October 20, 2006 at 11:54 am #6936
What it all comes down to, of course, is whether I have something that I can make work. I’d love using a single tool, and I do have some RAW shots I’d still like to get to light up. But all the precision in the world isn’t going to help an image if I can’t get it working :?. Just submitting that %@^!^@%^!_^%&)*&^%@)_* error box from CS2 that I was getting SOOOOO familiar with this week will get old to all of us. (Never mind the fact that someone’s just likely to complain when I submit it for all 3 of my entries. ‘Gee, anneb, your “forest” looks a whole LOT like your “Industrial Park!”‘)
If anyone does have luck with split RAW images and photoshop, though, I would feel greatly vindicated in knowing how the heck it is done!!!October 20, 2006 at 1:31 pm #6937
Yeah, a single tool would definitely be preferable. It’s a bit of a PITA to work with 3 different ones, though I’m not planning to do a lot of HDR. But if what I’m using now all hooked into a single program, that would be sooo much nicer….But on that note, I think Photomatix has a CS/PS plugin, which might help streamline things. Hopefully someone more in the CS/PS know can clarify and/or give you a way to fool Adobe on single RAW HDR!October 20, 2006 at 5:18 pm #6938
Except she also mentioned she’s going to give Photomatix a try, as well as GIMP which she already has experience with.
Right, and she’s only wanting to try Photomatix because CS2 doesn’t work right. If she can get it to, it would be a waste of $100 to get the standalone Photomatix program (if she doesn’t want the watermarks).
It also doesn’t change the fact that I was discussing a specific process (a discussion aimed at her since she did originally ask me rather specifically), and it also doesn’t change the fact that she’s working on multiple platforms, so the points I brought up are specifically germane to her system(s) and options she may want to consider.
You are correct. If she can’t get CS2 to work, I’m glad that you’re opening her eyes to other options. I wasn’t really looking in that field, but was thinking more proactively in getting CS2 to work vs. using other systems. Different strategies to get to the same sort of result. Sorry for any confusion.
But by all means, please feel free to keep nitpicking the things I say rather than concede that I have anything of value to add to a conversation that was aimed at me in the first place 🙄
Oh I know that you do bring some good stuff to the table. I’ve never doubted that, and I’m sorry if I’ve given off the impression otherwise.
I think Photomatix has a CS/PS plugin, which might help streamline things. Hopefully someone more in the CS/PS know can clarify and/or give you a way to fool Adobe on single RAW HDR!
You are correct that there is a plugin available. However, I think that only does tone mapping, which is a very difficult tool to properly master, and it probably won’t fix the Photoshop issue.
If anyone does have luck with split RAW images and photoshop, though, I would feel greatly vindicated in knowing how the heck it is done!!!
I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that you should open up your unedited RAW file in CS2/Camera RAW, and save whatever comes up as a 16-bit RGBA PNG file. From there, close CS2 (this stuff is done in case the program remembers what you did otherwise!), and re-open it. Once re-open, open up the PNG you just saved, and work from there. You can try what you’ve done before, or what Elsinore suggested (decreasing exposure and saving as second PNG, then increasing the exposure, and saving that as a PNG…), and so on and so on. I hope that works.
In a way, I hope CS3 (or better yet, the next version of Camera RAW) has an HDR tool where it can take one RAW file and it finds all the hidden shadow and highlight detail and correctly creates an HDR image out of it (and no tone mapping). That would be so cool.October 20, 2006 at 7:57 pm #6939
In a way, I hope CS3 (or better yet, the next version of Camera RAW) has an HDR tool where it can take one RAW file and it finds all the hidden shadow and highlight detail and correctly creates an HDR image out of it (and no tone mapping). That would be so cool.
Now THAT would be sweet….October 21, 2006 at 9:21 pm #6940
I don’t normally shoot RAW, but I’ve done a little experimentation with JPG files and have gotten good results.
It’s easy to create an HDR image from a single JPG if you change the levels in the original. It’s probably simpler to show what I did…
This is the original unedited JPG straight out of the camera.
This is that image with decreased levels (i.e. underexposed)
And this is the image with increased levels (i.e. overexposed)
Photomatix asks you to provide an exposure interval if it can’t determine from the EXIF (which it can’t in this example).
And here is the final product, the calculated HDR – all from a single frame and little judicious level adjusting.
Now every frame can be an HDR frame! And the relative value of that Photomatix software just went way up. Time to buy a license…October 21, 2006 at 9:52 pm #6941
I split one Raw file in photoshop (may not be the right way but who knows. I open the raw file and photoshop asks me what the EV setting is. I put -2, -1, 0, 1, 2 and save each file individually (1-5) as a psd file. When I load these back up and choose HDR it brings up another window asking me what the EV values are I just put them back in because I named the files in order I can remember. Maybe this is right maybe it’s wrong who knows, but it got rid of that error.October 21, 2006 at 10:01 pm #6942
I still can’t get this whole HDR thing down. Still trying to figure out the curves. Here is a single RAW file with the method I just posted about. Along with the picture from the camera. I need read more about adjusting the curve when converting to 16 bit.October 22, 2006 at 5:16 pm #6943
anneb, Photoshop uses the Exif data to merge into HDR. If you open the RAW fille and make exposure adjustments and save; the Exif will still read the EV at the time it was shot. Basically, all the (copied) images will still have the same EV value in the Exif data and Photoshop wont do the merge. One solution is to remove the Exif data using Photoshop.
Open the RAW files you want to merg to an HDR. Make your exposure adjusments then save as a psd file. Its a good idea to write down what you set the values to so you can correctly enter them later. From the same RAW menu, adjust the exposure again and save to another psd. Do this until you save at least 3 or more images. Click the “done” button to exit the RAW file adjustment window.
If your system can handle it open all the saved PSD files. If not, open each one and select “save to web”. If you get an error that the file is too large for the save to web feature just ignore it. Make sure you set the extension to JPG and quality at 100%. Save each file this way. Once your done select each .jpg file (in “EV” order) when using merge to HDR. You will be prompted to enter each files exposure settings. You’ll see a window sroll bar that allows you to see each files thuimbnail. Select the “EV” setting and enter the value for each file by using the scroll arrows. Once you set each files EV then press OK and it will merge into an HDR.
For me, on my 3.3GHz laptop, this process takes around 8 minutes from start to merging into an HDR.
Hope this helps.October 28, 2006 at 6:07 pm #6944
Dovetailing with what Diggin posted, I found a discussion thread on Flickr about creating HDR from a single RAW even using CS2:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/raw2hdr/discuss/72057594116099616/March 10, 2007 at 9:33 pm #6945
Man, it’s been too long since I read here! 🙂
Generally, it’s not possible to create a real “HDR” using just one RAW photograph. The reason for this is that a camera sensor is, in most instances, unable to capture all the dynamic range in a single scene. If the ground is well exposed, the sky is blown out. If the sky is well exposed, the ground is a shadow, etc. RAW will generally capture more dynamic range than is shown on the screen; however, it’s still nowhere near what most would consider HDR. This is why we generally take more than one photo at different exposure values and them merge them together.
The merged together file is encoded in 32bits, which is to say — the entire range of the exposure information captured by all three shots is there. However, this is way more range than our monitors can display. Think about it — the sun is so bright that when you look at it for too long in real life, it burns your retina. However, you can look at a picture of the sun on your monitor all day and not burn your retina. 🙂 So that end of the dynamic range is heavily clipped. With a properly shot HDR, though, the file itself contains the data that would tell a theoretical monitor capable of displaying the image correctly that the sun should be searing your eyeballs. It will also contain information saying how bright the tree in the forground should be. Of course, we then generally downsample the 32 bit file to 16 bits or 8 bits to properly display on our crappy normal monitors. 🙂 But because we are downsampling from all that information, we can retain and compress more detail into the range that the monitor can display.
With a RAW, however, if you shoot a picture exposed for the sun, everything else will be in shadow. The sensor will simply register the tree as a big black tree-shape, and will have no data on how bright the tree should be. Similarly, if you exposed for the tree, the sun would be a big white blown-out blob that took up half the sky. By exposing for the tree, the amount of light the sun puts on the sensor exceeds the sensor’s ability to measure, and as such is rendered as a blow-out.
So, no matter how much you ran tone-mapping features on a RAW file, you would never get real HDR output. You would also not get nearly as much information when you downsample to an 8 bit file, as that information was never captured by the camera to begin with.
You can definately get some interesting effects by putting a RAW file through Photomatix, but the image was never at any point HDR.
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