free hdr using gimp

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Elsinore 12 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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  • #6445

    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    OMG I thought you already had a DSLR! You are going to ROCK that d80!! Hope it shows up on your doorstep soon!

    #6446

    mikemikeb
    Participant

    OMG I thought you already had a DSLR!

    Me, too. I almost never was able to get great color and texture from my point-and-shoot, due to the quality of the lens and size of the sensor being, well, less than stellar. 🙄 I now know that you’re really good at post-processing or use a great point and shoot of your own (which one?).

    Also, which lenses are you getting? Have you decided yet? Any ones you’re mulling over?

    #6447

    Klahanie
    Participant

    OMG I thought you already had a DSLR!

    Me, too. I almost never was able to get great color and texture from my point-and-shoot, due to the quality of the lens and size of the sensor being, well, less than stellar. 🙄 I now know that you’re really good at post-processing or use a great point and shoot of your own (which one?).

    Also, which lenses are you getting? Have you decided yet? Any ones you’re mulling over?

    Thanks you guys. 😀 I almost always adjust contrast (increase) and lighting(decrease) in Picasa, but that’s about it other than cropping. And sometimes sharpening. I have Photoshop Elements, but have mostly used it to restore old photos with the healing brush. There is so much to learn with it and I’m just too impatient. A faster computer would be nice too. 😉

    My current camera is a Minolta Dimage z2 that I’ve had for over 2 years now. It has pretty good macro capabilities which I like, but damn it’s a slow camera. My new camera should be here tomorrow! I’m getting it with the 18-135mm kit lens. That should keep me busy for a while, but I’ll eventually spring for an ultra wide angle and a macro. I’m really looking forward to a faster focus/shutter response. 3 fps, unfathomable!

    #6448

    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    We finally got the HDR and tone mapping up and going on our system, and that qtpfstmo program is very nice. It offers 7 different ways to do tone mapping, and each different tone mapper comes with its own set of variables (which unfortunately they don’t tell you exactly what to do with them, so it’s all trial and error), but you can do quite a lot with it. I’ve done a few pictures, but don’t know if they’re Farktography-worthy yet. So far I’ve only created hdr images from differently exposed RAW files rather than true bracketing, but looking at the HDR version of a photo compared to the non-HDR, now my regular photos that I thought looked fine look dull and dark!

    #6449

    mikemikeb
    Participant

    OK, I’ve tried the GIMP tool, and with my example, I haven’t been too impressed. It’s not a very intelligent tool, meaning, it applies the merging effect equally across the whole image, and not variably, which kind of sucks. It can’t detect the locations of the blown-out highlights, and apply the top layer in those areas alone. It also would be nice if the tool was intelligent enough that a variable amount of the top layer could be applied, depending on how much highlight clipping there actually is. That means, the top right of the photo would have a lighter blue hue.

    What I did was expose two shots, both exposed to different metered levels, depending on where I aimed the camera (intersection vs. blue sky), and put ’em through the tool’s paces (and 1% blur, and not 0% blur, as an image apparently won’t be created at that setting). To demonstrate:

    This is Original “No. 1”:

    This is Original “No. 2”:

    This is the merged image @ 100% opacity:

    This is the merged image @ 35% opacity:

    Only here do we have a relatively undisturbed foreground, but the sky looks rather drab. Can’t I have a way where the sky is left blue per No. 2, the intersection looks like No. 1, and the top right looks like something closer to No. 2 but not exactly it?

    (Sorry, dial-up users)

    #6450

    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    Did you stack the darker layer on top or on bottom? I found that it worked much better if the darker exposure was on top of the lighter one.

    #6451

    mikemikeb
    Participant

    I found that it worked much better if the darker exposure was on top of the lighter one.

    I concur.

    #6452

    millera9
    Participant

    I agree with the two above posts, the dark layer definitely has to be on top. I’m having the same issues, however. Because Gimp isn’t terribly selective about what it changes when you use the tool, there really isn’t any way to pick and choose the elements you want and the ones you don’t (or at least not that I’ve found). I think the short answer is that we simply have to spring for CS2 if we want to make quality HDR’s that look something like real photos. *shrug*

    #6453

    linguine
    Participant

    I havent been having to much luck in getting anything that Ive been very happy with using the dynamic range extender in gimp. Unfortunately thats been the only thing that Ive been able to even get working so Im stuck with it.

    #6454

    Morningbreath
    Participant

    I am much happier now with photomatix, now that I fool around with it more. I can pretty much get the effect I am looking for, I use a lot of photos though. For some of the shots tomorrow night I combined 9 photos. You will see the difference in how life like things look between 3 and 9 photos. Shading and other such stuff is not an issue, as it is appears to be with gimp. I won’t be trying gimp again though, I got malware with gimp last time I downloaded it. I still have not bought photomatix though, so my shots are cropped to cut the photomatix sign out. I am not convinced its worth a $100.

    #6455

    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    I think with the Dynamic Range Extender in GIMP, since it doesn’t have any fine tuning and can only combine 2 exposures, you have to carefully choose what to combine. It’s just not going to perform miracles, and it’s not going to work well on every photo you attempt it with. It’s probably going to give better results with exposures that aren’t miles apart, though I think it also depends on the base dynamic range in the scene as well. I found the combination of the Dynamic Range Extender and the Shadow Recovery plugin (to further bring up shadow detail) to work quite a lot better than the DRE alone.

    Btw, mikemikeb, that last 35% opacity shot of yours actually looks pretty decent. When I have a more dull sky like that, I generally try to boost the saturation of my blues and or cyans to see if that helps.

    Morningbreath: That’s a shame (and unusual!) that you got malware with a GIMP download–where did you download it from?

    Overall, I’m pleased with my HDR results under Linux, in the combination of Cinepaint for creating the HDR file, qpfstmo for tone mapping (there are 7 different tone mappers, including the one used by Photomatix), and GIMP for final editing/tweaking. Unfortunately, I don’t think Cinepaint (a GIMP derivative used to edit movies) or qpfstmo are compatible with Windows. Possibly Cinepaint, but almost certainly not qpfstmo which relies on certain Linux libraries to work. I doubt very seriously that my HDR shots would win any awards, but then I’m just playing around with it more or less, and prefer more traditional LDR photography. HDR’s a nice diversion, though….

    #6456

    Morningbreath
    Participant

    I got gimp from some site I probably should not have trusted. The malware was not a big deal, and I got rid of it. I just use a work computer for my photos and didn’t want the office to know about the extra-curricular activities. Overall I am fairly pleased with photomatix, my problems with the pictures now may be that my camera stinks, and I am using jpeg instead of raw files. It should be interesting to see how the other hdr photos come out. I am looking forward to this weeks contest.

    #6457

    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    That really stinks about the malware. I mean, even if it wasn’t a big deal, it was big enough that you don’t want to deal with GIMP again 😉 Regardless, someone mentioned there’s a free trial of CS2 and it has HDR capability, if you’re interested. Don’t think it watermarks, either, but I could be wrong on that.

    I’m also looking forward to this week’s contest–I’m fully expecting to be absolutely blown away by what gets entered tomorrow night…

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