Making the Impossible Shot with RED’s Epic HDRx Technology

Making the Impossible Shot with REDs Epic HDRx Technology

A few months ago I posted an article here on ReelSEO.com about HDR Video techniques and how 3D technology can be used to achieve this. RED is now really making waves with its HDRx technology: what used to be impossible with a single camera is now a reality.

HDR – or high dynamic range – video is all about expanding the latitude of your camera. Unlike our eyes, cameras are not able to handle high contrast lighting situations. As a solution to this very common problem, I suggested the use of 3D technology in this article. In short, it comes down to combining two synced cameras on a 3D rig, with one camera exposed for the highlights and the other for the shadows, after which both images are combined in post production. Effectively, you'll be able to extend the latitude of your camera well beyond 12 stops of light (from the shadows to the highlights).

Although is probably a workable solution for those who cannot afford big ticket cameras, thanks to a very innovative technology from RED, this can now be achieved in a single unit. Just look at the footage below and you'll quickly understand that RED has just made the impossible shot a reality. For a more detailed explanation on HDRx technology, read this post on Prolost.com from Stu Maschwitz.

Likewise, this shot from inside a barn would normally require you to either expose for the interior (with blown out exterior) or the other way around (with way too dark interior).

Ted Schilowitz (RED Studios) talks about the RED Epic camera, a $25k alternative to portable DSLR cameras.


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About the Author -
Richard van den Boogaard is a freelance cameraman, editor and video marketing consultant based in the Netherlands. With his company, Branded Channels, he creates branded content with high production value, using his own state-of-the-art gear. Recent productions can be seen on Vimeo. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • timeoutofmind

    right. is it available now, or do we have to sit around like drooling dogs and wait as the arrogant REDco ignores us, gives a two year communication blackout, and tells us it's none of our business what's being developed and when. i'll never buy from this company.

  • manappraisal

    Dear Richard:

    I have been posting on forums all over the place (including Adobe's PPro forums) requesting suggestions on an HDR equivalent for video. I shoot "walkthrough" videos of real estate and, of course, the picture has fits when a brighly lit window comes into the scene.

    I have used the Shadow/highlights feature in Premiere Pro with some luck, but it is not a perfect solution. I have pondered, and even experimented a bit, with overlaying identical clips where one has the exposure/brightness reduced in the software. This could be followed by applying varying transfer modes, or even using the upper clip as a luma matte for the lower clips.

    Have you attempted any software based techniques such as these? For me, this is the holly grail and I am not currently in the 25K price range. Our videos do wind up being fundamentally flawed due to exposure effects, and we are working on lighting solutions to bring the contast down, but still much room for improvement exits. HDR still photography is difficult to presently compete with for a video soloution for documenting real property.

    Here is a link to one of our real estate presentations where contrast issues are quite prevalent.

    http://vid-tours.com/walkthrough/jamila/index.html

    Regards.

    Jeff Deuitch
    Impact Video Tours
    Palmetto, FL

  • Robby Petersen

    I'm waaaaay more interested in this than the resolution-wagging contest that's been going on. Awesome.

  • scott

    not the most impressive test films coming from RED. I don't get the clip of the lady walking frame left against the backlight sky, that doesn't look like a expanded tonal range to me but instead a combination of exposure change and highlight recovery. the end result looks so poor that I prefer the non-hdr version. I think they need to produce test films properly if they want to sell the camera and technology. Having ratty looking productions with technical gaps is not impressive at all. We are visual customers not just technicians. These test film look like they come from college video world and not the world of high-end cinema.

  • Scott Hamilton

    not the most impressive test films coming from RED. I don't get the clip of the lady walking frame left against the backlight sky, that doesn't look like a expanded tonal range to me but instead a combination of exposure change and highlight recovery. the end result looks so poor that I prefer the non-hdr version. I think they need to produce test films properly if they want to sell the camera and technology. Having ratty looking productions with technical gaps is not impressive at all. We are visual customers not just technicians. These test film look like they come from college video world and not the world of high-end cinema.

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