[Released] IBL Master - Image Based Lighting control for both renderers & a new IBL for 3Delight



  • MoreTNMoreTN Posts: 208

    By jove, I think she's got it!

    @Gone thank you. Thank you so much. I understood what you were telling me in the end and the fact you didn't treat me like a dumbarse, even though I was a dumbarse, is much appreciated. I assumed stuff and assumptions are the mothers of cockups. I've spent the last few hours pushing sliders around and seeing what affects what and I've come to the conclusion that I'm too old for this, this dog cannot be taught new tricks and I shall retire back to the known and stick in my lane. I wasted a lot of sunshine and people's time on this the last two days, time to get back to world building. Thanks once again.

    @quasar this is one of the things that baffles me about ibl. In real life, if there's a blue sky with a thumping big sun in it, there are dark shadows everywhere you look, I'm looking at some right now. That this doesn't happen in ibl makes my head hurt. I shall stick with making that thumping big sun the old way. Thanks for the advice, I did try to follow it but got sick of all the hair on the floor surrounding my chair.

    I'm so with you on this! I know the advice given in this thread is good advice, highly informative and useful to the right people - but my head hurts from reading it and trying to apply it. But I have marked the thread and will come back to it until I master this. ("Master this"? See what I did there? IBL Master? Oh nvm) Thanks for asking the questions, made me feel less stupid knowing I'm not the only one who struggles with this stuff.

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,566
    edited May 2020

    Quick add (well, it started out quick), for those in @lorraineopua's situation.

    FWIW, what follows is very basic, but possibly good-to-know, as you start working with this powerful tool (and any/all HDR tools):


    Not all HDRI's are created equal, and it's relevant to IBLM because these HDRIs are foundational to most lighting in Iray, and more-so-now in 3DL (w the UberEnvironment systems and IBLM)

    I've found that many HDRI's that 'look' the same in our DS viewports are very-much NOT the same in how they light items in a scene - in spite of their appearances in a DS viewport - e.g. an HDRI with a blue-sky and sun that should throw strong shadows...

    In some, the HDRI's blue sky is (arbitrary brightness units) 10, and the sun is 200. In others, the sky is 10, and the sun is 800 units of brightness!

    And, in an LDR-based image - e.g. an image loaded just like an HDRI but really a standard jpeg or png image... the blue sky is 4 and the sun is 8!...

    BUT... even if all of these images tend to *look* alike in the viewports - and as backdrops to the render - the light that they throw is certainly not the same!

    This can be especially confusing when the LDR-based->HDRs simply *cannot* generate a hard shadow because they do not have the ability to contain a useful range of brightness - *even thought they look like they do* - both in the DS viewport, and as a backdrop in some renders - a bright so-called 'billboard' image is NOT a bright light generating HDRI!!!!

    For my experiments, I finally figured out that a good/reliable sunny sky HDR that we all have access to with the DS base installation/content, is the included Dimension-Theory 'Maui' hdr image file - where because of the actual dynamic range of the HDR, it actually behaves like the sun on a sunny day - right out of the DAZ Studio box - upon default loading - IRAY *and* IBLM. This HDR file is located in the default DS installation content collection (wherever you put yours) at:


    If you cannot find this file, you are possibly looking in the wrong content directory - some of us have *many* content directories - or, perhaps you have not yet installed this free DS HDR set, which comes as a package with the DAZ Studio installation resources (free).

    To use it in IBLM (and IRAY, if sync-d, and ... I load my HDRIs manually to avoid possible lighting duf-file loading side-effects):

     - select the IBLM's Environment Sphere (3DLEnvSphere) in your 'Scene' tab,

     - then open the 'Surfaces' tab and *also* select the sphere there (so the parameters show)

     - and find the 'Diffuse Color' setting in the surface parameters,

     - browse for, or drag the mentioned 'DTHDR-MauiA.hdr' file into that parameter slot.

    If IBLM is set up to its defaults (with syncing on), that slot, and the 'Ambient Color' slot below it, and the IRAY HDR slots will all update to reflect this new HDR image (bravo to Parris).

    If you then load a figure or scene and render it, the render lighting result should actually *look like sunny day* lighting...

    I now use this (Maui) HDR as my own starting and debugging reference as it seems to behave well for my tests in varied environments as I experiment. YMMV. Others may have similar favorites that they can mention.

    As a comparison, Denki Gaka generously shared a pair of clear and cloudy sky HDRIs with the DAZ community this last Holiday season. Upon loading these - they work *great* for me in IRAY - just like the mentioned 'Maui' HDRs, but... in IBLM - not-so-much for some reason. They seem to only generate that soft sunless ambient light for me (anyone have any ideas why?). I tried converting these to various HDR formats but to no good effect. I saw @Sven Dullah mentioned that some HDRs are somehow set to not use a bright sun (earlier in this thread), but I don't know how to tell. Regardless - the Denki Gaka products I own, and the recent gifts are all great (and appreciated), but my HDRI ignorance costed me an evening of learning that an HDRI with a blue sky and a sun simply may not behave as I expect between environments. Know this!

    Also note that almost all of the available Uber-Environment 3DL light sources were apparently *designed* to provide softer 'ambient' fill-like light for a given scene (no bright directional suns were intended). This is not a flaw if you understand that was their intent!!

    Sun and other specific light additions were *expected* to be added to this generally-lit starting point as extra lights - for the best control of the scene.

    While I find all of this to be workable, it certainly wasn't obvious when I started down this path, and I still wonder what relic of 3D scene setup convention that I don't understand leads to its continued use as a default configuration. I note that Dreamlight has a product (or two) that only has LDR background images for cool skies and clouds (not lighting sources), and Dreamlight adds extra (traditional) lights to 'match' the light that those skies *would* generate - fast, effective, and useful. Dreamlight states this clearly in their product docs, but until recently, I could read the words, but not understand the 'big idea' (not Dreamlight's fault! - their stuff is fine!). FWIW, I've also noted that many current HDR products are now assuming full-range environment simulation in their lights/sun - e.g. Colm Jackson's great HDR Studio series are mostly composed of HDRI's that specifically light a scene as if they are using multiple studio lights - HDRIs that contain both hard spots and softbox effects from the product 'built into' them - which is very unlike the earlier 'ambience' oriented soft HDRIs of not-so-long-ago.

    For this thread - just realize that not all HDRIs are alike, nor are they created with *any* sort of standardization that I can identify or count on, so, before pulling your hair out, and/or blaming *any* product for lighting that doesn't seem to match your viewport or expectations, or behave the same in 3DL, Iray, Lux, Reality, Octane, etc... be willing to entertain the idea that not only is your light-based-image HDR render often likely to not match its appearance, but may not actually behave the same across rendering systems. Knowing this may save you some grief/time, and it may change the question from "what's wrong with product XXX" to "hey there, is anyone else seeing this HDR behaving this way (oddly) in product XXX?"

    Finally, Parris - thanks for this great product - I'm sure I'm only realizing 5% of what it can do for me.

    and to the many contributors to this thread: it was a long read, but worth reading every comment - your time and sharing are greatly appreciated.

    Comments, corrections, and discussion always encouraged!




    Post edited by mindsong on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,566

    While I'm in here - From *way back* @RAMWolfe wrote:

    RAMWolff said:

    Your product is causing my DAZ Studio to crash out.  I'm using the up to date General Release so not sure what's going on.  I just had this happen for the umtheenth time.  Never had a light set crash the program before! 

    Strangely most of the crashes have been when I created a script load of a file that has IBL Master as part of the file.  If I load the file right from the Content Library I'm fine.  SO not sure what that's all about. 

    For users who might run into this - I do think it's a bug, but can easily be worked around - I can consistently get IBLM to crash DS if I start it with a *custom action menu script* item, *while the default renderer in DS is currently 3Delight*.

    If the current render engine is set to Iray, no problem, and if I start IBLM from the content library, it's just fine.

    I'm running DS (haven't updated to last week's update - but I think this did this in 4.11.x as well), and I do not run the Postgres DB for content management. Otherwise my system installation/config is pretty average/stock. W10-home current, I7, 16G, NVidia760.

    Hope this is helpful to some, and maybe Parris can take a look - not urgent.




  • MoreTNMoreTN Posts: 208

    @mindsong Thank you so much for this very interesting and useful post.

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,566
    edited May 2020

    updated from original question:

    If you run into the issue where the IBLM shadow-catcher shader isn't a match to the ground-plane shadow-catcher, you may need to update your IBL Master installation (DIM, etc.)

    I'll update this post if I learn anything else of interest re: this issue. I believe it was fixed.


    Post edited by mindsong on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,566
    edited May 2020
    MoreTN said:

    @mindsong Thank you so much for this very interesting and useful post.

    Great - I hope it helps future users - this is a great tool.

    I also realize that I may have buried the original message/intent in that long missive - TL;DR summary:

    If, while using IBLM, you don't see the shadows or other lighting effects that you expect from your chosen HDRI, it may be related to the HDRI file itself, which may *look* right in the skydome background environment, but may not be generating the light that the background seems to indicate. Lighting results may also differ *a lot* between Iray and 3DL with *some* HDRI files, even when the backdrop preview looks the same in both render modes.

    Hope this helps,


    Post edited by mindsong on
  • Son of the RavenSon of the Raven Posts: 106
    edited September 2020

    Just started using this and love it, but I have a couple of issues and questions that have come up in one scene. Here are 2 renders of the same scene: in one I used Ocean Wide midday skydome and lights, and the other I used IBL Master with an hdr skydome. Rendering in 3delight. Sampling settings: 2, 10, 10, 8. No adjustments to IBL Master, except for turning off ground plane.

    Render time is certainly better: OW skydome and lights - 34min 28 sec; IBL Master with hdr skydome - 24min 50sec (2015 macbook pro 13" 3.1 Intel i7 16GB ram)

    1. As you can see in the attached images, in the central pavilion the columns (or part of the columns) cast shadows, but the shadow above is magically missing, as if they are free standing columns covered by nothing.

    2. Some areas are getting a total blackout, not like a dark shadow, just error level black. If necessary I can post a different image to better show this.

    How can I fix these? Any other suggestions to get a new user thrust into making the most of this product?

    ht_lighting_test_1_ow_midday_skyandlight 34min 28sec.png
    1920 x 1080 - 3M
    ht_lighting_test_1_iblmaster_inthebeginningskyhdr 24min 50sec.png
    1920 x 1080 - 3M
    Post edited by Son of the Raven on
  • GRFK DSGN UnlimitedGRFK DSGN Unlimited Posts: 921
    edited January 23


    Parris said:

    You're asking all the right questions, and its helping to get all the facts covered. Thank you.

    Possible to combine this product with for example Marshian's RR3 or the AoA lights?

    Though I haven't tested with them specifically yet, I see no reason why they shouldn't play nice together. I should add that using IBLM Light with no map will give you omnidirectional ambient like Age of Armour's Advanced Ambient Light (no flagging though).

    Works in progressive mode as well as normal?

    Yes, in fact "Progressive Rendering > On" in 3Delight Render Settings will eliminate the grain you observe. Another way is to bump up Diffuse Samples.

    Would love to know your settings for these promos! The reason I ask is you can see a tiny bit of grain on those pics if you look closely, so just wondering about shading rates and the such.

    I rendered all promos with the default settings (+ Gamma Correction on and Gamma set to 2.2) except for bumping up the Intensity when I felt it was necessary. Some HDRIs are darker that others. Below is a screenshot of available light settings, the detail information about those settings, and another comparison: 16 Diffuse Samples (default) Vs 32 Diffuse Samples Vs Progressive and their times. In these tests the speed hit was nominal and I particularly like that the default does not produce the large blocky noise that UE2 demonstrates with low samples.

    IBLMLight: Screenshot of Light Settings

    IBLMLight: Light Settings

    IBLMLight: Default Samples Vs 32 Samples Vs Progressive Rendering On

    Diffuse samples doesn't seem to be showing up when I click on the IBMLight under the Lights tab. All I get are Color, Intensity and Shadow Type. I'm using DAZ 4.12. Am I doing something wrong?


    Post edited by Richard Haseltine on
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