Smart IBL Loader is a free plugin for Cinema 4D, which allows you to load smart IBL 'sets' and apply them to a scene. Two versions - 1.15 for C4D R10/10.5, and 1.2 for C4D R11/11.5/12/13/14 - have now been released. Changes from the original version include:
- compatibility with Vray for C4D (in C4D R11 and higher - not supported in R10/10.5)
- optional editor background when using Vray
- ability to filter sIBL sets to find the set you want
- the loader can now use multiple collection folders rather than using one large folder to hold your sIBL sets
- an option to apply an sIBL set with linear workflow
In addition there are a number of bug fixes and interface tweaks, and more of the parameters in the .ibl file are now implemented.
Image-based lighting (IBL) is a highly realistic way of lighting a computer graphic scene. However, it can be tedious and time-consuming to set up a scene with good IBL. The Smart IBL system (sIBL), developed by the folks at HDRlabs.com, is a method for making it very easy to apply IBL lighting rigs to a scene.
For full details of sIBL, please refer to the HDRlabs website (http://www.hdrlabs.com/sibl/index.html). In brief, the system provides for:
- image files for background, lighting, and reflection
- creation of the necessary skydomes to hold these images
- creation of sun objects for outside scenes, including alignment, colour, and brightness
- creation of multiple lights for interior scenes, again including alignment, colour, and brightness
- inclusion of GPS data so the user can see exactly where an image set was shot
- easy (often one-click) insertion of all images, lights, and objects into a scene
These parameters are controlled by a simple text file with the extension ‘IBL’. This file, plus the associated image files, makes up an sIBL ‘set’. A user may have multiple sets and from the loader choose which one to apply to the scene.
Loader scripts or plugins exist as freeware for several high-end 3D graphics applications (Max, Maya, XSI and Lightwave), but until now, not for Cinema 4D. The purpose of this plugin is to add C4D to that list.
smart IBL sets
A number of very good HDRI images arranged in sIBL sets can be downloaded from the archive at HDRLabs.com. In addition, I recommend you look at Bob Groothuis's web site, where he has some very high-quality images, arranged as sIBl sets, available.
- Cinema 4D R10 or later (R11 or later required for Vray support) up to and including R14
- Windows XP/Vista/7 32- or 64-bit, or Mac OSX 10.4 or later (depending on the version of Cinema you have, e.g. C4D R14 requires 10.6.8 or later)
This plugin is, and will remain, free for personal and commercial use. If you use the sIBL Loader, and would like to support its future development, please consider making a donation, which you can do using Paypal - see the donate button below. All donations will be gratefully received and will encourage me to go on developing this and other free plugins for Cinema 4D!
The loader can be downloaded from the links below. The .zip files contain a manual in .PDF format, and both PC and Mac plugins are contained in the zip files.
Please make sure you download the correct version for your release of C4D! Version 1.15 for C4D R10/10.5 only differs from version 1.2 in the absence of Vray support; all other functionality is identical.
Important: please be aware that version 1.2 of the sIBL Loader now includes a new channel shader called ‘Bitmap Transform’ which you will see in your material editor. It has been added specifically for use with Vray, and can be ignored if you aren’t using the loader with Vray, although it will still work in ordinary materials (but the Cinema 4D layer shader would be preferred and this new shader offer no additional functionality over the layer shader). The manual contains full details in the Vray implementation section.
Download sIBL Loader 1.15 for C4D R10/10.5 (2.53Mb, .zip file)
Download sIBL Loader 1.2 for R11 (2.94Mb, .zip file)
Download sIBL Loader 1.2 for C4D R11.5 (3.05Mb, .zip file)
Download sIBL Loader 1.2 for C4D R12/R13/R14 (2.77Mb, .zip file)