some quick tips from a magazine reviewing photomatix 3.0

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Aug 25, 2006
mainly on tone mapping settings - i guess it should apply for most other versions as well, frankly - anyways there was an explanation on what each parameter does, as well as a short guide on what region you should keep your values at, should you wish to keep a "natural look".

-controls the strength of local contrast enhancements
-values above 60 will give a comic hypperreal look
-generally a value between 30 and 50 is good for a natural look

-this affections the compression of the tonal range, which has the effect of adjusting the global brightness level
-move it to the left for a more natural look
-move it to the right for more shadow detail

Light smoothing
-this slider affects the smoothing applied to light variations throughout the image
-for more depth in shadows, reduce
- a higher value will reduce halos, a lower value increases sharpness

Color saturation
-increasing this gives more vivid colors
-a value between 50 to 60 is usually good for most scenes
-this slider affects all 3 rgb channels equally

White Point, Black Point and Gamma
(i think gamma is not available in earlier versions, but i may be wrong)
-white point and black point determine at what point pure white and pure black kick in for the tone-mapped image
-start with a value of 0.25%
-gamma adjusts the mid-tone of the tone-mapped image globally

Microcontrast and Microsmoothing
-set at 0 to keep shadows and midtones light
-microcontrast shows how much local contrast is applied
-microsmoothing smooths out local detail and gives a cleaner look by reducing noise in the sky


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