so as some of you may have noticed i've been doing a lot of work with HDR/HDRI tech to enhance the look and feel of my 3d renders. for those of you that are un-familiar with HDR/HDRI tech, here's a brief description. In computer graphics and cinematography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures (i.e a large difference between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows.
HDRI was originally developed for use with purely computer-generated images. Later, methods were developed to produce a HDR image from a set of photos taken with a range of exposures. With the rising popularity of digital cameras and easy to use desktop software, many amateur photographers have used HDRI methods to create photos of scenes with a high dynamic range. However, HDRI has many other applications and "HDRI" should not be mistaken for just this use.
When preparing for display, a high dynamic range image is often tone mapped and combined with several full screen effects.
I have been working with HDR/HDRI for a good while now and i can honestly say that I am a lot better at it than i once was. It just takes some getting used to re-arranging the maps properly .
I will update when I learn more about what can be done with hdr/hdri maps.