Join David Andrade for an in-depth discussion in this video Filmic and HDR in Blender, part of Blender: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.
- [Instructor] In today's Blender's Tips, Tricks, and Techniques, we're going to be going over a new feature to Blender. It's called Filmic and it's going to change completely how you approach lighting. Written by Troy Sobotka, filmic-blender is a way of changing how Blender perceives color and light inside of a render. Now, traditionally we've always looked at rendering inside of Blender through an sRGB transform. That was written for monitors like CRT's back in the 90s.
Yet it is kind of the standard that we use now, but it's got a really big down side. CRT monitors. As you can see here, we're using the display device sRGB and we're transforming it using the default, well, sRGB. The down side to this is everything kind of looks, well, blown out. Look at this desk in front of us, for example, it's all completely white, this floor is pretty white. Sure, we get a little definition under here where it gets pretty dark.
But everything that's getting hit directly by the sun is, well, just impossible to see, it's just completely white. Now, in the past, someone would tell you, well, you can just lower your exposure or you potentially could lower the power of the sun lamp. There's a lot of things you could've done to really get more definition to the scene. But it's missing the point. Here, let me show you. In the past, Blender would say a light has an intensity of zero to, say, one.
But let's say you had two lights on top of each other, both of an intensity of one. Blender would say, hey, that's white, and be done with it. But what if those two lights were on top of each other pointing to the same wall? In reality, the intensity of light on that wall could be, say, two or three or higher, depending on how many other lights are affecting it. In reality, lighting can have an almost infinite value of intensity. But Blender would just cut everything right off at one, for the most part.
The down side is that you end up getting images that look a lot like this, which really have more definition beyond them. That's were Filmic comes into play. Using Filmic, what Blender ends up doing is saying that these infinite values are going to be about one on your display device, like your monitor, and these values that are zero are going to line up to zero, but it's going to take the rest of these values, which, by the way, is infinite, and add a slight gradation to them. And for the dark, dark values, which would otherwise get crushed, it's actually going to raise them just a little bit.
This way, when you look at an image inside of Blender using Filmic, you're actually going to get the full range of brightness. Let's take a look. So here I am back in my scene, and if I go to Render, View, Default, and I click on Filmic, you can see instantly what changes. Down here at the bottom, you can see more definition of the wood, tiny little grains suddenly appear. This desk, although really bright, suddenly actually looks, well, like a wooden desk, including the one over here.
Filmic gives you this high dynamic range for free, and in fact, it's included in Blender starting in 2017 and later. I highly recommend you explore Filmic as it will completely change the way you approach lighting and rendering inside of Blender. But the definition and range that you get out of your images, is absolutely worth it.