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Thread: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

  1. #1
    David's Avatar
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    Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    Hi All - If I've missed anyone else's post on this while I've been away I trust you'll excuse me. Picturenaut 3.0 has been released for aficiando's of HDR processing and TMO's. It can be downloaded from http://www.hdrlabs.com/picturenaut/.

    I've run a test image through the system (3 Canon RAW files) and the new release looks robust. It took 25 seconds with multi-thread processing (quad core system) to create an HDR image.

    New or enhanced features include a "Bilateral" TMO, better ghost removal, RAW support and exposure control. Overall, the user interface feels very good and is considerably simpler than Photomatix Pro. The test images that I have run have produced very good photorealistic output. To be recommended to all HDR fans experienced or not.

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    David:
    Thank you for the link. I am rather new at HDRI and the few attempts I had made, first with Photomatix then with more success with FDRTools, left me wondering if there was any way of making the outcome look "natural".
    I downloaded Picturenaut3 and tried it on a recent sequence of three bracketed (dng) shots and in less than a minute ended up with what may be a better result than any of my previous attempts.
    The only concern I have is that it seems to nuke the exif data and doesn't appear to have a provision for setting the color space. Perhaps I should read the manual
    Attached are my original hdr pic that I have converted with FDRTools, and the second just now with Picturenaut.
    I know I will have to work on the sky since it doesn't look as good as the FDR version but I think the trees came out looking much more natural.

    FDR Tools:
    img_5428-30-fdr-s.jpg

    Picturnaut3:
    img_5428-30-pn-s.jpg

    I would appreciate any comments and suggestions for improvement.

    Roger
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th September 2009 at 08:42 PM. Reason: add images inline

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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    OK, Here's another attempt at trying for a "natural" looking HDR image. This time using the "Drago" plug-in in Picturenaut3. I think the sky now looks much better. I used CS3 to brighten up the darker areas using masks.
    This shot may not have quite the punch that my first Picturenaut attempt had but I think it is probably much more technically correct.

    Now you artists out there, any comments, recommendations?

    Roger
    http://ic2.pbase.com/o3/58/701758/1/...2830dragos.jpg

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    Hi Roger,

    I agree the second (in original post) is much better/more natural for the trees.
    Sky is OK in #2, maybe a small overall saturation increase would go some way to fixing it, I prefer the luminance of the cloud in #2 to #1, which is too dim.

    I tried my fiddling, I hope you don't mind;
    Picturenaut 3.0 Released
    USM for LCE 20%, 70px, 0th
    USM for sharpen 90%, 0.3px, 10th
    Increase saturation by +10

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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    I don't mind at all Dave....I welcome it!

    I'll follow your tracks....It looks good.
    I've seen too many "cartoons" out there. Some really do work, depending on the scene and the intended audience. Right now I just want to be able to handle landscape scenes that have too much DR for the camera. Camera DR capabilities keep getting better and pretty soon I think we'll just be tone-mapping the 10 - 14 Ev range images captured in a single shot to our lame 6 or 8 Ev lcd displays and prints. Bring on the HDR lcd!

    Thanks for your input.

    Roger

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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    Hi Roger - I'm glad you've found Picturenaut useful. You don't say which TMO you used to create your No 2 image in your original post. There can be substantial differences between them.

    I'll have to look into the exif data and colour space points, but maybe an email to the author of the software would be the way forward.

    Regarding your images, No 2 is the more photorealistic and Dave's tweaks certainly bring it to life. There's an irony here in that HDR and Tone-mapping often gives rise to high levels of local contrast enhancement - the OTT effects that you can get. But here, it's the LCE that is applied subsequently that brings out the wow factor.

    Cheers

    David

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    rogerb's Avatar
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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    I've taken another crack at it, this time using the "Drago" plug-in for TM. Now the sky looks much better, although I still have a few small spots in the cloud where the red & green channels are clipped. I've followed Dave's recipe for enhancement and I think the image now is probably a pretty good representation of the scene. However it has lost a little of its warmth. Perhaps a WB adjustment earlier in the process would have corrected that?

    Here's a technical question for you guys: With cameras capable of 10+ Ev of DR, and displays only capable of 6 or 7 Ev, aren't we effectively tone-mapping when we use "Recover" and "Fill" in ACR, or "Shadow/Highlight" in Photoshop?

    Thanks for the help.
    Roger

    Just now tweaked the image using hsl, H= -5, S = +15, L= 0. This layer was applied to all but the sky. Sky was masked with 128 grey.

    Picturenaut 3.0 Released
    Last edited by rogerb; 12th September 2009 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Tweaked the image

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    Re: Picturenaut 3.0 Released

    Hi Roger - Picturenaut does not appear to keep exif information and the only colour space mentioned in sRGB. It may be that these points will change as the software develops.

    I've been thinking about your question regarding the dynamic range of cameras, display devices and whether standard procedures in image processing software actually constitute tone-mapping. I think there are several issues raised here. At one level, if your camera is capable of capturing a dynamic range of say 10 EV and does capture that in a particular shot, then processing on a monitor with say 7 EV range must reduce the dynamic range to the display. However the software accomplishes this and whatever the tools you use to tweak the display to your liking could be defined as a type of tone-mapping as you are mapping a larger dynamic range to a smaller one. With HDR software such a Picturenaut and Photomatix Pro, the algorithms used to map from a high dynamic range to a lower one are different mathematically from, say, curves and levels, and have more to do with mapping changes in local and global contrast than other tools. But, qualitatively, they are doing the same type of task. Interestingly, software such as Artizen and HDR PhotoStudio allow you to carry out tasks previously the preserve of LDR software on HDR files in .exr or .hdr format. Thus, the two levels of dynamic range are increasingly becoming one continuous range as far as software is concerned - a process that is likely to continue rapidly.

    Another point that arises in that very often photographers take a series of shots to process as HDR images, but the actual range of exposure does not constitute true HDR. This was brought home to me with Picturenaut as it displays the dynamic range in the work-in-progress panel. The greatest dynamic range in images I have processed turns out to be 12 - 13, but most are in the 8 - 9 range, about the apparent range of my Canon 40D. I probably need to go more than +/- 2 stops when bracketing images.

    Perhaps we should leave the last word to Dr McCoy of Star Trek. "Yes, Jim using the curves tool is tone-mapping, but not as we know it!"

    Cheers

    David

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