Thomas Watrucki   January 02, 2008, 09:59 PM

Qtpfsgui, Photomatix, Photoshop, Other?

What do you use and why?

Daniel Isenmann   January 03, 2008, 04:43 PM

I use qtpfsgui, because it does good work, has several tonemapping methods, easy in usage and it is free. Second reason is, that I have only Linux. :)

Luca Volpi   January 04, 2008, 06:57 PM

I use qtpfsgui too

Free, easy and multiplatform

PimpDaddy   January 08, 2008, 01:08 AM

Sounds like I really gotta try qtpfsgui too :-).

Quick question. Does it work with Leopard?


Oh, forgot. I use Photomatix. At the time it was the easiest program to get my hands on and alot of people recommended it.

Gone   January 20, 2008, 10:16 AM

I use photomatix and photoshop.

I first combine the shots using photomatix. Then i (quickly) see how the tonemapping looks. The save the untonemapped version.
Open photoshop to do some cleanup and save again. Back in photomatix and tonemap. Then back in photoshop to adjust to taste.

PimpDaddy   January 20, 2008, 12:49 PM

What kind of "cleanup" do you do in PS before getting back in Photomatix and the back to PS.

Gone   January 20, 2008, 04:06 PM

Anything really :)

Retouching. Removing dust, sensor spots. Setting the white balance correctly or creatively maybe. Removing things i don't like. Scaling. Rotating. Basic i do anything to it, that will help me out when i finally tonemap it. The digital bits in the HDR are very precious, they contain the most information. When you tonemap you end up with a 16bit (or 8bit) image ... 16bits (or 24bits) of information is lost. You have to hold on to those bits as long as you can. Why would i combine the pictures, then tonemap them and THEN start to clean it up.... a baker would probably remove any plastic in the cake before baking it, not after :D

Alot of things do work i 32bit mode in photoshop .. and alot of thing don't. Its a bit confusing at first when you start to work in 32bit mode in photoshop, since your monitor cant show it all. Just ask if there's anything you need to know.

PimpDaddy   January 20, 2008, 04:32 PM

So how DO you work in 32bit mode when the monitor cant show it all? :-)

Otherwise your reply makes very good sense :)

Gone   January 21, 2008, 10:25 AM

When you save from photomatix (or any other software) you should choose OpenEXR over the "old" radience format. OpenEXR comes with two compression methods, piz and zip. They are both 100% loseless. Zip is speed and Piz is size. So you just choose the one you want. Also OpenEXR can store a dynamic range of approx. 32EV. Read more here:

Also you should never convert your raw files to tiff or anything other. You should load raw directly into your "combine" tool. RAW almost (more or less) stores a -1/0/+1 EV of whatever you capture. If you convert to any tiff, jpg format you loose bits. Basically you should turn of any image enhancement your camera have when capturing images. It should just capture the raw data and not do anything to it. Maybe some noise handling for long exposures, but thats more or less it. But you will need to learn how your camera works and what produces.

In PS when you load your OpenEXR file you will have slider in the bottom of the window. You can use this to “scroll” thru the different exposures. So when you edit something you will have to scroll to make sure that its fixed all the way thru. Also under View you will have a 32bit preview option. You can use this to set the main reference point. So if your HDR is always dark you can set this high and there by easier see what your are doing. Its only for previewing. Even when you have a dialog box open you can use the slider in the bottom.

A lot of the tools is currently not working in 32bit mode in PS. The stamp tool works. The patch tool does not.

Since you’re working in 16bit per channel, you have a very high color precision and also “light” never gets cut off, it just moves a bit higher up - unlike working in “old” 16 or 8bit mode. Just give it a go and you start to understand what im talking about :)
If you do a destructive editing thru the layer->image adjustment->level and the brighten everything up and press ok. Do it destructive – not thru layers palette. Then if you pull your “preview slider” down you get everything back …. Its just changing precision not the actual levels. Its really mind blowing.

Hope it helps .. in some strange way. Its hard to explain (and there’s a lot of math if you really wanna understand it) and other than that, just ask

Gone   January 21, 2008, 10:33 AM

Just forgot ... I think you need PS CS 3 extended version to get it to work in "hdr" mode .. not really sure.

Also a lot of the filters don't work either, but its getting better and better with each update.
The smart sharpen (YEEESS) and unsharp mask work and its sooo much easier, but ill have you give it a go before i explain further.

Once you start to work with HDR in this way your going to look and the old flow with a "No, thank you!" in mind.

So ... get your hands dirty :)

ian legge   April 20, 2008, 10:31 PM

Can someone help me out? Can I get into HDR using PShop CS2?

PimpDaddy   April 22, 2008, 11:22 PM

Actually I don't know. Maybe. Google would be my way of finding out. I can highly recommend Photomatix!

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