Testing Qtpfsgui/Luminance HDR 2.0.1 – Free HDR Imaging Software.
November 24, 2010
HDR Image of George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA
Here’s another alternative free HDR imaging software for people who want to create HDR images but can’t afford those popular but pricey Photomatix Pro 4 and Adobe Photoshop CS5. I have just installed the latest version of Luminance HDR, Ver. 2.0.1 and I noticed that it has been greatly improved from Version 1.9.3. It’s easier to use and the improved performance is really noticeable.
Supported HDR formats:
- OpenEXR (extension: exr);
- Radiance RGBE (extension: hdr);
- Tiff formats: 16bit, 32bit (float) and LogLuv (extension: tiff);
- Raw image formats (extension: various);
- PFS native format (extension: pfs).
Supported LDR formats
- TIFF (8 bit).
- Create an HDR file from a set of images (formats: JPEG, TIFF 8bit and 16bit, RAW) of the same scene taken at different exposure setting;
- Save load HDR images;
- Rotate, resize and crop HDR images;
- Tonemap HDR images;
- Copy exif data between sets of images;
- Supports internationalization.
Luminance HDR is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, see Downloadabove. A wiki space provided by Sourceforge acts a central place for all the documentation. A great deal of discussions and images related to Luminance HDR can be found on flickr.
If you want to contribute translating Luminance HDR for your language here’s an howtothat explains the procedure to become a maintainer.
After doing a couple of HDR images I find it to be a great tool, probably better than picturenaut (another free hdr software) . It now supports Canon CR2 raw files, I didn’t have to convert raw files to Tiff, unlike in the old version 1.9.3. On my testing I was going to use 7 raw files to merge into hdr, but for some unknown reason Luminance crash twice when initially merging those 7 raw files, so I tried to use only 3 raw files and it worked like a charm. Another problem I noticed is when using the Align Images feature. The first set of photos that i was going to use was shot handheld, naturally I would want to align the images, but every time I use the feature, Luminance will crash. If I don’t use the align feature the merge images are a little blurry because they are misaligned. Thank goodness I used a tripod when I took the photos above.
Last thing I noticed is the inability to save the final result to Tiff, I prefer to save the final result to a Tiff format than Jpeg, tiff retains the full quality of the image, allowing me flexibility to enhance or tweak the image to photoshop if needed.
Well, I still have to do some testing before I can do a recommendation. But for now, based on the two sample photos above, I may find a way to incorporate it in my workflow.
Continue on Part II, Testing Luminance HDR 2.0.1 – Free HDR Imaging Software.