Friday, November 22, 2013

HDRi Breakdown for Visual FX

So an aspiring artist asked today for info on HDRi probes and I thought to myself man I really miss talking shop and Im working way too much....lol So Im taking a break for the film and the Art Director day job and all that to write a few things about 3d and HDRI and lighting for VFX and maybe post some of the new things ive been working on.  Lets start with "How to take HDRi"



 I can offer info on four different solutions.
1) Low end is to use the gazing ball you can see more explanation on this tutorial i did here: http://www.digitaltutors.com/lesson/9878
          The good part about this is that its cheap. The bad part is that the resolution and quality are low. 

2) Next level is the option youve found with a different type of reflective item on a lens.
            The good part about this is that its a little easier than the garden gazing ball so your more efficient. The bad part is that the resolution and quality are low and there is a cost of 400$

3) My preferred level is right in the middle range of cost and pretty high in quality. 
            a)You need a full frame sensor on a camera like one on the Canon MKII or MKIII http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_5d_mark_iii 
            b) And a nice quality fish eye lens.   One such as these http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/fisheye    The cost is between 400-800$ and the quality matters. 
                                   I prefer these brands due to quality in weight, strength, and durability. 
            e) Then you need software. The one i've found the most reliable and highest quality is PT GUI http://www.ptgui.com/
                                   There is a free one that some people recommend and i tried it ( I like free) But in the end i had to go buy PTGUI to get a real stable pipeline for making my HDRIs. 

I'm thinking of making a blog post and tutorial with pictures of all this if that's helpfull?

4) This is the highend and expensive option is harder to find info about but here is one of the several companies making the scanning and panoramic images. http://www.panoscan.com/MK3/index.html