I created a new plugin. It takes a series of bracked pictures and merges them one HDR exr file.
Main use would be for on set vfx shoots.
You just plant the camera, push the button, run away, wait (30 sec for all the pics, 1 min for the merge) and download the exr.
It measures the middle lighting situation and bases the other pictures of the bracket on that. It takes 2 stop increases. It tries to keep the iso as low as possible but also the exposure time, when exposure gets above 1 sec, it increases iso (until it runs out of iso and then increases exposure time again .)
This is so exciting! Really nice work @Kasper. It works exactly like you describe it. Your README is really clear and easy to use, thanks for putting in all the details.
Took bracketed pictures easily. Building the EXR file takes about one minute, like you state in the README, and the extra LED and audio clues make it nice and clear.
I can see all 11 jpg images
The EXR file is 160MB
One thing I noticed for people working on a Mac. If you like a GUI and were thinking it’s easier to use RICOH THETA File Transfer for Mac than adb, you’ll have troubles. The .exr file will not show up.
It may be more meaningful to test the file in Maya, Blender, or even Unity. I have only used the exr file from the plug-in in GIMP. If you have a nice scene that you used for the EXR file, please send it to me. Something outdoor with light and dark would be good. I’ll try out some of the lighting techniques tomorrow.
This plug-in is a massive improvement to the workflow.
If you want to try Blender, or Maya, check out these tutorials.
Currently, your camera must be in Developer Mode. This is free, but you must apply for the Ricoh Plug-in Partner Program.
You must have android platform-tools adb installed on your computer and it must be in your executable PATH.
download apk to your local computer
connect computer and THETA V with USB cable
adb install hdr-plugin.apk
using Vysor, set permissions
Use RICOH desktop app to set HDR4EXR as the default plug-in to boot
Usage from the README
How to use?
Start the plugin by holding down the mode button for 2 seconds. The little led will turn white. And the wifi logo will blink in Magenta.
Put the camera on chosen location (use a tripod, shooting handheld will lead to crappy pictures) and push photo button. You have 3 seconds to run away and hide, else you are in the picture. (Will probably increase this to 5 sec.)
The Wifi logo turns greens and the theta makes picture taking sounds. It takes 12 pictures (1 to measure lighting 11 brackets).
After the picture taking the wifi logo will turn blue. You can now move or pick up the camera. It is busy merging the pictures. This takes about a minute. When it is done it makes a sound and the wifi logo turn magenta again.
Connect camera to a computer to download the pictures.
I usually use nuke from the foundry for exr checking. You can get a non-commercial version (works up to HD) for free. See https://www.foundry.com Also Fusion (now part of davince resolve) is very good and free tool to check the pictures. Both are hardcore vfx compositing tools.
@jcasman the problem with the theta file viewer is that the device probably was still busy. As the names of the jpg’s also wasn’t their final names. I think if you check again now it all should look good.
Two things I ran into today.
after going through the whole process of creating 1 exr and then right after that creating another one (without restart or anything) I had some errors on the second run. So I will look into that.
I had some very bright exr’s when shooting in daylight (all my tested where done in the evening ) so right now I’m looking into doing some form of tonemapping to make the exr look a bit better. I will keep you posted.
I will also add some stuff to the readme on github. I will start the work on the tutorial about openCV soon.
Not sure about the THETA file viewer. It still does not show the .exr file, even after waiting. This is not critical, since I think adb is a better tool here anyway.
Just adding a comment that the .exr created by the plug-in appeared quite bright. The THETA was placed pretty close to a big bay window with lots of sunlight. To be clear, I’m not saying it needs to be changed. I’m just noticing what the .exr image looked like when I opened it up in GIMP.
We’ve started working on some intro documentation to help others get up and going. If a developer is already comfortable with installing an apk and using Vysor to set permissions, that’s great. I think it’s already very accessible, based on my own testing. But I’m hoping to extend it out to “power users” who don’t consider themselves developers but who are perfectly capable of taking 10-15 minutes to use adb and and Vysor and install an apk in their THETA for the first time and try it out. In VFX, I would think there are a fair amount of users like that.
We’ve forked your repo and have started building the documentation here:
It needs more work, but it’s a start. We are planning to do a PR so you can include the documentation in your repo if you want. Please expect that this week.
And! To make it even easier for people who don’t want to use adb and Vysor you should consider submitting it to the THETA Plug-in Store! Then even people without an unlocked THETA V can download it and install it easily and try it out.
I’ve done this a couple of times, it takes a couple rounds of submitting, I’d be willing to help, to take on a big chunk of the effort if you’re interested.
@FunN4Lo I can probably help. You have a THETA V? Since the apk is not in the Plug-in Store, it makes it slightly more complicated. But still do-able! First of all, you need to be able to put your THETA V in developer mode. Have you done this? If not
We’re talking to @Kasper about getting this up into the THETA Store, which is free to put in there. One potential issue is that there is no way to charge for the app. I’m not sure if he wants to charge a small fee or not.
One option could be to use something like Patreon to give people the option of making a small donation.
Again, I don’t know if he has a business model planned for this in the future. I’m just speculating.
Please post any problems you have with the installation here. As the plug-in is not in the store, the process is fairly tough. Once the plug-in is installed, it functions the same as a plug-in the store. Just put it into plug-in mode and press the shutter button.
Again, the developer has generously put this out as open source and we can all enjoy it. Thank you to @Kasper.
I’m just speculating on a future commercial version in the store because I think there is a market for it. I also think that selling it and getting small amounts of money is a good way to keep motivated to add features to the plug-in.
It’s a really great plug-in app and I think that people will use it. I’m sure they will want features. It’s a massive improvement to the workflow as you don’t need to bring out the mobile phone for each HDR scene.
Putting the app in the plugin store is a great idea. Definitly something we need to do. I don’t want any money or anything for it. Just want people to use it!
Only thing that is for now holding me back is that I am not 100% happy with the quality of the outputted merged HDR exr file. I’ve done a couple of test shots in bright daylight and the pixel values go way through the roof (2500 and even higher). Values above 1 are allowed but this is to much also considring that many of the pixels are this high. So I’ve been testing some solutions, mainly divinding all the pixels bij the mean value of the whole image. This works pretty well so far but I want to do a bit more testing. Also I have some indoor night shots with weird red values which I want to look at.
In the mean time I fixed the problem with doing a second pass without turning the camera off. That should be fixed and I merged that on github with the master branch.
Also I think adding a webinterface can be a great addition but maybe we should save that for version 2.