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Virtual Lighting Studio done with Cycles


An interactive lighting tool, with Cycles image data.

Zvork writes:

I'm pleased to announce the online availability of the Virtual Lighting Studio application. This free little interactive web application lets you light a portrait subject with up to six lights and see the effect of changing light position, light intensity and color. In addition, this first version lets you play around with ring and soft box modifiers and switch back and forth between camera view and studio view.

The application has been designed to give a high fidelity feedback of an actual photographic rendering of a portrait scene with realistic light and film response so users can effectively learn from the process. To do so, the actual rendering of the lighting data has been done entirely with the Blender Cycles engine.

About Zvork:
I'm am an independent developer and visual designer working in the graphics field with a strong passion in lighting and photography.

The Virtual Lighting Studio is based on the work by Patrick David, and the Cycles version by Jimmy Gunawan.


About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


    • I had figured an app would appear sooner or later (thanks again for the cycles conversion - I use it exclusively now, Jimmy).

      I was originally going to create an app also using the pre-rendered locations and adding them together as more lights get added, but the results were not quite what I wanted.

      Also strange is that there is no mention of the original work I did (or Jimmy's cycles version). :(  boo!

      • @patdavid:disqus You're right. I've added the link to your work.
        @google-4701d41ae065f8c54618b843ae9bc669:disqus I can't find your cycles version - please give me a link and I'll add you to this post as well.

        • @patdavid:disqus original version is already quite solid and looks good rendered using Blender Internal Render. It is a well thought setup, I really like it.

          The Cycles version is as below. It definitely could be improved in the future if anyone wants to take it further. For example the Normal map that is now function more like Bump map is not great looking. The Skin Material can be improved using Translucent material.

          I added extra HDR World Setup while keeping Pat's original World (camera, light).

          Anyways, here is the link: (around 38 MB)

          Thanks @BlenderNation:disqus for this mention.

          • @BlenderNation:disqus Thanks for the link!  I actually meant strange that there was no mention on the virtual light setup page!  :D  But I absolutely appreciate the link here!

          • Hello everyone,

            First of all, as the developer of the Virtual Lighting Studio I feel I should give credit to Pat David for putting up the blender setup for the light rendering charts that he has done, so the whole community can use it. But Pat's blender files weren't used for the Virtual Lighting Studio data. They were recreated from scratch with Lee Perry-Smiths free 3D scans and with custom materials. I unfortunately came across Pat David's work after the release of the application so I must really apologize if this has led to any suspicion.

  1. Nice App. 

    I think if you expose EV you should as well expose or inform about Object -> Light Distance. Otherwise People gonna setup lighting like tested in your App and get completely different Results Photographed. (Light Intensity decreases square-root to Distance)

    • This is an excellent suggestion Bashi, and something that has been considered from the begining. We just choose to keep things simple for this first version and to concentrate on the more "high level" aspects of lighting. Consider this a lighting application with TTL lighting enabled :-)

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