Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/07/2014 -- Hydra Design Labs, a full service independent automotive design studio in Southern California that provides car design , engineering, and fabrication, has just announced the launch of a second related company called Hydra101. The timing for this announcement could not be better; the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is coming up soon, which promises to spur even more interest in vehicle design.
As Jon Hull, president of Hydra Design Labs explained, Hydra101 is an online automotive design store and car design school that is the first of its kind. Created to target automotive designers, including both professionals and students, Hydra 101 will utilize the skills of its own design team to bring software and car design tutorials about automotive design to one convenient and user-friendly location.
One of the things that will make Hydra101 unique is that each car design tutorial that is available on the site will be created by professional car designers with 10 to 19 years of experience in the industry. The site will feature two types of free tutorials: “quic-pic,” which includes step-by-step images that provide quick tips or tricks; and short video tutorials that explain various aspects of design, sketching, 3D modeling and other topics. Hydra101 will also sell full-length video tutorials that focus on larger projects.
The software side of Hydra101 will feature the company’s own software, as well as HDRI images, 3D models and other items that are useful to car designers.
Hydra101 is developing a line of photoshop plugins that are made specifically for automotive designers; as Hull noted, this is the first time a company has offered this type of product. The first plugin that is available is called Hydra HDRI Pro. This groundbreaking and innovative HDRI software will allow users to create a specific type of image that currently can only be made with equipment that costs upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.
“The plugin creates what is called a spherical HDRI image; this image is used inside a 3D rendering program such as KeyShot to illuminate a 3D model using the high dynamic range of the spherical image,” Hull said, adding that the 3D rendering uses this image to calculate the direction of light and shadows to create a realistic rendering that looks very photographic.
“With our plugin anyone with an iPhone or Android and a copy of photoshop can create unlimited numbers of their own HDRI images.”
The Hydra HDRI Pro plugin will take a normal 8-bit image and transform it into a 32-bit image, Hull explained, simulating the same exposures of a typical 32-bit HDRI image. People can use an app called 360 Panorama from Occipital, which allows people to take a spherical 8-bit image on their phone, and then use the image along with the plugin to create the 32-bit HDRI.
“This plugin has completely revolutionized the way we approach our workflow at Hydra,” Hull said.
“We have begun compiling a vast library of spherical images wherever we go. It’s really liberating to not have to carry around bulky high end camera equipment, wherever you are just grab your iPhone and snap a few pics, then go back to the studio and create an HDRI image for one of your renderings.”
Even though the Hydra HDRI Pro has not been available for that long, it is already receiving rave reviews from users.
"This is a well thought out and much needed plugin, so useful, easy to use and the resulting light from the original 8-bit image is spot on,” said Josh Mings, from Luxion Inc., the company that produces KeyShot.
About Hydra Design Labs and Hydra101
Hydra Design Labs is an Automotive Design Studio in southern California. They are launching a new company called Hydra101 that will be an automotive design store and learning annex targeting both professional and student car designers. For more information, please visit http://www.hydra101.com/