HDR Software

To create HDR images, you need special software. GIMP can be used to edit only images with 8 bits per channel, but there is a Python plug-in that will create HDR images with the help of GIMP. More information and the download can be found at http://registry.gimp.org/node/24310.

The open-source community offers Cinepaint (previously known as FilmGIMP or Glasgow) for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS for creating HDR images (as mentioned in section 1.5.1). You can find the download and tutorials at the following locations: http://www.cinepaint.org

http://www.cinepaint.org/docs/br2hdr/HDR_Tutorial-en.html

For Linux and Mac OS, you can also use Krita (also mentioned in section 1.5.1). The program supports the OpenEXR file format. It can be used to edit HDR images in this format. However, the programmers are still working on a range of functions to create HDR images. Information on Krita can be found on the following locations:

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Krita http://koffice.org/krita

Another open-source program to create HDR images is Qtpfsgui, now called Luminance HDR, which can be found at: http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/.

The program is available for all three major operating systems. For Windows, you will need to install additional DLLs. If you're interested in this program, you should read the details on the website at http://qtpfsgui. sourceforge.net/download.php or on the downloaded readme file.

FDRTools is another program for creating HDR images, and it's available for Mac OS and Windows. The free version of the program, FDRTools Basic, can be downloaded at http://www.fdrtools.com/front_e.php, or you can find it on this book's DVD. It is worthwhile to read the tutorials on the website. All basic information, prerequisites, and work steps are described in great detail. In my experience, this program offers, even in the basic version, better editing possibilities and results than most professional image editing software for HDR.

Adobe Photoshop, of course, is a very well-known commercial software that includes the functionality to create HDR images. Starting at version CS2, it can merge pictures into HDR images. You can also use Photomatix Pro from Hdrsoft (http://www.hdrsoft.com). Both programs offer free test versions. Beware, though, that the Adobe Photoshop download is about 980 MB and Photomatix is about 3 MB.

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