Converting Theta Z1 360 HDRI to IBL for Flame?


I’ve got myself a Theta Z1 and I’ve got a job coming up where I’m gonna do most of the CG in Flame. I’ll be shooting bracketed 360 HDRI shots on the Theta Z1. So I’m just wondering about methods for converting the bracketed 360 shots in to a IBL for use in Flame? Any workflow recommendations much appreciated.

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PTGui Pro or Photoshop.

For this, since its all the same position, I’d just follow one of the kajillion tutorials out there for Photoshop.

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+1 for PTGui. It’s the GOAT for this kinda thing.


I use Affinity Photo to do it, mostly because it’s $50 and has a “merge to HDR” macro.

Then you export out an EXR and you’re done.

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On @finnjaeger’s recommendation I got the Authydra plugin for the Z1, it does all the merging and stitching onboard the Theta and saves an HDR exr file for you. Couldn’t be easier.

[edit] well, okay, it COULD be easier because the web interface for the plugin is a bit wonky, but paired with the Mac file transfer app that Ricoh puts out, it’s manageable. And free.

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I typically load the raw files in Lightroom, from there I’ll batch export to Ricoh Sticher and once that’s done, I’ll bring it into photoshop to merge it to HDR. … I know it’s not the perfect workflow but it’s been working fine for me… I’ve tried Authydra about a year ago… or even before that… (on a V even) but it wasn’t reliable enough back then. There are more HDR shooting plugins now I’ve noticed…

Here’s a nice thread: Create High Quality HDRI for VFX using RICOH THETA Z1 - #6 by craig - THETA Media - THETA 360 Developer

I was hoping to test this Burst-IBL-Shooter | RICOH THETA Plug-in Store but…

…Sadly… my Z1 bricked after the last firmware update… waiting for ricoh to get back to me…


for the Z1 I dont dven use authydra I just use the built in standard My+ setting with manual exposure settings.

Then I slap them into ptgui, it automatically seperates the raws into front and back cameras, can put out acesCG looks fine , works fine , is fast

Buy PTGUi, just do it. honestly you get proper ACES EXR files from it, its awesome !! just set everything to full floating point. (32bit)

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I’ve used Photomatix with some success. I’ve found that two stop increments give almost identical results to one stop increments, and is twice as fast to capture.

same for me.


I’m looking to use the z1 for HDRs but need to make it more user friendly for our dept

Do u recommend the z1 with authdrya?

What i really want is a way to preview/check we got the HDR shot ok ( before we move on) and the auto stitching is a definite bonus of course.


I have not tested authydra with the Z. only with the V. reading the beta there seemed to be alot of issues with authydra on the z1 and I dont see a need for it at all.

I dont know what could be easier than the My+ setting on the Z1. you just press the go button and wait u til its done, authydra takes too long of a time (at least on the V) to do the stiching, nobody on set is going to wait that ling before lights are moved anyhow.

And with my settinngs above you covered every possible lighting situation, lingest to shortest exposure.

@finnjaeger thanks mate good to know.

I’ll follow what u have above. We haven’t had a chance to touch it yet - is there a way to preview/confirm u got the shot ? Like on your tablet or phone.

We are nervous about not being able to check we got it before moving on

yea you can see all the shots in your phone immidiately but there isnt really a point in doing so. If you have used it a few times you will know to listen to the audio cues it gives out.

What would be a case where it would fail you? If its crucial to take good Hdris for the production spend aome time in getting to know the camera and have people train with it, its like very idiot proof.

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Ah good to know too - think we must have had some misinformation about it then.

Thanks for info I’m gonna get testing soon as I can

as long as nobody stands in front of lights and the camera is kept steady its fine,

Ill recomend the z1 lenscap that doubles as a stand and a small tripod, manfrotto and smallrig sell tiny ones, then I have a good sturdy monopod that goes up to like 1.8m and a tiny monopod for phones for medium heights.

I wish there would be a option to add a ND filter thats my only complain.


Also worth mentioning for any future Z1 users.
If you are going to be transferring onto a Macbook it will not actually mount like a drive.
It is only accessible via the Photo Shortcut, you can then drag and copy your files.

Personally, the internal memory card isn’t huge … so I like to do this immediately between each shot, sort/organize… delete from camera and move on.

Hi Finn

Am I right in thinking that I would need the pro version of PTGui?

Are these the options I would be looking for:

yes you want pro

I usually give the camera to the DIT/Wrangler and have him sort each bracket into a folder. normal “image capture” works fine no need to use the tetha transfer app, but yes thats all a bit annoying.