One of my favorite features of nowadays CGI is how light and shadows behave. When I started doing digital images, way back with 3D Studio Max 2, I was experimenting a lot to obtain soft shadows (or any kind of soft “anything” like reflections, caustics, refractions…) I remember the excitement playing with raytraced shadows and/or shadow maps followed by the “magic” of the Radiosity.
In this period, I am trying to add some deep controls in the SkyLight modules of the upcoming Real HDR 1.5, that can let the artists manage how the shadows behave. Obviously, the direct sunlight in a clear sky situation produces much sharper shadows than in a foggy, cloudy, polluted and humid day condition. This is why I am spending more time than I expected for this new release. I want it to be capable to automatically adjust the shadow settings and HDR color intensity in function of the overcast percentage to guarantee consistency.
I think that during this month I reached a new point and it is time to share with you the state of the development. This will bring Real HDR’s SkyLight module to a totally new level also thanks to the precious feedback I got from all of you.
PS: I uploaded here a rar archive with some sample .exr files that I used to test my development. They are very low-res but can be used for any purpose…feedback, comments, and critics would be super appreciated.