How to use the lights?
Every time Lionel Koretzky shot a 360° panorama, we asked him to capture several states of the same setup, turning on and off some lights, so we could later recompose these in Substance 3D Designer and turn them into parameters.
The result of this is that you, as an artist, can simulate turning on and off the key light, or change the temperature, exposition, and more. This effectively transports you into the studio, and gives you the ability to change the setup to have it just as you like.
Lighting design in 3D is as important as it is in photography. You’ll need to use it to read correctly the volumes of your composition, and to highlight the details; in short, to set the right mood to your final image.
Traditionally, creating hundreds and thousands of images of a product portfolio to feed online retail platforms requires setting up expensive photo-shoots. And that involves heavy logistics to get everything on location. Doing the same thing in 3D provides huge time and cost savings, and opens new grounds for creative freedom, as well as a real scalability for production.
Our team designed all our lighting content to be premium — that is, it offers the same quality and experience as a professional studio lighting setup, but in the digital space. And that virtual environment allows more freedom for creative explorations.
Environment lights are high-dynamic-range 360° panorama images which illuminate the 3D scene. Like Substance materials, environment lights are parametric!
This means that you can adapt the lighting to match the scene and objects. It works exactly like it would in a real studio! You can change the exposure, the temperature, and the intensity, independently for each source of light in just a few clicks.
Then, there’s backplates. These are high resolution images that fill the background of your 3D scene on the final rendered image. We’ve used a bit of secret sauce to calculate the angle and position of the camera in relation to the backplate; the result of this is that we’ve been able to create a camera that’s attached to a backplate.
The real game changer, though, is when you take environment lights and backplates and bring them together. Combined, they create an environment stage. This is a new type of asset that you can simply drop into Stager. You’ll see the lighting, the backplate image and the perspective of the 3D models align automatically in the viewport. And just like that, you’re ready to render a photorealistic image.
A USD file contains the camera position, and allows us to match the parametric IBL, the backplate, the cameras, and your viewport — and boom: everything comes together.
You can use an environment stage virtually everywhere: it’s the Substance format, so you’ll be able to read it in 3ds Max, Maya, Blender — every tool of your 3D workflow. The IBLs are also available in the EXR format.
The main use case for 3D lights is simple: creation of a professional visualization for a 3D object in the smallest possible amount of time. In our case, this will mostly be about the creation of images with harmonized, high-quality lighting, such as for e-commerce platforms.
But you’ll have a variety of possible user profiles:
- Industrial designers can work on concept previzualization with a high level of photorealism to convince stakeholders of the solidity of the design.
- Game artists can work on asset lookdev with a controlled lighting.
- A visual communication agency will be able to mass produce images for product catalogues.
And there’s probably a lot more! Because with the environment stages, which are a curated series of assets combining high quality environments with tailored lights conditions, you will get several advantages.
The 360° HDRs will help you gain time since you don’t have to worry about setting up professional, excellent quality lighting. You don’t need to be an expert!
The backplates will give you framing presets which can adapt to the typology of the object you are working on: its shape, size, or type — is it an object, a person? For the same lighting, you will get different image formats, too: landscape, portrait, wide shot, mid shot, long shot, close-up…
The collection in itself is rich, showing quite the diverse studio light environments, such as the one you will find in the following product categories: product, fashion, interior design, cosmetics, food and drinks, and portraits. If you want to understand better these kinds of lightings, hop on to Lionel Koretzky’s article, where he detailed how he used his expertise as a product photographer to create the photo stages.