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Merging HDR Video

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Andrew Traweek
Merging HDR Video
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:50:22 pm

I've been shooting a lot of nature lately, and decided that I want to give HDR video a whirl. I've been thinking about the workflow and wanted to know how others would approach this.

1. Since HDR video shoots one frame under exposed and one frame over, when combining the HDR you end up cutting your frame rate in half. So if my target is 23.97 or 30i, I'd want to shoot the HDR at 60fps. On my Canon T3i that means stepping down to 720p. Meh.

2. Can I do this manually? I know GingerHDR is the official way to go with the Magic Lantern stuff, but they don't offer any kind of trial, and I don't want to drop $150 on something I may not be fond of. I mean, the idea of HDR video is tantalizing, especially for someone looking to make some dough on the side with wedding films. But if it doesn't work to my expectation, that $150 can go toward some more tangible equipment.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Merging HDR Video
on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:04:10 pm

[Andrew Traweek] "Since HDR video shoots one frame under exposed and one frame over, when combining the HDR you end up cutting your frame rate in half. So if my target is 23.97 or 30i, I'd want to shoot the HDR at 60fps..."

...and when is the properly-exposed frame shot? Just curious.

The example on Ginger HDR's main page needed NINE DIFFERENT EXPOSURES. Not one over and not one under, nine.

Furthermore, NOTHING IN THE SHOT MOVES. It's an empty room. But it's video! Something has to move, right? That would be the camera. It could be done with a motion control rig, which is capable of infinitely replicating a given camera move. But if you're choking over $150 for a piece of software, you'd go into catatonic shock at the expense of a motion control system.

Unless you want to limit yourself to camera motion on still life subjects, you're stuck. Try infinitely --and precisely -- replicating the performance of a human being. Good luck with that!

So: to do DDR, you need more exposures than you initially expected. You need more gear than you initially expected. You're limited in your choice of subject matter.

HDR may be a very cool idea, but until multiple cameras at multiple exposures can shoot through the same lens at the same instant, it won't be very practical for most people.

And for those handful of people for whom it would be practical, they'd probably accomplish the same thing but in a differnt way by using proper lighting.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Andrew Traweek
Re: Merging HDR Video
on Mar 7, 2013 at 2:21:56 am

From what I understand, Magic Lantern only needs two exposures; one for shadow, and one for highlights. I'm pretty sure it interlaces the footage to achieve this. I may not even need to shoot 60fps if that's the case. I may be wrong. But it would explain why the example on Magic Lantern's site has movement in it.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Merging HDR Video
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:27:39 pm

If you go HERE:
http://www.magiclantern.fm/hdrvideos

You will note there is nothing in the video that contains crucial motion of the subject. The featured clip contains no people. The people who shot it also shoot with image stabilization systems mounted on helicopters. They're used to pricey camera support systems, so shooting multiple passes with a motion control rig would be no big deal for them.

To get HDR to work, you need multiple exposures and multiple pieces of video that recorded those exposures. It should go without saying that the motion should match.

I think you're missing a crucial point about HDR: it's impossible to create it from one file. You need multiple files.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Alexandros Iliakis
Re: Merging HDR Video
on Sep 9, 2015 at 7:38:51 am

Hi,

I'm working on real estate videos and early this year I bought a slider with a motion system to use on timelapses.
Well I used this system to shot an interior area with windows ( so common problem, unless you use a camera with high dynamic range, making the proper exposure for the inside, the windows are burned )
and I recorded 2 automated shots. One exposure for the interior, and one for the windows.

My problem now is: HOW (GOD HOW) can I blend these 2 shots, without going to After Effects, and make a mask for each window. This works, but needs lots and lots of time.

Any idea?


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