Simulate Lighting in a Virtual Photo Studio with set.a.light 3D STUDIO


Want to plan out and test your studio lighting setups before setting up equipment and bringing subjects into the picture? German software development company Elixxier has been developing a software program designed to help you do just that. It’s called set.a.light 3D STUDIO, and is, according to Elixxier, the world’s first software dedicated to photo studio simulation.

The program is like a fancy 3D version of the online lighting diagram and lighting simulation apps we’ve featured in the past.


It lets you move subjects and equipment around in 3D space, and can render physically correct light. The program even calculates light that reflects off of walls and objects in the scene. Elixxier says that he light you see in the program will be the same light you’ll see when you actually recreate the setup in the real world.

A simulated virtual snap (left) and the real world photo that resulted (right)

A simulated virtual snap (left) and the real world photo that resulted (right)

Once you’ve set up your studio the way you’d like it in the program, you can simulate the photographs that would result by triggering a virtual camera.


The virtual camera has all the settings you’d find on a real world camera. You can choose the sensor size, the aspect ratio, the exposure settings (shutter, aperture, ISO), and the lens used. Depth of field is realistically simulated based on the settings you choose.

If you’re satisfied with the result, the program makes it easy to recreate the setup by providing options for exporting the set plans. The high-resolution rendered photograph and the detailed set plans can then be provided as guidelines for other people to turn the planned photo into a reality.


In addition to cutting down on test shooting time for seasoned photographers, the program is also a nice lighting “sandbox” beginning photographers can use to learn about studio lighting without having to rent gear and/or space.

Here’s a short video demonstrating how the software works. It’s in German, but you’ll get the gist:

A copy of set.a.light 3D STUDIO will set you back €140 (~$184) through the Elixxier online store, but the company is also offering a feature-limited trial version that you can play with for 15 days.

set.a.light 3D STUDIO [Elixxier]

P.S. If you’d like a full version of this software for free, leave a comment on this post. Elixxier is providing us with 3 free licenses to give away to our readers. We’ll pick the winners after a few days.

Update: Here are the three randomly selected commenters: LIz, Duke Shin, and Fady. Please contact [email protected] to claim your license! (We’re contacting you as well).

  • Courtney Navey

    Um…HUGE time saver!!!

  • Bernie Welch III

    Please pick me!

  • Larry

    Looks great. Would love to get a copy

  • rakiruott11

    I would love to use it

  • TadaoCern

    This software would be handy

  • Erick Calderón

    I’ve dreamt of software like this for years! Thank you.

  • Adam

    Sounds like a neat an useful piece of software!

  • Elijah Nouvelage

    This sounds like a game changer. I’d love a copy.

  • Tina

    this looks amazing, I might have to check it out!

  • Sir Name

    This would be truly amazing to work with. I am continually learning about lighting, but the opportunity to work with a variety of professional light shaping tools is often limited to just the shoot itself – for which I hired the gear, and during which I am often too stressed and under pressure to experiment (and therefore learn) as much as I really want to. Und ich spreche auch Deutsch, daher kein Problem!

  • Rabi Abonour

    I would argue that having your lighting planned out well frees you from technical concerns and lets you focus on, as you say, connecting with the model.

    This software seems awesome for pre-production.

  • vence

    Hello, i want a free version of this software. Thanks!

  • arvind sharma

    i lyk that

  • mychael

    olá gostaria de ganhar..muito bom e muito util