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What is Studio Maestro
Studio Maestro is a virtual photography session plugin allowing you to create presets for different aspects of a scene and preview a shot through the Window Camera. The whole plugin has been thought and designed with Juno to fit his workflow (and also mine) using the Window Camera as the main source for capturing the scene.

The first release allows you to :
  • create light rig presets
  • camera presets (which is a fancy way of saying camera positions)
  • single and multi characters pose presets
  • set preset (which are subscenes)
  • And control several aspects of those ( light rig rotation, synchronous loading, camera tweaks ).

All the data is saved inside your PluginData folder and is accessible in any of your scene if you load up the plugin. Everything is untied from the scene itself.

What Studio Maestro isn't

Studio Maestro is not a scene plugin. It is not a "viewport" virtual photography system. Funny enough, the idea of the tool was something we had in mind a long time ago with Juno and took a long time to realize... in the meantime, McKlinton released Snapshot Manager which is relying on viewport virtual photography. We suggest you look there if you do not like our approach.

It is also not made to control the scene. You can control your scene layout and scripting with plugin dedicated to this task like VAMStory for instance. Studio Maestro is never going to evolve in something allowing you to control the scene.

Base concept

The whole idea behind Studio Maestro is to setup a bunch of presets for your light, cameras poses and sets. And be able to load the plugin in any scene an access to these presets to make great shots of your characters.

The workflow can either be :
  • Using the "Save Screenshot" button, which is saving a super sampled capture of the window camera through MacGruber SuperShot
  • Using "M" key to swap to window camera view and take your own shot (which would allow the use of Reshade for instance).

The whole plugin revolves around the scene starting position, or the world zero position if you prefer ( 0,0,0 ). We suggest building your scene around that starting point and avoid moving any elements named "STMA_xxxx" created in your scene since the plugin will try to move them back into place.

Main UI

The global UI is extremely easy to understand, but I'd like to mention several aspects of it to avoid issues when using the plugin.

The main input field (left column below the title) is the name of your preset. It is used to save any of the light, camera or pose preset. If you load any preset from any category, the field will be updated with the last preset name to allow you to quickly overwrite it if needed.

The search button allows you to browse directly your presets. Everytime you save a preset you can take a screenshot which will allow you to easily find your preferred preset through the browser.

The save and delete button do what they're meant to do... save or delete a preset from the light, camera or pose categories.

For the lights presets, it is really important that you delete light presets using this button and not through the browser using the "search" button. Light presets save several files for the lights positions itself, the whole scene lighting parameters and all the lights appearance. Deleting using this button will clean all related files... using the browser will not.

For the set preset, you can use the clear button to remove the set subscene. "Refresh list" can be used if you create one or more new subscenes while you're in a VP session and do not reload your plugin.

The sync checkboxes are made to be able to synchronize loading of your presets. If you have some checkboxes enabled, if you load any category, the checked categories will also load the same preset IF and only if it exists.

Lights presets

This section is quite simple, it simply saves all your lights, their position, their plugins and the scene lighting configuration.

Since the system saves the scene lighting configuration, this means you can tweak the whole set of preset and skybox for every light preset.

When you save or load a light preset:
  • The system will create an empty named "STMA_Lights_Parent"
  • Grab ALL invisible lights in the scene and parent them to this empty
  • Rename all lights

It is important that you save your preset after adding your lights. Or load an existing preset to be able to use the rig rotation sliders.

Window Camera presets

Camera presets are only camera positions. So there's not much more to explain about that :]

Pose presets

Pose presets save the whole pose data for the current characters. Which implies it can save one or more characters poses if needed.

If you save a pose with three characters and try to use it for a single character, the system will reload the first pose then stop. On the other hand, if you load a pose with a single character and you have more characters in your scene, the system will pose the first one and move the others on the side and disable collision and physics.

Set presets

Set presets are subscenes.

You need to create and save your subscenes in \Custom\SubScene\StudioMaestro\STMA_Set

Which means:

  • Creator Name = StudioMaestro
  • Subscene Signature = STMA_SET
  • Save name = "MySetXX"

The plugin can't be aware of a subscene creation during a session, so if you save several subscenes, don't forget to hit "Refresh List" to reload your set list in the plugin.

Due to the asynchronous nature of subscenes, it could happen that a set meant for a character to "hold something" cannot reload properly (for instance if you use the "sync" feature).
In this case, you might want to disable synchronous loading and reload your pose after the light, camera and set are loaded ( as show in the usage video below with the lightsaber ).

Subscenes can contain anything. Which means you can bundle from simple assets to useful plugins which could control your LUT, post processing and so on.

Camera and Eye Target tweaks

The plugin has been thought to ease Juno's life in VR. It means the plugin will work perfectly with a VR workflow. But the 6DOF controls for the camera are also here to ease desktop users life to move and tweak the window camera. The left controls are controlling the position, the right controls are controlling the rotation.

You can also control the eye target to make subtle adjustements. It works just like the camera position (but only needs position since it does not rotate).

You also have:
  • Set Look At Eye Target, which will change the selected character look at mode to Target (it is simply a shortcut to avoid you going into the character settings)
  • Move to Win Camera which will move the eye target to the window camera
  • Move to my position which will move the eye target to your current position.

Save Screenshot and SuperShot

The plugin relies on MacGruber's SuperShot, which is a god send plugin. It is not mandatory to use it, you can hit the "M" key on your keyboard to swap to the Window Camera view and take your own shot.

But, if you do like taking native VAM shots, Studio Maestro will create a default preset saved in \Saves\PluginData\StudioMaestro\_Defaults named default-supershot-empty-preset.vap

After this default preset is created, anytime you will load the plugin, it will rely on this preset for SuperShot settings.

Which means, you can create your own preset and overwrite this file by yourself. To do that, it is pretty simple:

  • Load StudioMaestro in a scene.
  • Locate the atom named "STMA_SuperShot"
  • Go inside the plugin tab
  • Open SuperShot settings and configure your resolution, resolution multiplier, etc...
  • Then, go in the preset tab, and save a preset. The name does not matter but remember it, let's say "supershotmaestro" for the example.
  • Go inside your VAM folder, locate \Custom\Atom\Empty folder
  • Find a file named Preset_supershotmaestro.vap inside this folder
  • Cut the file and paste (move) it to the \Saves\PluginData\StudioMaestro\_Defaults folder
  • Copy the default-supershot-empty-preset.vap filename and delete it
  • Rename Preset_supershotmaestro.vap to default-supershot-empty-preset.vap and you're done!

I would recommend to keep a 16:9 ratio in SuperShot until the plugin eventually can handle different ratios.

Note that you could eventually add other plugins to your preset, as long as SuperShot is the first plugin in the list and the other plugins don't interfere with it.

Extra Special Thanks

As usual MacGruber and Acid Bubbles for their insane talent and plugins.
Juno for motivating me to make another stupidly cool plugin and give ideas and directions.

Contribute to Studio Maestro Gallery

We're gonna create a gallery with our favourite shots made with Studio Maestro or made with the help of Studio Maestro. Feel free to send us your best shots or by @ @Juno or @hazmhox , we will review the shots and add them to the gallery if we like them!

Showcases, videos, tips, tricks & ideas

  • For light presets, after loading any preset, adding new lights and saving as a new preset will combine the new lights and the current preset. You can also add new lights and overwrite a preset, it will also combine all lights.
  • Create light presets and play with the rotation. A light rig for a particular situation can result in some random and wonderful results after being rotated.
  • Studio Maestro saves data locally and can't be shared as part of a scene. But it doesn't mean you can't share your presets: go inside Saves\PluginData\StudioMaestro, zip the GlobalLight_Presets, Lights_Presets, LightsLocal_Presets, Pose_Presets, WinCam_Presets folders and share your zip file. People will be able to use your presets after extracting the file in their own folder.
  • Clicking on the "Eye target" button will refresh the character list if you have added a new character to the scene (or simply going back and forth between Camera and Eye Target)

Screenshot session showing a random usage of existing presets
Development video, some UI aspects might differ from the current release

Using presets and tweaking your camera
Development video, some UI aspects might differ from the current release

Total Size
0.03 MB
First release
Last update
5.00 star(s) 5 ratings

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Latest updates

  1. Bug Fix

    Fixed a bug when saving a light preset and lights were contained inside a subscene. Now lights...

Latest reviews

Five stars for using FM-84 and The Midnight in the demo video, you can never have enough synthwave. On a more serious note, awesome plugin, thanks so much for all of the time you put in creating these tools for the community, it is very much appreciated.
<3 DasBoot!
Thank you for the support and nice review... and you have great tastes in music :3
Upvote 2
A game changer for the community! Five stars!
Upvote 2
This is a god-send! I can say that I have tested this out and it works just as it says it does, even more so..what it does for lighting in scenes is amazing too..I wish I had 100 stars! Great work as always you two!
Haha! Thank you so much ViiVaM! Hope you'll have fun. Don't forget to @ us if you get some nice shots :)
Upvote 2
This looks very sophisticated, and it also has great potential. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for the review Shadow!
Upvote 2
Magnificent! Literally - and an other VaM Essential born nobody should miss! Thank you! <3
Upvote 2
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