Studio Light HDR images

Studio Light HDR images, photographed from real studio lights. Download the images below – and PyMEL scripts to automatically attach them to a lighting rig.

These HDRIs can be used as image based lights and reflection cards.

Soft Box

Get the soft box HDR. 1 MB

Umbrella Light

Get the umbrella light HDR. 8 MB


Newly revised PyMEL Scripts

Recently updated the light rig scripts here with PyMEL. These should work better for people using later versions of Maya. Please comment or contact me if you have any problems with these scripts. You can locate the old MEL scripts here.

Get a PyMEL(Python) script that will rig the Soft Box HDR to a reflection card with spotlight, shadows, and other controls. Note: for this script to work properly, you will need to download the soft box HDR folder and place it in your Maya project’s sourceimages directory. XPM icon for shelf item.

Get a PyMEL(Python) script that will rig the Umbrella HDR to a reflection card with spotlight, shadows, and other controls. Note: for this script to work properly, you will need to download the umbrella HDR folder and place it in your Maya project’s sourceimages directory. XPM icon for shelf item.

Installation tip: Make sure that the HDR images are placed in the currently set Maya project. These images should also be within their respective folder just as they are when you download them. The folder containing the HDR images should therefore be named either “softBox” or “umbrellaLight”, depending on which one you downloaded.

Usage tip: Select the locator on the rig, called “softBoxLightControl”, to find attributes to control Color, Shadows, and light Intensity.

note: The easiest way to position the light, without affecting the “roll” orientation of the reflector card, is to position (translate) the locator in one plane (ex: the X Y plane) to set the distance from the subject and light angle, then rotate the top node (pick-walk up once) in the Y axis to set the “horizontal” orientation.

If you are using another 3D animation package, download an OBJ, with UVs set up to use with the Umbrella HDR.

Also see my procedural softbox MEL script here. My most useful script, IMO.

Many thanks to Daniel Vasquez of for translating the MEL script into PyMEL.

Also please check out my iOS apps.


  1. Andy

    Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for these.
    They’re EXACTLY what I was looking for.

    There are tons of companies that want to sell you fake ‘studio’ environments…but what I want is to be able to place light sources where I want with just that slight bit of variance that a box or umbrella give you…and here they are.

    Thanks again for sharing!!

  2. Dilip Rajkumar

    Hi Oliver,
    First of all thanks a lot for sharing it to the community. i am wanting to try these two scripts but it does not work.
    First i downloaded the 2 Mel scripts
    and put them in my “C:\Users\Dilip Rajkumar\Documents\maya\2011-x64\scripts” directory
    I have a usersetup.mel file located in “C:\Users\Dilip Rajkumar\Documents\maya\2011-x64” directory where i added the commands
    source “umbrellaLightHDR.mel”; source “softBoxLightHDR.mel”; to source the two files
    I also placed the xpm files in “C:\Users\Dilip Rajkumar\Documents\maya\2011-x64\prefs\icons” directory. I opened Maya 2011 x64 (SP1) and created the same source mel commands
    source “umbrellaLightHDR.mel”;
    source “softBoxLightHDR.mel”;
    and placed them in my custom shelf and assigned the icon files to them. I also set the project directory and placed the HDR and TIF image files in the source images directory (copied the entire folder “softBox” and “umbrellaLight” to the source images directory). Now Every time i click one of these two scripts in my custom shelf, it just creates the umbrella poly shape and nothing else (or the square poly plane if i click the other script). The script editor shows an error:
    “// Error: Cannot find procedure “AEassignTextureCB”. // “..Can you please tell me what went wrong?

  3. Oliver

    Hi Dilip,

    My pleasure. Hope we can make it work. It should work :).

    Yes, I get the same error while in Maya 2011, if I don’t have the hdr images in the sourceimages directory. Sorry, I am not sure what this error means exactly – but when I replace the images in the sourcimages directory I don’t get the error and it works fine.

    You were right to place the entire folder in sourceimages. Just make sure you have the project set to the same project that contains the images. If you look at the code, you will see the exact path (pasted below) to the hdr and the mask images. Note that it is a relative path. That is to say that Maya will look only in the sourceimages of the currently set project for this folder.


    Feel free to copy the entire code, and modify to the exact path where the images reside, for testing purposes.

  4. Dilip Rajkumar

    Hi Oliver,
    I tried what you said but i still get the same error.
    Here is what i did to try to get your umbrellaLightHDR.mel script to work.
    I created a new project named HDRTest (used default folder names and locations in maya and clicked accept) in my Maya projects directory “E:/Maya Projects” … I then put the folder (containing the HDR image, the TIF mask file and the maya swatches directory) in “E:/Maya Projects/HDRTest/sourceimages/”
    I loaded the umbrellaLightHDR.mel in Maya 2011 script editor and executed the dint work, then I replaced the code containing the file location in lines 41 and 45 as:
    “E:/Maya Projects/HDRTest/sourceimages/umbrellaLight/umbrella.hdr”
    “”E:/Maya Projects/HDRTest/sourceimages/umbrellaLight/umbrellaMask.tif””
    I then pressed Ctrl+A and then Execute All, All it does is just create the umbrella poly mesh and i still get the same error message in the script editor:
    // Error: line 41: Cannot find procedure “AEassignTextureCB”. //
    I even tried using \ instead of / for the file location but still the same error.

  5. Dilip Rajkumar

    I forgot to add…it also creates a Lambert Shader..named lambert2..with a file node connected to incandescence and a shading group node called set1.

    I am not a scripting guy, but may be if you can modify the script so that it comes out with a popup asking the user to select the two images manually and then go through the rest of the wld be helpful….as one need not remember to put the images in the sourceimages directory always….just my humble suggestion

  6. Dilip Rajkumar

    Cancel my previous comments…i restarted my system, opened Maya (with Set project to “E:/Maya Projects/HDRTest”)…Loaded the script in script editor and changed the locations in lines 41 and 45 and now it workd…dunno why it dint work without the maya restart…so you can update this in your instructions for future audiences…Thanks a bunch i will see how it lights my stuff!..:)

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  8. Claudio

    Hi Oliver, first of all thanks for sharing with us your work. I’m using Maya 2012 x64 on OS X I tried the script but it won’t work, it just create the umbrella shape a spot light and a lambert2 material. I execute the script pasting it directly in the script editor, changed the relative path to an absolute path as mentioned above and it gives me this:

    // Result: set1 //
    // Error: setAttr: No object matches name: spotLightShape1.areaLight //

    I really don’t know what it means. It would be great if you give me some directions of what to do. Again thanks for your helpful work and your time.

  9. Oliver


    Can you try the new PyMEL script that I posted? See if that works for you. If not, please let me know. Thanks.


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