You may remember Hydra Design Labs and Jon Hull from our customer spotlight story on the California-based design firm. With a focus on automotive design and an enterpenurial bent, they were inspired to launch another site which provides resources specific to the types of visuals they create. Hydra101 was launched this month with tutorials and tools to help create the images just like the ones you see on their site. It's just the beginning and Jon and team promise more to come.
Among the resources they offer is a Photoshop plugin that allows you to take a panorama photo and with the click of a button, convert it into a 32-bit HDRI. Hydra HDRI Pro can be used with Photoshop CS4 and above on Windows and Photoshop CS5 and above on Mac. The conversion from 8-bit image to 32-bit HDRI all happens with the click of a button within a couple minutes. Once complete, you can use the HDRI's inside KeyShot and open them in the KeyShot HDRI Editor for further editing and refinement. The plugin is available on their new site, Hydra101.com, for $149.95, and worth it if interested in creating HDRI with resoanlbly high quality. Here are a few samples from the software and the results when used in a rendering with KeyShot.