June 2013 - new version released!
Smart IBL Loader is a free plugin for Cinema 4D, which allows you to load smart IBL 'sets' and apply them to a scene. Version 1.5 has now been released for Cinema 4D R12, R13, and R14.
Version 1.5 adds full support for Cinema 4D R14, improves compatibility with Vray for C4D, and implements the new 'Lightsmith' addition to the sIBL format.
Since the proportion of users who use C4D R11.5 or earlier is now very small, and because the Maxon SDK for Cinema changed very significantly from R12 onwards, version 1.5 of the sIBL Loader only supports C4D version R12 and higher. The earlier versions which supported C4D down to R10.111 will remain available but do not include the above changes.
I have also decided to release sIBL Loader v1.5 under the GNU General Public Licence. For details of what that allows you to do, please see http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html. Among other things, the full source code is included in the downloaded archive, and you may change and recompile the plugin as desired.
If you do make any changes to the plugin, I would be very happy to see them!
changes from version 1.15/1.2
- 'Lightsmith' sIBL set support has been added
- sIBL files in which the sun light has been incorrectly implemented are now scanned to load a proper sun light (an infinite light) rather than a spotlight as in previous versions
- the ability to remove an sIBL set from a scene has been added
- in Vray the reflection HDRI is now added to the Vray environment refraction tab as well as the reflection tab (this can be disabled if desired)
- in Advanced Render, if spheres are used to hold the HDRIs and background, rather than Sky objects, a phong tag is added to the background sphere to prevent a facetted appearance in the editor (this never affected the render, only the viewport appearance)
- in Advanced Render, if spheres are used to hold the HDRIs and background, rather than Sky objects, the ‘Render Perfect’ option is disabled on the sphere holding the reflection HDRI, to prevent large black artefacts appearing on rendering (this was never seen if Sky objects were used)
- if you have multiple folders with sIBL files in them (i.e. if you have multiple collections) there is now the ability to set one of the collections as the default one to be loaded when the plugin is run
- in Advanced Render and Vray, you can now choose to implement non-sun lights either as omnis or spotlights (in earlier versions they were always spots)
- there are also several other interface enhancements and minor bug fixes
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.
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 R12 or later
- 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 10.7 or later)
- optionally, Vray for C4D version 220.127.116.11 or later (earlier versions will not work correctly – please use the latest version, which is a free upgrade from the developers for registered users)
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!
download version 1.5 for C4D R12/R13/R14
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. The archive also contains the full source code for the plugin (but please see the file 'build.txt' in the 'source' folder if you want to build it yourself).
Please make sure you download the correct version for your release of C4D! The builds for R13/R13 and R14 are functionally identical but the R12/R13 build will not work in R14.
Important: please be aware that the sIBL Loader includes a 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.
Versions for older releases of Cinema 4D are still available, but they do not contain the enhanced functionality of version 1.5.
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)