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ssaamm

Extreme HDR tutorial

28 posts in this topic

Under construction: My images were PNGs, so I have to convert them to put them here...

You will need the High Pass filter.

Well, I've looked at photoshop tutorials to HDR effects, and we don't have all the effects photoshop has, but I've managed to experiment enough to come up with a recipe for an extreme HDR effect.

Before:

00original.jpg

After:

17final.png

I'm going to go through this step by step, for beginners

1.

Once you have an image, duplicate the base layer (see buttons at bottom of layer dialog)

01duplicate.png

2.

Double-click the top layer to edit the details of it

02overlay.png

Name it, "Overlay", and set the color blend mode to "Overlay"

Your layer stack should look like this:

03layers.png

3.

Make your layer Black and White

04blackandwhite.png

4.

Apply a Gaussian blur

05gaussianblur.png

Set it to a level high enough that your image looks kind of spray-painted, like this:

06gaussianblur.png

Remember that number

5.

Invert the colors

07invertcolors.png

Your image should now look like this (compared to its original self)

08now.png

6.

Make a new layer & move it to the top

09newlayer.png

You can use the up arrow on the layer dialog to move it up

7.

Rename the layer to "Color Burn" and set the layer blend mode to "Color Burn"

10colorburn.png

8.

For this step, you will need the High Pass filter.

11highpass.png

Set the radius at about half of the radius you set the blur to earlier

9.

Select the background layer

12selectbg.png

Adjust the Saturation and Lightness

13adjusthuesat.png

Set it them to whatever looks best to you

14adjusthuesat.png

10.

Merge the middle layer with the bottom one by selecting it and pushing "merge down"

15layers.png

Do the same with the last layer

16finalmerge.png

11.

Adjust whatever there needs to be more or less of. Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, White balance, or whatever other filters you have in store will do for it.

17final.png

Disclaimer: Your image may not look great, as HDR effects are not for every image, but it will work very well for the right photo. I encourage you to experiment between steps and try new things to get it work right for you.

Edited by ssaamm
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.... if you have any suggestions for me to improve this tutorial, just tell me.

Some screenshots as per the Tutorial Guidelines (1, 1a & 1b) would be nice.

3. Invert the middle layer and make it black and white

....

8. Adjust White balance, Levels, and Saturation as needed

Some more detail on these steps (for less experienced users) please.

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Sounds cool and your picture promises a lot - but please add somem more images and information ;)

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Okay, so I need to take screenshots for the more complicated steps, Make it more descriptive and friendly, and post the new draft. Any chance there is a way to put attached images inside of the tutorial, or do I need to use some image hosting service? Also, is an interlaced PNG a viable method of making images for friendly for slow connections? I do have OptiPNG and everything, and I like to keep my images in that format instead.

I'm also considering making it an entirely visual tutorial, putting the instructions and pointers on the pictures themselves, and naming this topic, "High detail imagery" or something more appropriate than just slapping the word HDR into something not really HDR.

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Any chance there is a way to put attached images inside of the tutorial, or do I need to use some image hosting service?

Hosting service. ImageShack & PhotoBucket seem to be the most commonly used, but there are many others.

Also, is an interlaced PNG a viable method of making images for friendly for slow connections? I do have OptiPNG and everything, and I like to keep my images in that format instead.

Personally, I'd stick just stick with OptiPNG. Once you've resized the image (so that the maximum dimension is less than 800px) and saved it as an Optimized PNG the filesize shouldn't be a problem.

I'm also considering making it an entirely visual tutorial, putting the instructions and pointers on the pictures themselves...,

I'm not really a fan of this technique. If you need to add or amend a step in the tutorial it's a pain to edit the image/upload it/alter the links. Plain text instructions augmented by images is my preference. I'm not going to stomp on you for doing it that way though...,

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Hi, I'm a newbie to paint.net (recent convert from GIMP) and the forums and came across this tutorial. Its the first one I used to get HDR type effects and gave me the desired results so I like it! Only thing I would change is to recommend that people only merge the layers at the final step. It you do the conversions on each layer then have then all viewable you can see what the final image will look like and continue to tweak each layer until you are happy then merge them into the final image.

I have found something weird though. If I merge the middle layer to the bottom then the top layer after, the result is as expected. If I merge the top and middle layers first then add the bottom it turns out quite different. Not sure why though.

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Let's see if this works:

17final.th.png < should be a clickable thumbnail

Yup. Use the 'Embed thumbnail of this image' > Forum option and copy the link that is supplied there.

For full-sized images, use the 'Link to share this image' > link URL (surround the link with IMG tags).

Note PNG images are fine, just remember the maximum dimension allowed here on the forum is 800px.

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Insert media?

It says this is how it should be inserted in a forum:

17final.png

By ssaammpp at 2011-02-09

EDIT: There we go

Edited by Ego Eram Reputo
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Wait, no.

It appears I can make a post with and image, but I can't edit one to have images

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Use the full editor (link below the 'Fast Editor' text area, beside the 'Post' button. Or if you're editing an existing post, beside the 'Save Changes' button).

There appears to be a problem with the 'Fast Reply' editor, that is if you add URL's it seems to break some of the other formatting.

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post-81197-129740792132_thumb.jpg

Okay, so I need to take screenshots for the more complicated steps, Make it more descriptive and friendly, and post the new draft. Any chance there is a way to put attached images inside of the tutorial, or do I need to use some image hosting service? Also, is an interlaced PNG a viable method of making images for friendly for slow connections? I do have OptiPNG and everything, and I like to keep my images in that format instead.

I'm also considering making it an entirely visual tutorial, putting the instructions and pointers on the pictures themselves, and naming this topic, "High detail imagery" or something more appropriate than just slapping the word HDR into something not really HDR.

Ok, I've gotten to the step where you say apply a high pass filter to the layer that is color burned. What is the high pass filter? Any suggestions on where I can download the plugin? Or can I Just use something already installed in Paint.net?

Edited by TheHairDR
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Ok, I've gotten to the step where you say apply a high pass filter to the layer that is color burned. What is the high pass filter? Any suggestions on where I can download the plugin? Or can I Just use something already installed in Paint.net?

Isn't there already a link there?

I found the problem, btw. It thinks because of the url that the extension is .png/ rather than .png

I'll fix that up...

17final.png

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Ok, I've gotten to the step where you say apply a high pass filter to the layer that is color burned. What is the high pass filter? Any suggestions on where I can download the plugin? ...

The high pass filter is underlined in the tutorial: it's a link to the plugin.

@ssaamm: can you let the users know that the high pass filter is required at the top of the first post? Just duplicate &/or move the link. That way Users know to download and install the plugin before they start in on the tutorial. boltbait.wink.png

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Merge order is important. See my post here: http://forums.getpai...post__p__347241

Aha! Now I understand.

The new improved tutorial is much better. Has anyone managed to use this on photos with people with any success? In the ones I've tried people always seem to come out looking very red and 'sunburnt' and I just can't seem to balance the colours out to correct it. Any tips?

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Aha! Now I understand.

The new improved tutorial is much better. Has anyone managed to use this on photos with people with any success? In the ones I've tried people always seem to come out looking very red and 'sunburnt' and I just can't seem to balance the colours out to correct it. Any tips?

You may want to try adjusting the saturation lower in step 9.

Otherwise, a black & white image may be the way to go.

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I believe that running the sharpen+ plugin at the max settings produces a similar effect.

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Thanks for this tutorial. Finally I can get photos to look nearly as good as the real thing.

 

 

Before

vFbOcd9.jpg

 

 

After
aBi8soP.jpg

 

I would like to get rid of those rings on the top left though. They seem a bit exagerated. Any suggestions? A link to the right thread to ask in?

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I have a question. I have learned that HDR starts with 3-5 images and merges them together, your tutorial just uses one image. How would this work if you started with three images, one exposed correctly, one 2 stops under exposed and one 2 stops over exposed?

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I know this is a rather late reply, but in case you come back to read it (or someone else has the same question)...

First, an explanation so others are on the same page:

HDR, as you mention, is typically done with multiple exposures. The idea is to make the dark areas of the image lighter and the bright areas darker without losing the contrast in the details. This makes the image appear more like what you would see with your own eyes because your eyes would automatically adjust to the lighting in each area of the scene. The tutorial simulates this by using a single masking layer to do it all at once, but keep in mind that the results will not be perfect this way for every image.

Take, for example, a photo of a sunset by the lake shore with a tree partially obscuring vision of the sun. Using this tutorial will leave dark areas on the sun not unlike a drop shadow. Looks weird. But that doesn't mean an HDR effect wouldn't look great on the image if done properly. In fact, these kinds of images are generally where HDR looks amazing! The problem lies with having only a single image to work off of. To create the effect, you have to extrapolate data that you don't have.

If however, you have three images of the same scene at different exposure levels, it's a whole different story. The process is rather simple, but also fairly tedious.

First, you must make sure all three images are lined up on separate layers. This can take a while if you didn't take the photos with a tripod, so be patient.

Next, you need to create some masks of the top two layers using the threshold plugin. To do this, duplicate each layer and run threshold on it (best way is to use the "auto" button in the bottom left of the plugin window). Then, use Gaussian blur at maximum radius on each mask.

To use the masks, simply copy the contents of the mask layer, select it's corresponding original, and use the alpha mask plugin. If your darkest layer is on top, make sure the mask removes the dark areas of the layer (and vice versa if the lightest layer is on top).

And you're done! Here's an example that I did a few months ago:

Hidden Content:
3358ryf.jpg
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