Thanks a Million!

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Website stats as of May 2009, still growing bigger every month.

Wow, I didn't even realize that this site is up for almost two years. One million visitors came. Incredible. Feels like an home party that gets overrun by the general public.

Many of you folks seem to be regulars, and I highly appreciate your loyalty. So, here you go - grab your monthly dose of sIBL. This time I actually tested it, as you can see in the rendering above ;) ... Location is the Etnies Skatepark, one of the biggest skateparks in the US. Got some more panoramas of that spot in the gallery:
Best Trick Contest
Street Course
In the Bowl

Anyway, thanks you for visiting this site.
Keep on coming, and bring your friends!

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Building an HDR Panobot with Lego

Educational April keeps getting better!
I'm happy to present the latest collaborative submission to HDRLabs:

Students studying the Graduate Diploma of Advanced 3D Production course at New Zealand's (Auckland) Media Design School have built a robot which allows a DSLR camera to take 360 degree panoramic HDRIs. In a 45-minute presentation they explain their motivation, design, usage experience, and showcase the excellent 3D rendering results they achieved by using their own captured HDRIs.


This project deserves a permanent page in the Tutorial section. After the jump you'll find everything you need for your new summer DIY project - including blueprints, CAD models, source code and software for the controller. Big thanks to Emil Polyak and Darren Leslie from the Media Design School for making all this publicly available!

Grab a cup of tea and some cookies, and then watch the presentation on how to

Build an HDR panobot!

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New Bachelor Thesis: Shooting HDRI for CGI

Pashá Kuliyev just made his Bachelor in Imaging Sciences and Media Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne. Congratulations, Pashá!

Highlights of his Bachelor thesis are:
  • Comparing mirror balls of different grades and sizes.
  • Fisheye capturing with a custom made panoramic head.
  • Hands-on experience with the SpheronHDR camera.
  • Comparing all three acquisition techniques.
  • Great explanation of radiometric units.
  • Overview of the multi-layer rendering and compositing.

There's a good ratio of well written explanations and formula-proven hard facts in there. HDR Software developers should have a closer look at chapter 2.3, where the Lat-Long mapping equations are discussed. This is the foundation to make your tonemappers panorama-safe. Heck, you should read the whole thing - you'll find thousands of golden information nuggets in this thesis.

Because Pashá is awesome, he offers his full thesis for free download, right here in the Tutorials/Download section.

I'm sure there is a bright future waiting for Pashá. Currently, he's running a CGI workshop at his University. Wonder which big CG house will snatch him for their R&D department...

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Paul Debevec nominated for ELAN Award

Paul Debevec is one of the founding fathers of HDR Imaging. He also took HDRI further than anyone else, a true pioneer, still unmatched. If you're not familiar with his work yet, check out this documentary:

And now Paul Debevec is up for the Visionary Award of the Visual Effects Industry. Clearly, nobody deserves it more than him! You should pop into the ELAN website and vote for Paul. Do it now, voting closes this Friday...

Monthly site updates:

Quick sidenote: my monthly update chores. This month's sIBL is my friend Alex's Apartment. Also, we can celebrate 1.000.000 "HDR"-images on Flickr with a new race for front seats in the Hot-on-Flickr gallery.

And now: Go, Paul, go Paul, GO!

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Software rebates for my readers, Round 2

Last December I nailed some top deals for my readers.
And now, after some more negotiations, I proudly present the extended deal.

Autopano Pro and Ariea HDR Max joined in, as well as the fabulous Photoshop-Plugins ProEXR and Filter Forge. Many thanks to all the participating software vendors.

All together there are now 11 coupons on the Software page, that you can unlock with the right password from the HDRI Handbook. If you would use all the coupons, the savings alone add up to more than $260.00! Considering that the HDRI-Handbook is just $33.00 on Amazon, this is a sweet roll-your-own-bundle deal.

Here are all the details:



You Save

NEW: Autopano Pro




NEW: Ariea HDR Max








NEW: Filter Forge




Dynamic Photo HDR




Essential HDR








FDRTools Advanced








infiniMap exr




Photomatix Pro




Go get 'em, Tiger!

[Disclaimer: Some prices might be off due to currency conversion. All rebates only valid for new software purchases, there is no refund given for software you already own.]

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Site Update: New Gigapano Gallery

Ladies and Gentlemen, I started a new panogallery.

This time around it's about size. Previous experiments with HDView (1, 2, 3, 4) were interesting, but only work on PC. Speaking about web standards (see last post). Well, since most of my really big panoramas aren't even HDR, a fixed exposure will do as well. Tonemapping a 500 megapixel image isn't much fun, but worth the effort anyway. So for the sake of compatibility and smooth display I decided for the latest krpano Flash viewer.

Take your time exploring the Gigapano Gallery!
Have fun.

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