Effects house The Mill has bought a Spherocam HDR, a camera that captures spherical 360-degree high dynamic range (HDR) images to help create virtual 3D environments.

Developed by German company Spheron VR, the camera works by capturing a real world scene as a full spherical 360-degree image, recording the luminosity values of dark and light accurately enough that they can then be used to help create a virtual world.

The technology assists 3D artists with image based lighting, an essential part of the 3D process that, according to Peter Taylor business development manager for Spheron's CGI department Intruvision, had previously been an ‘arduous and manual job'.

Key technical features of the product include 26 f-stops of dynamic range in a scan, 50 megapixels resolution and an automated post processing engine.

The camera also allows 3D artists to build environments from scratch using luminosity values recorded by the camera in real-world circumstances.

Taylor describes the technology as bridging the gap between the real and virtual world.

Jordi Bares, joint head of 3D at The Mill, said "The Mill has
invested in the SpheroCam HDR to further improve the output of our
work by bringing the latest photographic technology to our projects,
which will benefit on all aspects of lighting."

Intruvision also supplies products to the games, entertainment, architecture and automotive markets.