View Full Version : HRDI Reflective Lightprobe Spheres for Sale in UK?

04-22-2004, 05:43 AM
Anyone know where I can get hold of them in the uk?

I read someone had purchased a consignment, but his name escapes me.

Thanks all.

04-22-2004, 06:05 AM
Hi there,

If you don't want anything that's too big then just pop down to chinatown and buy some Healthy Balls. They are about 3.5cm in diameter and are highly polished.

they make a nice sound too!

If you want bigger then some of the gardening shops on the webb have large chrome spheres for sale. Check some past posts and you might find a link. I've lost mine as the hard disc in my ibook has gone to heaven.



04-22-2004, 12:26 PM
Thanks for that - I was planning a Noodle trip to Chinatown next week!

Top tip!

04-22-2004, 11:34 PM
Yup Steve we sell them (metal) 4" and 2" or in new money 10 cm or 5 cm in diameter. if you go to our web site and look under the products page you will find the full details. :)


04-23-2004, 01:55 AM
ah ha! So it was you who sold them!

Thanks for that - I'll be in touch.

BTW Do you do much probe stuff? Would be intersted in how far you go with it - number of exposures to work to, software you use to assemble final image, etc.

Are you mac based? I can't remember.


04-23-2004, 08:52 AM
Hi Steve to be honest we just started selling them after we found we were having the same problem as yourself in finding them in the UK. I think the price we finally found them on the net was something like 70.00 so we thought sod that! We will find a supplier of our own :) which we now have :D

I personally have not used them to capture HDRI exposures but have used them for IBL (Image Based Lighting) using HDRI Shop software and Lightgen plugin.

By doing this I found
1) the file created by HDRI shop is not directly readable by Lighhtgen althought you can open it in note pad resave it and then it is! Don't ask I don't really know why?

2) Although I would of though big is best for generating HDRI images you can keep them small for a IBL solution as it will crash HDRI shop out if they are too big (some good information on their web site BTW).

3) You will really have to play with the light intensity settings in HDRI shop to get a file that you can light your scene well in Lightwave (A lot of experimental work here :rolleyes: ) Once again this is with regards to IBL.

Finally HDRI
I think they recommend a good number of exposures across the range 8 to 10 or there abouts if you using a film camera or a very expensive digital this is an easy job as you just shoot alter the apperture shoot again and so on (just make sure you make a note of what settings the apperture was set at) and set the camera to manual settings otherwise it will auto correct either your shutter speed or apperture and you will end up with 8 or 10 perfectly exposed frames :D
Another trick if you have a lower budget digital camera is the following I found on the net take your first exposure which will be you main mid range spot on shot.

Then using photoshop
Duplicate your image layer for darkening set the mode to multiply and set the opacity to 38%. For lightening set the mode to screen at 38%.

The 38% is the setting for one stop so by doing the following you can get a number of exposures from your orginal single digital photo up and down the range for your images to import into HDRI shop. I have not tried this BTW so your on your own with this one :)

We are PC based BTW.

In the field so to speak we set the ball up on an old light stand (we just about get it to balance on top) and the camera on a tripod which we found works really well. We also use the camera on timer so we can clear out of the was as the exposure is made :)
Finally the balls we sell are metal so if you do get one watch you toes if you balance them on a lightstand, we worked this one out the hard way :D

04-23-2004, 09:16 AM
Once again, thanks for that.

I made a bad move going for a compact Camera (Fuji Fine Pix).

Likes to turn itself off every 30 seconds and reset focus! So I might have to dig up something more suitable.

Thanks for you time answering my questions.

05-07-2004, 04:46 AM
I have been searching for those balls for years. Chinese health shop aren't that common here and the health ball were much over priced at the one and only shop i found.

As an alternative solution i was using 2 methods. The first was the infamous christmas ball but the results were not good enough for hdri probes as thoses balls are too shiny and aren't perfectly spherical. The second alternative method was panoramic shooting with an apropriate tripod. I can assure you it takes tiiiiiime but the result aren't bad..

So finally after reading this post i made the move and commanded 2 lightprobe spheres from badlarma's paintbox site. They arrived today and i'm pretty happy with them. The big one (4') is large enough for outdoor shooting and i can't wait to try it.

Badlarma is doing a really good job for the community here.

By the way, thanks for the white gloves too ;)

05-07-2004, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by JeF
By the way, thanks for the white gloves too ;)

No problems! saves 5 mins of polishing every time you handle them which helps no end. Nothing worse than getting your image into the camera only to find you captured a very nice blury set of finger prints! :)
At 6 meagpixel that type of thing really stands out :rolleyes:
Glad to see you got them safe and sound Jef.

05-07-2004, 09:01 AM
I've used a chrome top lightbulb that I bought at an everything is $1 type of store. Only half of the bulb is chromed but you can only see half anyway. The part that screws into the base makes a good handle.

It has the same problems as the Christmas ball though.

Here's a link if you don't know what I'm talking about. I just googled 'light bulb chrome' so I don't know anything about this company.