SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > Classes > High-Dynamic-Range Imaging for Artists

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High-Dynamic-Range Imaging for Artists

8:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room 502 A
Level: Intermediate

Theme: SIGGRAPH Core

An introduction to and overview of the practical applications and uses of high-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI) from a production point of view. Topics include: What is HDRI, and why do we need it? How do you create, manipulate, troubleshoot, and use HDRI within the photography, motion picture, and broadcast industries? Current examples of how HDRI is used in the motion picture and broadcast industries will be shown and summarized to help attendees understand overall HDRI workflows and pipelines, including pre-production, production, and post-production techniques.

Familiarity with basic techniques in digital photography and/or with basic computer graphics modeling and rendering. Prior knowledge of HDRI techniques and terms, basic compositing knowledge, and familiarity with specific image-editing and 3D modeling and rendering packages are also helpful, but not required.

Kirt Witte
Savannah College of Art and Design

Christian Bloch
Eden FX

Hilmar Koch
Industrial Light & Magic

Zap Andersson
mental images GmbH

Gary M. Davis
Autodesk, Inc.

Instructor Information

Kirt Witte
Kirt Witte is a professional photographer and a professor of visual effects at the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, Georgia USA. He received his BS in photography in 1991 and his MFA in computer art in 2005. He has been shooting panoramic photography since 1992 as a member of the International VR Photography Association. He has been involved with HDRI since 2002 and has taught a course titled High Dynamic Range Imaging at Savannah College of Art and Design since 2005. In 2006, he won 1st Place (Abstract Category) in the International Color Photography Awards. He has worked in the advertising, web, and video game industries and continues to do freelance work in those areas. He is currently finishing production of his first photography book, The Other Savannah.
Kirt Witte, Savannah College of Art and Design

Christian Bloch
Christian Bloch is an acclaimed visual effects artist at Eden FX in Hollywood. His work can be seen in "StarTrek:Enterprise," "Smallville," "Invasion," "Lost," "24," and a growing number of movies and commercials. He has been a pioneer in the practical application of HDRI in post-production, specifically under the budgetary and time restraints of TV production. Years of research and development were devoted to his diploma thesis on HDRI, which was honored with the achievement award of the Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig. Since his thesis was published online in July 2004, it has been downloaded more than 15,000 times, and it has been established as the primary source of information on HDRI in Germany. The HDRI Handbook is the successor to his diploma thesis, rewritten completely in English and greatly expanded and updated. The German and French versions of the The HDRI Handbook are currently in production.

Hilmar Koch
Hilmar Koch, Computer Graphics Supervisor, joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1998 as a Senior Technical Director. He holds an undergraduate degree in arts from Columbia College Chicago and in mathematics from the Technische Universität München. Prior to joining ILM, he worked as a digital effects supervisor for Blue Sky Studios in New York. As a CG Supervisor, he specializes in rendering, computer lighting, digital effects, synthetic humans, and digital environments. He collaborates closely with various departments, including the CG artist group and the stage and model shop. He is a liaison within ILM, and in that role he helps to define the development plan for ILM's proprietary software.

Zap Andersson
Hakan "Zap" Andersson has been working as "Shader Wizard" at mental images since 2004 and is the author of numerous mental ray shaders, including the subsurface/skin shaders, the car-paint shader, and the architectural and production shader libraries. Prior to mental images, he worked at EMT, Genius CAD Software, and Autodesk, where he wrote software and designed user-friendly interfaces for advanced mechanical-design software, and authored two US patents. Originally educated as an electronic engineer, his passion for computer graphics led to his graduation-year "special project": an actual hand-built and hand-wired graphics card, for which he wrote his first ray tracer, a program that eventually evolved into his own rendering engine, RayTracker. Currently, he spends his days (and nights) writing shaders, documentation, and tutorials for mental ray; and presenting at user events and conferences; and maintaining a mental ray tips blog ( Occasionally, he also makes short, experimental visual-effects movies and produces music.

Gary M. Davis
Gary M. Davis began his career after receiving a BFA in computer graphics from Bowling Green State University in 1992. Since then, he has been heavily involved in visual effects and motion graphics for numerous clients in television, film, video games, and architectural visualization projects. After spending nearly six years developing ride films and digital photography systems for themed entertainment venues, at the turn of the millennium he formed visualZ, LLC. From 2004-2007, he served as the only independent, worldwide certified training specialist for 3ds Max, Combustion, and Toxxik. During this time, he also authored The Focal Easy Guide to Combustion. At SIGGRAPH 2007, he was awarded the title of Autodesk 3ds Max Master 2007. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Media and Entertainment Division of Autodesk as specialist for 3D animation and compositing software solutions. He maintains visualZ as a consulting and training boutique in Orlando, Florida USA.