This panel in Studio contains all the three environment lighting options available on Maxwell (Constant Dome, Physical Sky, Image Based Lighting). For an in depth description of the environment lighting options, please see the Environment Lighting chapter.
The Environment panel with the Sky lighting option selected
In addition to all the functionalities described on the Environment Lighting chapter, the Environment panel in Studio also some particular features only available in Studio.
One feature that is exclusive to Studio and not available in all plug-ins is the interactive Earth Globe. Some plug-ins with more developed SDKs have implemented the Earth Globe feature as well, such as Rhino or SolidWorks.
The Earth Globe allows you to interactively rotate the Earth in the display to change to a different location. Use Alt + LMB to rotate and Alt + RMB to zoom in/ out.
The shortcut key K enables or disables the sky representation in the viewport. The interactive preview of the sky in the Studio viewport will give you a very good indication of what it will look like in the final render. It will change its illumination/coloration based on location and time and it will also change if you adjust any camera setting that affects exposure (ISO, f-Stop, Shutter speed).
The viewport shows the geographical directions (N, E, S and W) by means of a compass located in the bottom left corner. The sun is represented by a small yellow sphere. When the sun is below the horizon, the yellow sphere fades to black.
Adjusting the location using the Earth Globe
HDR Light Studio™
When using the Image Based environment type on the Studio Environment panel, you will find the option to launch HDR Light Studio™, and the checkboxes to use it on the Background, Reflection, Refraction and/or Illumination channels, independently or together.
HDR Light Studio™ is a powerful tool that enables you to create your own IBL maps, controlling the position, shape, size, intensity and color of each emitter in your IBL environment.
It is integrated with Maxwell Fire, so you can interactively see the results in your scene.
Maxwell Studio includes a demo version of HDR Light Studio™ 2.0 from Lightmap. It is only available for Windows (32Bits and 64Bits).
If during the Maxwell Render installation process you’ve enabled the HDR Light Studio™ installation checkbox, a demo version of this software for Maxwell Studio will be automatically installed.
The limitations of the demo version include limited resolution and a red watermark in the generated HDRI map, and once you create your IBL environment for Fire, it is always converted to a white dome when the scene is launched in Maxwell Render.
By purchasing the full version you will disable these limitations, and be able to create full resolution HDRI maps and store them to disk to be used in your renders.
Check this section to find some videotutorials about how to use HDR Light Studio within Studio.
For more information or support about this tool, please contact Lightmap, or visit http://www.hdrlightstudio.com.
Creating a custom HDR environment with HDR Light Studio