Tuesday, June 14, 2011

sIBL: Fast, Free and Fabulous-looking Image Based Lighting

Today it's my birthday, and what better way to celebrate it than to give you all a present!

I found this neat little program/script/plugin for 3D applications called sIBL.

Image based lighting is a great way to integrate your 3D models into a real-world photo and create a realistic lighting environment for your CG work. Unfortunately, while it’s not hard to set up (in Maya at least), neither is it easy to get it looking great while still rendering very quickly.

sIBL is an external tool, independent of any 3D software which creates fast and splendid looking scripts for various 3D packages to encorporate image based lighting. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.

The team at HDR Labs also have a big library of free HDRIs tailored for use with sIBL that are easy to use and look fantastic.

I had a brief play with it for our paper puppet film, Keeping Station, and it worked perfectly. So at the risk of sounding like their marketing department is paying me, check it out!