View Full Version : Saved image doesn't look the same as in editing mode
11-24-2007, 06:00 PM
<font size="3" face="Verdana">I've been using Photomatix Pro to create HDR images for the past few months and I'm just now noticing that the saved HDR image from Photomatix Pro doesn't look the same as it does when I'm editing it in the program. Usually it's lighter, less sharp, and the colors aren't as vibrant. It may seem like the difference is pretty minor and unimportant, but it's the kind of thing that drives me crazy when I see it. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone knew how to fix this, so that it looks the same saved as it does when I'm editing it.<br><br>By the way, here's an example of what I mean by the saved image not being the same as it is in the program, before I save it...I took a screen capture of my picture in Photomatix Pro (left), then another screen capture of the same picture with no added effects after it was saved (right.)<br><br><a href="http://i15.tinypic.com/6ug67tw.jpg" target="_blank">http://i15.tinypic.com/6ug67tw.jpg</a><br><br></font><font size="3" face="Verdana">And here's a full screen shot of another picture in both editing mode and afterwards when the "Apply" button has been clicked:<br><br><a href="http://i1.tinypic.com/8377tpv.jpg" target="_blank">http://i1.tinypic.com/8377tpv.jpg</a><br><br>Ignore the fuzziness and bad quality, that's just the product of being uploaded by tinypic. Again, a difference might not be noticed on first glance, but when you inspect them both closely you can see that the one on the right is lighter and slightly more surreal looking. In particular, on the second link, look at the snow patch in the middle of the mountain in the background. On the left picture it's dark and matches up with the rest of the mountain, but on the right it's lighter and glowing and doesn't match up with anything else around it. It's things like that that bother me about the saved picture, when it's not in the preview picture beforehand.<br>So, anyone know what's causing this difference and how it can be fixed?<br>Thanks in advance for any help,<br><br>-Alec<br></font><div></div>
<div>I have noticed the same thing.</div><div> </div><div>However, most if not all loss<em> (color satruration, vibrance, and sharpness)</em> can be brought back or recreated by saving in 16 bit and then edit the tiff file in Photoshop before converting back to 8 bit mode for printing.</div>
I'm trying to remember the fix, I had that trouble the first time I opened up a tonemapped image from Photo Matix into Photoshop. It may have been as simple as saving or applying the image to 16 bit. But I'm not certain. What ever it is, it is just a procedural fix in your work flow. Anyone else have a clue?
11-26-2007, 07:16 AM
<div>the PM group on Flickr are talking about this now too.... Maybe we should all start emailing PM about a fix for this.. I have also downloaded the HDR photo pro or what ever its called and its a very nice program, the free trial version leaves a tiny littel water mark in the lower left corner and to buy the full program is only like $30.00</div><div>the tone mapping is set up really differently than PM so that will take some getting used to but it does work pretty good and its wysiwyg when it comes to tonemapping.</div>
11-28-2007, 12:00 AM
Unfortunately I can only save the images as 8-bit because when I save them as 16-bit and open them in Photoshop afterwards I get this error message: http://i11.tinypic.com/8g3ukv4.jpg<br><br>Anyone have any other ideas?<br><div></div>
11-30-2007, 12:45 AM
Here's another screenshot of a photo in editing mode and then afterwards...in this one the difference is much more noticable.<br><a href="http://i8.tinypic.com/73cr1p5.jpg" target="_blank">http://i8.tinypic.com/73cr1p5.jpg</a><br>Again, if anyone could offer any help, it would be greatly appreciated!<div></div>
<div>It seems to me that you might need to try something more than Photoshop "Elements" to fully render HDR photos.</div><div> </div><div>I do not know enough about Elements to help you, but some editing of even an 8 bit tiff file should help you.</div><div> </div><div>Basically I see the same reduction in quality that you give as examples when leaving edit mode in PM.</div><div> </div><div>Most HDR images I see or complete myself have been "tweaked" or "edited" after PhotoMatix in Photoshop CS, CS2. or CS3. I have yet to see mention of one completed using Elements. But that doesn't mean it isn't possible.</div><div> </div><div>Have you contacted PhotoMatix support and offered these examples to them?</div>
12-01-2007, 01:25 PM
This is an acknowledged issue when using the Details Enhancer Tonemapping functionality within Photomatix. The FAQ on the HDRSoft website says the following:<br><br>"The Tone Mapping preview does not look the same as the final output image.<br>This should only happen if you use the Details Enhancer method to tone map the image. The preview is pre-computed by tone mapping a low resolution version of the original image. The low resolution version does not contain the same pixel values as the entire image. That is, the input is different, and this makes the Details Enhancer algorithm behave differently.<br>The preview has for purpose to give you an indication of how the final tone mapped image will look like, and how changes in the settings influence it. It is not an exact representation of the final result, unless you use the Tone Compressor method to tone map the image.<br>When the final result is not like you wanted it, you can undo the Tone Mapping (from the HDR menu on Windows and the Edit menu on Mac) and try the Tone Mapping again using other settings.<br>The differences should be less noticeable with a lower value for the Strength and Light Smoothing settings, and a value of 0 for the Black Point. Also, it is a good idea to select the higher preview size for the tone mapping window.<br>When the final result is very different from the preview and far darker, this is usually due to the fact that the input HDR image includes many abnormally low values (pixels at zero or near zero due to noise). Those very low values confuse the Details Enhancer algorithm which then produces a dark output. The reason the dark output does not happen with the preview is that the absolute number of abnormally low values is then lower.<br>In this case, one workaround that sometimes helps is to slightly resize the HDR image file. This is because the interpolation done for resizing has the effect of smoothing out the noisy low pixel values. Another workaround is to apply a noise reduction tool to the source images before generating the HDR image. Also, in case the most underexposed source image of the bracketed set is too dark to be useful for the highlights of the scene, then removing this file from the HDR image creation may help too.<br>The workaround that will work in all cases is to tone map using the Tone Compressor method."<br><br><br>I think this means you need to use the Tone Compressor function or find a different workflow (have you tried Lightzone?).
12-02-2007, 10:48 PM
That last post seems to really address my problem. Unfortunately, using "Tone Compressor" instead of "Details Enhancer" to create HDR photos really doesn't produce the same sort of results. I took a look at Lightzone but a new program (esp. one that costs $250.00) really isn't what I'd like the solution to my problem to be, especially since I already paid $100 to register Photomatix Pro.<br><br>"In this case, one workaround that sometimes helps is to slightly resize the HDR image file. This is because the interpolation done for resizing has the effect of smoothing out the noisy low pixel values."<br><br>Does this mean resizing as in, making the picture size (widthxheight) smaller beforehand? Or is it talking about file size? Or both? I'll try that, but normally I like to save pictures as little as possible throughout the editing process, since each save reduces the image quality.<br><br>Usually I can make the saved photo look more or less the same as it did in the preview using Photoshop, but it just takes a lot longer, having to constantly compare and get the differences fixed along with everything else.<br><div></div>
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