Let there be Dynamic Range (OpenEXR)

What is OpenEXR?

First a lil history lesson:-
Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away there were some VFX artists who lived in the ILMSPHERE planet. They were quite unhappy because of the limitations of 8bit and 10bit formats especially when storing high dynamic range images captured from HDR devices. They did have 32bit floating points TIFFs but they came at the cost of disk space and memory.
And so as the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” or as an old green dwarf with large ears had once said “Always in motion is the future”.
OpenEXR was born!

OpenEXR features :-
– support for both 32bit and 16-bit floating point
– arbitrary number of channels, each with a different data type
– supports several lossless compression methods
– can be annotated with an arbitrary number of attributes
– is able to support stereoscopic workflow

Some more detailed information can be found here (http://www.openexr.com/documentation.html)

Now lets come to why am i ranting about this.
After Effects CS5 ships with OpenEXR allowing for import of OpenEXR files directly (without the need of any plugins).

Even Photoshop allows OpenEXR import.

Stu Maschwitz talks of this workflow here (must read)

I will be posting a video later on using OpenEXR with After Effects CS5 and Maya.

Till then “May the force be with you”


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