• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

HDR, just ain't workin' for me...

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Hi,

I'm trying to work out HDR in conjunction with the use of my 8mm fisheye used for virtual tours. You can't of course use a polarizer or ND grad with this lens.

I tried today in my apartment, exposure for the room, exposure for outside and one in the middle. I've been working on it all day, tried with CS5, tried with Photomatix. Nothing comes close to holding the detail outside the window unless I paint it back in by hand which will take forever.

If anyone can point me in the right direction of how to hold highlights like that in this kind of situation I'd most appreciate it, I know it's a tough subject but it's got me tearing my hair out..

Thanks folks!
 
Hi,

I'm trying to work out HDR in conjunction with the use of my 8mm fisheye used for virtual tours. You can't of course use a polarizer or ND grad with this lens.

I tried today in my apartment, exposure for the room, exposure for outside and one in the middle. I've been working on it all day, tried with CS5, tried with Photomatix. Nothing comes close to holding the detail outside the window unless I paint it back in by hand which will take forever.

If anyone can point me in the right direction of how to hold highlights like that in this kind of situation I'd most appreciate it, I know it's a tough subject but it's got me tearing my hair out..
Hi Ben,

Have you tried Exposure fusion in Photomatix, instead of HDR? Depending on the scene dynamic range, you may need more brackets. Also, the outside image should still look relatively bright in the composited image, otherwise it will not look natural.

I don't recall wether you are on a Mac or Windows platform., When you are on the latter, I suggest you check out SNS-HDR, because you are obviously going for natural looking renderings. If on a Mac you could try a Mac version of Enfuse, I believe it's called Bracketeer.

Remember, the images that these products produce, don't necessarily have to be the final product, it could be a first step before Photoshoppiing it into submission ;)

Cheers,
Bart
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Hi, I was indeed trying exposure fusion. The pictures I see online and in magazines from architectural type shoots have the rooms shot as normal and the window also as normal and the two transposed. I suppose I'm trying to go for the same look. Far closer to if I'd blasted the interior with flash to balance the huge difference in exposure rather than the 'HDR' look.

I'm going to check into your suggestions for windows, thanks! Downloading SNS-HDR while I write this...
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Worked with RAW and very nice and natural too though it would be quicker to draw the pics (!), now to get it to work with big Tiffs...
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Worked with RAW and very nice and natural too though it would be quicker to draw the pics (!), now to get it to work with big Tiffs...
Ben,

Could you show us your work here and explain how you used SNS-HDR. I'd love us to give more attention to this valuable program. It's not from the "West" so t does not have the usual big backing to tell its story.

Perhaps show how it worked with Photomatix in the way Bart suggested and then SNS-HDR. I'm on a Mac but plan to install it under Parallels.

Asher
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Here is the same image that was bracketed. The first version is me combining the 3 images in PS using various masking methods. It's very flat and not all that good (I didn't spend that long on it but the point is I don't have the time!). The second is from SNS-HDR using their 'dramatic' preset and it's very very good for all that the program is glacial!


I either don't have a clue how to use photomatix or it's just rather bad with these files as I just can't make it work.

I'm going to try now and make SNS-HDR work with 3 pano's of these files, all stitched with the same parameters so that I have 3 brackets of the pano. That's the idea after all and will save me a whole bunch of time rather than doing individual frames.
 
Worked with RAW and very nice and natural too though it would be quicker to draw the pics (!), now to get it to work with big Tiffs...
Hi Ben,

Yes, it takes a while to ingest the files and do the preliminary calculations, after that the display updates are in real time. A fast computer helps, a 64-bit OS is fine, and a beefy graphics card also helps (it can use the GPU processors). It's hard to find more natural looking tonemapper/fusion engine results, when using the controls with moderation. One can also go overboard if one wishes to do so.

Where did the TIFFs come from? I usually use TIFF output from Capture One Pro, and have no problem using that as input for SNS-HDR. It also allows to vary the color balance per bracket (e.g. reduce the blue a bit in the better shadow exposure bracket, or tone down the orange in interior lighting in the better highlight exposures). It works very flexible that way.

Cheers,
Bart

P.S. I just saw your comparison, much more detail in the SNS-HDR version, e.g. the floor tiles, the wooden table, etc., and no halos around the window. Part of the tone adjustments were spent on improving the inside of the fish-eye lens barrel ;-)
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Hi Ben,

Originally on my previous PC, creating a tone map for 3x brackets using my 21MP images from my 5DII took some 6-8 minutes. It was a very long time to wait for but I kept on using SNS-HDR since the results were superior. Now on my new PC, the whole process is reduced to 1 to 1.5 minutes max! So it makes a real difference, as Bart wrote above, to run SNS-HDR on a modern PC.

PS: there is no significant time difference when I use tif files or raw files, BTW.

Cheers,
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Hi,

It was crashing on the 3 Tiff files from Autopano so I resaved them as jpg and hey presto, this is the pano straight out of the program plus just the tweaks I did in ACR. With a few curves in PS this image would really pop! Have to work out what was going wrong with my tiffs, I'm running 64bit OS with 8GB Ram, shouldn't be a problem.


I've gone back to some old trouble images where I had brackets to see what it can do, one is 'cooking' right now, something tells me I'm ponying up for this software soon enough, it's very impressive!
 
Hi,

It was crashing on the 3 Tiff files from Autopano so I resaved them as jpg and hey presto, this is the pano straight out of the program plus just the tweaks I did in ACR. Have to work out what was going wrong with my tiffs, I'm running 64bit OS with 8GB Ram, shouldn't be a problem.
Hi Ben,

It's probably an alpha channel or something that APP added. Checking for that and just resaving as a 16-bit/channel TIFF will give SNS-HDR even more useful data to massage with less risk of poterization than from an 8-b/ch JPEG.

Your stitch looks good, perhaps even a bit too bright for an interior (as if you had the room filled with invisible lights). Impressive indeed. BTW, SNS-HDR is also 360 degree pano aware (tick the box when opening), so that there is a smooth transition where the left and right of the equirectangular image meet.

Cheers,
Bart
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Alpha channel, that's the culprit! You're a genius and you can tell the author of the software that he owes you commission on the program, just ran through an incredibly difficult image from a previous shoot and it made mincemeat of it in seconds, perfect from the get go, makes me almost weep to compare it to the version I presented to the client which took me about 25 minutes to do and even then it's got half the detail!

I'll buy it tomorrow sometime, you've made me a happy man, finally HDR without the puke factor and without tearing my hair out!
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Incidentally I was over pushing that interior, the window outside was sending through a blinding beam of light some 3 stops brighter than the rest of the room and the window itself was a good 5 stops brighter (mid day sun). This really was a 'torture' test but it's what I'll be working with constantly, middle east sun and this program did wonders with it while photomatix fell flat on its face.
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Worked with new Tiff's and looks even better with 16bit files!


This image is straight out of SNS-HDR with nothing but sharpening in PS. The previous image from jpgs needed quite a bit of work in ACR, this was incredible!
 
hmmm, deleted the alpha channels but still getting weirdness with the Tiffs

[...]

I'm running a new set of Tiff's, see if that helps.
Hi Ben,

It may well be something else in the APP TIFFs that's non-standard. It may also help to specifically assign a colorspace profile to the TIFFs in Photoshop. IIRC, it is not possible to force that from APP.

My method for stitching is to first do the tonemapping per tile, then stitch the tiles (the blending engine will even out the differences if there is enough overlap).

That will also work wonders with outdoor scenes, when shooting in the sun direction we see mostly shadows and we can color balance for the blue shadows, and when shooting with the sun in our back we can use a different (daylight) color balance. The blending engine of the stitcher can do a gradual transition between the tiles.

Cheers,
Bart
 

Ben Rubinstein

pro member
Hi Bart.

With Autopano I can throw all the brackets at it, it will then give me a file with 3 layers, all stitched identically, one for each EV level. I can then send that file to SNS-HDR and it will blend the final pano so that it cuts the amount of time, especially with a many frame pano, by a tiny fraction of what it would be. Working out the former part took me all day, Autopano are anything but well documented! In AP 2.5, group each bracketed picture into a stack by selecting all, right click and choose 'stack by number'. In settings/panorama choose 'group by stack'. Run the detection. When you have the final pano save in seperate non embedded layers as a tiff and you will have 4 seperate files, one pano for each bracket plus a merged one which you can ignore. Take the 3 files and throw at SNS-HDR and be happy!
 
This is the greatest selling point for SNS-HDR that I've ever read!

SNS-HDR: "Finally HDR without the puke-factor!"
LOL, indeed.

It would be very interesting if someone with a Mac running Parallels could try SNS-HDR. It could also make the life of many Mac users so much nicer if it did work. Maybe SNS-HDR is too much tuned to specific PC hardware or too advanced for a virtual Windows emulation, I don't know.

Cheers,
Bart
 
you should be able to put filters on the camera side of the lens...
Hi Jonathan,

Perhaps you are referring to the use of Gradient Neutral Density filters, but they can only compensate with straight boundaries between light and dark.

It is usually pretty easy to spot the use of such a filter, where avoiding that is exactly the purpose of good tonemapping. The result should look just as if it is not manipulated, in order to better appreciate e.g. the interior decoration of a room. Also, by using bracketed shot, one is able to reduce noise in the shadows, while maintaining structure in the semi-specular highlights. Only the latter can be achieved up to a point (depending on surface angle) with a polarizer filter.

Cheers,
Bart
 
Top