The free HDRIs you might have missed

I'm still alive!

The reason why this blog was suspiciously silent lately is that my day job as VFX artist kept me super-busy. During the last three months I made five virtual sets for two TV shows, and I'm also working on a dream project of massive proportion for NASA (more to that later when I'm allowed to reveal details).

Nevertheless I silently published a new HDR set every month, some of which you might have missed if you did not check in regularly.

Here is a run-down of the recent HDR panoramas, including download links:

RedRock HighUp (February) - super high res: 16K

When my friend Greg Downing invited me on a weekend trip, I had no idea what I have gotten myself into. He brought his entire VFX class from the Gnomon School, and his XRez partner Eric Hanson brought along his USC animation class as well. It turned out to be a combined field trip, all together maybe 50 people. Students of both classes thought I was enrolled in the other one (Note to self: grow a beard if you ever get into teaching, just to look more respectable).

Highlight of the trip was when Mr. HDRI himself, Paul Debevec, showed up. He brought a FARO scanner along - a remarkable laser scanning device that is small enough to fit in a backpack. And since us two were the only ones without any teaching/learning responsibilities, we sort of naturally started wandering around, exploring, and shooting/scanning the landscape.

Streets of San Francisco (March)

This is a gem I dug out from my archive, it's been sitting there unstitched since 2009. It was shot on a spontaneous road trip with my friend Kirt Witte, on our way back from an HDR symposium at Stanford (reported on it here).

I felt a bit experimental with this image, and so I applied some sunny color grading and dreamy effects with Magic Bullet PhotoLooks. This gives the environment the look of that 70's TV show with the same name, which I found to be a perfect fit for this pano.

Factory Pumps (April)

This was taken in an old power plant near Long Beach. It's not actually operative anymore, but instead it's frequently used as filming location. For example, the showdown in Terminator 1 was shot here (where everybody ends up diving into molten steel), as was Britney Spear's music video for Crazy. I was there for an episode of Ghost Whisperer and this panorama was one of my bonus captures I shot on the side.

That's it for now.
Stay tuned for the brand-new monthly HDR of May. I'm still working on it, but I can already tell you that it is another unique location that will blow you away!

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