View Full Version : HDR video

01-29-2011, 11:02 AM

Oh, man. I hope this idea dies off as fast as it was thought up. HDR is already difficult to do properly in photography and the process has received flak for making overly contrasty, technicolored images that can poke an eye out, now all we needed was to put it in motion. Great.

01-29-2011, 12:16 PM
there is something wrong when people speak about hdr, that fact that you cannot see hdr picture.
what you usually see is a tone mapped picture, it has nothing to do with hdr. (while an hdr source is the best way to create a tone mapped picture, but not the only one)
some real hdr can be seen in some panoramic view of rooms . it looks like regular picture, except when you
look at the bright source (window) the room becomes dim, and when you turn back, the room looks
bright...after your eye get acquainted.. exactly as in real life (blooming effect)

the first sample (Mohonk) shows very well the HDR feature when you look at the buildings and look up and down with the mouse.
applying tone mapping to a picture usually gives this radioactive look, that can be pretty sometime, but frankly who would look at a feature film
in HDR at full length.

01-30-2011, 03:32 AM
Oh, I know about tone-mapping, I come from a photography background, have done HDR myself, and the problem isn't as much with tone-mapping as is it is hiding the effects of tone mapping.
HDR itself is simply the acquisition of a 32-bit image which carries the full dynamic range of a scene by shooting in multiple exposures, problem is, there are no displays capable of showing that kind of dynamic range. Tone mapping is one of the more popular and easy to use methods of compressing all that dynamic range into what a display can show, however this method revolves around the act of adapting the brightness level across the edges of two contrasting objects, which in an exaggerated case, will cause those trademark halos.

But tone compression isn't a one-step process, the image must first be processed to reduce contrast to a minimum, producing a flat image, and then processed manually to expand the contrast back to levels that would appear natural. This is certainly achievable in a program like Photoshop, since you have access to tools like adjustment layers which let you fine-tune the image while minimizing tone-mapping artifacts, but in video this is a layer of complexity that most people won't want to deal with.

applying tone mapping to a picture usually gives this radioactive look, that can be pretty sometime, but frankly who would look at a feature film
in HDR at full length. Knowing people, it's not about if, but when? Maybe not in a feature film, but I can almost certainly see this showing up on MTV, as if it weren't enough of an eye sodomy.

01-30-2011, 11:11 AM
if you can create tone mapped picture with an application, there are chance the same application is able to process many pictures in a batch mode.
what you need is to define a profile for the desired tone mapping from a sample set of pictures and apply this "look" to all the pictures.
then tone mapping becomes a one step process.
converting video to picture and back is easy, most NLE do it.
it is just time consuming, but not really more than applying some other effects.
or you can purchase a camera from RED, some of the models have HDR implemented in real time.
the same principle is used for 3D and panoramic videos, when processing multiple video streams is mandatory.
It is also here that well organized shots (synched cameras mostly) will greatly help

02-05-2011, 11:30 PM
Excellent thread. Thanks for the links nosys70. When I first heard of HDR I thought it was the future, a holy grail. But watching more and more footage, especially in lighting changes I find it almost distracting. As you say, radioactive. The bloom effect, if properly done, could be something appealing. But I see two caveats on the horizon. First, people getting lazy or sloppy with lighting, under the assumption that technology from HDR can remedy all problems. The second being an increase in color grading and post work that yields some potentially long render times and requires very robust hardware.

02-12-2011, 02:20 AM
HDR very clearly will become a regular feature on video cameras. This seems certain. The expanded tonal range is definitely helpful in a variety of situations and I could imagine that in many circumstances the larger native dynamic range of film will be surpassed by this technology. Obviously there is still a lot of refinement which needs to occur, but I am certain that RED has opened a new door, which will become a defacto option. The fact that it is now to be found on iphones for photos for instance should already be a clear indication of where things are heading...

I don't find this any more annoying than all the heavy handed 3D work which is out there. Content and style need time to mature.