Studio Light Rigger

Studio Light Rigger (SLR) allows you to plan in 3D your favourite lighting set-ups.

You can add a text description to every object so you can make notes of the real world settings of your shoot, this is how SLR started as a fancy 3D drawing pad.

SLR gives you a real-time view of the lights you place down with number of models to light with full colour and shadow maps. The models include a female with 30 odd poses, a hi resolution male with poses and various models such as an over sized head for seeing the affects of shadows.

Main features.

Moving objects in plan and perspective views.

A real time camera lens view with real time shadows.

Female and Male* with multiple poses character models to light.

Built in library*

Easy to use 3D panning mode.

These are some of the updates of SLR

Interface tweaks.

*The interface and App now supports Ipad Retina, the icon set has been upgraded.

*The Rendering view window can be resized using a pinch zoom, it also has a drop shadow (though this can be removed using the performance slider in Prefs as they can slow down a few devices).

Rendering Improvements.

An edit of the rather cool 3D Head Scan by Lee Perry-Smith (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License) from has been added to the objects – still pretty hi poly though so for the faster devices 🙂

SLR 1.2.4 Update

These are some of the new features of SLR

Interface tweaks.

Better handling of the rotate and Target buttons, for example – if move target is on and rotate is selected then move target deselects (and vice verses), another example is if rotate is selected then you pinch zoom then rotate deselects.

The interface has more tweaks like this.

Rendering Performance.

The Lens View window and shadow map size can be adjusted for better shadow maps and render speed.

Shader Tweaks.

Rendering Improvements.

A Number of objects can use pixel shaders with normal mapping and specular hilights.


Left image, SLR 1.2.3 no pixel shader – Right image SLR 1.2.4 with pixel shaders on.

Also on the rendering improvement side are filtered shadows.

Also a couple of new objects, a vehicle and female head.

SLR Interface Overview

SLR Quick Guide

Once you have loaded the App your greeted at the front-end – New Rig takes you into the main app. After a short animation here is the screen you first See on selecting New Rig.

What we going to do is a bit of Rembrandt lighting ( the triangle), (NON GLES 2.0 devices will not show the shadow) this will show most aspects on how to use SLR.

Press this Icon to bring up the Pose/Model Picker

Now drag the picker in a up ward motion, you can flick the picker as normal to make it scroll fast until you get to the head icon

Now the head icon should be hi-lighted red so press the Add Icon

Now tap the lens view icon

You now should be looking at a screen similar to this.You may notice the default lighting already gives you the triangle under the eye, so we will fine tune it.

Select the 3D camera by tapping over it once, You can use pinch gesture to zoom in if

you want a bigger view. Once selected you will see a ring with a arrow coming out of it in the direction of the view – you will also see a line going from the camera to the Yellow target box.

Touch and hold over the 3D camera model and drag it closer to the head, The use the height slider that appears to get a screen looking like this.

Now we will make the head central in the view, with the camera still selected tap the target icon and use the slider to make the target move up or down (you can also drag and move the target around once the target icon is selected)

Before we enter the 3D view, please have a glance over the 3D View limits.

Now we are going to change the size of the triangle by adjusting height of the Light, so get a better view of the height we will switch to the 3D view.

First tap the 3D View icon then the Orbit icon.

The Orbit mode rotates the camera around the model, keeping the models always centre while normal mode rotates the world around the camera it’s harder to use but allows you to view the scene from any angle.

With the 3D view on and Orbit Selected drag the view to the left and down until you get a view similar to below.

Sometimes as your dragging an object may get selected and moved. We will cover accidental movements in the edit object details page.

What I like to do is move the scene to the left of the Lens View window – so tab Orbit again to turn it off and then drag the screen a little to the left like the image below (it’s a personal thing though).

Now select the light, the height slider appears drag the slider as before to adjust the height until you get a size of triangle you like.

Now if you want to adjust the angle of the head without moving the camera, tap on the rotate Icon and drag up and down the screen rotates the model.

Lets change the colour, to get to the object Edit page Select the object (in this case the light) and tab the above icon.

In here we can change a number of details about the Object,

You can change the colour by moving the centre bar up and down and then tapping in the big left box on the colour you want. You will see it’s a gradient to black – this is how the intensity of the light is control, moving the diamond down lowers the intensity.

You can change the objects name and add notes on the object in the Edit Selected object info.

Turn Shadows on or off ( Reflectors by default are off)

Turn the light on or off with the Use Light check box.

And you can Lock the Object into place we you tap the Lock Check box.

So for now Tap the Lock Check-box and select a colour for your Light and tap on OK.

Now we are going to drop a Gold Reflector in the scene, Switch back to the top view by tapping on the 3D view icon.

Now drag the view up and to the left and tap the kit bag Icon (above) to bring on screen the objects Selector.

Scroll though until you come across the gold reflector Icon (above) and it’s Hi-lighted then tap the Add Icon.

When you tap the + Icon SLR “drops” the selected object in the centre of the top down view, so in general you drag the view

to where you want the new object object and tap + over that point,

So using the same instructions as above you should move the position and adjust the height (so it’s halfway) you can also adjust the intensity as per before.

The Centre list can be scrolled up or down, to select a rig tap on it to hi-lite the slot.

The load Icon, this loads the selected rig.

The delete Icon, this deletes the selected rig.

The central list displays 15 rigs on a page, these icons advance back/forward a page.

The exit Icon takes you back to the main app.

The Preference dialogue.
To get to this screen, have no objects selected in the main App and tap the Edit icon.

All Settings are saved on OK.

Rig name - this is the name of the rig that appears in the library

Performance Slider :- Move this slider to the right to remove the reflections, and switch to a low polygon version of the female posed model.

Max Number of files Slider :- This is the maximum number if files SLR will look for to fill the slots in the library, if your just starting will SLR you can keep this low until you get some rigs saved and it will speed up access in the library – the default is around 50 Rigs. If you know you have more than that saved move the slider across to the right. This does not effect the Save to library, only the library viewer, you can just move it all the way to the right and forget about it if you don’t mind the 6 second (or so) delay if you don’t have enough rigs to display on each page in the library.

Perspective View sliders.

Speeds up the motion in the perspective view.

Shadow Map Bias

Please note in 1.2.0 this has changed, SLR can now change the bias on a per model bases. To use this feature use a Shadow Map Value of 0.0 and SLR will manage this.

You can still do it the old way if you want to play about with it by setting a non 0.0 value. New installs will be set to 0.0 but if your upgrading you will need to set it to 0.0 on first run (as its saved in the pref file)

You can adjust the bias of the shadow mapping, the default works well on SGX 530.535,540 GPU’s Devices tested, If on your device the shadows are “detached” from the model then decrease the number a small amount say to -0.0095 if on the other hand the self shadowing is a mess then increase a small amount to say -0.0125.

Basically your shadows are affected by hardware, and at present they don’t support depth maps so these have to be stored somehow – and in the process of storing them they loose precision.

For Example.

In this Image the bias is set at -0.012 and -0.017, while this works better for the head model because of the curved model on the other models the shadow looks detached – the bias moves the shadow map back abit so larger z values are needed before the pixel is in shadow. While on other devices -0.012 might look fine.

Android users will also see a “RGB on Colour Selection” check-box – check this if your colour selector does not select the right colours (Galaxy S for example).

© mIsort 2012. All rights reserved.

14 thoughts on “Studio Light Rigger

  1. Is there a possibility to do an export? I would like a possibility to export a screendump to jpg or something like that. Do you have a feature request list? Other then that, I love the program. The first I found where I can change the vertical position of the lights and even can see the effect of lights on my model.

    • Hey Thanks,

      Possibly in future, though to be honest I grab screen shots using the built in screen grabbers of the devices. As for a feature
      list just pop them in an email or a post and I’ll get to see them.


  2. Which screen capture do you use for the Ipad 2? As the other person note I would like to output the plot. I would also like to output a video as you did in your youtube videos so a screen grab would work for both.
    Any plans to make a desktop version for Mac that would share with the app?

    • Hi, The screen captures are done using the standard iOS screen capture built into iOS (home button and click on/off)

      As for the videos these are down via the simulator and cam-studio or afterburner – not sure how you could do it from the device – sorry.

      But I’m looking at possible future desktop versions of the App, once current projects and updates are out the way.

      thanks for the comments !


      • i’d love to see a desktop version for my imac.
        I do not have the app yet but I do a lot of product photography at work with complex lighting. So it would be nice to be alble to consistently reproduce settings.

      • Hi, the SDK I use will soon get a Mac and Windows deployment option (in beta now ) – so maybe in the near future.

        thanks for the comment 🙂


    • Yes full control , each light can have it’s height adjusted on a slider that pops up when selected, also the light looks at a “target” which
      can also moved (tap the target icon to be able to move this ).


  3. SLR is a really handy and fun app to use, great job! I would love to see the ability to update a saved Library Slot and also to rearrange the order once they’re saved. Storing settings for the lights and camera (shutter speed, aperture, f-stop) would be great too! Thanks again!

    • Hi,

      Thanks very much for the comment 🙂 , yeah the library could do with a little TLC thanks for reminding me.

      As for the storing settings, each object can have notes attached to it – so you could select the camera object and type in what
      settings were used and this would be saved with the rig file and also scroll across the bottom of the display when selected.


  4. Great little app, was looking for something on iOS similar to lighting studio on android for a friend and found SLR.

    One thing I would love to see is a lens setting to select lens range ie.35mm FF 8mm-300mm view for the camera, and maybe some presets for basic lighting setups for very quick layouts for those starting out like my friend.

    Maybe also and export function to share setups with other photographers.

    Keep up the Dev on this as it’s really handy.



  5. Great app. i agree that the library needs to be able to save and recall rigs by name, it took me a while to realize how the library was organized.

    Is there a way to get slr to display the coordinates and height of the objects? As in the camera height is 6′ , located 5′ to left of model, 5′ in front of model; the xxx light is 5′ to right of model, 10′ in front of model. Model is 5′ from background, etc.

    Also, can we set intensity of lights, zoom angles, etc?

    Metric or imperial measure Ok!

    • Hi, thanks for the feedback 🙂 The light intensity can be changed ( have a look at the video ) and the other stuff
      is on a to-do list for future.


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