View Full Version : Creating HDR environments and working with HDR in general

05-11-2012, 01:38 PM

I was wondering how one would go about creating an HDR environment for bunkspeed? I know during the webinar showing 2012.4, Mr.David Randle mentioned some software that he used to stretch the image out to the state that bunkspeed uses, but I can't remember what that was.

Are there any other useful software to work with HDR?

I'm a total newbie here concerning HDR and any help and advice will be greatly appreciated!


05-11-2012, 03:46 PM
I use 3d studio max and vray to create my hdr's using a 360 camera. I believe the software from the webinar that was referred to is hdr light studio software.

05-11-2012, 05:28 PM
yeah, HDR light studio is pretty slick. It's a bit pricey though at a thousand dollars. As long as you get some decent use out of it though, it's totally worth it.

I suppose I Could use Max to create them too, but if I create a full environment....why wouldn't I just use that to render? That way you get physical glossy effects, and need no backplate because it's actual distances from your object instead of your entire map being equidistant from your scene.

05-12-2012, 06:02 PM
The two best HDR creation/editing softwares in our opinion are HDR Light Studio and Photoshop CS4 Extended and newer. Using the live edit functionality in our 2012.4 version (which supports both) it makes it really efficient to dial in your lighting.

You can also but a $65,000.00 camera called a Spheron VR which takes HDRI's (wherever you want) ;-)

We also rent out this camera as we own one.

05-14-2012, 02:35 PM

All of your environments are "unwrapped" from the sphere hdr format. Is there an easy way to do that?

05-14-2012, 03:22 PM
I attend Autodesk University roughly every year. Last year's event had a great class I attended about capturing, compositing and everything associated with creating your own HDR environments. Unfortunately this class wasn't recorded by ADSK http://au.autodesk.com/?nd=event_class&session_id=9229&jid=1725608. However I did record in HD about 80% of the 2 hour class using my DX phone. It is useable video. I may try and compile it and then throw it up on my Youtube channel. It has some good advice and best practices using many different tips and tricks. During the class he did an example using the Spheron VR camera. It is very nice and saves a TON of time in post due to stitching and so forth. Whether or not it's justifiable is up to your demand, ROI and company. Otherwise in a pinch and depending on needs and quality you could buy one of those chrome spheres if you don't want to shell out for pricey big bucks cameras. Here is the brief overview of the basics for creating your own using a chrome sphere, DSLR, swivel head and tripod http://www.ruffstuffcg.com/journal/making-mirrored-ball-and-panoramic-hdr-images-part-1.html. You'll also need Photoshop or equivalent (Photostitch by EasyPano) software to stitch the images. Then go into PS to ultimately create your HDR file so that the "lights" will behave in the scene as intended. There is a workflow to this whole process and can vary depending on your needs. Thankfully batch processing in PS can save you some time if you set up your shots accordingly. Typically like anything else, you get what you pay for so keep that in mind.

All that being said we are going to purchase HDR Light Studio. It's a slick but powerful little program. Easy to use as well.

05-14-2012, 03:55 PM
easy way to unwrap, yes, hdrshop. You can get the older version for free and will work just fine.

If you have another format like mirror ball or light probe, pay attention to those as they look very similar, you'll want to convert that to latitute longitude. That's what bunkspeed uses.

Also, if you are using the mirror ball method to capture your images you don't need a swivel head. I recommend carrying a long string though so you can make sure your perpendicular images are the correct distance from the ball. You take a second picture perpendicular to eachother so you can combine the two images and remove yourself and the camera from the image. You can't get rid of the tripod holding the mirrored ball though, unless you have it attached at an angle. In most cases you can just do a little rubber stamping for carpet/tiles/cement. Try and place your camera on an organic texture so it doesn't look strange. Tiles and brick would be difficult to rubber stamp.

Also, it's fun to make your own with that method, but it's pretty time consuming, so do it for fun yourself, not at work.