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Redcine-X Quick Tip: Unlock The Full Potential of HDRx

January 25th, 2013 / By Angelo Lorenzo / No Comments

So you’ve shot some HDRx footage with your RED camera, taken it into Redcine-X, and what do you notice? All you can do is blend the exposures together. That’s it? Well not quite.

Here is how it works:

  • Open Redcine-X and select your HDRx video clip
  • Set your HDR mode to “Magic Motion”. The blend slider value won’t matter
  • Create an export preset for OpenEXR. Choose compression and max simultaneous writes to suite your system and post pipeline
  • Export your OpenEXR sequence

Your HDRx video is now in a full 32-bit floating point file format, OpenEXR, capable of registering super whites (floating point values above 1.0) in 32-bit processing programs like Adobe After Effects.

Why go through the hassle? You may need the full 32-bit range for any number of reasons. If you’re rendering 3d objects into a scene, you may need the HDRx video’s full range to calculate reflections. You may simply want more control as to how the full range of the HDRx file is tone mapped. The first image below is straight from Redcine-X using the HDR blending slider while the second image is adjusted within After Effects using exposure and curves.

As you can see, the file adjusted in After Effects has a far better contrast response as well as more subtle detail in the background windows than the curve or lift/gamma/gain wheels can afford in Redcine-X.

You may ask “why can’t I just directly work with the R3D file in After Effects?”. In that case, After Effects uses RED’s processing engine which limits your access to the full 32-bit range.

Give it a try and if you’re feeling adventurous then batch process a few OpenEXR sequences through Photomatix for that unique tone mapped HDR look.

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