Elixxier software is an innovative company that has produced very useful and helpful tools for photographers and filmmakers, especially when it comes to creating 3D light simulations.
In their latest software update to Set.a.light 3D, the lighting simulator, apart from new props, models, and lights, including Auputure LS 120DII, LS C300D II, and LS 300X, they have added the ability to manually focus the virtual camera. This is a really helpful addition for those who want to take creative control of their shots, especially when working with a smaller set and/or tighter shooting conditions. It's also great for novice filmmakers who may not be familiar with manual focus techniques or equipment.
Although this might seem quite a small addition to the software, it means the possibilities are endless for pre-visualization, composition, and overall creative control of your shots or scenes. With manual focus, it allows you to be more precise in your shots and really get the most out of your images. It's ideal for those who want total creative control over their still images or film scenes and don't mind spending a little extra time fine-tuning their shots, and by extra time, I mean seconds.
The focus is usually set by the focus points displayed in your viewfinder, as in the image above. Now, you can choose your focus point within your entire scene setup, which can be really useful. I see this as very useful for photographers, but even more so for filmmakers when deciding on the shot or the pre-visualization of focus pulling.
And it is just that. You simply check the manual focus box and input your focal distance. Alternatively, you can hover over the focal distance, and with a left-click and hold of the mouse, slide either left or right to increase or decrease the focal length within your scene. The great thing is that it's a live update in the viewer, so you can accurately see what the final effect will be.
Within the studio view and top view, a yellow cross shows the focal distance. Moving it through the scene allows you to decide exactly where you want the focus of a particular shot relative to the position of everyone and everything in the scene.
This was just a quick demonstration and review of this new feature, but that's the beauty of it: it's simple in its approach. It's one piece of software that, in my opinion, just keeps getting better and better. These small touches add so much to the overall usability and end results of the software. For pre-visualization and time-saving before heading into the studio, it's a godsend.
The company is constantly working on new updates for the software to keep it up to date with new lighting and features. These fresh additions are driven by the community and what they are asking for. There's also a fully functional trial version to let you see for yourself what it can do for you on the Elixxier website.