What is a 360 HDRI and why do we need them



Given we know that cars are reflective and metallic, when we create digital cars and ‘place’ them in a real world back plate, certain techniques need to be employed. To do this, 360° high dynamic range image (HDRI) ‘domes’ are shot on location to capture the environment data.

These 360° files accompany a select amount of background images to assist the retouchers with the lighting and reflection references that need to be rendered onto the 3D or CGI mesh model. For example if a silver car needs to reflect an intricate urban architecture in its metallic panels, its windscreen and side mirrors, the HDRI ensures a seamless marriage between both elements.

The camera and lens information used at the shoot is also captured in the metadata of the HDRI dome images so that the post-production team can adjust the model and determine the height of the CGI model.
Retouchers can also use the HDRI files to exert greater control over how much detail is shown in the reflections by manipulating the detail captured at different levels.

Bear Stock provides its 360° HDRI file as a 32 bit radiance ‘.hdr’ file at 14,000 x 7000 pixels in size. This provides a great level of realism and latitude of grey tones. Given most external output printers are in 8 bit, the true 16 bit assets you can purchase from Bear Stock mean your images are superior in colour gamat and density. Starting with more picture information means better results throughout production.

To check out our domes take a look at our HDRI 360 Domes category.

Take a look the images above where we see the dome environment for the accompanying 2D backplate.  The images below show a 2D background, the matching dome and the end render of 3D CGI mesh model into the environment.

Importantly the Bear Stock 360 HDRI domes can also be used as a ‘virtual world’ environment for the animation of 3D objects which has the potential to expand the possibilities for their use.  Imagine creating a motion environment without a motion shoot …