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Key to both scaling and perspective matching, a ‘measurement cube’ is an essential component of the Image Based Lighting setup process.

Amazingly, they are very hard to find / purchase, so I decided to create my own.

In the past I have used a Gypsy 6 Motion Capture suit calibration cube  – which served the purpose, but also had following shortcomings:

  • Physical size was not ideal for IBL sets intended for larger asset renders
  • Color of cube made it had to see / work with
  • Bars very thin – making them hard to see.
  • It was part a system owned by my former employer in UK, so not available to me in USA.

_MG_6342_sq _MG_6370_WP _MG_6390_WP

Above : Measurement Cube ‘on location’ – Bentley Motors, Crewe, United Kingdom – Photos Huw Thomas


Budget Alternative – Cardboard Board

In absence of above, I have used cardboard boxes, although this again has its limitations:

  • Not square
  • Cannot see through it
  • Harder to establish ‘perspective’ viewpoint

_MG_1723_WPSq _MG_1726_WPSq _MG_1729_WPSq

Above : Cardboard box ‘measurement cube’

Resultant Images – Test Renders

THOMAS_H_Rendering_McLaren_McLaren_Keyshot_Test_McLaren_01_026.jpgTHOMAS_H_Rendering_McLaren_Keyshot_Test_McLaren_02_025.jpgMcLaren_Barker_Shot_01_R003_Tyre_Black_BOdy.jpg

Above : Renders using budget measurement cube | Rendered Huw Thomas (Keyshot)


My solution comprises:

  • 8 X 3D printed corners – using a MakerBot 3D printer
  • 12 X 2 foot PVC tubes (courtesy of The Home Depot)

Cube Measurements (in Millimetres, as working in Metric inside Maya)

  • Across Centers = 630 mm
  • Tube Diameter = 21 mm
  • Sphere Diameter = 50.8 mm

End result – a fairly lightweight, highly visible asset – total cost about $20

Image to be inserted