Direct HDR Capture of the Sun and Sky

AFRIGRAPH 2004 Paper
SIGGRAPH 2004 Poster

Jessi Stumpfel    Andrew Jones    Andreas Wenger   
Chris Tchou    Tim Hawkins    Paul Debevec   
USC Institute for Creative Technologies

f/4, 1s
f/4, 1/4s
f/4, 1/32s
f/16, 1/16s
f/16, 1/125s
f/16, 1/1000s
f/16, 1/8000s
Abstract

We present a technique for capturing the extreme dynamic range of natural illumination environments that include the sun and sky, which has presented a challenge for traditional high dynamic range photography processes. We find that through careful selection of exposure times, aperture, and neutral density filters that this full range can be covered in seven exposures with a standard digital camera. We discuss the particular calibration issues such as lens vignetting, infrared sensitivity, and spectral transmission of neutral density filters which must be addressed. We present an adaptive exposure range adjustment technique for minimizing the number of exposures necessary. We demonstrate our results by showing time-lapse renderings of a complex scene illuminated by high-resolution, high dynamic range natural illumination environments.

Captured Light Probes

Hour

File

6:00

0600.rar (47MB)

7:00

0700.rar (160MB)

8:00

0800.rar (160MB)

9:00

0900.rar (153MB)

10:00

1000.rar (160MB)

11:00

1100.rar (136MB)

12:00

1200.rar (130MB)

13:00

1300.rar (130MB)

14:00

1400.rar (134MB)

15:00

1500.rar (141MB)

16:00

1600.rar (141MB)

17:00

1700.rar (171MB)

18:00

1800.rar (73MB)

Additional Resources

For capturing the sky we used a Canon EOS-1ds with a Sigma 8mm lens. To control the camera, we used the Canon Digital Camera SDK. This C library provides the ability to set camera settings such as F-stop and exposure time, release the shutter remotely, and download images via firewire or USB.

Downloads
AFRIGRAPH 2004 Paper(2.7MB)
HDR Lighting Capture of the Sky and Sun(7.5MB)
SIGGRAPH 2004 Poster Abstract(2MB)
SIGGRAPH 2004 Poster(4.3MB)
SIGGRAPH 2004 Video(30MB)