Okay, So I'm a Little Addicted to This Thing…

Who's the creepy bald dude with the soulless eyes staring out at you right now? He's a computer rendering that I lit on the web-based Virtual Lighting Studio.

Yeah, he may look a little like a mass murderer. But he's your mass murderer, to light any way you like by playing with knobs and buttons at VLS.

On the one hand, I just blew 20 mins playing with this thing. On the other, pretty sure this guy is gonna kill me in my dreams tonight.



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Blogger Bob McKerrell said...

Soooo cooool..!!

April 13, 2012 10:29 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Yup.....really good.

April 13, 2012 10:37 PM  
Blogger Patrick Jude Ilagan said...

I am really digging this site. Thanks for the share!

April 14, 2012 1:29 AM  
Blogger Elias Kordelakos said...

Very nice find David, thanks! If it gets some improvements like naming the lights so you don't lose count (I am newbie you can tell) would be a killer. Looking forward for an iPhone version of it.

April 14, 2012 2:10 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Such a useful tool, the only thing that could improve it in my opinion is the addition of snoots or flags to the options to add a little more directional/ spill control and this will be perfect. It's already better than some of the other apps available on the market.

April 14, 2012 4:05 AM  
Blogger Jean-Patrick Bernhardt said...

If you spent 20 min, then I'll sure spend 2 hours ;)

April 14, 2012 6:53 AM  
Blogger Russell Pridgeon said...

Wow that is amazing!

April 14, 2012 8:11 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

Thanks, you just blew my whole day!!

April 14, 2012 8:50 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

David, this is amazing good find and thanks for sharing, as others have said there are others out there but this is really easy to use, just spent an hour figuring things out.

April 14, 2012 10:41 AM  
Blogger Mike Mahoney said...

Very cool! It be awesome if you could generate a lighting diagram after you "positioned" the lights.

April 14, 2012 11:12 AM  
Blogger david spiers said...

very interesting site, now I need to work out how to use it to inform my lights. Excellent.

April 14, 2012 1:35 PM  
Blogger k4kafka said...

Since this appears to be a beta concept, I'd say the user interface needs more tweeking...especially the directional arrows.

April 14, 2012 1:45 PM  
Blogger Ryan Shaver said...

@Mike Mahoney. You can save a lighting diagram from the site. The help section explains how to do it. Basically, when you get the lighting the way you want it, you save it in one of the slots on the right. When it's saved on the right, you can right click the saved slot and choose to save the image. When you do this, it saves the photo and the attached lighting diagram.

April 14, 2012 1:55 PM  
Blogger NYSTAN said...

Sure beats playing "Angry Birds" on the A train-
I just figured out a scheme for a job on Tuesday.
Another great find. Thank You!

April 14, 2012 1:58 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

This beats mowing the lawn....

April 14, 2012 6:01 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing David!

April 15, 2012 4:06 AM  
Blogger djaef said...

Ha. Found it yesterday, and spent 20 minutes myself playing with it. Still needs some tweaking, but it's a fabulous concept. Imagine a whole bunch of different type of modifiers and the ability to add flags etc. But yes, cool fun. I'm showing it to my lighting students this week.

April 16, 2012 2:29 AM  
Blogger ModifiedPhoto said...

Pretty cool, but the rendering looks awful (completely unusable) in my version of Firefox for some reason. I may try Safari or Chrome later to see if that helps. Thanks for sharing!

April 16, 2012 2:30 AM  
Blogger marco said...

The "hair" light doesn't work in this case :D

April 16, 2012 7:16 AM  
Blogger Patrick David said...

Just a side note, but this may be a continuation of the original work I started using Blender to pre-vis my lighting setups:

Visualize Photography Lighting Setups

The nice thing about this is that you can do even cooler things with the actual Blender file (if you know how to use it), such as bounce cards and walls generating realistic reflections. (Including colors).

With gold colored reflector

April 16, 2012 11:09 AM  
Blogger douglas said...

I would love to see this in an app version for the iPad. What a great training/learning tool.

April 16, 2012 12:59 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Can you turn the head? Nod it? Un-nod it? Change facial types? Pretty sweet.

April 16, 2012 4:08 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Fun site but the dude needs some hair! I put a light behind him which just made his ears glow so I raised it up a little and the shine off of his head was blinding! Flags would be good as well. I think it is off to a fine start for a Beta though.

April 16, 2012 9:12 PM  
Blogger Stephen Henry said...

Great post. Hope he doesn't kill you in your dreams haha.

April 19, 2012 6:11 PM  
Blogger Degeaffusunuman said...

There's a less "precise" but more fun version by Paul Debevec and friends from 11 years ago here:


I usually just use the Emily dataset.

April 20, 2012 12:53 PM  
Blogger ABU.H.A said...

Using final gahter and global illumination In 3dsmax/Maya and vray/mental ray is the best way to previs... your shots, this website may seems cool for playing around but the direct lighting that it uses is really ugly and doesnt allow any proper control over the shadows nor does it allow you to create your own lighting set-ups from scratch.

April 22, 2012 4:59 PM  
Blogger Dan C said...

The model needs some serious direction to get him to relax and look more natural. Perhaps all the lighting changes are making him uncomfortable, and it's time to snap some shots outdoors in an environment familiar and natural to him.

April 22, 2012 10:29 PM  
Blogger Luke Davis said...

This discovery of yours is nigh approaching some sort of strobey crack - have been fiddling w/ it for the past half an hour at least!

Would you perchance fancy displaying any of the products of your readers' virtual light meddlings? Here's my attempt (a wee bit a la Jill Greenberg, perhaps) if you're keen on posting it, haha. (Feel free to remove my link if you feel it spammy).

Have enjoyed your blog over the years, PS. First-time poster, long-time loomer.

Cheers, Luke.

May 15, 2012 12:51 AM  

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