I have been a huge fan of the LumiPro HUD since I first trialed it several months ago. It is “a serious photography tool for working in virtual worlds” and has made a huge difference to me in terms of the quality of my photographs, whether I am shooting for a client or myself. The capability is amazing – I’m not going to do a tutorial on this system – creator Stefan Buscaylet (a RL and SL photographer) has done those himself in the LumiPro blog. The post I have linked to has a video on the basics of using LumiPro, but there is a full range of videos in the sidebar to the right that go into more depth on the various capabilities of the system. There is also an extensive user manual that I recommend you read.
And yes, it is a photography system. The HUD, which is worn by the photographer, controls lighting through wearable lights and wearable OR rezzable projectors, posing, incremental eye positioning and the ability to save lighting presets and search through your loaded poses. It even allows you assign gender to your poses so you can create sets within a single HUD. The system is copy, so you can create separate HUDs for different poses and you can back them up so they are safe. And since the lights and projectors are wearable, you can use this system on location with not just yourself as a subject, but up to four models/clients, as well. No rez rights required! I’ll go into the exciting new update Stefan is working on after the cut.
The current version of LumiPro (v3) has basic lighting colours available. But Stefan is working on an amazing colour-picking system (which you will receive as a free update if you already own a LumiPro HUD) that gives you a wide array of coloured gels you can add to your lighting. These are based on real-life popular gels used by professional photographers, so the possibilities are endless! I’m very excited about this because I hate to have to play with the environment editor for a Windlight setting to adjust hues. It’s very fiddly and time-consuming for someone like me, who isn’t well-versed in its use. The colour picker that Stefan is working on gives you so much flexibility in adjusting the colours in an otherwise perfect – or basic – Windlight setting that I had to share!
The photos I have included here were all taken with the Midday 1 Windlight setting and they have not been processed, other than cropping. I had actually done another shoot with the (at the time) current Beta version, but Stefan IM’d me and asked if I would have time to test the new UI for the colour picker. The version you see in the lead photo is the most recent UI (which is sleeker and doesn’t take up as much room on the screen – my only criticism of the original interface). It is easy to use and allows you visibility of your model as you try different colours and lighting positions.
When you first open the colour picker (by clicking on the Color button on the HUD), you only get the black box with the colour squares. If you click on the plus (+) sign next to ColorSet at the bottom, you get the drop down that allows you to choose the colour set you would like to work with. The small greenish arrow buttons to the
right left of the word ColorSet allow you to scroll through the hues in the colour set and the + sign at the far left gives you the slider controls you see at the top of the picker (note: while the sliders were visible in the beta version I was using, they weren’t working in the version I was given. Stefan made me aware of this, though, and the sliders will allow you to “tweak” your selected setting in the final update).
Your currently selected colour is displayed at the top and gives you the colour coding information, plus which lighting balls you are using. Yes, you can set each ball separately, if you need to! The name of the chosen gel is displayed in local chat along with the coding information, in case you record metadata for your shots. You can close the colour-picker by clicking on the colour wheel at the left of the UI and you can hide the entire system by clicking on the Hide button on the HUD itself. A handy feature is that the Pose button (to the right of the Give Folder button) is only greyed out, so you can change the poses of your model without having to deploy the full HUD.
Below is a gallery of photos I shot with random gels chosen from each colour set. These are raw shots and I would personally never use some of these hues with this Windlight setting, but even in these photos you can see the different moods you can create by only changing the colour of the lights. They in no way give justice to the capability of this system. You can click on the individual photos to see the color set I used for that shot. Unfortunately, I got a little lazy and didn’t record the name of the gel I used so I can’t go into that much detail. Sorry 😦 I’m not one of those photographers who records detailed metadata and I didn’t think about it until after I had logged out *blushes*
Please be aware that the colour picking system is still in Beta, but will be available soon. However, if you own the LumiPro 3 or purchase it now, you will receive the upgrade free when it is released. It is a pricey system, so it probably isn’t for the casual photographer, but if you are a professional SL photographer or serious about improving your photos, I highly recommend it. And with the free upgrade to current owners of the system, there’s no reason to wait for the latest version to come out! You can purchase it from Marketplace or even better, stop by the LumiPro World Headquarters where you can trial the system (only in the studio) and see some of the breathtaking photos by some amazingly talented photographers using LumiPro. And if you’re interested in machinima, make sure you click on the video board to see it in use in film!
Once again, the demo version does NOT include the colour picker, but you can try out the other features of the system. I’m pretty sure you’ll be sold!
(No credits today, but the pose is one of the pre-loaded poses from the LumiPro HUD)
**I am a voluntary beta tester and I purchased the LumiPro system myself. I have received no incentive from the creator of the product for this review*