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High Dynamic Range Video a Reality

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Francis asks: I just watched the first ever, HDR video using two DSLR cameras, I would like to know how it’s done. Any thoughts?

Answer: HDR Video provides filmmakers with many exciting new opportunities. Not only can HDR video create interesting effects, it can also allow for even exposure where artificial lighting is unavailable or impractical. For example, when a subject is backlit, one camera could be set to properly expose the subject, the other the sky, resulting in video with perfect exposure throughout.

This video highlights several clips we’ve made using our new High Dynamic Range (HDR) process. Video is captured on two Canon 5D mark II DSLRs, each capturing the exact same subject via a beam splitter like this.

The cameras are configured so that they record different exposure values, e.g., one camera is overexposed, the other underexposed. After the footage has been recorded, we use a variety of HDR processing tools to combine the video from the two cameras, yielding the clips you see here:.

A “Variety of HDR Processing Tools”

The folks at sovietmontage.com won’t reveal their technique but there has to be some time remapping involved.

Was Photomatix, Pixel Bender, Real Illusion’s iClone HDR effect or maybe even Blender involved? did they create a timelapse series of photos and painstakingly put the images together frame by frame to create the video like photographer Andrew Rees did with this remarkable HDR video?

We’re sure the secret will be revealed soon.

One Comment »

  • Tim Trott said:

    Is it possible to use video shot in RAW to accomplish HDR, perhaps with a Pr or Ae plugin or settings? A typical application would be in real estate video where the windows are brighter than the room inside.

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