March 21, 2023

Set.a.gentle 3D Evaluation: Lighting Simulator for Photographers & Filmmakers

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Once I began stepping into lighting, I had one massive downside: discovering fashions that might be ready to take a seat nonetheless for 2-3 hours whereas I used to be studying to configure the whole lot.

More often than not, you’re on a decent funds in your early images studying levels.

Getting fashions prices cash, and so they’re unlikely to work with you on a TFP foundation when you’re simply studying the ropes.

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For many budding photographers, meaning counting on members of the family or an understanding accomplice to do your bidding (doubtlessly some bribery for the children, in case you have any).

That solely works for a while, and also you’re again to paying fashions or utilizing a model.

Elixxier hopes that can assist you out with an answer known as set.a.gentle 3D.

set.a.gentle 3D permits you to preview the lighting results earlier than the mannequin arrives. This has a multi-pronged profit.

First, when you can see the lighting when including completely different modifiers, it helps you perceive whether or not shopping for that modifier will considerably profit you.

Don’t be fooled into considering that set.a.gentle 3D is focused at newcomers.

Learners stand to profit considerably, however superior photographers (and filmmakers) will profit from this with buyer or mannequin configurations.

Within the studio, time is cash, and testing outcomes earlier than the fashions arrive ends in substantial financial savings.

Secondly, it helps you identify how nicely explicit combos will work.

A number of color gels might be hit or miss; generally, the one manner is to experiment.

Upon getting a number of configurations saved and examined, you’ll be able to shift from one scene to the following, understanding the outcomes needs to be near what you need (in principle).

That every one sounds just a bit too straightforward, and that’s the place this set.a.gentle 3d assessment comes into play. 

What’s Elixxier set.a.gentle 3D?



  • Large collection of lights and modifiers
  • Attainable to regulate the mannequin extensively, together with outfits, make-up, equipment, poses and physique form
  • Consists of lens alternatives with aperture management
  • Many templates and examples out there locally

  • No TTL, or automated publicity, which might be useful for newcomers making an attempt to get the publicity proper
  • It doesn’t cater to a few of the lower-powered strobes just like the AD200

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In a nutshell, Elixxier set.a.gentle 3D is a digital lighting software program program that permits you to create studio layouts with a mannequin.

You may place digital studio lights across the set with an on-screen mannequin, change poses or outfits, take a look at completely different dimension modifiers, and see what the ultimate {photograph} will appear to be. 

It’s a fast strategy to study lighting, experiment with mannequin poses, and take a look at particular lighting situations earlier than the mannequin arrives.

However, in actuality, it’s additionally a lot greater than that – so I recommend you learn on.


The lights and modifier vary is large, together with a few of the extra distinctive manufacturers like Spekular.

To say the collection of lights and modifiers is intensive is an understatement. set.a.gentle 3D has virtually each modifier you would consider.

Not many are particular manufacturers, however dimensions and shapes are all coated, though you will notice some manufacturers the place the sunshine fashion is exclusive. For instance, Spekular makes a steady star-shaped gentle included within the gentle choices right here.

Altering the sunshine place in set.a.gentle 3D is so simple as clicking on the sunshine and shifting it round or elevating it.

You may change your energy and lightweight output or swap between strobe and steady lighting. The sunshine path might be adjusted, and the crimson line exhibits the centre path of the sunshine.

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Lastly, if you wish to experiment with gels, there are gels out there. These embody artistic gels and extra conventional ones.

If I used to be to nitpick on the lighting choices, it’s the dearth of lower-powered strobes. The minimal strobe energy is 250W, whereas the Speedlight max is 56W.

This leaves a niche between 250W and 56W, and a few in style strobes sit in that vary. The AD200 is a well-liked entry-level strobe which is exactly the extent of consumer who would profit from set.a.gentle 3D.

  • Digicam and lens choice

Camera and lens selection

The digicam and lens choice permits you to use a variety of sensor sizes, focal lengths and apertures.

Whereas the sunshine choice is nice, if you wish to replicate what a shot will appear to be, it’s good to perceive the focal size and the aperture at a minimal.

Elixxier has gone a step additional, permitting you to dial in shutter pace and ISO, which means you’ll be able to replicate a set in its entirety, together with testing the shutter pace for the strobe energy you’ve. 

For a lot of photographers, this implies you’ll be able to arrive on set with pictures ready, understanding the required energy of every strobe, the modifiers used, and the digicam settings.

Sensor dimension choices embody medium format and a wide range of smaller sensors like APSC or MFT.

The aperture changes additionally affect the mannequin depth of discipline, permitting novices to know higher how the aperture impacts photographs.

The interface allows you to adjust models if their standard looks don't meet your requirements.

The interface permits you to alter fashions if their commonplace seems to be don’t meet your necessities.

Once I first began taking part in with the software program, I didn’t realise how complete the mannequin changes have been. Solely once I went into the group space did I realise you had the potential to make such changes.

You may even do nudes which is great for these intimidated by this style. The nudes are minus the NSFW components. 

Elixxier presents a number of presets, however the degree of customisation out there is spectacular. You may change the next:

  • Pose
  • Physique form
  • Face
  • Coiffure and hues
  • Clothes together with high and backside individually
  • Cloth
  • Socks/stockings
  • Sneakers
  • Glasses
  • Eyes
  • Pores and skin
  • Make-up

There are lots of modifying choices only for fashions, and most of them apply to each women and men.

You’re additionally capable of put a number of fashions on set on the identical time so testing of group pictures might be carried out within the utility.

  • Units, props and backdrops

The selection of props includes everything from food to musical instruments

The collection of props contains the whole lot from meals to musical devices

Just like the mannequin choices above, the collection of props is close to to countless. Elixxier categorises them into the next:

  • Fundamental – posing objects, stairs, dummy cameras, backdrops and mirrors
  • Furnishings – couches, beds, stools, desks and chairs, vanities, bathrooms and bathtubs
  • Equipment – carpets, musical devices (drums, guitars, and many others.), radios, telephones, curtains, vegetation, wood crates, Christmas bushes, presents, lockers, step ladders, golf golf equipment, vehicles and bicycles
  • Meals – reducing boards, kitchen, baguette, collection of bread, pizza, cake, wraps, sausages, steak, cheese boards, fruit bowl, plates
  • Health – gymnastic gear, yoga mats, trampolines, weight lifting gear, basketball hoop and balls, tennis gear
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Bear in mind, the choices listed underneath every bullet level usually are not full lists however fairly examples, so the ultimate lists are way more intensive. 

Set up & Setup

The installation is simple for set.a.light 3d

The set up is easy and downside free for each Home windows and Mac OS

set.a.gentle 3D is accessible for obtain instantly from Elixxier’s web site.

Elixxier presents a trial – the identical obtain because the licensed model. The file dimension is 2.3GB for the Home windows model and a pair of.8GB for the Mac OS model and registration isn’t required to obtain the software program.

Set up of the Mac model was straightforward, as anticipated. After putting in, the software program prompts you to start out the trial, buy, or activate, as is commonplace with purposes.

There may be additionally an possibility to hitch the Elixxier group to share concepts and configurations. The Home windows model takes just a little longer to extract recordsdata however follows a equally uncomplex course of.

When opening the software program, you’re supplied the choice of choosing the room dimension to get you going. From there, you’re in your manner.



Usability is nice. The software program makes it straightforward to arrange and transfer round gear. The software program highlights the adjustable components of the lighting gear when you choose it and gives arrows providing you with a sign of the alternative ways to make changes.

Some objects might be complicated once you begin, but it surely comes right down to getting used to the answer. For instance, generally, when you’ve stacked lights on the display, you would choose the improper lights. The answer is to rotate the display barely so you’ll be able to separate them on display.

General, nonetheless, whereas the software program isn’t good, lighting is a reasonably advanced space and making this simpler to know can be a frightening process.

There are some small issues I feel would assist, for instance, having TTL to get the preliminary publicity proper, but it surely’s not a deal-breaker. 

I additionally suppose accessing templates instantly within the utility would make the educational curve a lot simpler.

Fundamental vs Studio

There are two variations of set.a.gentle 3D. Listed here are the principle issues lacking from the Fundamental model when evaluating it to the Studio model:

  • No color temperature (kelvin) for lights
  • No everlasting gentle
  • No gobo
  • No multicamera
  • No personal textures for clothes
  • No personal brand on the set plan
  • Solely three rooms (small, medium, massive)
  • No risk of constructing studio presets
  • Max. 5 flashes within the set
  • Max. 7 personal image partitions (no PNGs)
  • Rendering max. 1200px

As for which possibility is finest for you, that’s most likely one thing solely you’ll be able to determine on. I’d anticipate the essential mannequin to be a very good start line for newcomers.


A real-life example of a photo replicated in set.a.light 3D.

An actual-life instance of a photograph replicated in set.a.gentle 3D.

Evaluating photographs to real-life conditions generally is a little flakey generally. Belief me; this isn’t a criticism of the software program; it’s the truth that most studios don’t make the grade for gentle air pollution.

I discovered this out first-hand whereas taking part in with the software program and determined to do some take a look at pictures at residence with my daughter as the topic. The going fee for associated topics is decrease than for skilled fashions.

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I created a setup, replicated it on the pc, and determined to fireside off some take a look at pictures. The pictures have been pretty shut apart from a slight shadow on the best facet of her mouth that wasn’t showing in Elixxier Set.a.Gentle 3D.

The shadow on the right (our left) of her mouth is an example of light interference you will need to replicate in the photos for accuracy.

The shadow on the best (our left) of her mouth is an instance of sunshine interference you will want to copy within the photographs for accuracy.

Within the absence of black-out blinds, there have been further shadows from the residual window gentle with a white blind. In consequence, I needed to replicate this window gentle with a Lastolite HiLight, which instantly replicated my outcomes on my digicam.

Underneath regular circumstances, you’ll stability this with a reflector or doubtlessly some type of gentle blocker.

Nonetheless, it exhibits how it’s good to think about even the mildest gentle sources as interference and counter them within the utility if you would like correct outcomes. On this case, that modified the photographs.

The appliance additionally made me extra aware of this gentle air pollution in environments the place I’ve historically been just a little lazy till I’ve carried out take a look at pictures.

Worth for Cash

There aren’t quite a lot of alternate options to check this pricing to, as Elixxier’s providing is pretty distinctive.

Given the excellent nature of the software program, I used to be anticipating it to be pretty dear, however I feel it’s cheap for the performance. The essential model is available in at round US$120, whereas the studio model comes at round US$230.

Contemplating {that a} single modeling session would price you greater than the software program, it’s honest to say that the value is nice.

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There's a wide variety of sample scenarios in the Elixxier community

There’s all kinds of pattern situations locally.

I added this in because it’s an essential a part of the software program. With typical software program, the set up of the software program is the place it ends.

As a result of studio software program is about experimenting with completely different setups, the group turns into an essential a part of info sharing. That is precisely what Elixxier has created with set.a.gentle 3D.

Within the Elixxier app, there’s a tab known as group the place you discover a big selection of setups individuals have already created.

There’s additionally a collection of filters to permit you to filter based mostly in your setup necessities or gear. There isn’t any level in seeing three gentle setups when you solely personal two, or steady lighting setups when you solely personal strobes.

The filters allow you to search for specific scenarios that are relevant to you.

The filters permit you to seek for particular situations which are related to you.

There may be additionally the power to filter nudes when you don’t need them showing in your display, whether or not it’s for private causes or since you don’t shoot nudes.

Elixxier additionally permits you to add your configurations to share your learnings with the group.

It’s a terrific addition to the applying and an essential one for newcomers. 

Elixxier set.a.gentle 3D Evaluation | Conclusion

set.a.gentle 3D is a software program product that surprises you. I wasn’t anticipating a lot, however I used to be blown away by the outcomes.

What it’s for you would be many issues, relying on why you want it. For many who haven’t carried out a lot work with fashions, it’s the power to construct expertise and make your shoots with fashions much less nerve-wracking and extra productive.

For these extra skilled photographers and filmmakers, it’s the power to create units and experiment, so when fashions arrive, you’ll be able to obtain what it’s good to with out losing time.

I’d go so far as saying it’s even nice for sending to fashions so you’ll be able to present them precisely what you’re making an attempt to attain, together with the poses.

The group templates add to the journey for novices and extra superior customers, permitting you to see what different photographers are exploring and experiment with new concepts.

If that appeals to you, then Elixxier set.a.gentle 3D may be the best answer for you.