Thursday, September 16, 2010

HDR Video - Yay or Nay?

HDR photography has been steadily gaining popularity in the past few years. It's often used for creating toned mapped artistic photographs. This technique creates a painterly/hyper real version of the subject. It is also used professionally for gathering global illumination information that can be used to provide accurate lighting for 3D models.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging is usually accomplished by taking a series of photographs with varying exposures. Usually comprised of at least 3 pictures and up to 7 pictures, of the same moment in time. One picture is shot at a normal exposure, one at 2 stops underexposed, and one at 2 stops overexposed. These images are then combined in software to create either a tone mapped or HDR image.

Now that same technique has come to HD video. Using a beam splitter, that is commonly used for creating stereoscopic 3D imagery, the guys over at Soviet Montage have taken two Canon 5D Mark II's and creating what might be the first high dynamic range video. Using a one underexposed, and one overexposed technique, they have come up with something completely different.

If you find it visually attractive is really a matter of taste. But one thing is for sure, this is only the beginning. Get ready for a onslaught of HDR videos that will be coming our way. Hopefully this will help people forget all about the whole 3D rebirth.

I hope the porn guys don't get any crazy ideas.