hdr issues.


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inckurei

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#1
just wondering..

how do u guys do your tone mapping...

i use photomatix 2.5.3 pro and sometimes my pics end up very grainy.

heres one i took today..



it turned out fine but theres something wrong with the picture.
its way too punchy... looks more like a digital painting rather than a picture

i want to know how to get a a wider dynamic range without making the picture looking too unrealistic
please advice....
 

haffendy

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#2
BRO. may I know wat is your setting?
 

Mar 13, 2007
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#3
just wondering..

how do u guys do your tone mapping...

i use photomatix 2.5.3 pro and sometimes my pics end up very grainy.

heres one i took today..



it turned out fine but theres something wrong with the picture.
its way too punchy... looks more like a digital painting rather than a picture

i want to know how to get a a wider dynamic range without making the picture looking too unrealistic
please advice....
in fotomatix you can actually adjust the strength and saturation, lowering the strength and saturation will prevent the picture from being too un-realistic, although sometimes they look like pieces of painted art

grain is always visible, and its a common occurance
 

night86mare

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#4
please list down your tone mapping settings

you can avoid softness quite easily actually, if you have the correct settings. this is using 2.3.3.. don't you get an option to control a lot of stuff like saturation, etc?

also, was this done with a single raw file, or multiple jpgs? if you shot multiple jpgs, did you use tripod? did you do the autoalign option in photomatix?
 

night86mare

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#5
in fotomatix you can actually adjust the strength and saturation, lowering the strength and saturation will prevent the picture from being too un-realistic, although sometimes they look like pieces of painted art

grain is always visible, and its a common occurance
the grain can be controlled by lowering the luminosity. and light smoothing options, etc.

incidentally i recently started a flickr group called "realistic hdrs" because i had nothing better to do, so i have examples to demonstrate what is overdone processing (in my opinion) through photomatix.

for illustration purposes, this is the original from the raw file i used to hdr, nothing done to it other than resizing and frame:



this is what happens when you OVER-SATURATE the picture - i usually keep saturation settings around 50-70. this is at 100, and then further saturated in ps cs2. this sort of photo is very popular in flickr, i don't know why.



to me it looks like someone split oren juice all over my laptop. less than satisfactory settings with regards to the white and black clip and luminosity will result in haloing and/or grain, like so:



and sometimes people like to use the weird light smoothing option.. even more haloing, even more grain?



this is a take that i've posted up before. it is perhaps slightly softer than it could be, but at least there isn't too much haloing and limited grain. taking into account that the microsmoothing option was at 0.. i'd say that it is more or less optimal when it comes to such issue.

 

Jan 23, 2005
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#6
it turned out fine but theres something wrong with the picture.
its way too punchy... looks more like a digital painting rather than a picture
This is a natural consequence, and for many the main purpose of using so-called "HDR" processing. I suspect the picture you posted would look quite natural if you did nothing more than maybe ajusting the curves.

i want to know how to get a a wider dynamic range without making the picture looking too unrealistic
please advice....
So-called HDR processing does nothing to increase your dynamic range. Real HDR image processing is about using software and file formats that can hold high contrast; what the popular "HDR processing" does is the reverse - it reduces the dynamic range of a picture to squeeze it into file formats that cannot hold much dynamic range.
 

inckurei

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#7
ok i was about to post something and bam! clubsnap went down last night ard 3am

anyways..

i usually set my strength to about 50-60 and my saturation to a point where it looks normal... maybe around 40-70 range.

i will try to keep my light smoothing at 0 and my luminosity ard 5-10 and micro smoothing at 0

also.. i would over expose the pictures a bit in photomatix and then apply a S curve in photoshop and further tweak up the levels, clear the dust off and add a border.

just a query.. do you guys generate the HDR image straight away by chunking them into photomatix or do you do some pre processing work before doing so?

what i did was try to process a hdr image from one single raw file

heres the original.. its a bit dark... but if i were to brighten it.. fullerton would be too blown up.. wont look good. so i decide to do a little hdr and even out the tones.



what i would do is to save 3 copies of the original with 2 ev spacing and then chunk it into photomatix for processing.

somehow.. if you do this... photomatix would churn out a very very very ugly and serverly grainy picture... like so:

 

inckurei

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#8
This is a natural consequence, and for many the main purpose of using so-called "HDR" processing. I suspect the picture you posted would look quite natural if you did nothing more than maybe ajusting the curves.


So-called HDR processing does nothing to increase your dynamic range. Real HDR image processing is about using software and file formats that can hold high contrast; what the popular "HDR processing" does is the reverse - it reduces the dynamic range of a picture to squeeze it into file formats that cannot hold much dynamic range.
if i hadnt adjust the curve it would look too flat.. by adjusting the curves i would give it a more contrast.. thats all.... its just a bit of adjustment.. not a big S curve...

as for the latter... im still not really sure about the limits and constrains
 

inckurei

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#9
BRO. may I know wat is your setting?
the settings... forgot already.. just move the sliders around until i get something decent and not so fake...
but this is the most i can do... preserving the details and making it look real. i cant have the best of both worlds =[
 

night86mare

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#10
look at the shot. there are many shadow areas. after a while of playing around you will notice that photomatix cannot handle shadow areas so well, especially those with a lot of noise. for a night shot (long exposure) there is no guesses at how much noise there is. if you dump your night shot into ps cs2 and you lift up the shadows you'll get that sort of scenario too.

for light smoothing you might wnat to select the rightmost two options. most of the people i have talked to agree that those 2 give a much more natural look with lessened haloing and more normal light. look at your white and black clips as well. i think the black clip is not so bad, but look at the white clip, look at your histogram displayed. there is a lot of detail overexposed which is why the histogram has a sharp spike at the rightmost end.
 

Mar 13, 2007
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#11
ok i was about to post something and bam! clubsnap went down last night ard 3am

anyways..

i usually set my strength to about 50-60 and my saturation to a point where it looks normal... maybe around 40-70 range.

i will try to keep my light smoothing at 0 and my luminosity ard 5-10 and micro smoothing at 0

also.. i would over expose the pictures a bit in photomatix and then apply a S curve in photoshop and further tweak up the levels, clear the dust off and add a border.

just a query.. do you guys generate the HDR image straight away by chunking them into photomatix or do you do some pre processing work before doing so?

what i did was try to process a hdr image from one single raw file

heres the original.. its a bit dark... but if i were to brighten it.. fullerton would be too blown up.. wont look good. so i decide to do a little hdr and even out the tones.



what i would do is to save 3 copies of the original with 2 ev spacing and then chunk it into photomatix for processing.

somehow.. if you do this... photomatix would churn out a very very very ugly and serverly grainy picture... like so:
you probably shot too late at night.

if you are conceptualizing a shot having a nice deep blue sky with smooth clean buildings etc, shoot earlier. close to 7.45pm will be decent depending on how dim the sky is.

if you're trying HDR and playing with late night shots, its probably going to be challenging, like nightmare has stated, shadows are usually poorly resolved, thus in the hdr algorithm, you get a really messy background/sky
 

Yapster

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#12
incidentally i recently started a flickr group called "realistic hdrs" because i had nothing better to do, so i have examples to demonstrate what is overdone processing (in my opinion) through photomatix.
Bro, not nothing better to do la, it's a good group to learn~;)
 

inckurei

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#13
tried out the software that night86mare posted...
its quite good in terms of control...
managed the noise and colors very well during generating of the hdr image as well as tone mapping

heres the results



photomatix was at peace with me today :thumbsup:
 

night86mare

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#14
for night shots generally colors are not really what you see in the first place so it doesn't really matter

for the second one the look is very natural, but somehow the image is slightly soft. did you apply usm? this time the colors are pretty natural though, but i would use layering to desaturate the reds of the shophouse roofs selectively. the sky is fine, but those are too red
 

dorts

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#15
inckurei, I like the second picture. :) Very natural, just a bit too red, like what night86mare said. And also, the Singapore Flyer is slightly oval. :bsmilie: And a slightly tilted horison. :) You using 1 RAW for this also?
 

inckurei

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#16
for night shots generally colors are not really what you see in the first place so it doesn't really matter

for the second one the look is very natural, but somehow the image is slightly soft. did you apply usm? this time the colors are pretty natural though, but i would use layering to desaturate the reds of the shophouse roofs selectively. the sky is fine, but those are too red
nah.. didnt apply any usm nor did any layering.. basically all i did was add a bit of contrast.. thats all.

my photoshop skills are not so good :D dont know how to use layer to desaturate the reds of the shop house :D
 

inckurei

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#17
inckurei, I like the second picture. :) Very natural, just a bit too red, like what night86mare said. And also, the Singapore Flyer is slightly oval. :bsmilie: And a slightly tilted horison. :) You using 1 RAW for this also?

the horizon seems titled because the buildings on the left and the extra chunk of background across the sea..

sg flyer oval due to angle i think...

for both images i used 3 shots at diff exposures...

the redness.. i dont know how to use layers to desaturate it =[

erm.. i dont have a wide angle lens.. some of the buildings look slanted lol.. maybe due the the pano tool in photoshop...
 

inckurei

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#18
Mmmm is good that dynamic photo hdr allows u to choose to generate from one single raw/jpeg/tiff file..

pretty good stuff.. heres the result.. sadly... parkview square is a little underexposed at the top levels... this time i lowered the saturation a bit more.. the roofs dont stand out too much now :D

 

night86mare

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#19
nah.. didnt apply any usm nor did any layering.. basically all i did was add a bit of contrast.. thats all.

my photoshop skills are not so good :D dont know how to use layer to desaturate the reds of the shop house
need to sharpen all your hdr images.. photomatix degrades the picture visibly , making it soft.

go to filter --> sharpen --> unsharp mask

for hdr most of the time i do it quite aggressively - 70-90, 2.8 pixels, treshhold 10

layering is relatively easy to learn, the problem is how to do it subtly.. i prefer to do it aggressively then fade the effects. effectively what a layer does is "stack" the same image (like a piece of paper, if you will, exact copy) over the original. then you can work on that, and then erase that layer away, before fading it to apply the effects of what you have been doing without affecting the areas you didn't want affected. for example, here you only want the shophouses to be desaturated in red, so first off go to layer --> duplicate layer. if you use the default workspace like i do, you should see a new layer pop up under the bottom right console



note the highlighted part. usually only got "background". now there is background and "background copy". after desaturating the reds --> image --> adjustments --> hue/saturation, pull down the table, and then select red. apply until the houses look ok:



compare this to the original before adjustment.

then you don't want the desaturation to hit the sunset too no? because the sunset is beautiful. so you use the eraser tool (arrowed in next picture after this paragraph) and erase away everything except the shophouse area. note that you don't really have to be very accurate here especially if you're posting in websize - if you intend to make prints or anything then different story. to make it easier for yourself to see what you're doing, since desaturation of red only isn't that easy to differentiate unless you go all the way.. you can unclick the eye on the bottom layer. this will make the bottom layer "disappear", even though it is still there. so you know what you're doing:



note the eye has disappeared. also that the job very shoddy, hurhur.

this is what i came up with working on your version, color balance and sharpening done with slight gamma reduction. let me know if you want me to take it down.



cheers. my advice if you want to use photomatix to maximum potential is to learn photoshop, it is a powerful tool that can really maximize and add onto hdr scenes/photographs.
 

canetoad

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#20
thanks night86mare.. always wanted to do something like that but didn't know how to ;)
 

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