Smart IBL v2.0 is better and bigger than ever!

border="0" height="340" width="610" alt="Smart IBL 2.0" style="margin: -20px 0px 0px -15px;">

[Rollover the image to see raw render output, lit with Smart IBL in Lightwave.]

Whenever this blog is quiet for a month, you can be sure we have something cooking:

Smart IBL 2.0 is the first major revision to our open source HDRI Lighting Kit. We updated the format itself, all scripts and programs, even the documentation. Everybody on the project was working really hard on it, including myself, Kel Solaar, Chris Huf, Christian Bauer, and Volker Heisterberg. And we're really proud of how it turned out.

What's new?

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Smart IBL 2.0 in Lightwave.

  • GPS tags: Choose your lighting set by region!
  • Standalone GUI: Is your 3d app's scripting language limited? Fear not, there is hope. Kel Solaar's amazing sIBL_GUI connects to Maya, XSI, 3ds MAX. Flawlessly.
  • Multiple Lights: Obviously better.
  • Automatic Update: Latest bug fixes and features delivered to your door (LW loader and sIBL_GUI only).
  • More new tags to build stronger and more accurate lighting setups: North direction, shooting height, date and time.

How to update

In Maya and 3dsMAX you have two options: Download the latest Loader Scripts or use the standalone sIBL_GUI.

XSI works only with sIBL_GUI, so get that.

Lightwave is the opposite of XSI, here you need the latest Loader Script.

modo 401 comes with a built-in environment preset system. Gwynne wrote a sIBL to Environment Preset converter just to do that.

The new sIBL-Edit is for everyone.

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sIBL-Edit makes full use of the 2.0 format.

Keep checking back for updates, Chris Huf is still squashing some minor bugs. That's just because he went all out (again) with additional features. For example, you can geotag your personal sIBL-collection by placing markers in Google Earth, export them as KML file, and load it into sIBL-Edit. Or how about printing a contact sheet with thumbs and descriptions of all your sIBL-sets? And not to forget: powerful keyword search-as-you-type. Way to go, Chris!

By the way - Chris is currently available. So, if you're thinking about tightening up your VFX pipeline before the next wave of big features hits, shoot Chris an email.


You also have to update your current sIBL-Collection. Old sets will still work, but you will miss out on the best new features.
Almost every set in the sIBL Archive has been updated. To spare you [and my server] downloading more than 500 MB again, follow these steps closely:
  1. Download the .ibl update package here. These are just the description files, the images haven't changed.
  2. Place each .ibl file in the matching sIBL-set folder. Just overwrite the old ones.
  3. Enjoy.

Dutch Skies 360 Promo

The cherry on top is delivered by Bob Groothuis. He's a master pano photographer from the Netherlands, a true HDR expert with field experience in VFX shoots.

Bob's Dutch Skies 360° collection is officially the first Smart IBL shop on the web. Each set is put together with much care, fully sIBL 2.0 compliant and loaded with bonus material. They're all gorgeous, tested, ready-to-go.

And because Bob is so awesome, he donated these seven sets for our free archive:

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