If you watched our Colours Special live webcast, one of the takeaways was that brightness has been one of the main limitations of display technology for some time. It severely limits accurate representation of intensity variations in saturated colours and is one of the main reasons why we can tell the difference between a display and reality.
With the introduction of HDR display technology, this is finally changing!
HDR support in Capture 2022
With Capture 2022 we will be introducing support for HDR in live visualisation. Using the latest dynamic tone mapping from ACES, Capture automatically adjusts the HDR experience to the maximum brightness of your display. On macOS, Capture 2022 will also support rendering movie snapshots in HDR.
The following movie snapshot was rendered in 4K Rec.2100 HLG using Capture 2022 on macOS.
In order to enjoy the full effect of HDR, an HDR capable device is required. If you have this, YouTube should indicate a video quality of HDR (rather than for instance 4K or HD). On a mobile device you may need to view the video directly in the YouTube app. Both AirPlay and Chromecast support HDR, making it possible to send 4K HDR content to a TV.
Note that the HLG transfer function limits the intensity to 1000 nits and some devices are fitted with more capable displays. In these cases the live visualisation in Capture will be even more vivid than what's seen in this demo. For example, devices fitted with Apple's Liquid Retina XDR display have a peak brightness of 1600 nits.
Project, Location and Light design: Steve Gray, who is happily divorced and living in North Italy, and known on Facebook as Teddy Brown. He used a mix of Capture 2020/2021, Blender 2.91, Progecad 2019 and Avolites Titan v15.
More about HDR
High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the technique of storing pixel data in a way that can represent a larger range of values, typically used either to increase precision (think RAW camera footage) and/or handle a larger range of intensities. In the context of display technology, HDR enables video content with regions of higher brightness without the introduction of colour banding. So far displays used to reach a maximum brightness of around 200-300 nits. HDR displays are pushing the envelope, going up to ten times as bright.
HDR is amazing news for lighting visualisation as it can increase the sense of realism in many ways:
- Contrasts between dark and bright lighting come to life.
- Intensity variations in saturated colours are preserved better.
- Specular reflections appear truly bright and preserve colour better.
- Crowd blinding effects can be experienced on screen.