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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos HDR Creation 
Thread started 11 Jul 2018 (Wednesday) 08:05
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Aurora HDR 2018 revisited

 
Stiga
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Jul 14, 2018 13:21 |  #31

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #18662469 (external link)
If anybody is involved with the Skylum forums, ask them about the deghosting failure with clouds with soft edges and see if they are working on it or plan to solve it. Post it here, I would be interested in their goals.

Oloneo was mentioned as a blast from the past. To be honest, for those who remember I believe it was oloneo's failure to get deghosting right which eventually sunk them. Will aurora suffer the save fate?

It's not a deghosting problem, it's an alignment problem - though increasing the deghosting strength improved things a bit.

I very much doubt if Aurora will suffer the same fate as Oloneo.


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kirkt
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Jul 14, 2018 20:02 |  #32

Stiga wrote in post #18662643 (external link)
It's not a deghosting problem, it's an alignment problem - though increasing the deghosting strength improved things a bit.

I very much doubt if Aurora will suffer the same fate as Oloneo.

But the clouds are moving, so it is a deghosting issue. In Aurora, you can make a new layer and select one of the original images in the bracketed set - then you can paint or use a gradient mask to composite the clouds in the exposure you like into the HDR image on the base layer. no muss no fuss.

kirk


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Post edited 8 months ago by russellsnr2.
     
Jul 15, 2018 01:49 |  #33

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #18662469 (external link)
If anybody is involved with the Skylum forums, ask them about the deghosting failure with clouds with soft edges and see if they are working on it or plan to solve it. Post it here, I would be interested in their goals.

Oloneo was mentioned as a blast from the past. To be honest, for those who remember I believe it was oloneo's failure to get deghosting right which eventually sunk them. Will aurora suffer the save fate?

https://community.skyl​um.com …uery=Aurora+HDR​++Ghosting (external link) (loads of question overall on Aurora)


Many Thanks,
Russell.

  
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Stiga
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Post edited 8 months ago by Stiga. (3 edits in all)
     
Jul 15, 2018 04:12 |  #34

kirkt wrote in post #18662862 (external link)
But the clouds are moving, so it is a deghosting issue. In Aurora, you can make a new layer and select one of the original images in the bracketed set - then you can paint or use a gradient mask to composite the clouds in the exposure you like into the HDR image on the base layer. no muss no fuss.

kirk

No Kirk, the clouds were not moving significantly. If they had been, ghosts would have been obvious in the SNS-HDR version as it does not remove ghosts.

I am aware of the paint/gradient technique but I don't think it should be necessary for this bracketed set. I have tried to replicate this issue with other bracketed sets but, so far, I have been unable to.

I never use Photoshop for Merge to HDR but here is what it achieves with the sunset bracketed set:


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The image alignment is perfect - I have always regarded Photoshop as the best alignment tool I have!

Thanks for commenting

Martin
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Jul 15, 2018 04:32 |  #35

russellsnr2 wrote in post #18663015 (external link)
https://community.skyl​um.com …uery=Aurora+HDR​++Ghosting (external link) (loads of question overall on Aurora)

I repeat, it's not a ghosting issue, it's and alignment problem. See also my reply to Kirk.


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Jul 15, 2018 08:47 |  #36

Alignment Part 2.

After processing about 50 image sets, I have finally managed to replicate poor image alignmenty with Aurora HDR

Aurora
- Basic Realistic Preset


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Here is a 100% segment

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SNS-HDR - Default settings
IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/iKvtJLF.jpg

Here is a 100% segment
IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/J4srGad.jpg

No image has had any post processing.

I now believe that Aurora only struggles with low-light images. But also note that SNS-HDR reveals more shadow detail than Aurora. No doubt this could be corrected by pushing some sliders, but it's better to first it right first time.

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russellsnr2
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Jul 15, 2018 12:18 |  #37

Stiga wrote in post #18663046 (external link)
I repeat, it's not a ghosting issue, it's and alignment problem. See also my reply to Kirk.

I was just replying to the request of Picture North Carolina.


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Post edited 8 months ago by Picture North Carolina.
     
Jul 15, 2018 12:54 |  #38

For the record, I only use the term ghosting as a general term that means double imaging.

Technically, I couldn't care less if it is ghosting or alignment. I am not a gearhead and frankly, pity those who are. Technical crap and nomenclature is irrelevant (and boring) to me. My focus is not on technical terms but final results. If an image is not correct with double tree branches or clouds, I don't care what caused it or what is is called. I care only about the final results and the fact the software did a poor job of producing it. Ghosting - alignment - over stuffed brassieres - who cares. If aurora cannot do as good a job as photomatix of correcting problems like that, it's inferior and needs to be fixed, no matter WHAT it is called.

Don't bore me with arguments about what things are called. Enlighten me with good final results and what needs to be done to achieve them. In the end, when somebody buys a piece of fine art with double clouds they don't give a donkey's rear end what the name of the cause is. They care about the double clouds in their picture. Period.


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kirkt
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Post edited 8 months ago by kirkt.
     
Jul 15, 2018 13:09 |  #39

It appears that you shoot handheld with potentially large camera movements between shots. Whatever alignment and deghosting algorithm Aurora is using is getting confused or its algorithm is ill equipped to deal with your more shifted image sets. If parts of the scene are aligned properly and parts (the clouds, for example) are not, then deghosting is an issue (assuming you are not zooming or moving into the scene between shots). To test and eliminate deghosting as an issue, you would have to shoot a purely static scene with no moving elements but with large camera movements to see how large the camera movements can be before the alignment algorithm breaks down. I agree with you that Aurora's current algorithm is not good.

I can see in some of the shots that the foreground (the fence along the water) is aligned but the mountains are not - obviously the mountains are not moving, so in addition to the alignment problem, whatever the deghosting algorithm is choosing to keep and choosing to reject is getting confused and not working. It cannot differentiate scene movement from camera movement in your test image sequence - based on the scatter of the multiple mountain profiles, it appears that the movement between shots is large.

Shooting with a tripod, or steadying your handheld shots by leaning against a wall or some supportive object would minimize these issues, and make the difference between true alignment shifts and motion within the scene requiring deghosting easier for the application to manage - if a tripod is too cumbersome, you could probably use a monopod or a hiking pole with a 1/4-20 threaded post bonded to the top of the pole for attaching a ballhead or other compact tripod head, or threading directly into the base of your camera. If you choose to shoot handheld, then it appears other applications work better for your style and workflow.

Aurora is good at some things, not so good at others. Other applications can deal with larger shifts and potential movement within such sequences - Aurora cannot at this point. One problem with Aurora in this regard is that it does not accept 32bit HDR image files (in Radiance or EXR format) as input, so you cannot merge/align/deghost in the most accurate/versatile application and then feed the resulting 32bit file into Aurora for creating output. To me, this implies that Aurora performs image fusion (like Enfuse) and cannot integrate true 32bit files into its workflow. You are almost better off creating a flat 16bit TIFF in Photomatix and using that single tonally compressed image as input to Aurora. Another approach would be to bring your raw images into photoshop as layers, use photoshop to align them, crop the excess and then export each layer as a 16bit TIFF. Then bring the TIFFs into Aurora and proceed as usual. Pretty clunky workflow though.

It seems like SNS works for you and that Aurora is probably not going to add anything to your workflow or output.

kirk


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mistermonday
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Jul 15, 2018 13:24 as a reply to  @ Stiga's post |  #40

Hi Martin, and congratulations on all the work you keep doing with new HDR apps!!
FYI, Skylum has a brilliant set of application designers. In an incredible short span of time they went from designing a MAC based app to a Windows based app. They went from a slow basic loaded app to a faster and more efficient app, from smaller to larger words, from low level to high level format, multiple layers and sophisticated tools. I suspect that if the application has missed what you might want on a set of images, that the Aurora tool can be quickly tweaked to cover your functionality. Consequently, I would recommend that a set of original (untouched RAW files) be uploaded where the Aurora team can download them. Simply describe what function is not being accomplished and see what happens in their response to your email.
Cheers, Murray




  
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Stiga
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Post edited 8 months ago by Stiga.
     
Jul 15, 2018 13:33 |  #41

kirkt wrote in post #18663313 (external link)
It appears that you shoot handheld with potentially large camera movements between shots. Whatever alignment and deghosting algorithm Aurora is using is getting confused or its algorithm is ill equipped to deal with your more shifted image sets. If parts of the scene are aligned properly and parts (the clouds, for example) are not, then deghosting is an issue (assuming you are not zooming or moving into the scene between shots). To test and eliminate deghosting as an issue, you would have to shoot a purely static scene with no moving elements but with large camera movements to see how large the camera movements can be before the alignment algorithm breaks down. I agree with you that Aurora's current algorithm is not good.

Shooting with a tripod, or steadying your handheld shots by leaning against a wall or some supportive object would minimize these issues, and make the difference between true alignment shifts and motion within the scene requiring deghosting easier for the application to manage - if a tripod is too cumbersome, you could probably use a monopod or a hiking pole with a 1/4-20 threaded post bonded to the top of the pole for attaching a ballhead or other compact tripod head, or threading directly into the base of your camera. If you choose to shoot handheld, then it appears other applications work better for your style and workflow.

Aurora is good at some things, not so good at others. Other applications can deal with larger shifts and potential movement within such sequences - Aurora cannot at this point. One problem with Aurora in this regard is that it does not accept 32bit HDR image files (in Radiance or EXR format) as input, so you cannot merge/align/deghost in the most accurate/versatile application and then feed the resulting 32bit file into Aurora for creating output. To me, this implies that Aurora performs image fusion (like Enfuse) and cannot integrate true 32bit files into its workflow. You are almost better off creating a flat 16bit TIFF in Photomatix and using that single tonally compressed image as input to Aurora. Another approach would be to bring your raw images into photoshop as layers, use photoshop to align them, crop the excess and then export each layer as a 16bit TIFF. Then bring the TIFFs into Aurora and proceed as usual. Pretty clunky workflow though.

It seems like SNS works for you and that Aurora is probably not going to add anything to your workflow or output.

kirk

Kirk, I agree with almost everything You say, you have summed things up very well. At the end of my trial, I will be returning full-time to SNS (which generates such true-to-life- colours) and Photomatix (despite its horrible interface) when I have to eliminate ghosts. However, I have to say that the Aurora interface is excellent - easy to read and intuitive to use. It's such a shame that they did not use an effective alignment algorithm. If one-man bands like SNS and EasyHDR can do it why can Sklum do it?

BTW, at 91, carrying a tripod is just not possible! I walk with 2 sticks; 40-year old telescopic walking poles, one of which is often used as a monopod prop!

Many thanks for your contribution.


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Stiga
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Jul 15, 2018 13:54 |  #42

mistermonday wrote in post #18663322 (external link)
Hi Martin, and congratulations on all the work you keep doing with new HDR apps!!
FYI, Skylum has a brilliant set of application designers. In an incredible short span of time they went from designing a MAC based app to a Windows based app. They went from a slow basic loaded app to a faster and more efficient app, from smaller to larger words, from low level to high level format, multiple layers and sophisticated tools. I suspect that if the application has missed what you might want on a set of images, that the Aurora tool can be quickly tweaked to cover your functionality. Consequently, I would recommend that a set of original (untouched RAW files) be uploaded where the Aurora team can download them. Simply describe what function is not being accomplished and see what happens in their response to your email.
Cheers, Murray

Murray, thanks for joining in.

Yes, I am aware of the big Aurora development leaps that have been made over a relatively short period. Though it is a subjective assessment, Aurora seems faster that when I first tried it last year.

Perhaps I will upload an image set for the Aurora team when I have finished the 2 week trial. I have 7 days left!


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Jul 16, 2018 06:40 |  #43

De-ghosting

Earlier in this thread, Mark emphasized that the elimination of ghosts is very important. Mark, I am pleased to tell you that Aurora has coped extremely well with everything I have thrown at it. When this shot was taken there was a string wind and the purple sycamore on the left was shaking violently.

Aurora Basic Vivid (strength slider = 70)


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Photomatix - using the select method


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Photomatix - using the Automatic method
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Jul 16, 2018 19:31 |  #44

Stiga wrote in post #18663328 (external link)
Kirk, I agree with almost everything You say, you have summed things up very well. At the end of my trial, I will be returning full-time to SNS (which generates such true-to-life- colours) and Photomatix (despite its horrible interface) when I have to eliminate ghosts. However, I have to say that the Aurora interface is excellent - easy to read and intuitive to use. It's such a shame that they did not use an effective alignment algorithm. If one-man bands like SNS and EasyHDR can do it why can Sklum do it?

BTW, at 91, carrying a tripod is just not possible! I walk with 2 sticks; 40-year old telescopic walking poles, one of which is often used as a monopod prop!

Many thanks for your contribution.

Keep on rocking it.

I agree, the interface is more user-friendly than most similar applications. I have been trying Aurora since it first appeared in beta and, while they still have improvements to make, the original incarnations were dreadful. I had several test sets of image sequences that I would use with each update (raws, tiffs and jpegs) and assessed all of the problems each time an update was released to see if they addressed or corrected them. They are getting there. It is sort of interesting to see how all of the HDR applications that came onto the market in the last 5 years or more have stalled or not added or updated anything. Some have not even updated their raw conversion engines in a while. Oh well, HDR is becoming less of a "thing" maybe?

Kirk


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Stiga
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Jul 17, 2018 03:48 |  #45

kirkt wrote in post #18664199 (external link)
Keep on rocking it.

......

Oh well, HDR is becoming less of a "thing" maybe?

Kirk

I fully intend to :-) Thanks for your encouragement,

Maybe some are using HDR but not telling the world thatr they are. I think some of the Landscape posts on POTN may be HDRs


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Aurora HDR 2018 revisited
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