May Shortcuts

Unified Color announces HDR photo contest winners.

11 contestants were selected by a jury of professional photographers, taking home pretty awesome prizes. Congratulations to all the winners. You're now one step closer to snatching the grand prize: a MacBook Pro + National Geographic Workshop.

The contest will continue all throughout the year, now accepting submissions for round two.

Find out more in the Press Release and check out the Winner Gallery.

Open Camera Controller v3.2b

Our OCC project has been quickly adopted by photographers worldwide. We already see the fruits of this community spirit, forum member Achim Berg came up with some significant improvements:
  • uses more widely available parts
  • features a 'heartbeat' LED
  • no wire bridges needed on the circuit board itself

Achim also developed a slim version that fits inside a regular-sized GBA module. Assembly is currently too tricky to share, however Achim doesn't mind making OCC cables for the electronically challenged (like myself). Just drop him a line in this thread.

Read the updated OCC Cable tutorial.

Smart IBL is now truly universal

The "Big Five" in 3d software are Maya, MAX, XSI, Lightwave and Cinema 4D. And now, that Steve Pedler single-handedly wrote a Cinema4D Loader Plugin, we have them all covered. Yay. It was a welcome reason for me to update the Smart IBL Software page.

Smart IBL already found great acceptance in the Cinema4D community. Here's a sweet rendertest from

they are back - example of sIBL loader for Cinema 4D from Marcin CzerwiƄski on Vimeo.

See more praise for sIBL in C4D on, on CGTalk, and here.

Lee Perry-Smith posted some breathtaking renderings on CGFeedback using Smart IBL (in a variety of renderers: VRay, mental ray, Ligtwave).
Elvis Blazencic's Corvette renderings (using Smart IBL in Lightwave) were chosen as Picture-of-the-Month in the Lightwave3D newsletter.
And the 3D-World Magazine #130 once again features some free sIBL-sets on the DVD, exclusively provided by Bob Groothuis, HDR-VFX, and yours truly.

ProEXR 1.5 Photoshop Plugin

Now that you updated to CS5, it's time to update the plugin that fixes Photoshop's OpenEXR support. Yes, it's still needed, which is a case for another post...

ProEXR version 1.5 is faster, better, and free for existing users. It also comes with a new EZ plugin for people that get easily confused with multi-layer support but still prefer to have control over Alpha Channels and file compression. Although After Effects CS5 ships with ProEXR, you should still download the update to get the excellent EXR Comp Creator.

Reminder: My readers get ProEXR for $76,- instead of $95,-. Just answer the security question on the the software page to pickup your coupon.

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