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Development of a Tool to Create HDRI-Environments used for Rendering

Do, Therese LU (2016) MMK820 20161
Product Development
Abstract
This thesis aimed to develop and create a tool for 3D-artists at Sony Mobile Communications to improve and simplify the work when rendering new materials for their new products. The tool consists of a new product that would capture images for a panorama, where the images would contain a lot of light information, resulting in high dynamic range (HDR) files. This would be done by using the camera of the company’s own product, a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, and a method to assemble the images to create the environment with the 3D software Maya.

The thesis work has followed the product development method created by Ulrich and Eppinger and started with research on photography, 3D-visualisation and rendering. Since there was no existing product to... (More)
This thesis aimed to develop and create a tool for 3D-artists at Sony Mobile Communications to improve and simplify the work when rendering new materials for their new products. The tool consists of a new product that would capture images for a panorama, where the images would contain a lot of light information, resulting in high dynamic range (HDR) files. This would be done by using the camera of the company’s own product, a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, and a method to assemble the images to create the environment with the 3D software Maya.

The thesis work has followed the product development method created by Ulrich and Eppinger and started with research on photography, 3D-visualisation and rendering. Since there was no existing product to compare with, benchmarking had to be done with other types of products that could implement the same usage of this new product with some modifications. The benchmarking resulted in purchasing an existing 360° camera modified with custom applications which made it possible to create the desired HDRI-environment for rendering. This modified product laid the foundation of the identification of the customer needs since it could be used as a reference at interviews.

Concepts were generated in different stages and the problem was broken down in to partial problems. In the end, a complete concept customized for rapid prototyping was developed and could then be manufactured. Wiring diagrams were designed and the product could be assembled. This part of the work was an iterative process that had to be re-made several times before all components were fitting and the product was complete.

The final product was tested out at the office at Sony where a user/employee had to use the product in its environment with the right surroundings. The product managed to capture the photos without any assistance of the user and the post-processing tools created a HDRI-panorama which was used as a lighting environment in the rendering program Maya. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Recreating the looks of physical material samples to digital images can be tricky, since the samples can be perceived differently in different lightings. A piece of white plastic might have a yellow tone if lit by the evening sun, while it will look more blue under a cold fluorescent light. How can 3D artists at Sony Mobile Communications make sure that their digital representations of material samples are correct, regardless of the light in the office that day? And is it possible to solve the problem with their own product, a Sony XperiaTM Z5 Compact?
For many companies today, a lot of their product images, like ads, on their webpage or in magazines, are no longer staged and photographed in the same expensive way they used to. At Sony... (More)
Recreating the looks of physical material samples to digital images can be tricky, since the samples can be perceived differently in different lightings. A piece of white plastic might have a yellow tone if lit by the evening sun, while it will look more blue under a cold fluorescent light. How can 3D artists at Sony Mobile Communications make sure that their digital representations of material samples are correct, regardless of the light in the office that day? And is it possible to solve the problem with their own product, a Sony XperiaTM Z5 Compact?
For many companies today, a lot of their product images, like ads, on their webpage or in magazines, are no longer staged and photographed in the same expensive way they used to. At Sony Mobile Communications, some images are now digitally created and rendered from 3D models of the products into photorealistic images. In the process of creating these images, a team of 3D artists receives a material sample from the color and material designers and tries to recreate it digitally in a 3D software. The material sample is a representation of the intended look of a part of a new product, for example the button on a future mobile phone and the 3D artist will use only their own visual measurements to make sure they both look the same. This task can be difficult and time consuming, since the material sample will be perceived differently in different lightings at the office. How can the 3D artists make sure that the digital representation of the material is actually correct?

This master thesis worked on creating a digital representation of the present lightning in the office where the material sample is looked at. The digital lighting environment would be used to light the digital model in the 3D software, like Maya, with the created material on its surfaces. This meant that it wouldn’t matter what kind of light there was in the office since the light would be the same in the digital environment and the material could be matched perfectly.

To create this digital lighting environment, it was necessary to capture images of the whole office environment, since it is actually everything around the material sample that is lighting it and not only the lamps or windows. The images also needed to contain a lot of light information, which was obtained by capturing different exposure values and not just single JPEG-images. This would be done by using the camera of a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, so multiple images had to be taken to cover the entire scene. All of these steps were supposed to be an autonomous process, where the user only needed to press a button and the process would take care of itself, since this process had to be done every time the light changed in the office, which it does from day to day.

A motorized stand for the phone was designed, where the stand would hold the phone, rotate it and make it capture images in different directions with different exposure values, by just a press of the button. The model was 3D-printed and the electronic components were installed and programmed and it resulted in a fully functional product. The new tool was tested at the office where the 3D artists could use it and light their models in the 3D software. The images created with the product were then transferred into their work computers where they were stitched and merged into a functional lighting environment.

This environment could now light a model of a mobile phone and its material, while the 3D artist could compare the model with a real reference phone in his hand. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Do, Therese LU
supervisor
organization
course
MMK820 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Image based lighting, HDRI-environments, Photography, Product development, Rapid Prototyping
language
English
id
8887249
date added to LUP
2016-07-15 11:19:34
date last changed
2016-10-19 13:10:26
@misc{8887249,
  abstract     = {This thesis aimed to develop and create a tool for 3D-artists at Sony Mobile Communications to improve and simplify the work when rendering new materials for their new products. The tool consists of a new product that would capture images for a panorama, where the images would contain a lot of light information, resulting in high dynamic range (HDR) files. This would be done by using the camera of the company’s own product, a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, and a method to assemble the images to create the environment with the 3D software Maya.

The thesis work has followed the product development method created by Ulrich and Eppinger and started with research on photography, 3D-visualisation and rendering. Since there was no existing product to compare with, benchmarking had to be done with other types of products that could implement the same usage of this new product with some modifications. The benchmarking resulted in purchasing an existing 360° camera modified with custom applications which made it possible to create the desired HDRI-environment for rendering. This modified product laid the foundation of the identification of the customer needs since it could be used as a reference at interviews.

Concepts were generated in different stages and the problem was broken down in to partial problems. In the end, a complete concept customized for rapid prototyping was developed and could then be manufactured. Wiring diagrams were designed and the product could be assembled. This part of the work was an iterative process that had to be re-made several times before all components were fitting and the product was complete.

The final product was tested out at the office at Sony where a user/employee had to use the product in its environment with the right surroundings. The product managed to capture the photos without any assistance of the user and the post-processing tools created a HDRI-panorama which was used as a lighting environment in the rendering program Maya.},
  author       = {Do, Therese},
  keyword      = {Image based lighting,HDRI-environments,Photography,Product development,Rapid Prototyping},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Development of a Tool to Create HDRI-Environments used for Rendering},
  year         = {2016},
}