FDRtools basic versus Photomatix basic: I’m wondering if any of you are using of have used FDRTools and what you thought of it. I’m taking an HDR online class currently and Photomatix is where most of the emphsis is but the instructor did show some results from FDR and as far as photo-realism, it was rendering beautiful images, surpassing the quality of Photomatix. We haven’t looked at the artsy/Illustrative side of FDR yet.

I wonder what the real difference is as Thy delier realistic hdr results like I want but which is better for nature hdrs.

you can get awesome results in both, you just need to play about and find the right settings,

I’d use photomatix, the results when you get them right can be awesome! look at my photos and see some nice examples.

I haven’t yet created any hdr images, I really am right at the beggining. I have played around a little with the eval copy of photomatrix and will later do the same with FDRtools. I’d like to hear comments from anyone on the relative merits of these two tools and any others there may be that I haven’t heard.
I would also just like to mention, that this is very similar to a printing-in technique from bracketed exposures which experienced darkroom techs and photographers have been doing for donkeys years. HDR is just a lot more sophisticated and a good deal easier.

 

fdrtools vs photomatix, I have used both and I like the capabilities of FDRTools better. With FDR Tools, you can see changes to your photo as you make them, in real-time. In HDR, sometimes you get a “ghosting” effect when an object is in one photo and not in another (ie, flying bird, people, cars). So FDRTools also has a “anti-ghosting” feature which allows you to prevent that unwanted effect while maintaining a good HDR. Photomatix is good, but I wasn’t satisfied with how it retoned the images….in FDRTools, you can control how it retones the image, it’s a very nice app! Needless to say, I ended up purchasing FDRTools online and it was a pleasant purchasing experience as well.

I’ve asked him to elaborate on his use of both softwares and if he can consistently get superior images with FDR.

FDRTools is a well laid out simple-to-use program that offers benefits not afforded by the other HDR merging programs.

In other programs the typical workflow is to pre-select the source images and merge them, then tone map. Merging to HDR and tonemapping are treated as separate operations. There is no option to go back and change how the source images influence the final tone mapped image.

FDRTools has bridged the gap between merging and tonemapping; the user has the ability to look at the tone mapped image then in real time edit the merging of source images. The user can choose to include or not include a particular source image, can weight the influence of a source image from 0-100% (like opacity in PS), change the white balance, and remove ghosting. Think of the source images as an image stack similar to “layers” in Photoshop. Each change is made with a click or move of the slider button followed by an immediate update to the tone mapped image.

 

 

Personally I find Photomatix the easiest tool to use and it has a much nicer interface than FDR. FDR scores well however in the blending to HDR as it gives a lot of control, something missing in Photomatix. EasyHDR is, well easy, but I don’t think it gives the artistic freedom available from Photomatix.

Another tool workth looking at is Artizen. I really like the tone mapping in this tool but I have found some pixelation along sharp diaganol edges. Not sure if this was down to the image blending or tone mapping as some work came up to distract me and I never got back to checking it out.