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HDR Imaging Made Easy with HDR Shop 3.0



What is HDR Shop 3.0 and why you need it




If you are looking for a powerful and versatile tool to create, view and manipulate high-dynamic range (HDR) images, you should check out HDR Shop 3.0. HDR Shop is an interactive graphical user interface image processing and manipulation system designed by the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies Graphics Lab. It is one of the first software applications to support HDR imaging, and it has been used by researchers, artists, photographers, game developers, and movie makers for various purposes. In this article, we will explain what HDR Shop 3.0 is, what HDR imaging is, what are the benefits of HDR imaging, what are the features of HDR Shop 3.0, and how to use HDR Shop 3.0.




Hdrshop 3 0


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Introduction




HDR imaging is a technique that allows capturing, storing, displaying, and editing images that have a higher dynamic range than conventional images. Dynamic range is the contrast ratio between the brightest and darkest parts of a scene. A plate of evenly-lit mashed potatoes outside on a cloudy day is low-dynamic range. The interior of an ornate cathedral with light streaming in through its stained-glass windows is high dynamic range. In fact, any scene in which the light sources can be seen directly is high dynamic range.


What is HDR Shop?




HDR Shop is an image processing and manipulation system that can handle both low-dynamic range (LDR) and high-dynamic range (HDR) images. It can also convert between different image formats, including JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, RAW, PFM, EXR, and HDR. HDR Shop allows you to perform many simple and complex mathematical, filtering, and other useful image processing operations on single and multiple images with floating point accuracy and readout through a simple but powerful user interface. The software also supports scripting and is extensible via user-written plugins.


What is HDR imaging?




HDR imaging is a technique that allows capturing, storing, displaying, and editing images that have a higher dynamic range than conventional images. Dynamic range is the contrast ratio between the brightest and darkest parts of a scene. A plate of evenly-lit mashed potatoes outside on a cloudy day is low-dynamic range. The interior of an ornate cathedral with light streaming in through its stained-glass windows is high dynamic range.


A conventional image can only represent a limited range of brightness values, usually from 0 to 255 for each color channel (red, green, blue). This means that some details in very bright or very dark areas may be lost or clipped. A HDR image can represent a much wider range of brightness values, using floating point numbers instead of integers. This means that more details in both bright and dark areas can be preserved and manipulated.


A HDR image can be created by combining multiple LDR images of the same scene taken with different exposure settings (bracketing), or by using a special camera or sensor that can capture a wider dynamic range in a single shot. A HDR image can also be generated by using a global illumination rendering algorithm that simulates the light transport in a virtual scene.


What are the benefits of HDR imaging?




HDR imaging has many benefits for various applications and domains. Some of them are:


It can produce more realistic and natural-looking images It can enhance the contrast, color, and detail of images It can enable new artistic and creative effects, such as tone mapping, HDR painting, and HDR video It can improve the quality and accuracy of image-based lighting, computer vision, and computational photography It can facilitate the development and testing of new HDR display technologies and standards


Features of HDR Shop 3.0




HDR Shop 3.0 is the latest version of HDR Shop, released in 2011. It has many features that make it a powerful and versatile tool for HDR imaging. Some of them are:


Image processing and manipulation




HDR Shop 3.0 can perform various image processing and manipulation operations on both LDR and HDR images, such as:


Cropping, resizing, rotating, flipping, and mirroring Adjusting brightness, contrast, gamma, exposure, saturation, hue, and color balance Applying arithmetic, logical, and bitwise operations on single or multiple images Performing histogram equalization, normalization, stretching, and clipping Converting between different color spaces and models, such as RGB, HSV, XYZ, YUV, LAB, etc. Applying color correction, white balance, tone mapping, inverse tone mapping, and false color mapping Blending, merging, compositing, and alpha masking images Adding noise, blur, sharpening, edge detection, embossing, and other filters Applying lens distortion correction, chromatic aberration correction, vignetting correction, and perspective correction


Image viewing and conversion




HDR Shop 3.0 can view and convert images in various formats, such as:


JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, RAW (Canon CR2/CRW/CR3/CRX/CRF/CRS/CRD/CRP/CRQ/CRA/CRB/CRC/CRE/CRF/CRG/CRH/CRI/CRJ/CRK/CRL/CRM/CRN/CRO/CRP/CRQ/CRR/CRS/CRT/CRU/CRV/CRW), Nikon NEF/NRW/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF/NDF), Sony ARW/SRF/SR2/SRW/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ/SRZ), Olympus ORF/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI/ORI), Panasonic RW2/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL/RWL), Fuji RAF (RAF), Pentax PEF (PEF), Samsung SRW (SRW), Kodak DCR/KDC/K25 (DCR/KDC/K25), Minolta MRW (MRW), Sigma X3F (X3F), Leica DNG (DNG), Hasselblad 3FR (3FR), Mamiya MEF (MEF), Epson ERF (ERF), Leaf MOS (MOS), Phase One IIQ (IIQ), Casio BAY (BAY), Ricoh DNG/J6I (DNG/J6I), Sinar STI (STI), Imacon IFF (IFF), Logitech PNM (PNM), Rollei DNG (DNG) PFM (Portable Float Map) EXR (OpenEXR) HDR (Radiance RGBE) HDR Shop can also read and write image metadata from EXIF, IPTC, XMP, and ICC tags


Image creation and assembly




HDR Shop 3.0 can create and assemble HDR images from various sources, such as:


Merging multiple LDR images of the same scene taken with different exposure settings into a single HDR image using various algorithms, such as Debevec-Malik, Robertson, Mitsunaga-Nayar, etc. Generating HDR images from a single RAW image using the camera response curve Creating HDR images from synthetic or rendered scenes using a global illumination rendering algorithm, such as ray tracing, radiosity, photon mapping, etc. Assembling HDR panoramas from multiple HDR or LDR images using various stitching methods, such as cylindrical, spherical, planar, etc. Creating HDR environment maps from HDR or LDR images using various projection methods, such as angular, latitude-longitude, cube map, etc.


Image filtering and sharpening




HDR Shop 3.0 can apply various filters and sharpening techniques to enhance the quality and appearance of HDR images, such as:


Applying Gaussian blur, median filter, bilateral filter, anisotropic diffusion, adaptive smoothing, etc. to reduce noise and artifacts Applying unsharp mask, high-pass filter, Laplacian filter, gradient filter, etc. to increase edge contrast and detail Applying tone mapping operators, such as Reinhard, Drago, Durand, Fattal, etc. to compress the dynamic range of HDR images for display on LDR devices Applying inverse tone mapping operators, such as Pattanaik, Ashikhmin, Ferwerda, etc. to expand the dynamic range of LDR images for display on HDR devices Applying false color mapping operators, such as heat map, rainbow map, jet map, etc. to visualize the HDR values of images


Image transformations and warping




HDR Shop 3.0 can perform various image transformations and warping operations on HDR images, such as:


Scaling, rotating, translating, shearing, and flipping images Applying perspective transformations and homographies to images Applying affine transformations and linear mappings to images Applying non-linear transformations and warping functions to images Applying morphological operations and erosion/dilation to images


How to use HDR Shop 3.0




HDR Shop 3.0 is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. Here are some steps on how to use HDR Shop 3.0:


Installation and configuration




To install HDR Shop 3.0 on your computer, you need to download the installer from the official website and run it. You will need to agree to the license agreement and choose the destination folder for the installation. You will also need to install some additional components, such as Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package and OpenEXR Library. After the installation is complete, you can launch HDR Shop 3.0 from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut.


To configure HDR Shop 3.0 for your preferences and needs, you can go to the Options menu and select Preferences. You will see a dialog box with several tabs that allow you to adjust various settings for HDR Shop 3.0. Some of the settings you can change are:


The default image format and quality for saving images The default color space and gamma correction for displaying images The default tone mapping operator and parameters for compressing HDR images The default inverse tone mapping operator and parameters for expanding LDR images The default false color mapping operator and parameters for visualizing HDR values The default image processing options and filters for enhancing images The default image transformation options and warping functions for modifying images The default image creation options and algorithms for generating HDR images The default image assembly options and methods for stitching HDR panoramas The default image viewing options and modes for navigating images


User interface and navigation




HDR Shop 3.0 has a simple but powerful user interface that consists of several elements: a menu bar, a tool bar, a status bar, a main window, and a dockable window. The menu bar contains the main menus for accessing the various functions and options of HDR Shop 3.0. The tool bar contains the icons for the most frequently used commands and operations. The status bar shows the information about the current image, such as the file name, size, format, resolution, bit depth, color space, and pixel value. The main window displays the current image or images in different modes, such as normal, zoom, pan, compare, etc. The dockable window contains the tabs for the different panels, such as the histogram panel, the tone mapping panel, the false color panel, the image processing panel, the image transformation panel, the image creation panel, and the image assembly panel.


To navigate through HDR Shop 3.0's user interface, you can use the mouse or the keyboard shortcuts. You can also customize the user interface by resizing, moving, docking, undocking, hiding, or showing the different elements. You can also change the appearance of HDR Shop 3.0 by selecting different themes and skins from the Options menu.


Basic operations and commands




HDR Shop 3.0 can perform many basic operations and commands on images, such as:


Opening and saving images: You can open and save images in various formats by using the File menu or the tool bar icons. You can also drag and drop images from your file explorer to HDR Shop 3.0's main window. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+O and Ctrl+S for opening and saving images respectively. Copying and pasting images: You can copy and paste images or parts of images by using the Edit menu or the tool bar icons. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for copying and pasting images respectively. Undoing and redoing actions: You can undo and redo your actions by using the Edit menu or the tool bar icons. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y for undoing and redoing actions respectively. Selecting and deselecting regions: You can select and deselect regions of an image by using the Selection menu or the tool bar icons. You can also use the mouse to draw a rectangular or polygonal selection on an image. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+A and Ctrl+D for selecting and deselecting all regions respectively. Closing and quitting images: You can close and quit images by using the File menu or the tool bar icons. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+W and Ctrl+Q for closing and quitting images respectively.