IBL Master for Daz Studio


IBL Master is an Image Based Lighting controller for Daz Studio that provides a synchronized lighting experience between Daz Studio’s two native render engines – Iray and 3Delight. If you are unfamiliar, IBL is one of the most important lighting techniques available to 3D rendering, because it surrounds your scene with a 360 degree image (HDRI) of a real world environment. It’s a fast and effective way to duplicate the complexity of real world light.

IBL Master does something that no other product for Daz Studio has done before: It loads as a small sphrere in the scene that is hooked up to the Iray Environment Dome in Render Settings. This allows you to preview your HDRI on the sphere in the viewport and orient the Iray Dome by rotating or translating the sphere. As you do so, you can easily get a sense of which direction the light is coming from. It also features a breakthrough IBL shader for 3delight that makes renders not only more realistic but significantly faster.

IBL Master debuts Bidirectional Remote Control which creates links between the Iray Dome, the control figure, the new 3delight IBL, and a new HDRI background sphere for the 3delight side. This means you can change HDRIs and transforms (rotation, translation, and background scale) in one place and they all stay synchronized. Additionally, because the new IBL shader for 3Delight in IBL Master matches the quality and lighting direction in Iray, you can now composite the best of each render in an image editor without the usual inconsistencies associated with this task.

IBL Master - Closeup Compare Iray IBL Master - Closeup Compare 3Delight

Drag the center pole to compare Iray & 3Delight renders with IBL Master.

IBL Master Basic Instructions

STEP 1 – Load IBL Master

Load IBL Master

On the Content Library tab, navigate to: My Library / Props / Parris / IBL Master and double-click the IBLMaster icon to load it into your scene.

STEP 2 – Load an HDRI or apply an HDRI Preset

Load an HDRI in Iray (browse method)

IBL Master HDRI Browse

On the Render Settings tab, if Iray is active (Nvidia Iray selected for Engine), find the parameter Environment Map under Environment. Click on the small image icon (or arrow if none is chosen) and Browse…to the location of an HDRI on your drive. Click the Open button to load the image. If you want the IBL image to be visible as the background for your scene, set Draw Dome to On.

Note that when IBL Master loaded, it set the following under Environment:

  • Environment Mode – Dome and Scene ( lighting comes from the IBL and scene lights)
  • Dome Mode – Finite Sphere ( so you can scale the size of the sphere to your liking, using either Dome Scale Multiplier or Dome Radius or both)
  • Ground position Mode – Manual ( to allow you to move the ground and background sphere together. Note: you cannot move them separately because currently Dome Origin does not function usefully. This is an Iray issue that can only be remedied by Nvidia  Iray developers. )

Load and HDRI in 3Delight (browse method)

IBL Master HDRI Browse 3Delight

If 3delight is the active renderer, with IBL Master Control selected in the Scene tab, find the Base Color parameter in the CtrlSphere surface on the Surfaces tab under IBL Master Control and use the same method to browse for an HDRI and load it.

Load an Iray HDRI Preset

IBL Master HDRI Preset

Navigate to a product’s HDRI preset in your content library (see content provider’s documentation for more info).


  • Loading an Iray HDRI preset will change the renderer back to Iray.
  • It is not possible to load a 3Delight (UE2) HDRI preset. Instead, please use the browse method; The HDRI should be in … My Library > Runtime > Textures > etc..
  • Some Iray HDRI presets may change some transformation settings that IBL Master can’t read. To keep transformations synchronized , you should reset the following and not use them: Dome Origin (reset to 0 and use Ground Origin Instead), Dome Rotation (reset to 0 and use Dome Orientation Y instead), and Ground Texture Scale (reset to 100, sorry no equivalent in viewport or 3DL).

STEP 3 – Hit Render

For Iray, no other Render Setting adjustments are required (other than those for Environment (as mentioned in step 2). For the most realistic results in 3Delight, turn on Gamma Correction and set Gamma to 2.2 in the Gamma Section on the Render Settings tab. Iray does this by default.

STEP 4 – Adjust the Intensity of the Light as Needed

In Iray, you can control the strength of the Image Based Light by navigating to Render Settings tab > Environment > Environment Intensity or Environment Map and moving the slider left or right. Smaller values (slide left) turn the light down; Larger values (slide right) turn the light up. You can also control brightness by navigating to Render Settings tab > Tone Mapping > Exposure Value and moving the slider left or right. Only here things move in the opposite direction – A larger Exposure Value will make the image darker.

For 3Delight you control the brightness of the light by making adjustments in the light’s shader properties. So first click the arrow to the left of IBL Master Control in the Scene tab to expand it, then select IBLMLight. Next, navigate to Light on the Parameters tab or simply use the Lights tab. You can then use the slider for Intensity, or Intensity Multiplier to control the brightness. Smaller values (slide left) turn the light down; Larger values (slide right) turn the light up.

IBL Master Light Settings

IBL Master Light Settings

To access the parameter settings for IBLM Light (for 3Delight), click arrow left of IBLM Master control in the Scene tab to expand the list. Then select IBLMLight. Next under IBLMLight / Light in the Lights tab you should see the following:

  • Intensity – Sets the strength of the light ( recognized by OpenGl viewport and 3Delight )
  • Intensity Multiplier – Multiplies to also set strength (not seen by viewport)
  • Color – This is where you load an HDRI; you can also tint the light.
  • Diffuse Samples – Higher samples improve quality at the price of speed (higher than 32 is usually unnecessary).
  • Diffuse Roughness – Diffuse model is Oren-Nayar (more realistic for rough surfaces). Note: Leave at zero unless you want to affect the roughness of all surfaces.
  • Specular Strength – Sets strength of a second specular. Increases render time.

** These settings are only active when Specular Strength is set higher than zero.

  • Specular Model ** – choose from Cook-Torrance (default), Blinn or Glass-GGX. Note: The IBLM Light does specular already.
  • Specular Roughness ** – Sets the spread of the specular highlight (smaller % is sharper) GGX Anisotropy – For Glass-GGX specular model only. Makes the specular oval.
  • Specular Samples ** – Higher samples improve quality at the price of speed (higher than default of 8 is usually unnecessary).
  • Maximum Trace Distance – Distance affected by the light. Set higher for large scenes.
  • Shading Strength – Adjusts the strength of both geometry shading and cast shadows.
  • Shadow Strength – Adjusts the strength of cast shadows (transmission) only.
  • Shadow Bias – Sets the distance of the shadow from the surface. Default is 1/10 centimeter. Note: If self-shadowing artifacts occur (rare), set number slightly higher.

Using Boost Lights

IBL Master Boost Lights

Boost Lights were designed to help you control the intensity of light on your subject separately from the brightness of the HDRI background. This is particularly useful when using Iray, because properties in Render Settings currently do not provide a means to control the two separately. With 3Delight, using Boost Lights is less necessary, because you can adjust the brightness of the background directly by selecting 3DLEnvSphere (under IBL Master Control) in the Scene tab, and then adjusting Diffuse Strength or Ambient Strength in the Surfaces tab. You can also use Boost Lights in either renderer for other lighting purposes (such as creating rim lights).

STEP 1 – Select IBL Master Control

On the Scene tab, select IBL Master Control.

STEP 2 – Select a type of Boost Light to turn it on

Navigate to Parameters tab > Light, and select 3DL Disk, 3DL Rectangle, Iray Disk, or Iray Rectangle from the drop down menu of one of the 6 color coded Boost Light properties to turn on the light (make it visible in the scene). The color code of each Boost Light property coincides with one of 6 colored targets on IBL Master Control: Red (front), Orange (right), Yellow (back), Green (left), Blue (top), Purple (bottom).

STEP 3 – Rotate the target to center it on a HDRI hotspot

Click the colored target on IBL Master Control to select it, then rotate it using the controls in scene or on either the Parameters or Posing tab, to center the target on an HDRI hotspot. Now the hotspot will be boosted by this additional mesh light geometry.

STEP 4 (optional) – Adjust properties of the light as desired

In the Scene tab: Select IBL Master Control and right click > Expand > Expand from Selected. Then find the light geometry that you made visible in step 2 ( for example: LightBoost_3DL_Disk) and select it. Next, in the Surfaces tab, select the surface with the same name and adjust shader properties as needed. For instance, you could control the brightness of the light by adjusting Intensity.

Known Issue: With saved scenes, IBL Master Control Light Boost properties (Parameters tab) will no longer toggle visibility for any Boost Lights that are currently on. Remedy: In the Scene tab, expand IBL Master Control and click the eye icon on the left of the light geometry to hide it. This will refresh the property’s control so that it toggles the visibility of the lights properly.

IBL Master Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following have trusted CPD with their design needs: