My Ricoh Theta spherical panorama camera makes equirectangular images of its environment. It also allows exposure bracketing, albeit with a twist: The geometry in the images does not overlap 100%, because the camera’s built-in stitching algorithm introduces local distortions which vary depending on exposure. But that should be a minor issue. So:
What tools / workflows can I use to create
.hdr files from a set of exposure bracketed equirectangular images?
Hugin documentation gives a list of tools for creating
.hdr files.They mention Photoshop, Photomatix, FDRTools, and pfstools.
Photomatix offers export to
.hdr if one checks “Show 32-bit unprocessed image” upon loading bracketed photos. However, with Photomatix 5.0, I had the problem that one HDRI turned out very dark.
What follows is my workflow, which resulted from the discussion in this thread.
Create a series of exposure bracketed images, for example using my app Theta Control.
Download the images from the camera, and create a backup: The original images will be edited.
Using exiftool on the command line, give all images the same orientation meta data:
>exiftool -overwrite_original -tagsFromFile R0010030.jpg -MakerNotes *.jpg
This step is necessary because the Theta, even when sitting still on a tripod, does not always record the same orientation information.
Open every image in the Theta desktop app and export it with top/bottom correction.
Load the corrected images into FDRTools Basic 2.6. Save to
.hdr. Optionally, create a tone-mapped preview JPEG.
.hdrfile in IrfanView 4, to check brightness.