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8.x Lightmap HDR Light Studio Pro

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Lightmap HDR Light Studio Pro

The fastest way to perfect lighting

Lightmap HDR Light Studio is a standalone application dedicated to 3D lighting – including authoring and editing HDRI maps. It runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. HDR Light Studio also connects to a wide range of 3D software via live plug-ins.

Looking for a fast and creative way to light your shots?

With HDR Light Studio you can create perfect custom lighting for your shot in minutes

  • Easily and quickly light your 3D models to a very high standard
  • Enjoy a more creative and flexible lighting process
  • Meet your deadlines and produce higher-value images
HDRI Standalone

Make your own Studio HDRI Maps

Rather than buy stock studio HDRI maps and hope they produce the effect you are looking for, use HDR Light Studio to make unlimited custom HDRI maps for yourself. With HDR Light Studio you can make a perfect HDRI map for every render and ensure the lighting design is perfect every time.

Edit existing HDRI Environments

With HDR Light Studio you can shape the lighting effect from existing HDRI maps and make your renders look even better by adding new lights, removing/blocking lights, making color adjustments, blurring the background HDRI and much more. HDR Light Studio allows you to take total control over HDRI maps – making image-based lighting a creative way to light a render and not a limited and locked format.

HDR Light Studio makes lighting fun

Lighting is one of the most creative opportunities for a 3D artist. Lighting brings your 3D models to life. Don’t be slowed down by the limitations of your current lighting tools and content. Just add HDR Light Studio and become a lighting master.

Live Plug-ins to your 3D Software

HDR Light Studio has now helped thousands of commercial 3D artists, worldwide, to speed up the lighting process and produce better-quality renders. It has become an industry standard over the last 12 years and we work closely with our partners to create plug-in connections to 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, MODO, Houdini, Blender, and many more.

Key features of HDR Light Studio plug-in connections*

What’s new in HDR Light Studio 8

Look under HDR Light Studio Pro Features for more on the new features.

HDR Light Studio Pro Features

LightPaint: A Dedicated Lighting Interface

LightPaint is our patented approach to positioning lights on the interactive HDRI map. Use LightPaint to position lights to illuminate, reflect, or rim light the location clicked. LightPaint can be used in HDR Light Studio’s Render View, the Streamed Render from your 3D software, and in the Viewport of your 3D software (depending on the features of your plug-in).

Additionally, LightPaint tools allow you to change the brightness, scale, distance, and rotation of lights directly in the Render View and Canvas. For a faster workflow, use keyboard shortcuts to switch between LightPaint tools.

LightPaint®: Shadow & Shade (New in 8.2): New ways to position your lights in HDR Light Studio 8.2 provide even more creative control over your lights. ‘Shadow’ mode lets users click to position the shadow cast by a light. ‘Shade’ mode positions the light to place the clicked surface in the shade of the light.

LightPaint Enhanced NEW in v8

HDR Light Studio 8 has expanded the LightPaint system. It’s now possible to control many more light properties directly in the Render Views and Canvas – such as brightness, position, scale, rotation, and even the Light placement within the Scrim Light. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to change LightPaint tools in any view – speeding up the workflow.

HDR Light Studio’s Preview Renderer

HDR Light Studio includes an interactive renderer that can load 3D scenes via Alembic or Collada files. This Render View is essential when lighting an imported scene using HDR Light Studio standalone. LightPaint is super fast when using our integrated rendering and you can drag on the 3D model to position lights. The Render view provides only a preview of the lighting effect on a single shader that has basic properties for diffuse color and reflections.

One Click Scene Export & Import

When using HDR Light Studio connected to your 3D software, simply press the play button in the render view to import the current scene and camera view into HDR Light Studio. This export feature is currently supported in the following plug-in connections: 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Modo, Houdini, Blender, and LightWave.

Stream the Interactive Render

When connected to your 3D software, HDR Light Studio can display the live interactive render from your 3D software in the HDR Light Studio interface. The LightPaint feature can be used to position lights directly on the render inside HDR Light Studio’s interface. This allows you to fill your display with HDR Light Studio and concentrate on the lighting process whilst looking at the final render.

This feature is currently supported in the following plug-in connections: 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Modo, Octane Standalone, Rhino 3D, and Omniverse.

HDR Textured Area Lights

HDR Light Studio is not just for creating HDRI maps! When connected to your 3D software, HDR Light Studio can also build and control HDR textured area lights. Using a single setting, Area Lights are created by our plug-in in an instant, correctly set up for the chosen renderer, and mapped with a live HDR texture from HDR Light Studio. The area lights position is controlled using LightPaint by clicking on the 3D model with the addition of distance controls.

HDR Area Lights are compatible with 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Modo, Houdini, Blender, Octane Standalone, VRED, and Omniverse.

Precise Light Placement

Whether lights are on the HDRI map or are area lights – lights are positioned by their handle in HDR Light Studio. By default, the handle is in the center of the light but this can be moved anywhere on the light – allowing a light to be positioned and scaled from its edge. This can be very useful for precise lighting of product shots for example.

In addition, the advanced rotation settings allow lights to be locked to be vertical or horizontal wherever positioned and also rotated in any 3D axis with ease.

Procedural HDR Lighting

Procedural HDR Lighting

HDR Light Studio is best known for creating studio lighting – especially suited to reflective materials. Procedural lights can be precisely controlled to create a wide variety of lighting effects.

Light Like a Pro with Scrim Lights NEW in v8

Scrim Lighting is a technique used by professional photographers in the studio to light products, jewelry, and even cars. A Scrim Light combines a sheet of translucent material, called a scrim, with a separate light source illuminating the scrim from behind.

Scrim Lights are easy to control, real-time, and produce very realistic studio lighting effects. The light source is easily positioned behind the scrim using the interactive top and front views of the scrim setup. Keyboard shortcuts let you change modes to manipulate the light position and its properties. It’s liberating to control the appearance of a light in an intuitive physical way.

The new ‘Infinite Plane’ setting in v8.2 ensures soft lighting effects with scrim lighting that falls off unconstrained by the physical edges of the scrim/light. This setting works with scrim lights on the HDRI map using 3D mapping.

Scrim Lights

Shape the light with Polygon New in v8

The Polygon content is useful for controlling the shape of lights when used on Alpha Multiply. It includes controls for the edge softness and corner radius.

Box Gradient

Box Gradient is a blended horizontal and vertical gradient ramp and can produce a wide range of lighting effects. BoxGradient is perfect for controlling the location and softness of the 4 edges of the light when using it on Alpha Multiply. Open up the Gradient Editor panel for a ramp to gain even more control over the ramps.


Bulb is a basic light type with a default setting of a soft round light. A ramp controls the brightness of the light from the center to its edge. The width of the bulb can be increased to fill the light width, this results in a gradient effect. The light can be chopped in half and the extent of the light can be constrained to fit within the light. Open up the Gradient Editor panel for a ramp to create a perfect fall-off of light for the bulb.

(The new Scrim Light is more flexible than Bulb. The Scrim Light can create all the effects of the bulb and more, plus the Scrim Light is easier to use)


Linear and Radial gradients are controlled with 3 independent ramps for value, alpha, and color. Vertical gradients are useful for creating a background for the lighting design. Open up the Gradient Editor panel for a ramp to gain fine control over the values and interpolation.

The Presets System

presets system

The Presets system is a key feature in HDR Light Studio. Presets contain a huge library of lighting content types that can be applied to your lighting designs. These include HDR studio lights, HDRI maps, Light Rigs, and much more. Let’s take a look in more detail at Presets.

Drag and Drop HDRI Lights

To add a new light to the lighting design, simply drag and drop a preset light onto the interactive render where the lighting effect is needed. The LightPaint mode will position the light on the HDRI map for you

Hot-swap Light Appearances

Easily swap the appearance of a light with another Preset. Explore a wide range of lighting appearances until you get the right look.

HDR Studio Light Presets

HDR Light Studio includes a large library of photographed studio light sources – with most shot at 4k resolution. These HDR textures are rich in detail and lighting information that will bring your illumination and reflections to life. There is no better way to photo-real results than lighting your shots with photographic lights.

Rig Presets

Rigs are HDR Light Studio lighting projects stored in the presets system. Rigs can be an ideal starting point for a new lighting design, providing all the ease of use of an off-the-shelf HDRI map, but with total editability. You can easily add your own lighting designs to the Rig Presets. This could be a full final lighting design or a selection of light sources you like to start with. HDR Light Studio allows you to save any Rig, Light, Content setting, and even ramp settings and colors into the Preset system.

HDRI Map Presets

HDR Light Studio includes ready-to-apply HDRI maps from HDRI Haven. Just double-click to add the HDRI map to the lighting design.

HDR Light Studio 8.2 adds 405 new HDRI Maps from These are provided at 2048×1024 pixels. This resolution is suitable for many lighting tasks. But if you need a higher resolution version, you can get them from

Add HDRI Maps to the Presets

With plug-ins for all leading 3D software – HDR Light Studio is the ideal hub for storing and accessing all your HDR lighting content.

You can easily add your own HDRI maps to the Presets library where you can tag and manage them. Just drag images from your file system onto the Presets panel and follow the process to import them. The images are converted to the .tx file format, so that huge images can be loaded and handled with ease. You can also add HDR textures to use as light sources using this method.

Preset Mask Shapes for Lights

You can load images to mask a light in HDR Light Studio. This allows you to perfectly control the shape of your lights when seen in reflections. HDR Light Studio ships with a range of Preset Mask shapes that can be applied to your lights.

Composite Lights

Multiple lights can be grouped into a single Composite Light. You can use Composite Lights to:

  • Group Lights
  • Control a group of lights (brightness, position, color, etc.)
  • Isolate and Edit Individual Lights
  • Mask Lights
  • Clone and move areas of the HDRI map
  • Combine different regions of multiple HDRI maps
  • Dissect and take control of light regions in existing HDRI maps

Procedural Sky

HDR Light StudiEasily swap the appearance of a light with another Preset. Explore a wide range of lighting appearances until you get the right look.o includes a procedural sky shader. Replace the sky on an existing HDRI map and use an alpha ramp to control the horizon position and softness. Drag and drop the included Cloud preset images onto the sky for added realism. The sun disc can be increased in size whilst maintaining its overall lighting contribution, allowing for creative decisions about the sun scale. The sun disc has a controllable soft edge.

Light Looks

The lighting process is about creativity and experimentation. There are so many lighting decisions to make and so many different approaches you can try out. Light Looks allow you to easily store, compare, duplicate, and edit multiple lighting designs in a single HDR Light Studio project – supporting your creative lighting process.


Filters are effects that can be applied to Composite Lights.

Diffusion Blur

Diffusion Blur mimics the diffusion of light through a material like tracing paper or cloth. Spreading and softening the light.

Diffusion key features:
Real-time – change settings with instant feedback
Energy Conserving – preserving the amount of light in your HDRI map.
Spherical option for HDRI Maps
Planar option for Area Lights

Motion Blurs

HDR Light Studio offers 2 filters for motion blurring of HDRI maps.

There is a simple linear motion blur. Or the advanced motion blur adds options to curve and tilt the motion path, add a noise profile and use a second input image to scale the speed of motion at each pixel on the HDRI map.

Spherical Color Filters