How do I use HDR in my Renderings?
With most higher-end 3d applications, you can load HDRs into either the environment or into various lighting parameters. From there you would choose your rendering settings and process your images.
Since there are numerous applications which support HDR lighting, it is best to consult your products help files or to do a search on the Internet. For example, if you used Mental Ray with 3D Studio Max, you may want to search for “Mental Ray HDR tutorial” or “Mental Ray .exr tutorial” and so on.
As much as I would like to provide people with help regarding their specific usage, there are far better resources and tutorials available on the Internet regarding other applications.
What File Format of HDRs do you Provide?
There are two major HDR formats available for use and are supported by most major 3d graphics applications. These formats are .hdr and .exr. EXR (also known as OpenEXR) is a free format provided by Industrial Light and Magic and is widely accepted throughout the 3d industry. The EXR format is used in all of ILM’s movie productions. It has a far greater range of features as well as lossless image compression algorithms.
Due to the wide-spread use of .hdrs, I am currently providing the .hdr format available for download.
If you require something other than the .hdr format, please let me know and I will try to accommodate you.
sIBL Format Support
I also provide sIBL (Smart Image Based Lighting) formats and libraries which will are available for download with each purchase. sIBL is an open-source structure that plugs into the most common 3D rendering applications. Its ease of use and high optimization (low memory and file size overhead) makes it ideal for renderings using HDR. It’s essentially a “plug and play” operation if you take the time to figure out how to install it. It makes the entire HDR lighting workflow much easier and I prefer this over any other current setup for my own 3D work.
If you haven’t read or experimented with sIBL, please visit the sIBL website and forums at:
What Structural Format/Map Types of HDRs do you Provide?
I provide the most commonly supported map type. These images are shaped rectilinearly. I have created these due to reasons of efficiency. Also, providing additional formats for download will only result in decreased download bandwidth and much greater file sizes.
What Size HDR Formats do you Provide?
Currently, I provide 8,000×4,000 pixel angular maps which is considered high for most projects.
I have just updated my camera equipment and will provide even larger resolution formats for download, time permitting.
How do you Create your HDR Panoramas?
This is a complicated question which is not easily answered. While I could provide some basic steps, I am afraid that most people will miss out on the more important details. There are entire books, programs, user-groups, and websites dedicated to HDR creation as well as that of general panoramic photography. Plus, if you want to take high quality HDR panoramic photos, it requires a considerable financial investment, a determination to study and learn, as well as patience.