HDR Probe Render settings  

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chafouin
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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by chafouin » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:43 pm

Chafouin is a nickname ;)

Yes I know about sIBL, I used it in the past in maya. Also tried HDRLight Studio, but that's not really my field, I work in games.

I'm asking about the EXIF because when merging in LuminanceHDR or Photoshop, it analyzes the EXIF data to know about the exposure values. It complains when there is no exif data, don't know if that actually makes a difference when merging, but I suppose so!

I haven't pushed my tests very far, but it seems that the output from APG is correct and proper HDR. I compared it with pre-merged TIFFs file and they seemed to have the same information range.

Also opened them in Nuke and they seemed correct, I had 17 stops range, with values up to 60 for the sun (which is extremely low, I know, but I didn't use an ND filter). I'll make a proper comparison, to know exactly. I hate to rely on "It should be correct" or "Everybody says so", I need to be sure :)

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Re:

by marzipano » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:57 pm

klausesser wrote:PS: i´m very well aware that APG puts out .exr or .hdr files. But i´m not convinced it really PRODUCES "true" HDR.
Some time ago somebody put that to discussion here and we checked it in Nuke - Nuke did NOT identify the APG-files being
"true" HDR . .
Not everything which is labeled "hdr" truely IS hdr these days.


I think this topic came up when someone else said APG didn't produce "true" hdr and I think we showed at that time that it did. I still have the .hdr file I took in my study room of 7 exposures of +/- 4/3 EV which processed via APG HDR as shown below

I don't know how you test a file (in Nuke) as you mentioned

Some of the other issues discussed in various posts above have also been addressed here before:

1. HDR colour option is greyed out if the exif data supplied is incomplete

http://www.kolor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16755
2. The strongest blending is obtained from setting the multiband level = 0
3. Photomatix has MUCH better anti-ghosting and alignment processing (IMO) than APG for the images that comprise the members of a bracketed set (we sincerely hope Kolor will get round to addressing this at some point).
4. "Detect hard links" is good provided you are using a good tripod with no camera movement whatever as it just overlays pixels by position. I mostly do handheld and so the control point matching option is a "must" for this
5. AFAIK on rendering, each option going from L to R (i.e Anti Ghost > Exposure Fusion > HDR output) includes all the previous ones as well. I normally choose HDR colour and HDR ghosts on detection and HDR output on Rendering

2 views of the .hdr image using hdrview.exe at different exposure levels and the final tonemapped version from Photomatix:
Attachments
scrprt-tonemapped.jpg
scrprt2.jpg
scrprt1.jpg
Last edited by marzipano on Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:59 pm

chafouin wrote:
. . I work in games.


here you don´t need full HDR capabilities due to constant movings. That´s a bit like in movies: see a movie picture as stop-motion . . and you realize the lack on resolution. When you compose objects like cars and photographed backplates and IBL-spheres for advertising you need much higher accuracy due to printing two-page in magazins or having it on real big prints on walls.

chafouin wrote:
I'm asking about the EXIF because when merging in LuminanceHDR or Photoshop, it analyzes the EXIF data to know about the exposure values. It complains when there is no exif data, don't know if that actually makes a difference when merging, but I suppose so!


Well - that´s because the apps tend to use some kind of automatisms - they base on EXIFs. Hands off! I suggest doing it all manually.

For which app do you need the probes?

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by chafouin » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:11 pm

This is going into too much details about what I'm doing, and I am under NDA so I won't answer that ;)
Let's just say I am a pixel peeper, I just want to get the best output I can, biggest range with high resolution :)

Thanks for your input marzipano. I use hard links as I used a tripod, so I don't really need to pre-merge my HDR files in that sense. Have you tried to merge bracketed exposures in APP, and tried different blending modes (Simple / Multibland level -2 /Multibland lvl -8)? Did you notice the halos around the edges, as well as overbrightened highlights?

Thanks.

EDIT: when you say define exposures manually, why do you do that? Do you actually calculate yourself? and why?

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:14 am

Ok.. I too tried Klaus method but... I set it as normal.. Hard links, grouped stacks etc.. After detection I went to Edit, and turned all but one layer off.. I then rendered them individually.. 5 layers and this is the results.. Do not take any notice of the stitching.. It has huge issues... Its just the HDR render that I am showcasing here... I used Photomatix and feel that Default, Smooth and Enhanced are quite nice.. If done this way it seems to work.. I tried to use the sIBL_GUI 4 my my Mac blocks it.. So, not so ridicules after all.. :lol:

I can only add 3 images here so next post. You really need to render to get the full picture of results since preview and final render seems to be different.. The good thing about Photomatix, you can save your Presets which APGP lacks..

Destiny...

EDIT.. I removed those other panos.. Not so nice.. But the the next two have something thats interesting about them.. Not horrible but not .... ??
Last edited by Destiny on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:15 am

.... and two more results..

Destiny..
Attachments
TestDefault1Opp.jpg
EnhancedOpp.jpg

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:23 pm

Destiny wrote:Ok.. I too tried Klaus method but... I set it as normal.. Hard links, grouped stacks etc.. After detection I went to Edit, and turned all but one layer off.. I then rendered them individually.. 5 layers and this is the results.. Do not take any notice of the stitching.. It has huge issues... Its just the HDR render that I am showcasing here... I used Photomatix and feel that Default, Smooth and Enhanced are quite nice.. If done this way it seems to work.. I tried to use the sIBL_GUI 4 my my Mac blocks it.. So, not so ridicules after all.. :lol:

I can only add 3 images here so next post. You really need to render to get the full picture of results since preview and final render seems to be different.. The good thing about Photomatix, you can save your Presets which APGP lacks..

Destiny...


The aim is to keep all HDR capabilities for using a "true" HDR-file for IBL (ImageBasedLighting). We can´t use tonemapped or fusioned images for this.

So there is NO USE of any tonemapping or fusioning in this process. My use of Photomatix in this case is ONLY for generating a "true" HDR output file. Whithout using those ridiculous gimmicks like "grunge" or whatever for tonemapping . . :rolleyes:

Stitching 5 bracketed stacks is no problem in APG 3.0.8 when you use the XML from your head - no problem even without the XML.

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:07 pm

So.. the question now is, when using the full pano to achieve a HDR pano, the two ends of the Pano do not merge.. :rolleyes:

I only tested those other output panos to see what they looked like, ridiculous gimmicks as they might well be. :p

Destiny..

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:13 pm

Destiny wrote:So.. the question now is, when using the full pano to achieve a HDR pano, the two ends of the Pano do not merge.. :rolleyes:



Well - yes: that´s the question . . i can´t answer, because i never had that issue . . :cool:

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:58 pm

.... I guess as long as I check on the 360 it works fine.. but you already knew that.... :p

To be honest, I find HDR interesting but I do not really like it... not when over done anyway... Natural would be fine..

Destiny...

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:25 pm

Destiny wrote:To be honest, I find HDR interesting but I do not really like it... not when over done anyway... Natural would be fine..


This makes your basic misunderstanding very obvious:
you are talking about tonemapping/fusioning. You are NOT talking about HDR.

You can not "overdo" HDR. But you can "overdo" tonemapping. That produces those "candy effects" or "grunge" or whatever there is looking unnatural.

HDR itself doesn´t look "natural" or "unatural".

HDR cannot get displayed by your computer. It would need very specialized (and VERY expensive) hardware to do so.
You only can display tone-mapped or fusioned images on usual hardware - but then they´re no HDR any more. And can´t be used for IBL anymore.

It´s relevant learning to keep things seperated: A) HDR, B) tonemapped images from HDR.

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:18 pm

I see... What would you say this file type is... :rolleyes:

Destiny..

HDR.jpg
HDR.jpg (15.42 KiB) Viewed 673 times

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:41 pm

Destiny wrote:I see... What would you say this file type is... :rolleyes:

Destiny..

The attachment HDR.jpg is no longer available



Well the second one useless of course - how well the first works . . . who knows =| :cool:

I tried it many months ago - and i wasn´t pleased at all doing it in APG. So i kept my proven workflow - and i keep it still . . ;) :cool:

You know: you need to USE the things in real work for knowing what they do and about the quality they do it.
Only THEN you can see whether you can use them for YOUR kind of working. Or not.

I don´t know how many advertising jobs you do per month shooting backplates and hdr-spheres for IBL
for compsing them with 3D objects lighting them delicately with the original light and shadows as well as mirror-mapping
the whole environment.
If you found another flawlessly working way to make hdr-probes for IBL or GL: fine, go ahead! :cool:

Klaus

PS: THIS is the relevant item:
Attachments
Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-26 um 22.44.39.png
Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-26 um 22.44.39.png (17.98 KiB) Viewed 668 times

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:49 pm

Destiny wrote:
HDR.jpg




To what are you referring here?

Klaus

Ah - i see: to the batch-processing in Photomatix. Well THAT is the wrong way!!
Use the option i showed in my sreenshot (also Photomatix).

Import the 3 or more seperate layers into Photomatix and merge them to HDR - WITHOUT ANY kind of tone-processing!
Don´t care it´s looking very ugly - that´s because your screen isn´t able to display "real" HDR adaequately.
Then save the result als 32bit HDR file as .hdr or, depending on what you want to do, as .exr.
Then make them probes and use them for IBL.

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:02 pm

Ok... Now I have my HDR image, what next... :)

Destiny...

PS... The first thing I notice is the hugely reduced blowout of light coming from the fluro light...
Attachments
HDR-PreView.jpg
Last edited by Destiny on Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:06 pm

Ok.. I will do as you said at previous....

Destiny..

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:28 pm

Destiny wrote:Ok... Now I have my HDR image, what next... :)

Destiny...

PS... The first thing I notice is the hugely reduced blowout of light coming from the fluro light...


Again:
1) put your bracketed sets into APG.
2) stitch them as stacks. DO NOT use the fusioning option.
3) export the stacks as seperate layers to Photomatix.
4) use "merge into 32-bit HDR file".
5) in the settings use only EV-spacing and "source images are linear".
6) set "Save 32-bit HDR file as Radiance or exr" in the output.
7) set the naming options if you want.
8) use the .hdr files for making your HDR-probes.

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:08 am

emm.. as you said my monitor is not setup for this so I do not really know if what I am doing is correct.. I also think I am missing the plot with part of this.. I need to buy the the HDR Book George posted up a while back... Its clear that there are huge ambiguity between those who talk about HDR and real HDR.. I do not think my iMac is up to the task.. Surprisingly, Maya 2014 works really well as long as I do not use too many particle systems.. But I have no use for those anyway.. Lighting works ok.. I also need to learn more about Image Based Lighting..

Not giving up, just taking a brake.. One thing is certain.. Its all very interesting..

Destiny...

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:12 am

Destiny wrote:One thing is certain.. Its all very interesting..



Right! :cool:

Klaus

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by chafouin » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:01 am

I continued my tests and tried the "render layers in APP then merge them to HDR" method. It does work but you get some weird color clamping / banding / flattening in some parts of the image, not even in the hightlights or shadows, but on some surfaces... I actually noticed the same with the "bracketed exposures merged to HDR in APP", with Simple Blending or Multiband.

The only solution that gives me a PERFECT file is the one where I merge the bracketed exposures firsts, then stitch them in APP. Pretty much what everyone says in general about making HDR probes ;)

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:12 am

Hi.. You are just doing what everyone else has been there and done and tried.. You are right... The only real easy and best solution is to process the images first and then use APG to stitch.. But... some people like me have issues with Photomatix processed images.. I get no issues with Enfuse but that is different.. I have since discovered that its NOT ALL processed images from Photomatix.. Its just some, depending on how they are processed... I guess the best thing to do is try other software apps to process your bracketed images.. There are a few and better than Photomatix but using a Mac I am a bit restricted..

Destiny...

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by chafouin » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:24 am

I still think you're talking about tonemapping, Destiny, when you talk about processing the images. In theory, merging to 32bits files should be "identical" in every software, with just small differences like aligning and removing ghosts, and response curve choice.

I've tried several softwares however. Turns out Photoshop merge to HDR affects colors and saturation. The Merge to 32bits plugin for Lightroom, made by the guys from Photomatix, doesn't allow batch merging so I didn't even bother checking the resulsts. So I use Luminance HDR instead, for a couple of reason: it's free, and it allows you to choose how you merge your HDR, with different profiles and response curve settings. Also, you can batch merge. However aligning is slow and can give pretty bad results.

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by chafouin » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:42 am

Just wanted to add that PTGui has is correct with their "True HDR", so I really think Kolor should have a look at this issue, they must be losing lots of VFX professionals here...

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by Destiny » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:44 am

Yes... I have been looking at that today too..

Destiny...

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Re: HDR Probe Render settings

by klausesser » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:02 pm

chafouin wrote:I continued my tests and tried the "render layers in APP then merge them to HDR" method. It does work but you get some weird color clamping / banding / flattening in some parts of the image, not even in the hightlights or shadows, but on some surfaces... I actually noticed the same with the "bracketed exposures merged to HDR in APP", with Simple Blending or Multiband.


I never encountered for 3 years now the issues you describe. Guess there´s a mistake in your process. Do you use Photomatix?

chafouin wrote:The only solution that gives me a PERFECT file is the one where I merge the bracketed exposures firsts, then stitch them in APP. Pretty much what everyone says in general about making HDR probes ;)


"Everyone" - including me - suggest this way in terms of tonemapping. APG doesn´t tone-map. This is NOT related
to HDR-probes in any way.

Let´s try to be precise - you mean:
1) importing the brackets to APG.
2) merge them . . . exactly how??
3) stitch them
4) render them as .hdr

The straightest way would be:
1) import brackets
2) merge them in APG WITHOUT using the colorcorrection or the fusioning tool.
3) stitch them in APG
4) render them as .hdr files

I tested that intensely - the results didn´t impress me.
But that was a year or so ago in an earlier version of APG - maybe i´ll test it again.

Ok - i pull out here . . the crew in the studio has finished lunch and is waiting for me :cool:

Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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