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View Full Version : which HDR software ?



Rooz
09-18-2008, 03:10 AM
can you guys pls recommend me what HDR software to use. i'm gonna try and do this HDR thing now.

Visual Reality
09-18-2008, 03:48 AM
Tried all of the popular ones - Photomatix Pro 3, Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, PS CS3.

In terms of quality of the final image, including sharp alignment it's PS CS3 hands down for me. I think I'd rank them in order of price, from most expensive being the best to least...

Nothing beat's CS3's alignment. Nothing. I can snap 5 shots handheld and have it come out looking like I took a single picture on a tripod, but with ridiculous DR.

PSP did a decent job for the money though - better than Photomatix plus its a full featured program on its own.

Rooz
09-18-2008, 03:52 AM
i have CS3 and when i click on create HDR, it says pick the photos, so i pick em and it click ok but then it does nothing. what do you think the issue is ?

jsnail
09-18-2008, 04:37 AM
I have Photomax and CS3. I've discovered that Photomax leaves a lot to be desired regarding the alignment of handheld shots (I REALLY need to get at tripod...). However I like how tweakable the resulting images are. CS3, on the other hand, does tend to align the images with much greater accuracy but the resulting images (right off the bat) tend to have less depth and contrast. Plus I've not found where you can really control the hdr output on cs3.

I always try Photomax first. If it aligns properly then I will process it using the tone mapping feature and finally open it in CS3 to do any final tweaking, if needed.

If Photomax does not produce and if I'm not happy with CS3's interpretation, then I usually find myself combining layers and selectively masking what I want/don't want.

Rooz
09-18-2008, 04:46 AM
i just noticed photomatix is 99USD...wow. thats pricey.

herc182
09-18-2008, 04:57 AM
aint been here in a while..been well busy. But i had to dip in here.

I would recommend Corel Photoshop X2 is the most realistic software out there. I think CS3 requires WAY too much work, and photomatix takes a lot of effort to make it look realistic instead of cartoony.

Corel paint shop pro looks realistic and less fake straight away (and far easier to use)

Dread Pirate Roberts
09-18-2008, 05:48 AM
i have CS3 and when i click on create HDR, it says pick the photos, so i pick em and it click ok but then it does nothing. what do you think the issue is ?

Do you select jpg's, raw or tiff's. I could only get PS to work on jpg's. On the old computer after clicking walk away and make a coffee before you expect to see anything happen. On the new one give it 30 secs or so.

What I can't do is alter the output that PS HDR creates on full auto. I can't alter the histogram on anything over 16 bit files from memory.

achuang
09-18-2008, 05:56 AM
From the times I've tried doing HDR in PS CS3 I can choose either raw or jpeg files and they work fine, although the raws do take a bit longer.

Rooz
09-18-2008, 05:58 AM
i just realised it wont open any NEF files. where do i get the update for it ?

achuang
09-18-2008, 06:04 AM
I'm hoping this is it, but I don't know if the Camera Raw update has any effect on it. http://www.adobe.com/downloads/

josef
09-18-2008, 06:09 AM
can you guys pls recommend me what HDR software to use. i'm gonna try and do this HDR thing now.
good timing.. i just took my first bracketed sequences last night.. I'm looking into getting photomatix..

$99 is a little steep.. you might try this if you're interested.

"Get 15% off the Photomatix program (reg. $99) just by entering “beforethecoffee” in the coupon code box of the Photomatix purchase page."
http://beforethecoffee.wordpress.com/photomatix-tutorial/

you can always try it for free and see if you like it.

also, if I owned CS2 or CS3, I would try that but I have an older version of photoshop.. =(

Turo
09-18-2008, 08:20 AM
I have tried Photomaitx and CS3 and I do like CS3 best overall. I have the trial version of photomatix and it has a lot of ways to control the HDR (good if you are going for the cartoony/exaggerated look), but for the $100 USD I'd rather put that money towards photoshop (my next big purchase, I can get it with an academic discount for $300 USD).

THANG0359
09-18-2008, 10:29 AM
I use photomatix to merge the different exposured shots and then save and open up the processed image with cs3 to apply curve adjustments, and saturation, and levels and then on top of that use the lucis art plug-in for cs3 which allows you to add the wyeth affect to the processed HDR image to give it a more dynamic look.

Rasidel Slika
09-18-2008, 10:35 AM
I've only used Photomatix, I like it a lot.

500mL
09-18-2008, 11:36 AM
How do you take photos in HDR using the D80? I've read that bracketing is used and changing the EV within the camera, but it only produces 3 images. I was told using at least 5 images can show more detail in HDR. What is the simplest, fastest way to do it?

Rasidel Slika
09-18-2008, 11:53 AM
simplest fastest way to do it is single-shot RAW. :) 1 photo.

check my Chicago thread (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40749) for lots of samples.

but I won't say this is the best way to do it. but it sure is easy. :)

XaiLo
09-18-2008, 11:58 AM
Rooz, I use Photomatrix and tweak in ACR and photoshop!

500ml, not true most of my HDR images if not all were from a single jpg. Plus I've found more does not usually mean better results. I usually create two over and two under.

Rasidel Slika
09-18-2008, 11:59 AM
500ml, not true most of my HDR images if not all were from a single jpg. Plus I've found more does not usually mean better results. I usually create two over and two under.
how do you handle noise?

XaiLo
09-18-2008, 12:12 PM
It's been a while delobbo but I do't recall any real issues with noise. OK I just checked three I printed about a year ago no noise problems.

In general I don't worry about noise too much. I deal with it more for web prints than I do for standard prints. But if it's bad profile in noise ninja or more than likely handle it manually.

500mL
09-18-2008, 12:43 PM
simplest fastest way to do it is single-shot RAW. :) 1 photo.

check my Chicago thread (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40749) for lots of samples.

but I won't say this is the best way to do it. but it sure is easy. :)

delobbo,

Your Chicago stream is awesome. But how exactly do you work with just one RAW file? Can you break it down for me if you don't mind? :D I'd love to stab at it again and see if I can actually do HDRs.

Visual Reality
09-18-2008, 03:29 PM
I have Photomax and CS3. I've discovered that Photomax leaves a lot to be desired regarding the alignment of handheld shots (I REALLY need to get at tripod...). However I like how tweakable the resulting images are. CS3, on the other hand, does tend to align the images with much greater accuracy but the resulting images (right off the bat) tend to have less depth and contrast. Plus I've not found where you can really control the hdr output on cs3.

I always try Photomax first. If it aligns properly then I will process it using the tone mapping feature and finally open it in CS3 to do any final tweaking, if needed.

If Photomax does not produce and if I'm not happy with CS3's interpretation, then I usually find myself combining layers and selectively masking what I want/don't want.
Photomatix sucks for alignment. I don't understand why you would only use it for its alignment and tonemapping, then export to CS3. If you already have CS3 then why not use it? It gives superior results and its not that hard once you get the hang of it. The image it gives you is very dull yes, but crank up the saturation and add a bit of contrast and it will pop to life.


I use photomatix to merge the different exposured shots and then save and open up the processed image with cs3 to apply curve adjustments, and saturation, and levels and then on top of that use the lucis art plug-in for cs3 which allows you to add the wyeth affect to the processed HDR image to give it a more dynamic look.
Why bother? If you already have CS3, use it! Your images will come out much sharper than letting Photomatix have a whack at it...


How do you take photos in HDR using the D80? I've read that bracketing is used and changing the EV within the camera, but it only produces 3 images. I was told using at least 5 images can show more detail in HDR. What is the simplest, fastest way to do it?
D70/80/90 are limited to a 3-image bracket. D200/300 can do up to 9. It is software limited, because Nikon wants it that way ;)


simplest fastest way to do it is single-shot RAW. :) 1 photo.

check my Chicago thread (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40749) for lots of samples.

but I won't say this is the best way to do it. but it sure is easy. :)
1 shot cannot by definition produce a real "HDR" image since the idea is to combine multiple exposures to achieve a higher dynamic range than the sensor can take in in 1 exposure. What you are doing may be "maximizing" the DR of the image you took, but it does not get you a true HDR image since you are still only working with what the image sensor gave you to work with.

It's been a while delobbo but I do't recall any real issues with noise. OK I just checked three I printed about a year ago no noise problems.

In general I don't worry about noise too much. I deal with it more for web prints than I do for standard prints. But if it's bad profile in noise ninja or more than likely handle it manually.
Just FYI:

Photoshop CS3 HDR Merge usually reduces noise.
Photomatix HDR Merge usually increases noise.

Rasidel Slika
09-18-2008, 04:59 PM
delobbo,

Your Chicago stream is awesome. But how exactly do you work with just one RAW file? Can you break it down for me if you don't mind? :D I'd love to stab at it again and see if I can actually do HDRs.
hey - first of all, thanks. To work with one RAW file, I just open it directly in Photomatix, just the single file. It converts it to a "pseudo-HDR", then I go into tonemapping, etc. Save the file, do more processing in PSPXI or CS3.


1 shot cannot by definition produce a real "HDR" image since the idea is to combine multiple exposures to achieve a higher dynamic range than the sensor can take in in 1 exposure. What you are doing may be "maximizing" the DR of the image you took, but it does not get you a true HDR image since you are still only working with what the image sensor gave you to work with.
call it pseudo-HDR then. :)

fionndruinne
09-18-2008, 06:30 PM
I use Photomatix trial right now, and usually just go for single raw shot conversions. But you do get more noise that way when recovering detail from underexposed parts.

Rasidel Slika
09-18-2008, 07:38 PM
def gonna try it in CS3, thanks for the tips!

josef
09-18-2008, 08:26 PM
thanks for the great info VR!!