Creating HDRI used to be time consuming and require some special equipment, vfx person used to bring heavy ball bearings or big mirror ball on set, and no need to mention that aligning those balls with camera lens axis is nearly impossible, which means it usually ends up imperfect HDRI images produced. Although some expensive controlable platforms designed for DSLR can compensate such issue, making HDRI at much higher resolution, it is still not convinent to do such work. People use raspberry pi or Arduino with cheap camera part to emulate such expensive platform with DSLR, however because of the inaccurate motors drive the camera, the HDRIs were expected to be hard to stich in the post process.

Where as the situation like above is totally changed thanks to the popular VR market. There are many 360 cameras released to the market in the recent 2 years. They are very well manufactured, with usually 2 fish eye lenses back to back, the multiple lenses works simutanousely, and thus can shoot 360 sphere image at once. The manufactures were more insterested in making such product known by usual customers, and they tried to advertise the online social experience the product can bring. And for our fellow VFX/3D/Game personel, it is going to change the game.

There is currently only RICOH’s Theta S/SC product supports the Open 360 Camera API that google published, and the API is very well documented, even there’s the unofficial website. Although it has lower hardware specification than Samsung and Nikon 360 cameras, it is the only and the best option allowing 3rd party programmers to develop software, thus the best option for creating HDRI.

So I end up wrote the 360 HDR Bracket Tool, now the selling is beyond what I expected, since it is the first app I ever wrote for selling in the market. Thanks for all the nice customers purchased this, and I’ll keep update it. My app’s advantage is its simpliness to use and working algorithm behind the scene.

As the first tutorial on this app, here is the video on how to ensure one click getting bracket images.