Monday, August 03, 2009


After a long war with animated HDR photography, we finally win. Found the holy grail. HDR being a process whereby three exposures are combined into one. There's different uses for this; one is producing a very clear, crisp nice photograph. The other is 'tone-mapping', generating a non-real looking whacked-out image with incredible detail and texture. We did test, after test, after test, changing every variable we could think of. The result was always the same - an extremely strong flicker; in the areas where strong darks meet strong lights, the light would dance in an atrocious fashion.

There's two different controls for increasing HDR whackiness (referring specifically to Photomatix Pro); light smoothing, and luminosity. All the tests involved changing the luminosity. Even dialing the luminosity back to a barely-HDR setting resulted in the exact same horrible flicker. The other whacky setting is 'light smoothing'; there's five settings - very high, high, etc. 'Very high' is the most reasonable setting, 'high' is getting a bit silly, and the other three aren't worth talking about. Suprisingly, changing 'light smoothing' from 'very high' to 'high' eliminated the flicker altogether. We processed the same frames with over the top ridiculous settings, still came out clean as a whistle.

However, the 'high' setting of 'light smoothing' pulls some pretty weird highlights out of some strange areas. All the recent tests have involved a completely still setup - no moving camera. It remains to be seen what happens with that.

Results to be posted shortly.

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