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Thread: HDR for perfectionists :)

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    HDR for perfectionists :)

    I guess this is a commercial announcement so beat me if you like... I'm a frequent contributor to this forum and I'll stay around to answer questions etc so it's not just spam, and I do hope this is of interest to some of you.

    I'm an amateur photographer that shoot landscapes with my Linhof Techno / Leaf Aptus gear. My profession is in software development though, and in the recent 18 months we've had the opportunity to realize a dream, namely develop our own first commercial photo application which we've just released in version 1.0. We're making a stealth introduction as we want to be able to provide close and personal support here in the early phase.

    It's Lumariver HDR, kind of an HDR software for those that actually hate HDR

    It can merge and tonemap, but the focus is natural look, user control and highest image quality. It's not the software you use to get that gimmicky HDR look, but something you use to solve lighting and dynamic range problems typically in landscape photography, either stand-alone or as a companion with your raw converter and/or photoshop, always with the goal of a natural time-less look, ie it should not look like "HDR". A pretty unique feature is that it can import raw (various formats) merge/tonemap and then export to raw (DNG) so you can edit that in your raw converter just as if it was a regular raw.

    The problem now is to find users for it. It's no coincidence that I've put quite some effort into making the feature set good for tech cam users, so it has built-in LCC correction and such. I primarily made the software to fit the type of user I am myself, ie a perfectionist control-freak with a pixel-peeping sickness .

    I think the program will attract users that are used to having a palette of post-processing tools which the mix in various ways depending on what work they're doing. The program has an open architecture, ie import/export almost everywhere so you can use the results together with other software in various workflows, we've probably not thought of all workflows ourselves.

    My favorite workflow I use myself is to shoot raw (.mos) possibly with a gradient filter on so I can make a single-shot in difficult light, shoot my LCC, then import in Lumariver HDR cancel out the grad filter and everything with LCC and apply new tonemapping using the software's algorithms, possibly with some manual fine-tuning, and then export to a DNG which I then edit in a raw converter.

    Unfortunately for us Phase One / Leaf / Mamiya MFDB users Capture One kind of sucks at dealing with DNG (not the same color profiles as when importing the straight raw) so in that case a TIFF workflow can be better. With Lightroom and RawTherapee and many others dealing with DNG works very well though.

    If you like to do your post-processing for your important images mostly manually in photoshop, to feel that you have that control from start to end, Lumariver HDR is intented to work as a useful tool when you need some tonemapping. I wanted myself a tool that can control light more than traditional dodge-and-burn, but still keeps the result neutral and accessible, and Lumariver HDR intends to fill that gap.

    You can export the tonemapping as a luminance map which you can import and use in your layer stack in photoshop (or whatever photo editor you use). We want the results from the program to feel open, neutral and easy to understand rather than mystical, so when you look at your finished fine art image 20 years from now it doesn't have a dated look of some software algorithm made in 2013.

    Concerning MF raw import support we support most digital backs, including the IQ260. Leaf Credo is an exception which uses some new .IIQ revision, but other Leaf backs work fine (.mos). If you get a problem with your digital back let us know it's often an easy fix. If you're a Capture One user for their color rendition I'd recommend a TIFF workflow though as said. As Lumariver HDR works only on the luminance channel you can do tonemapping without disturbing the color rendition.

    Currently the software is Mac only, and as it's all floating point it's a bit of a resource hog so I'd recommend at least 8 gig RAM if you're going to play with IQ180 images. The trial is fully functional, only with watermarked output.

    I'll be around to answer questions.
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Torger, good luck with your venture. And congrats.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Looks impressive. I'll definitely give it a go (and probably purchase it at that excellent price).

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    I'm very interested in trying out your hdr program for my architectural shots. Any chance there will be a windows version soon?

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Good luck with your efforts, very commendable! I'll be interested in trying it out.

    Cheers, -Peter
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    A software program for photographers by photographers. Thumbs up!

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Looks like an interesting approach to HDR. Good luck with your endeavor. I would give it a try if there was a Windows version.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Much of the code is cross-platform already (I've actually done most algorithm development on a Linux system) so we hope to be able to provide a Windows version too at some point, we'll need some time though. We also want to spend some time to expand the feature set, improve performance, make the GUI user-friendlier, create demo videos, not forget to continue photographing, as well as being able to provide personal support to the users, so we won't be out of things to do

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Sounds very interesting - looking forward to giving it a try. Doing this stuff manually eats up a lot of my time at present :-)

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Ok, now this seems really cool, it's too bad I haven't shot much HDR in the last year though...

    I've got some questions/suggestions anyway:

    1. Can you save presets? and would they be necessary?
    2. How many exposures can it blend/mask at once? (before crashing? )
    3. Is there a hybrid blending and masking system in the works, and would it conceptually make sense?
    4. I know of one other program with Raw-in/out, but honesty have no idea how the Raw file is re-encoded, would it ultimately impact image quality vs. outputting a 16-bit tiff instead?
    5. If you load a Tiff instead of Raw, will the software properly render the ProPhotoRGB color space?
    6. Does it retain metadata after saving to DNG?
    7. Does it batch?
    8. Does it auto-detect LCC frames?
    9. (probably duh! but...) does it auto-align shots before blending?
    10. Can you make this program automatically/adaptively white-balance different regions in a shot? Or at least make it manually adjustable/exportable as an extra layer? For example, keeping the WB of an interior while adjusting the view out a window to match. Beats having to export two versions of the image and then having to blend in Photoshop. CO7 and LR5 still can't do this!

    I'll try the demo out myself later, but this is what I could think of off the top of my head.

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Will you support the .PEF files produced by the Pentax 645D?

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    This does look very exciting!

    I have a question about applying this to situations in which stitching is required. At present, I shoot a bracketed sequence of shots for each position in the stitching sequence, then create a stitch within PTGui from the files relating to one single exposure value across the scene. That is saved as a template, then applied to the sets of files that correspond to the other exposure values. By doing that, the stitching parameters are exactly the same for shots of all exposures and they perfectly line up when layered - which allows me then to use layer masks for the manual HDR stage. Very time consuming but also very precise. If the sets of files for each exposure value were separately stitched (i.e. without the 'apply template' stage to make all sets match the first stitched set), the geometry of the stitched files for each exposure value would differ (since the alignment algorithm would be working with files that have quite different levels of information within them), and layering would not work. PTGui work brilliantly with the method I use.

    However, it still requires the HDR work to be done by hand using masks (because I dislike the results of any automated process I have tried); in any case, by the time this is possible, I am working with processed files and not RAWs.

    I wonder if your software could ease this process somewhat. One idea would be to ensure that the merging and/or tone mapping process could somehow be set up as a template and applied to other sets of files. Imagine for one part of a scene (i.e. one set of perfectly lined up files) all files (with differing exposures) were processed through your software. Then, all of the files for the other parts of the scene could be processed in such a way that the tones match (though of course the areas so-affected would be unique in each case); the result being that a single set of files that have been processed through your software could be stitched with the values perfectly and smoothly mapping across the scene. My fear, without this capability, is that if each set of differently exposed files is separately processed through your software, that they won't match up properly tonally if stitched, giving strange banding type effects in the final scene. Maybe that fear is unjustified - it's based on the assumption that the merging / tone mapping process would be determined by the unique tonal values of the files within each part of the scene (which would of course vary across the scene) rather than to give a consistently toned output across the whole scene (or rather one that varies coherently across the scene).

    The other method, of course, is to do what I do now (i.e. use PTGui to stitch the files for each exposure separately - using a template) then use your software to do the HDR stage - but of course that would be working with TIFFs (or, more likely, 'Photoshop Large' format files - which I hope your software could handle) and not RAWs; presumably this would lose some of the benefit of your software. But would that approach work?

    Sorry for the long, rambling explanation of this - hope it makes sense! I suspect a lot of shooters would benefit from this capability :-) Essentially I am hoping the first method would work (it would allow the use of RAWs for the HDR stage and would thus potentially be better) but perhaps it's not feasible, since it assumes applying a template to tones while still applying merging / tone mapping to some very different sets of files across a scene (which perhaps is not possible)? Failing that, would the second method work?

    All the best and congrats again on a wonderful concept!

    Ed
    Last edited by Ed Hurst; 28th November 2013 at 21:56.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    I'm also interested in Windows version. Sounds like great project you've got.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Sounds awesome, staying tuned for the Windoze version.

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Seriously Anders?? I shot an interior office space last week and have been struggling with both Photomatix and Ps HDR Pro. Now I am the first to admit I know very little about the controls in either of those programs since I'm new to hdr blending. But my first try this morning with Lumariver gave me significantly better results.

    You even included LCC mapping! I don't really like the flat field correction I get in LR, and I hate burning a tiff through C1 just for the LCC process. But now I can do it and save as a dng back in LR! Holy crap how did you know to create exactly the software I need?!

    I'm going to do a few more tests, but you have done some fine work here! Oh, and perfect timing.

    Dave
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Dave, could you please post a sample image for everyone to see the results you obtained, thanks!

    Glen

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    Will you support the .PEF files produced by the Pentax 645D?
    Yes, it's supported by the raw lib, however to be sure it work well I always want to test first. Our native raw lib is based on dcraw and with that the case is that sometimes some constans may be a bit off and need fixing. I've done fixing for the Phase One backs and some other medium format stuff, but haven't actually looked specifically at the 645D yet.

    We're currently working on a v1.01 update which contains some raw fixes and improved color rendering support using DCP files by the way.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Seriously Anders?? I shot an interior office space last week and have been struggling with both Photomatix and Ps HDR Pro. Now I am the first to admit I know very little about the controls in either of those programs since I'm new to hdr blending. But my first try this morning with Lumariver gave me significantly better results.

    You even included LCC mapping! I don't really like the flat field correction I get in LR, and I hate burning a tiff through C1 just for the LCC process. But now I can do it and save as a dng back in LR! Holy crap how did you know to create exactly the software I need?!

    I'm going to do a few more tests, but you have done some fine work here! Oh, and perfect timing.

    Dave
    Glad to hear! The tonemapper has received most testing for landscape images so far, so I might expect that there's gains from tuning it a bit for making it better for interior shoots, but it should work okay already.

    The LCC is there because I use a tech cam and thus need it myself . It's a more advanced feature than I thought it would be when I first started implementing it. One issue you get is that you shift clipping points. Without LCC all channels clip at their expected values but with LCC you scale values over the image and thus clip points.

    The easy way to avoid problem is to cut away a little highlights by reducing clipping to the lowest level after LCC. We do it the other way around though, we reconstruct up to the new level to avoid losing any highlight detail. The drawback is that you in rare occassions can get discoloured highligts in the reconstructed areas (if there was too little information to make a good reconstruction), but then you can push that to clipping in your raw converter, and lose no more than you would have done if the LCC algorithm would just clip at the lowest level. This LCC approach allows me to do quite "aggressive" LCCs, with a graduated filter still on which I do in some landscape shots.

    Finding the reference color to avoid color shifts when LCC is applied is also not too easy, with shifted lenses and possibly grad filters still on etc. So in all it was quite a large feature to implement, I hadn't done it for the first release if it wasn't because my tech camera has been the main testing platform :-).

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    1. Can you save presets? and would they be necessary?

    You can't save presets currently, but it could be something to add. Presets would be on things like which camera profile to choose on import, possibly autopicking LCC, accepted noise levels in the merger etc.

    It would probably be no presets for the tonemapper itself though, as it doesn't make sense. Our tonemapper focus only on one thing: reduce dynamic range while keeping an as natural look as possible, and then it's only so much one can do (you simple select how many stops you want to compress and mix together a few algorithms) and all the current settings are scene-dependent ie no presets can be made. It's not suitable for "creative effects" type of tonemapping, but there are other softwares that do that very well already such as Photomatix. One can of course export the merged result to OpenEXR or floating point TIFF to import into Photomatix for tonemapping there. As we have a bit more advanced color handling of raw files (especially when we get 1.01 out which I'm working on!) that can be desirable.

    2. How many exposures can it blend/mask at once? (before crashing? )

    It stores all images in RAM in floating point so it becomes a bit of a memory hog when you have lots of layers. Again as the tonemapper is not focused on creative effects we do not think you'll need more than 2 - 4 layers (with *too* much range natural results cannot be had anyway), and that should be no problem. I've actually not tried to make huge stacks to see when it breaks... if you try to load 10 images from an IQ180 I would guess something bad will happen

    3. Is there a hybrid blending and masking system in the works, and would it conceptually make sense?

    Uhmm... I'm not 100% sure what you mean by this, but what I would like to see in the software at some point is being able to adjusts the merge masks inside the software, today you need to export/import to change them. Need to think more about it, as one would not want to make some feature that people would use Photoshop to do it instead anyway.

    4. I know of one other program with Raw-in/out, but honesty have no idea how the Raw file is re-encoded, would it ultimately impact image quality vs. outputting a 16-bit tiff instead?

    Raw output means that we make a "cooked" DNG, ie we take the all the floating point samples and write it to a DNG, and set all metadata as if it would have been a one-shot image from the source camera. This works well for any software that have full implementation of the DNG specification. And that would be, eeehh... Lightroom and Lumariver HDR . With floating point DNGs you won't lose any precision.

    However other DNG converters usually generally support only 16 bit DNGs, and some only with original camera range rather than the full dynamic range. This issue is discussed at length in the manual with picture examples. In most cases you don't need to worry, especially if you export a tonemapped DNG (so you won't need to do much more shadow pushing in the target software), but if you export a merged but not tonemapped file with raw reconstruct highlights (which usually appears very dark, with up to 1-2 extra stops added on top through raw reconstruction) and the target software needs original camera dynamic range you will have a problem. Then 16 bit TIFF is better. As TIFF is gamma-encoded those 16 bits give much more range than 16 bit DNG which is linearly encoded (unless enabling our special gamma-encoded DNG hack).

    5. If you load a Tiff instead of Raw, will the software properly render the ProPhotoRGB color space?

    Yes. The display is fully color managed, assuming you have profiled your screen. With TIFF files we make it simple, we just tunnel the color space, ie if it's prophoto in the import it will be prophoto inside the application (converted to be displayed properly on your screen, but that's only for display, internally it's the original colorspace) and prophoto in export. Raw files if exported to TIFF will be assigned prophoto colorspace.

    We'll likely add possibility to change color space on export (eg open Prophoto and save sRGB) but it's not a prioritized feature for the moment as we think most working with TIFF will have a prophoto in and prophoto out workflow.

    6. Does it retain metadata after saving to DNG?

    Yes.

    7. Does it batch?

    Not currently. It's interesting for the future though.

    8. Does it auto-detect LCC frames?

    No, but also a thing I'm interested in to investigate the possibilities.

    9. (probably duh! but...) does it auto-align shots before blending?

    If you want raw output you can't align shots, as the bayer arrays would then not line up. Otherwise you can align them, but currently you need to have Hugin installed to make the feature available as we used the command line tool align_image_stack transparently in the background for this task. They do this well already and it's tough to implement that type of algorithm so we won't prioritize to make our own algorithm for this for the moment.

    I use alignment myself only when I have accidentally moved the tripod between shots, we've assumed that most users interested in a HDR software like Lumariver HDR would shoot from a tripod and thus rarely need to align shots.

    10. Can you make this program automatically/adaptively white-balance different regions in a shot? Or at least make it manually adjustable/exportable as an extra layer? For example, keeping the WB of an interior while adjusting the view out a window to match. Beats having to export two versions of the image and then having to blend in Photoshop. CO7 and LR5 still can't do this!

    No we can't but I know about the need and is one of the interesting features to look into. If we want to be strong on interior shoots this would be a "must have". So far we've mostly focused on landscapes and then this feature is not so much needed. (White balance setting is not so user-friendly currently, we know about this and we'll make a preview view to improve that.)

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenC View Post
    Dave, could you please post a sample image for everyone to see the results you obtained, thanks!

    Glen
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    I have a question about applying this to situations in which stitching is required.
    The tonemapper would have to work on the whole image, it's required to make a proper analyze of it. What you can do is to merge the bracked shots to one in each position before stitching, as Lumariver HDR can do that without disturbing linearity of the original file, not sure if it will speed up your stitching workflow though.

    If you want to tonemap the stitched file in Lumariver HDR you need lots of RAM as it holds the whole image in RAM and all associated layers in floating point representation.

    Stitching is an interesting subject, I've done quite some stitching myself, I don't do much these days though, but I'm still very familiar with the techniques and challenges. Could be something to look into.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Something I would very much like to have for my interiors with ambient light and blown windows…..

    Please make it work with Leaf Credo…..

    Good going Torger, impressive stuff!
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Ok first my disclaimer: As previously stated I am not an hdr expert by any means. I'm sure everyone familiar with either Ps HDR Pro or Photomatix could coax better results than I did. But maybe that is some of the point I'm going to make: How much learning curve is there with the hdr software? This was just a rough test, please don't think I would send anything remotely like any of these images to a client (this is a junk image anyway). There is a lot more work to do!

    I can 'almost' get a reasonable image out of the lightest single frame, but the ceilings don't end up with enough detail. I bracketed 6 stops, most of which was for the lights in the ceiling (the darkest image is almost black except for the light fixtures themselves). Note this may be a unique situation vs landscape. It is also probably why all the software ended up with a dark rendering of the final image. Oh, these are IQ180 raw files...

    Here are the lightest and darkest frames, no adjustments. There are no blacks in the light image and no pure whites in the dark image:




    Here is what I did in each case:

    HDR Pro:
    I tried working on the raw files but they must be too big; I kept getting the dreaded "Error 54: Uncaught JavaScript exception: Error #". So then I rendered tiffs in C1 with an LCC applied. After bringing them into Ps I couldn't get rid of colored halos that appeared around the lights, so I gave up and just blended manually with a luminosity mask. In order to make the contrast and colors reasonable the ceilings started to blow out. I could not get a reasonable balance. Sorry too short on time (lazy?) to post those images now...

    Photomatix:
    Images went into C1 first to apply an LCC, so they were rendered tiffs that went into Photomatix. I used the "Indoors" setting which seemed to give me the best preview. After mapping and re-importing to Lightroom, I made the following adjustments after white balance:
    Exposure +.35
    Contrast -39
    Shadows +35
    Vibrance -9
    Browns and reds were still way too strong so I went to the HSL panel and lowered Saturation:
    Red -25
    Orange -14

    This is the result:



    The chair is just awful:


    And the wood bases:


    Lumariver:
    I opened the individual raw files straight into Lumariver and applied an LCC to each one on import (yay!!). I think everything was left to default, then saved out as a dng raw file back into Lightroom. After white balance, these are the LR adjustments:
    Exposure +1.35
    Shadows +76
    Tone curve to lighten the image more

    The Lumariver controls have the ability to lighten during the process, but I wanted to see what happened on default. Even though I pushed this pretty hard in Lightroom, there was still almost no noise! Here are the images:







    Sooo much better!

    Dave
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    davechewphotography.com

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Hey Dave, thanks for your samples. The results from Lumariver look a lot better than Photomatix. Maybe I need to buy a mac and I just upgraded my pc

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenC View Post
    Hey Dave, thanks for your samples. The results from Lumariver look a lot better than Photomatix. Maybe I need to buy a mac and I just upgraded my pc
    You're welcome, but again I'm new at all this; it is entirely possible I'm doing something wrong...

    Dave
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    hi torger,

    i installed your program but i am no able to import any image files, not my phase one raw files or tiff files will be loaded.

    when i click on open, all image files are greyed out.

    what am i doing wrong?

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    The tonemapper would have to work on the whole image, it's required to make a proper analyze of it. What you can do is to merge the bracked shots to one in each position before stitching, as Lumariver HDR can do that without disturbing linearity of the original file, not sure if it will speed up your stitching workflow though.

    If you want to tonemap the stitched file in Lumariver HDR you need lots of RAM as it holds the whole image in RAM and all associated layers in floating point representation.

    Stitching is an interesting subject, I've done quite some stitching myself, I don't do much these days though, but I'm still very familiar with the techniques and challenges. Could be something to look into.

    Thanks so much for your reply! I am very impressed by what I am seeing about your software :-)

    Regarding your response, when you say "What you can do is to merge the bracked shots to one in each position before stitching", my concern (which may be unjustified) is that stitching such files together may not give a smooth result, since the HDR process is working with different degrees of light and dark in each position. Is this a valid concern? I guess I am assuming that the output of the HDR process will be influenced by the light/dark values in each position, leading to banding artefacts when stitched.

    I think tonemapping the stitched files would clearly avoid such a risk (if indeed there is a risk of that happening). That would, of course, be working with processed files (not RAWs), so may reduce the quality a little. Also, can your software work in this way with Photoshop Large files, as my stitched files are often too big to be TIFFs? My machine has 32GB of RAM, so it might be able to cope :-)

    Best wishes,

    Ed

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Another vote and promise of purchase for a Windows version.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    hi torger,

    i installed your program but i am no able to import any image files, not my phase one raw files or tiff files will be loaded.

    when i click on open, all image files are greyed out.

    what am i doing wrong?
    Same experience here.

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarnia View Post
    Same experience here.
    You guys might be trying to open a file from the File menu. That looks for .lrhdr files. What you want to do instead is just go to File - New. Then click "add images." Then hunt for your image files.

    Dave
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    You guys might be trying to open a file from the File menu. That looks for .lrhdr files. What you want to do instead is just go to File - New. Then click "add images." Then hunt for your image files.

    Dave
    Guilty as charged! Must take the time to try it properly.

    Thanks.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Great thread, but I am going to move it the digital processing area -- I think it could have a larger appeal than just MF shooters! I will leave a redirect up in the MF forum for a few weeks.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    maybe a bug i found, when i start the program or click "new" to get a new panel, the scroll bar is scrolled all the way down.

    that was also the reason why i didnt see the add images button.

    i have no retina screen, thats probably why

    cheers

    mirko

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Hej Svensker,

    Windows version would make it appealing

    all the best

    Fra en Dansker :-)

    Henrik

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Please make it work with Leaf Credo…..
    I hope we get native support eventually, meanwhile you can use DNG converter to make DNG out of the Credo IIQs, which then can be loaded into Lumariver HDR.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    hi torger,

    i installed your program but i am no able to import any image files, not my phase one raw files or tiff files will be loaded.

    when i click on open, all image files are greyed out.

    what am i doing wrong?
    We need to fix our gui a bit to make it a bit more user friendly on this. "Open" is for opening a Lumariver HDR project file, to load files you use the "Add file" button. Problem is that on small screens (laptops) the GUI get compressed and the "Add file" button scrolls out of sight. You can scroll the tool panel to see it, but it's not so obvious as the scrollbar autohides.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    Thanks so much for your reply! I am very impressed by what I am seeing about your software :-)

    Regarding your response, when you say "What you can do is to merge the bracked shots to one in each position before stitching", my concern (which may be unjustified) is that stitching such files together may not give a smooth result, since the HDR process is working with different degrees of light and dark in each position. Is this a valid concern? I guess I am assuming that the output of the HDR process will be influenced by the light/dark values in each position, leading to banding artefacts when stitched.

    I think tonemapping the stitched files would clearly avoid such a risk (if indeed there is a risk of that happening). That would, of course, be working with processed files (not RAWs), so may reduce the quality a little. Also, can your software work in this way with Photoshop Large files, as my stitched files are often too big to be TIFFs? My machine has 32GB of RAM, so it might be able to cope :-)
    I have not tested HDR stitches so far and the questions are now so difficult I simply have to make a test case for it to find out . It *should* not have any problem as we've designed the software to keep original linearity if you doesn't change exposure/conrast inside the software.

    We do not support PSD Large currently. There's currently a hard-limit of a maximum image size of 65535x65535 pixels (4 gigapixels) due to limits in some data structures, they are not too hard to overcome though, but to be worthwhile we would need an architecture that don't keep all data in RAM as it does now. It won't be a prioritized thing for us to start with.
    Last edited by torger; 2nd December 2013 at 00:21.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Ed, had to check how we actually do it: what you don't want to happen in stitching is that images are autoscaled in relation to the brightest spot in the stack, then you would get different brightness of the various stacks.

    Lumariver HDR doesn't scale in the merging step, instead uses a fixed reference (in the tonemapping stage it does fit to the brightest spot though) so all your stacks will get the same reference brightness. The fixed reference is made such that the most brightest most saturated colors the camera can produce should not cause any clipping, so that we take care of all data*. This means that the reference will vary with white balance, so you should have the same white balance on all shots, or set a white balance on import.

    One of the reasons we made Lumariver HDR was actually that I've lacked a HDR software that can merge stacks without altering the linearity of the original image. I didn't need it for stitching, but for reproduction work. If you save the merged result to raw output the raw file will have the exact same linearity as the original image, just less noisy. With raw output you can disregard from the white balance /clipping discussion above too, it won't matter, raw files remain in camera space.

    The drawback of a fixed reference is that imported images and merge output will appear darker than normal, as the conservative reference usually leaves some headroom. As the data is floating point it doesn't matter for precision, but it's a bit less user-friendly. You can use the exposure slider to adjust. We'll probably make a auto-adjustment of the exposure slider or similar in a coming version to make it a bit user-friendlier.

    *As most cameras can produce blue colors that's a tiny bit outside ProPhoto those actually can get clipped (Lumariver HDR uses prophoto as reference color space, just like DNG), but we're talking about 0.01 stops or so. Just knowing that it happens disturbs my desire for mathematical perfection though, so I might fix that in a future version

  39. #39
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Man, I have been banging my head lately over HDR stuff. I have always used Photomatix to create a base for "the view" on my interiors with blown windows. Then I usually hand blend that into a nice exposure of the interior... but still I've never really been satisfied with my results. I'm starting post on a new project tomorrow and will give this a go!

    CB

    Edit: license purchasing results in a database error on your site
    Last edited by Chris Barrett; 2nd December 2013 at 18:34.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Oops... we've just had a server upgrade so something obviously went wrong. Thanks for reporting! Looking into it as we speak...

    Edit: now in should work again. Thanks for reporting and sorry for the inconvenience.
    Last edited by torger; 3rd December 2013 at 00:51.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    I'm a PC man so can't try this but has anyone here used SNS-HDR (my current gold standard for normal looking tone mapping) and this program and can compare?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    It looks fantastic, and you sold it to me, except, you didn't. I was a bit crestfallen when I went to pay and found it was only for a Mac.


    Steve

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Torger,

    Does Lumariver read the embedded calibration files from Leaf and Phase backs?

    Peter
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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pemihan View Post
    Does Lumariver read the embedded calibration files from Leaf and Phase backs?
    It's done for Phase One backs (.IIQ format), but not for .MOS Leaf backs. We use dcraw as a backend and the IIQ format has a more detailed decoder than the MOS format has.

    If someone don't know what "calibration files" is: it's information embedded in the back about gain variations (centerfold issues and the like) and dead pixels on the sensor which then can be corrected in software. However it's quite likely that a back can do well without these calibrations as the hardware at this level is supposed to have quite high quality . I use .MOS format myself and thus don't get any calibrations applied but still don't have any problems. If you need the calibrations applied for .MOS you currently need to pass through Adobe's DNG converter.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    It looks fantastic, and you sold it to me, except, you didn't. I was a bit crestfallen when I went to pay and found it was only for a Mac.
    I'm sorry that we cannot fulfill this at the moment . The requests for a windows version has been coming in more frequently than we expected so it's certainly an option we consider, but we'll need some time to do it. Primarily we'll focus on supporting our current and coming user base and provide some feature upgrades.

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    Re: HDR for perfectionists :)

    We've just released version 1.1.0, it has the following changes:

    • Tooltips added, hover with the mouse pointer over any control to get some quick documentation.
    • Drag-and-drop support for adding images.
    • Support for changing DCP camera profiles at raw import.
    • Image preview in raw import (to preview white balance, DCP etc).
    • Support for more raw formats.
    • Tone curve (highlight brightness and contrast) now a DNG style curve, rather than RGB. In other words film-like behavior of the tone curve without he colorshift problems an RGB curve has.
    • Exposure and tone curve auto-set to a "out-of-camera"-like result at first raw import, to show a user-friendlier first result. Exposure and sliders at 0 still means a fully neutral rendering with preserved reconstructed highlight range (which often is quite dark and dull before tonemapping).
    • Tone curve sliders rebalanced such that 50% on highlight brightness and contrast mimics a typical default curve used by cameras and raw converters.
    • "Adjusted input" in the tonemapping tab will only have adjusted exposure (in 1.0 it could in some circumstances have adjusted contrast too).
    • Renamed "normal merge" to "balanced merge" (algorithm unchanged).
    • Add images menu option (same as Add images button).
    • "Align" button always visible, but disabled when it cannot be used (to make informative tooltip visible).
    • Changed white balance tint setting to work "Adobe" style with a (useful) range of -150 (green cast) to +150 (magenta cast).
    • Exposure can now be set to negative (note that it will bring down clip levels below max, it's generally better to adjust contrast or reduce tonemapping strength instead).
    • Locale cleanups.
    • Various minor bug fixes.

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