly, controlling both the distance and scale of the light in one convenient slider. Area Lights are currently supported with: Cinema 4D Renderer, V-Ray, Arnold, Octane, Maxwell and Thea.

Shared Map

HDR Light Studio's environment map (canvas) is shared with the environment map of the supported renderes in Cinema 4D. During the lighting process a lower resolution map is used for interactive speed. For the final production rendering in Cinema 4D - a full resolution, high dynamic range image is generated and passed through the connection.

Click to Light

Purchasing a connection allows artists to click on the model within the Cinema 4D viewports to position lights on the map.

Render Support

Supported renderers are Cinema 4D, V-Ray, Maxwell, Octane Render, Arnold and Thea Render.

Embedded Projects

The HDR Light Studio lighting project is embedded within the Cinema 4D scene file. So the scene lighting can be reloaded and edited in the future.

Scene Sync

Send all or part of your Cinema 4D scene directly into the HDR Light Studio. Exchange formats are Collada, OBJ and Alembic.

Connections - Compatibility Chart

More Info - Click to Download PDF

lightmap compatibility chart




What's new in Carbon Drop 2?


Photographic Exposure Stops
New buttons have been added to the brightness slider. They provide a more photographic approach to adjusting the light brightness. They work by adjusting the brightness relative to its current value. So you can double, halve, increase by 1/3 or decrease by 1/3. This is a really useful addition when an art director wants a light brightening by 1 stop for example. (Double the brightness).

Light Property: Value Blend
Value Blend has been added to the Light Properties panel. It allows blending of the luminosity values from a secondary piece of content with the primary light content. It provides a way to tweak the visual character of a light source. For example, adding a hot spot into an existing softbox, or graduating the light brightness across your light. It can also be used to clamp the brightness within an image, for example clamping the brightness of the sun in an HDRI map.

  • Content types for Value Blend are: Image, Gradient, Flat and the new Box Gradient
  • Blend Modes for Value Blend are: Add, Multiply, Over, Low Pass and Amplify

New Content Type: Box Gradient
Box Gradient is a really useful new content type in HDR Light Studio. It blends a vertical and horizontal ramp. It’s perfect for softening edges or creating a light with a really interesting character that will enhance your reflections. It is perfect to use on Alpha Multiply or the new Value Blend.

All Lights are now Uber Lights
When we released HDR Light Studio version 5, we made it easy to use, so the toolbar created simple lights with fewer settings. But many users don’t take advantage of converting them to Uber Lights that provide far more flexibility and creative options. So in this release, all lights are now created as Uber Lights, which include the Alpha Multiply and Value Blend settings.

Region Zoom on the Render View
A tool has been added to the toolbar on the Render View (HDR Light Studio) for region zoom. This was available previously only as a keyboard shortcut. Region zoom is great for positioning lights accurately on small details within the shot.

Light List Buttons Behaviour
Using the buttons on a light in the Light List (on/off, solo, etc) no longer selects the light. It was common for a user to turn off a light and not expect it to be selected, and move a newly hidden light by accident for example. The new behavior avoids this problem.

Color Coded Light Properties
With the addition of the new Value Blend on the Light Properties panel, it was easy to confuse which properties you were editing. We have color coded each light property section making it easier to navigate the properties panel.

Production Render Speed Improvements
Big performance increase with production renders containing lights using gradient ramps (which is many light types), especially large lights. Additionally, lighting designs containing many small lights will see significant render speeds too, with smarter use of render threads.

LUT Control for Preset Panel
The Presets panel now has a LUT drop down to view the presets with correct color space.
Presets Panel also provides links to download Preset lights and Installation instructions if presets are missing.

Other changes

  • New Maya Connection Interface – Shelf Buttons replace the Panel
  • 3ds Max 2019 Connection release
  • MODO 12 Connection release
  • DeltaGen 2018x and DeltaGen Stage 2018x Connection release


What's New in Carbon:

Faster Area Lights

Area Lights performance has been significantly improved in HDR Light Studio’s own 3D renderer. Area Lights are now created, adjusted and soloed instantly – even when loading huge 3D scenes. This inbuilt renderer is the perfect pre-vis lighting tool when IPR updates are too slow in the connected 3D renderer.

3ds Max and Maya Connection Workflow Improvements

  • HDR Light Studio is now even easier to use with 3ds Max and Maya. The plug-in now creates the lighting setup for you – simply press Start and begin image based lighting. Bringing the 3D scene into HDR Light Studio is also a click away – press Play and the scene will be automatically imported.

Cinema 4D Connection Improvements

  • Redshift and VRAYforC4D 3 now fully supported
  • Press play in HDR Light Studio to import the Cinema 4D scene

Additional Improvements:

  • HiDPI display support
  • LightWave 2018 Connection support
  • Change the diffuse color in the Render View (HDR Light Studio)
  • Major speed boost to production renders containing Procedural Sky
  • Easier client setup with floating licenses
  • Now includes a selection of demo scenes
  • HDR Light Studio interface layout is stored on a ‘per connection’ basis. Ensuring a preferred interface layout is loaded when using HDR Light Studio with different 3D software.



  • Software delivery via internet download
  • Internet connection required for license activation
  • HDR Light Studio software requires approx. 200MB disc space
  • Preset light content requires approx. 6.2GB disc space
  • CPU based, no special graphics card required
  • Compatible with Windows, MacOS
  • Compatible with Cinema 4D 17,18, 19

HDR Light Studio for Cinema 4D is compatible with these renderers: Cinema 4D, V-Ray, Maxwell, Octane Render, Arnold & Thea.

Please contact for special bundle pricing if you would like to use HDR Light Studio with additional 3D software - i.e Maya, 3ds Max, MODO, LightWave3D, Houdini, Maxwell Studio, VRED, Rhino, SOLIDWORKS Visualize, DeltaGen.


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