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Warwick showcases video technology that's as clever as the human eye

20 January 2011

A trailer showing scenes from the first ever movie shot using High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology was shown this week at Warwick University’s WMG Digital Laboratory.

More than 100 visitors watched the clip and other compelling HDR footage, which was created using the world’s first HDR video camera. This device is capable of filming real life scenes as the human eye might see them, minimising flaws caused by dark shadow or ultra-bright sunlight.

Researchers at the Digital Lab are working with a firm based in Leamington Spa, Entanglement Productions, to produce the short film, called Delivery Boy, which will be used to showcase the technology.

Alan Chalmers, of WMG’s Visualisation Research Group, explained the advantages of HDR video and how his research, funded by the EPSRC, is developing software that can compress the huge amounts of data produced by the camera to make viewing possible.

“If the human eye can see something, HDR technology can capture, store, transmit and display the same visual experience, with no extra lighting required,” he explained.

The technology could make a huge difference to the way ‘live’ events such as sport or news broadcasts can be filmed and it could also have applications that reach beyond the home entertainment market. Hospital operations, filmed for training purposes, for example, can show procedures with amazing clarity. Security surveillance activities could also benefit from the heightened visual effects.

Visitors to the Digital Lab event were also able to see the camera, developed by SpheronVR, in action, and to quiz researchers on technical issues, as well as on the benefits of, and barriers to, bringing HDR technology to market.

Warwick Ventures is working with Professor Chalmers to commercialise the all-important compression technology through a spinout company called goHDR. The success of this technology, Professor Chalmers believes, will lead to HDR being widely adopted within five years.

Further information:
Dr. Ederyn Williams
Business Development Manager
Warwick Ventures Ltd.
44 (0) 2476 575580