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Old Jan 12, 2010, 8:00 AM   #1
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Default Halo-Matix Tone Map on Neversink Valley

I mostly use Dynamic Photo HDR's (DPHDR) "Eye-Catching" tone map because I think it's closer to reality (with the proper slider adjustments as per Walter S) and allows more room for adjustments in Photoshop Elements (PSE) compared to the other tone maps. The "Eye-Catching" tone map is what I taught my wife to use most often (to the point of telling her not to bother with the other tone maps) because of these two reasons.

But last night I started playing around with DPHDR's "Halo-Matix" tone map. I applied it on pictures I took with my wife at the Neversink Valley Museum in Cuddebackville, NY this past weekend. I think I was able to slide down the controls to eliminate most of the "halo" effect which I remember reading here can be annoying to some. I also think the Halo-Matix tone map has the potential for sharper wood grain, tree branches, glass reflections, etc., compared to the other tone maps. My feeling is the Halo-Matix tone map is better suited for more "artsy" output bordering on the surreal as opposed to realism.

I'd very much appreciate knowing what you think. I'd like to introduce the Halo-Matix tone map to my wife, too. Thank you for looking!

#1.


#2.


#3.


#4.


#5.


#6.


#7.


#8.


#9.


#10.


#11.

Last edited by vvcarpio; Jan 12, 2010 at 8:08 AM. Reason: Added 4 more images.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 9:33 AM   #2
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VV, to hell with those who are annoyed with the halo effect. Just post away. They dont have to look. Im not that crazy about it either, but I want to see everything in the HDR thread. Sometimes it will work sometimes it wont. But categorically denying it doesnt make sense to me. This batch of pics Im not thrilled with. In your first pic for example most of the image in the background seems to have a moire pattern to it. As if the trees are all made up of little dots. The best of your shots here are just ok, while the rest are not so good in my eyes. Id prefer over the top from Photomatix than what you have shown me. But Im glad you did show me. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but never boring. Thanks VV.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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some of these have too much artificacts in the small details, such as Bynx mentioned #1. i think this is just a matter of playing with it a little more.

#2, #7, #8 look good. whatever you did on those worked. you were able to get good details without introducing artifacts.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot, Bynx and Hards80, for your comments!

Below was my first HDR attempt on #1 using the "Eye-Catching" tone map -- I looked at it again to see if maybe it, too, has the "moire" pattern. It seems that it does not. So the Halo-Matix tone map is the culprit.

I'll think more about the "moire" pattern to see if maybe some sliders might eliminate it. I did minimal postprocessing with PSE on these after the Halo-Matix tone map.

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Old Jan 12, 2010, 1:29 PM   #5
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these look like they have been designed or drawn up on a computer , personally i like differnt things and one or two of these do indeed catch my eye but as mentoned the noise is there
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 2:12 PM   #6
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After looking at your repost of #1 I opened it in Photoshop and see what the problem is. Dont know why, but the background is very pixelated. More than normal for a pic that size. At 100% the pixelation is still noticeable. Im betting the original pic has no problems with it. Maybe even the pic you did your Halo-Matix is ok. I suggest you recheck your posted pic file and make sure its 100% at 72 dpi.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 9:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
After looking at your repost of #1 I opened it in Photoshop and see what the problem is. Dont know why, but the background is very pixelated. More than normal for a pic that size. At 100% the pixelation is still noticeable. Im betting the original pic has no problems with it. Maybe even the pic you did your Halo-Matix is ok. I suggest you recheck your posted pic file and make sure its 100% at 72 dpi.

Sorry Bynx -- I'm still new to photography and still trying to understand the terminologies. I think I understand what you mean by 72 DPI. However, with regards to "100%", do you mean 100% JPG compression meaning no compression at all?

Basically, before doing HDR-edit, I shrink the 3 (or 5) images to somewhere near my desired width of 1024. Sometimes I shrink to 2000, sometimes to 1400, sometimes to 1200 -- it depends on how much I think I will crop the picture. I do this so DPHDR will run faster since it's working with a smaller image (compared to the 4000+ width my camera produces).

I use Microsoft Digital Image Suite's batch resizer which does not give the option to set DPI. (Its resizing tool for individual images however does default to 72 DPI. But I can't tell if 72 DPI is also what its batch resizer uses.)

Thanks, Bynx, for looking into this. It's getting late (where I'm at) so I'll continue looking into this tomorrow.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 9:58 PM   #8
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well, that is the problem. always do your HDR before you resize. even if it slows your computer down. you will see much better results.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:09 PM   #9
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well, that is the problem. always do your HDR before you resize. even if it slows your computer down. you will see much better results.
HAHAHAHA Absolutely right. Always work in the hi res. Then when you are finished you can reduce the size to fit on the site. To understand the terminology 72 dpi is the resolution of your monitor and the resolution of your file. If your file is 7.1 Megapixel that translates to 42 inches by 32 inches at 72 dpi. If you reduce that to 8 inches by 10 inches that will increase your dpi to 300 for hi res printing. When I say 100% that is to say the size that will appear on your monitor. Your original file (42 x 32 inches) must be reduced to 25 or 30% to fit on your monitor so it can be seen without scrolling up and down. Say its 25%. Then you should reduce your file size to 25% so that the new 100% size will be 25% of the original file size. Remember the difference between viewing size and actual file size. And when you do your Halo Matrix on the hi res file you will be really surprised at the difference it makes.

Last edited by Bynx; Jan 12, 2010 at 10:15 PM.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 8:01 AM   #10
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I tried out your suggestions (I was excited ) -- mainly to resize AFTER HDR-edit instead of BEFORE. But while working on it and looking at the output, I thought maybe the pixelation comes not from resizing BEFORE HDR-edit but rather from my sharpening the image (which I always do to all my images after resizing).

The 3 images below might better show what I mean. All 3 images were done in the following order:

1) HDR-edited (merged, tone mapped) via DPHDR with original resolution at 4592x3056.
2) Loaded DPHDR-output into PSE where I resized to 1024x681.

The first image below (#13) is the output of the above 2 steps. It is not sharpened. The last two images (#s 14 & 15) are the result of my sharpening with PSE's sharpen tool.

#13. Not sharpened.


#14. Sharpened: Amount = 500%, Radius = 4 (same settings as #1 image)


#15. Sharpened: Amount = 500%, Radius = 3


If sharpening isn't the culprit, I'd appreciate knowing your thoughts.

Thanks, Bynx, for the explanation on DPI and percentages. I think I now understand (though not yet fully). I come from a legion of programmers when punch cards were just being phased out (itís something that doesnít do me any good but it makes me feel proud) and desktop publishing and its adoption of the DPI concept wasnít invented yet. In the world of programming, I am what Walter calls an old fart. As such, I have difficulty transitioning from thinking with pixels to thinking with percentages. I have set PSE to use pixels instead of percent long ago the first time I used it. I will keep coming back to your explanation because I would like to know the principles behind it by heart.

Regarding resizing, I used to resize AFTER I HDR-edited the original big files from my camera. I adopted the practice of resizing BEFORE HDR-editing when I read DPHDR's manual where it says:


"Many times if you need a tone-mapped image for web you don't really need to process the huge 10 Mega-pixel image that is today common for many cameras. Resizing the HDR image in half before tone-mapping will not only speed up the tone-mapping, but often make the result look more vivid with less noise, especially if the original size is very large."

Taking this idea further, I thought (rightfully or wrongfully, I don't know) I'd trust more Microsoft's resizing algorithm (in its MDIS software) since the mechanical aspects of manipulating images like resizing might not be DPHDR's strength. DPHDR's strength I would think lies instead in the insightful or inferrential (I'm at a loss for words here...) process of producing art which is definitely non-mechanical. (OK, I'm getting a bit philosophical here...) Anyway, thatís why I started resizing the bracketed shots first.

But now after spending some time re-thinking about my process (getting philosophical might be beneficial after all...), DPHDRís resize button appears after the images are aligned and before tone-mapping. So maybe by then (Iím just guessing) DPHDR has already taken all the info it needs from the original big images to produce the best possible output and so tells me, ďOK, now you can resize...Ē.

Sorry for the long post. I guess the whole point of this exercise for me is, a lot of what I do is trial-and-error. I have so many questions still about the many different aspects of post-processing. I donít ask them here because I know in time -- thanks to all of you -- they will all be answered.

Thanks a lot, Hards80 and Bynx, for your suggestions and explanations!
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