Posted By James Haywood

Torus on the highway
Torus on the highway

I was recently directed to a great HDR toolset called Smart IBL.  It's basically a system for creating HDR images with a bunch of imbedded information that makes it really easy to set up a realistic rendering environment inside of any (well most) 3D apps.

The main application is called sIBL-GUI.  It's a browser for your sIBL set, and the interface for connecting to the 3D app.  It's really easy to set up with Max so that all you have to do is download or create some sIBL files, add them to the sIBL-GUI database, select one, and then click a button to have a light (or lights), a ground plane, and environment settings all created automatically.

The other tool, sIBL-Edit, is also useful, but the automated script for creating the Max environment isn't as up to date as the sIBL-GUI version.  So use GUI for 3D app interop, and Edit for modifying the embedded information.

I've been having a lot of fun with both of these lately, and have even contributed to the Max template in the GUI app.  So if you're doing any HDR rendering, give it a shot.

Links:

Smart IBL
IBL Tools
HDR Labs Home

 
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James Haywood
Seattle, WA

 
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