HDR Video the next stage...

It's been a few years since Paul Debevec produced his paper with Jitendra Malik, Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs, at SIGGRAPH. Since then, people all the world have begun to generate high dynamic range still images and probes - essentially capturing all the light information from a scene in mulitple passes using digital cameras and then merging these into a single HDR image. A simple web search for HDR Images in google images will present you with an array of hyper-real looking images, or try here for some examples.

We are now beginning to see people executing the same thing using multiple cameras using splitters to achieve a merge at present of only two passes - check this out, it's called Soviet Montage.

It's all great too see but the grail of HDR photography is too capture all of this in one pass. The best film and digital cameras can only capture at maximum 11-13 stops of light in a single pass. The spheron HDR camera can currently capture 26 F-stops in a single pass but for a still. It's used now by very high end photographers doing car manufacturers' shoots and eliminates the need to ship a range of vehicles around the world to stunning locations - just one photographer and an HDR camera, then return to base and execute amazing render of car.

The next stage is beginning as a joint venture between Spheron and Warwick university. A video camera that can currently shoot 20 stops at 30 frames a second does now exist. So, how does this change our industry? Imagine not having to worry about exposure on set... only the cinematography, all the grading and final look can be done in post, pulling detail from all the different levels/stops and generating your final image. Now all we have to do is find some technology to look at it on! No fixing in post, more like make it in post...

1 Comments Lee Danskin

Posted by
Lee Danskin
Fri 8 Oct 2010: 2:30pm

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  • Dayne:

    HDR cameras are fascinating.. although the current look produced is a little strange at times. Probably the way forward in recreating how the brain processes high contrast images though!

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