This software lets you test movie lights without leaving your home

Tips & Techniques

It’s no secret that we use Set a Light to test our photo lighting before we start a shoot. (We talked about it here, here, and extensively here). We even used it to play around with models under lockdown. While I used the software quite a bit for photo projects done with strobes, it lacked in the cinema section. But now, they released a new version, and I am blown away by the possibilities it opened.

If you want to play, there is a trial version in this link; if you need some motivation, though, read on.

The new 2.5.5 version will feel familiar if you already own the software. It features the same studio space that you can configure with models, furniture, and backdrops, but this version also gives a huge focus on cine.

To start, they have added quite a bit of lights that are common with DPs: Aputure’s LS C300D MKII, Astera Titan tubes, Spiffy Gear Spekulars, and a few KinoFlo lights.

Aside from new LEDs, they also added diffusion panels, which I always felt was missing from the software.

Lastly, the software finally includes a video camera with settings that are slightly different from standard DSLRs (like frame-rate and shutter angle).

Other improvements include:

  • New models and clothing
  • New hair options, makeup, and clothing
  • New facial hair options
  • New body proportion setup
  • Control the model’s eyes position
  • Over 45 food, props, and furniture

As you’d expect from such a feature-rich and high-res software, the download is quite hefty at about three Gigs. If you are using the mode advanced lighting options, you’d want to use a strong graphics card for full renders. (I managed to generate previews in acceptable times with a four years old XPS, but full renders will take a while).

The cost for this version is $229.99, but it is now on sale for $ 154.00. (or free update if you already own any of the V2 version).

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