Unacceptable HDR image  

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hermer-blr
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Unacceptable HDR image

by hermer-blr » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:13 pm

I have just tried - for the first time with APG 2.5 - the HDR function (APG 2.5 RC2). I did exactly as explained in the documentation (case 2 E).

A/ First, I had two issues (not documented by Kolor), that KOLOR has not answered sofar - See:

http://www.autopano.net/forum/t11645-hdr-workflow-from-raw

One of these issues is related to APG Man Machine Interface (so, not a functional issue, not a bug)
The second one may explain the result I finally got - See Photomatix screen capture

B/ Unacceptable result - See Photomatix screen capture !

So, a very desappointing result. Is this a bug ? Is it related to the exif data ? What is the solution to this problem ?

C/ For information:

The rendering settings were:
- 10240 x 5120 image size (to avoid the bug at R/L borderline)
- HDR rendering (without modifying the default proposed by APG for this)
- .hdr output image

The images (see unanswered post) were 24 x 3 tif images (arranged by brackets of 3 as requested in the doc) generated from 24 raw files - As explained in the unanswered post above, the exif data are the same for the 3 images of a single bracket (Nikon Capture NX2 tags the images with the camera settings, not with the processing settings). The 24 raw images are taken with different exposures (Aperture, not shutter, priority, as I always do)


Last edited by hermer-blr on Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nikon D5100 (formerly Nikon D60) - Sigma 10-20 - 24 shots Panoramas in 3 raws
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by mediavets » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:34 pm

hermer-blr wrote:The 24 raw images are taken with different exposures (Shutter priority, as I always do)

An unusual choice.
Andrew Stephens
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Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by hermer-blr » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:03 pm

To mediavets :

Sorry - I meant APERTURE priority !
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by renan » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:42 pm

You can send your pictures here, I will see if I can have better result :
http://www.autopano.net/forum/t766-ftp-server

If your final gaol is to have a realistic tonemapped picture, you can try to use the exposure fusion preset. You will have a well exposed picture without passing by an hdr format.

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by hermer-blr » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:05 pm

To Renan:

I have tried but, after compression, this is more than 2 Gbytes to transfer. 6 hours. Seems unrealistic.

But, please, consider my question regarding exif data, identical for all the images of a bracketed set. There may be a cause here for this very bad result. I insist to stress that photomatix would not accept all the images to have the same exposure.
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by leedsjoe » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:25 am

In case it helps...

In the past, when I have been testing APG versions for Kolor I have sent scaled-down images to them; where it seems crucial I have re-run the tests against the scaled-down images before sending.

I use Picasa to do the scaling. Just confirmed - using Properties in Picasa that EXIF data is preserved; whether all the possible metadata is preserved I am not sure.

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by hermer-blr » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:34 am

To Leedsjoe :

Thanks. I have been a little lazzy for considering other options. All my images are Tif 16 bits. Just converting them into Jpg would highly reduce the amount of memory for the transfer.

But I have to say that I also feel a little angry against Kolor who do not start by answering my very basic questions: They are the ones who know whether their HDR processing requires the exif data to be correct, as would Photomatix do.

J.M.
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by renan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:39 pm

For using the exposure fusion preset, this is indispensable to regroup pictures by exposition. It's done automatically if you have exif data and you have to manually create brackets if not (use context menu in group editor).

In case of HDR output preset, Exif data are not indispensable but they will help the color correction if they are existing.

In output HDR preset, you can try to unchek the "remove HDR ghost" which is not very efficient with bracket of 3 pictures. It can help when you have moving objects inside bracket. I not sure this is necessary for this panorama (may be for leaves...).

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by Aeriscera » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:33 pm

hermer-blr wrote:But I have to say that I also feel a little angry against Kolor who do not start by answering my very basic questions: They are the ones who know whether their HDR processing requires the exif data to be correct, as would Photomatix do.

You have my sympathy. I had a similar experience of using the "HDR" function: output was clearly wrong (not blended). If I recall correctly Alexandre accepted this as a bug. When we might see a fix is another issue ...

I also suggested a way of debugging (used by a company producing a related product) without having to send large numbers of large files but this idea wasn't taken up either.

A

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by Aeriscera » Fri May 13, 2011 6:42 pm

What is the status of this thread? I am using APG 2.5.2 and following the same workflow as the original poster and I get the same results - i.e. what look like unblended images. I tried AlexJ's suggestion (in another thread) of switching off HDR Ghosts but that had no effect.

I'm starting to wonder if the only way of getting the .hdr output to look right is to use source images that AP automatically detects as bracketed (this was also suggested in another thread). My camera doesn't create bracketed images with the right EXIF info for AP, so it looks like I will have to hack the images' EXIF data which is not very "auto".

I'm inclined to suggest that the procedure of creating .hdr output as described in the wiki (where you use the "Group by N" option) does not work so there is a bug here.

Aeris

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by Marmotte06 » Sat May 14, 2011 7:49 am

I also have big problems with .hdr generation. It just doesn't work.
I have posted a second message explaining the problem with APG 2.5.2, but Kolor doesn't answer.
I think they are focused on version 2.6 and don't fix problems anymore on previous versions.
They just hope that 2.6 will fix all problems by miracle.

My opinion is that they spend too much time injecting new functionalities (who asked for these ?) to the detriment of fixing basic problems. That's a very dangerous slope. Loyal customers that were happy with 2.0.9 are getting bored and start looking for alternatives.

Olivier

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by GURL » Sat May 14, 2011 9:50 am

Marmotte06 wrote:My opinion is that they spend too much time injecting new functionalities (who asked for these ?) to the detriment of fixing basic problems. That's a very dangerous slope. Loyal customers that were happy with 2.0.9 are getting bored and start looking for alternatives.

One could ask for the reasons why happy 2.09 users are now using 2.5 rather than 2.0.9.

This is not a joke! In my opinion non-beta versions are released before time and spending the next 6 months or even more to polish details and document new features would certainly help to improve most users'experience.

Some users like changes, will trade improvements for some bugs and will be happy to find new ways to stitch panos (as an example I like to use fusion but believe many users will prefer HDR rather than fusion because HDR is well-know.) That not all users are asking for new features and prefer to avoid changes when possible should be taken into account.

In a few words: year 2011 Autopano users are different from 2005 Autopano users and which of them should use last released version not clear enough.
Georges

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by Marmotte06 » Sat May 14, 2011 11:32 am

GURL wrote:One could ask for the reasons why happy 2.09 users are now using 2.5 rather than 2.0.9.

Easy: I was very happy with 2.09, and I expected a lot from 2.5 (HDR & exposure fusion in particular). This is why I upgraded to 2.5. And this is why I am quite disapointed: 2.5.x is unstable, doesn't do regular panos better than 2.0, has more options I don't care about, has more parameters that make it more complex to use and tune, HDR doesn't work, and exposure fusion is ambryonic.
Result: I just bought the license for Photomatix, which does exposure fusion much better, and I seriously hope that Photomatix 5.0 will start doing stitching. If so I will get rid of Autopano, which is moving in a direction that I do not like.

GURL wrote:Some users like changes, will trade improvements for some bugs and will be happy to find new ways to stitch panos.

I am ok to trade good changes for some glitches. But I am very unhappy to trade useless changes for major issues which Kolor does not deign to fix. We are now at 2.5.2, and Kolor just tells us that no problem will be fixed until 2.6 is there. But 2.6 will bring again new functions, and inevitably new bugs. When will bug be fixed ? When 3.0 arrives right after ? Is that a joke ?
In French that's what we call a "fuite en avant", and it's not a good sign at all.

Olivier

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by Rico » Sun May 15, 2011 11:38 pm

OK, I understand the views in the posts above. If you want to produce a good HDR Pano I have found it is best to output the bracketed layers from Autopano Giga and then merge and tone-map them in another application. That works well. I think that Autopano may eventually be able to do all of this but in the meantime I think there is nothing wrong with using various applications in concert to get the best result.

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by Aeriscera » Mon May 16, 2011 1:21 am

I think you are right. The problem (tm) is that tools such as Photmatix (are there others?) are limited in the size of image they can handle.

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by Rico » Mon May 16, 2011 1:57 am

You may be right on that. I just merged 3 layers in Photomatix each 16671x5543 with no problem. Merging in CS5 should not be an issue with much larger files. I like to use 32 float which as you may know is a plug-in for Photoshop for tone-mapping. I also use HDR Expose which also seems to handle large files well. 32 float and HDR Expose are from Unified Color. I have discount codes on my site for all of these. I have found that the Unified Color products give me great color control and very few artifacts. I guess once you create gigapixel images there may be file size problems. My files are not so big.
Last edited by Rico on Mon May 16, 2011 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by Aeriscera » Mon May 16, 2011 2:14 am

Rico wrote:Merging in CS5 should not be an issue with much larger files.

Would that that were true. You get a JavaScript error :-) It has been there since CS3 ...

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by klausesser » Mon May 16, 2011 2:43 am

I still don´t understand why people refuse to process bracketed images BEFORE stitching . . . In the end it takes much longer to hazzle around getting non-optimal results than carefully process in Photomatix before stitching. Stitching is far more easy for APG then and it´s definitely faster. And: size doesn´t matter this way :cool:

best, Klaus
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by Rico » Mon May 16, 2011 3:42 am

Hi Klaus.
The reason I do not like to do the merge to HDR first is that it does not always work for me. I think it may be due to floating point variations in the image groups. In other words, if there are major differences in the brightness you may wind up with a set of images to stitch that have very different results from the hdr merge/tone-mapping process even when batch processing. It does work often enough to be sure, and sometimes I do it that way. As far as I am concerned, I get cleaner and more consistent results merging the pano layers, but to each his own. Klaus, I have great respect for your great knowledge and work so I hope I have not offended you.
Regards,
Rico

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by Rico » Mon May 16, 2011 3:46 am

Hi Aeriscera,
I just merged a 1.03G Radience file in CS5 on my MacPro with no problem. Are you merging much larger files? Are you on a Mac?
Regards,
Rico

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by Aeriscera » Mon May 16, 2011 3:03 pm

Rico wrote:Hi Aeriscera,
I just merged a 1.03G Radience file in CS5 on my MacPro with no problem. Are you merging much larger files? Are you on a Mac?
Regards,
Rico

Aye. 4GB min, 8GB normal. I have 12GB RAM on a PC. I should say I haven't really tested out CS5 for its limits. Could have another look.

A

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by klausesser » Mon May 16, 2011 3:14 pm

:cool:
Rico wrote:. . so I hope I have not offended you.

:cool: in no way, Rico!

I just made the opposite experiences - tried APG several times with bracketing and didn´t get results which can compare with the "other way".
I experienced bad linking between brackets, long stitching process and in terms of colors unsatisfying results. I guess my use of it is inappropriate - but i still didn´t get it and my time for trying and erroing is limited actually. So: "never change a running system" . . :cool:

best,Klaus
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by irpano » Tue May 17, 2011 2:38 am

Klaus, Note your comments and I think they also answer my post in "Using APG - Bracketing how does it work".
I read that your workflow is to Fused first and then stitch. Correct? Forget about doing bracketing from within APG. (No slur on APG)
John

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by HansKeesom » Mon May 23, 2011 10:03 am

klausesser wrote:I still don´t understand why people refuse to process bracketed images BEFORE stitching . . . In the end it takes much longer to hazzle around getting non-optimal results than carefully process in Photomatix before stitching. Stitching is far more easy for APG then and it´s definitely faster. And: size doesn´t matter this way :cool:

best, Klaus

Hi Klaus,
At the moment I do not use HDR but am looking forward to do so.
At the moment I process each RAW-file into tiff using rawtherapee. While doing so rawtherapee corrects CA and does good de-mosaicing.

When you speak of "process bracketed images BEFORE stitching" would I need to change anything to the processing I now do?

regards,

Hans Keesom
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by UK Pano » Mon May 23, 2011 10:42 am

Hi Hans,

Correct me if I am wrong but I think Klaus is talking about processing the bracketed images prior to putting them in APG to stitch rather than using APG to process them. This is my preferred workflow and use Enfuse (http://software.bergmark.com/enfuseGUI/Main.html) to process my bracketed TIFFs (those of -xEV/0EV/+xEV) prior to then stitching in APG.

My workflow is

i) Basic RAW processing and output to 16 bit TIFF
ii) Enfuse bracketed set
iii) Stitch with APG
iv) Output panorama as 16 bitt TIFF
v) Final touch ups in Photoshop (levels, sharpening etc)
vi) Export to final jpg

Regards,
Paul
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