Thread: Have we forgotten about HDRx?

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  1. #1 Have we forgotten about HDRx? 
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    When HDRx was first unveiled, it was mind-blowing. Remember the shot of the guy walking from the hot desert sun into the unlit garage? As dynamic range improved, it seems that it has gotten less attention, and is perhaps less necessary than it might have been years ago. It didn’t even occur to me to test HDRx on my Gemini until a few days ago.

    There is a dearth of discussion about HDRx here on REDuser. I was curious about what options exist in Final Cut Pro for blending the two tracks. (Answer: none?) Even the documentation is wrong: HDRx is now hidden and enabled by default? I don’t think so. In any case, with the latest sensors, it doesn’t feel like there’s much interest anymore.

    I tested it with hot sunlight on white houses, and yeah it worked. But with certain kinds of motion blur, blending the two tracks doesn’t seem feasible. Monitoring is perhaps another issue. I felt like I should expose over what I normally would to bring out the shadows, knowing that the X track would have highlights covered. Granted, this was just a quick test, but it didn’t feel like I was getting to the truth of what the image would eventually be.

    I could see HDRx being a lifesaver in extreme situations, but for Gemini users in particular, I’m curious to hear if anyone has found it to be useful in a real-world setting.
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  2. #2  
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    I shot HDRX when I was in situations I couldn't control just to have the extra range, but never ever had to use it. Post was always able to work with what the camera had captured on one track. And that was from MX chip to Dragon. Now on Gemini and haven't even thought about it in a couple years.

    Nick
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  3. #3  
    Yes it needs to be quite intense lighting situations to make sense to turn it on. But I used it quite bit. When tilting / panning towards the sun and such and light really drastically change. Or when fiddling with explosives and not knowing how high exposure will be until after the fact. It was really useful when sitting for a few days in a pitch black studio in france shooting fire crackers and such things against black as vfx laters without it I think half the takes would have been spoiled.

    The trick with most people miss is that you really need to set your a track with a overexposure. Proceed like:

    1. open up camera one stop at the time until one of the stoplights goes on. open up for example 2 more stops.
    2. turn on HDRx and set it to 3 stops.

    Now the DR of the two tracks have one stop overlay and is extended by two stops.

    If you dont overexpose the A track then dont bother it only eats your bandwidth and does not give you any thing positive.
    Björn Benckert
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  4. #4  
    I had a recent shoot in a foundry where they were pouring liquid metal. Extreme Dynamic Range. I totally forgot about the HDRx mode while shooting but will definitely be using it next time because I had some highlights clip on a few shots.

    Framegrabs courtesy of Mammoth HD (bottom of page):

    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...moth-HD/page18
    Sterling Williams

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  5. #5  
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    With 8K we haven't had as much extra bandwidth to play with. It's not possible with Epic-W unless you go with a smaller frame and with DSMC2 you have to choose a much higher compression ratio. I think that's why you haven't heard people talking about it.
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  6. #6  
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    I rarely use it, but when I do, boy oh boy, am I ever thankful it's there! I can't imagine shooting an entire project with it though (the motion artifacts must eventually cause you trouble, I'm sure). But for those one-off "oh crap" shots, it's like having "get outta jail free" card in your back pocket.

    Plus in a lot of cases (Dragon, and definitely IPP2 onward), I think the roll-off got noticeably nicer, so people just tend to let things blow-out nowadays (since it looks acceptable, rather than a gross hard clip). Hell, I can't even remember the last time I had to replace a sky... do people even do that any more? (yes, jokes).
    Last edited by Mike P.; 02-03-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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  7. #7  
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    There was a hot minute where HDRx was going to removed from the cameras from about DSMC2 Dragon on, however, it's an incredibly useful tool for those times where you need it or even times where it's worth exploring for a shot.

    Famously it was used conservatively on some of the earlier Netflix productions to hold windows within exposure. In my OG DSMC Field Ops Guide I outline how I've used it in particular for timelapsers work where scene lighting can change greatly over an expanse of time. In 2014/2015 I used it on many 8-12 hour timelapsers shots for instance.

    For most daily shooting needs it goes untouched and ignored, but on the day you need it, having HDRx there allows you to do even more with the camera you have. Though it's a bit more hidden in the menu system these days.

    I suggested to the RED Team a bit ago to just toss it under the Recording Menu, likely with a separate Tab as that makes sense :) Similar to the suggestion of having a Key Map for toggling the HDRx exposures between A + B Tracks so you can actually see what's going on properly. That's been there for a while now.
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  8. #8  
    I used HDRx way back when the Epic first came back, but there was no way for post to track which shots used it and which didn't -- in the end, they just didn't bother looking for the B side of the exposure. Did Red ever create a way for that metadata to track all the way through dailies and editorial?
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Audy Erel's Avatar
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    I was so excited when I first got my RED and HDRX feels like magic, used some in a short film and corporate projects where bright windows were present. Here's my first test video of the magic, so much fun owning this camera really:
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  10. #10  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Mullen ASC View Post
    I used HDRx way back when the Epic first came back, but there was no way for post to track which shots used it and which didn't -- in the end, they just didn't bother looking for the B side of the exposure. Did Red ever create a way for that metadata to track all the way through dailies and editorial?
    Yes sir indeed. I think all 3rd party applications support through the SDK, certainly since back then. It's also all metadata as well and trackable easily. Any decent post house should really have an issue if the know what is going on
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