Peter Aversten

Lead Texture Artists
Blogger
Meshmen Studios

HDR Capture for VFX

Capturing HDR images is the bread and butter on any film production set that involves visual effects. It’s the fastest way to get the lighting captured from the set on the day of the shoot. In visual effects, we use it for look development purpose as well as in shot production with additional localized lighting. The drawback with HDR lights is falloff or mainly the lack of falloff. If you take the sun it’s very far away in real life, 149.6 million km to be exact. We are essentially remapping the surrounding light contribution to a sphere so the sun and your kitchen light will be equally far away in computer graphics terms. In most cases, this will not make much of a difference and it is used for cheap reflections.

 The process

I have been capturing HDR for my personal library for a long time and this is a list of some of the tools and techniques I use.

“Your kitchen light is the same distance as the sun!”

Peter Aversten

Canon 5dmk3 Canon 8-15mm L Promote HDR remote (discontinued) Nodal ninja Panorama rig Manfrotto tripod Manfrotto 057 Magnesium Ball Head with RC4 Quick Release Colorchecker passport video
Photoshop Photomatix HDR batch program Kolor Auto Pano Giga (discontinued) For an alternative look into ptGui

Conclusion

Capturing HDR images will still have its place in VFX for the foreseeable future. We can also get some kind of dimension back by taking our captured HDR and remap it to a scan or a model of a room or environment. I will cover this technique in an upcoming VFX fundamentals episode.

 

“Want me to cover something specific? Leave your comments below or use #askmeshmen on twitter ”

Peter Aversten

Mari Material System | Arnold project | Texture a cinema lens | Materials

Peter Aversten Lead Texture ArtistsBloggerMeshmen Studios Mari Material System The new Mari Material System in Mari 4.5 was just released and with it comes faster workflows in automation when it comes to texturing in bulk as well as hero assets for Visual Effects. In...

Mari 4.5 first impressions | Mari material system

Peter Aversten Lead Texture ArtistsBloggerMeshmen Studios Mari 4.5 First Impressions The Mari 4.5 release is imminent and with this comes the new material system that will make bulk texturing and automation much easier. The material system is building on gizmo type...

Mari 4 text tool | You don’t have to leave Mari just yet!

Peter Aversten Lead Texture Artists Blogger Meshmen Studios Mari 4 Text tool You just want to add a bit of text here and there on a spaceship and you search around in Mari for that elusive text tool that shines with the lack of its existence. Fear not!...

Mari 4 Mirror paint tool | Painting symmetrical in the Mari 4.2 update

Peter Aversten Lead Texture Artists Blogger Meshmen Studios Mari 4 Mirror Paint Tool Mari 4.2 is out with one of the most requested Mari features. Mirror paint and symmetrical painting has always been problematic and time consuming in Mari. I guess it's...

Mari ISO workflows

Peter Aversten Lead Texture Artists Blogger Meshmen Studios Mari ISO Workflows ISO maps...what is that you might ask? While texturing an asset for a VFX workflow we as Texture Artists are often asked from the lookdev department, "Can I have control over this or that...

Mari 4 Megascans | Material based texturing in Mari pt 2

Mari 4 Megascans Mari texture sets  Peter Aversten Lead texture artist Mari 4 Megascans Mari 4 now has the option to load texture sets, also known as material scans. Quixel Megascans is the first material library to be supported. I hope this is a sign of where The...

Mari 4 UI | What is new in Mari 4 | Mari user interface tutorial

Mari 4 UI Is the future now? Peter Aversten Lead texture artist Mari 4 UI Let's examine some of the new features in the Mari 4 UI. At a first glance it's similar to Mari 3.3 but diving into the interface we see a lot of UI features have been reshuffled. The former...

What is new in Mari 4 | Project setup

What is new in Mari 4 | New project setup Mari 4 new project window Mari 4 has a new and consolidated project setup procedure. The new window combines geometry channel and shader and light setup in one go. You can essentially just paint away once your project is...

Stupid Mari tricks | The disco

Stupid Mari tricks | The disco I have been in many VFX facilities. Often I sit next to people with a lot of cool stuff on their desks such as action figures, anatomical studies and skeletons. You also find lava lamps and other things that inspire your...