High Dynamic Range (HDR) Video from San Francisco based Soviet Montage Productions

Fri, Sep 10, 2010

Bruce DeBoer, Editorials


I thought this video was interesting enough to pass along even though it’s already been well viewed since yesterday.  The Soviet Montage press release is reproduced below the video embed.

HDR has a “look”.  For those who are unfamiliar, the process involves using two or more exposures from the same scene, making it possible to capture detail in extreme highlights and shadows that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.  Normally HD video probably captures about 10 – 12 stops of information, my guess is that this HDR video is capturing 13 – 16 stops.  This is a total guess but it illustrates the basic idea.

There’s more to the HDR look than numbers. Natural looking shadows and highlights appear lower in contrast; dark, dark gray and black are perceived as being closer in value than do adjacent midtones.  Our eyes are less efficient in low light so it feels natural when we view image shadows with less detail and contrast.  Same goes for bright highlights – think snow on a sunny day without dark glasses.

HDR images produce more midtones than we would expect to see in nature, that is why it can seem cartoonish.  In this video HDR appears to lift a “fog” from the scenic view of SF (no pun intended but I’m feeling clever), yet you can begin to see the “cartoon” effect when HDR records a person; the lighting looks “odd” but you just can’t quite put a finger on why.

My personal appetite is limited regarding HDR imagery; like having cake for breakfast, it’s fun on occasion.  Then again, like the early digital CD recordings that sounded overly brittle, photographers are beginning to finesse the HDR look so filmmakers will find an HDR comfort zone eventually.

I’m captivated with the advance of still and video imaging.  I wonder if we’ll ever hit a plateau the way we once did with film? If we don’t, what affect will that have on our creativity since every advance leaves a destructive wake.

Soviet Montage Productions releases information on the first true High Dynamic Range (HDR) video using DSLRs

San Francisco, CA, September 9, 2010: Soviet Montage Productions demonstrated today the first true HDR video sourced from multiple exposures. Unlike HDR timelapse videos that only capture a few frames per minute, true HDR video can capture 24 or more frames per second of multiple exposure footage. Using common DSLRs, the team was able to composite multiple HD video streams into a single video with an exposure gamut much greater than any on the market today. They are currently using this technology to produce an upcoming film.

Benefits of Motion HDR
HDR imaging is an effect achieved by taking multiple disparate exposures of a subject and combining them to create images of a higher exposure range. It is an increasingly popular technique for still photography, so much so that it has recently been deployed as a native application on Apple’s iPhone. Until now, however, the technique was too intensive and complex for motion. Soviet Montage Productions believes they have solved the issue with a method that produces stunning–and affordable–true HDR for film and video.

The merits of true HDR video are various. The most obvious benefit is having an exposure variation in a scene that more closely matches the human eye–think of filming your friend with a sunset at his or her back, your friend’s face being as perfectly captured as the landscape behind them. HDR video also has the advantage of reduced lighting needs. Finally, the creative control of multiple exposures, including multiple focus points and color control, is unparalleled with true HDR video.

“I believe HDR will give filmmakers greater flexibility not only in the effects they can create but also in the environments they can shoot in” said Alaric Cole, one of the members of the production team, “undoubtedly, it will become a commonplace technique in the near future. ”

Contact:
Michael Safai
Soviet Montage
201 Spear Street #1100
San Francisco, CA 94105
1 415 489 0437
mike@sovietmontage.com

Craft, Filmmaking, technology, Trendy, Video, Videography

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