30 Nov Comprehensive Test of all HDR projects Features Part 7
Export to Photoshop and Post-Editing in HDR projects: It is of course also possible to create and edit a photo montage in any other program using the same images used to make up the HDR image in HDR projects 5. This involves deactivating the montage by clicking the icon on the right side of the Selective Painting button. Following this, activate the preset “Naturally Fine Details”.
If there is already an alternative Photo-Editing program defined in the settings within the Export submenu, exporting the image will be a piece of cake. To avoid quality reduction when exporting, use the TIFF 16-Bit format.
Now the photo can be quickly brought over to Photoshop for further editing. When finished editing in Photoshop, the image can be once again uploaded into HDR projects 5 as an individual HDR image.
Our image here has been cropped using Photoshop and uploaded again in TIFF-format, however an upload in PSD format would have also been possible. HDR projects 5 creates two synthetic variations and once again applies the most recently used Preset.
The image duplicates, automatic Subject-Brilliance, the Optimization-Assistant and the Effects in Expert-Mode can now all be deactivated since there is already an HDR image available. It would be quite easy at this stage to apply a new mask using the Selective Painting tool and add a new background to the image.
Now the masking tool using brightness can be applied with Sensitivity levels at 0% without a problem. Applying this mask doesn’t involve hand selecting any part of object at all. There appears however an outline around the object. This can be removed by expanding the masked area by 10 pixels using the tools in the column to the right. Now the new background can be uploading by clicking on the chessboard pattern.
This time around we’ve chosen sky as our new background. Now this impressively composed image can continue to be edited in HDR projects 5. Meanwhile there exist an even better alternative.
Photoshop Filter Plug-in
All programs released in their fifth version provide access to a fully-fledged Photoshop Filter Plug-in. This allows for photo-editing on a whole other level. HDR images can be directly exported to Photoshop or simply saved beforehand and opened using the program.
Beginning once again to edit our image using the various cropping methods, the image including the sky background can be accessed in Photoshop. For a more realistic touch, we could have used Photoshop to place clouds in front of the bottom edge of the basket. For an explanation of this feature, however, this is not completely necessary. The possibilities speak for themselves.
At this stage we recommend making a Smart Object out of the individual layers. After accessing the filter an Information window will appear.
HDR projects 5 professional must first be closed, but everything functions fine after restarting the program. This is caused by Adobe settings and is notoriously known to occur when accessing any external filter. After applying the preset Landscape Color and Details, our result looks like this:
Or when applying the Smooth Shine Preset and a reduced tonal value in the Optimization Assistant:
- Located above in the right column, a new button has been added to HDR projects 5 professional for exporting finalized images to Photoshop.
- With one click on “Apply”, the finalized image is exported back and HDR projects 5 closes.
- Thanks to Smart Objects, changes can continue to be made at any time. One click of the Smart Object will open HDR projects 5 once again.
Presets can also be consecutively selected and thus combined, also visible in the layers palette underneath the Smart Filter.
If an exposure bracket is loaded into Photoshop in the form of Layers, these cannot be transferred together to a single filter.
It would be possible, however, to transform five images into a Smart Object.
The filters would then function, but ultimately wouldn’t make much sense given only one real photo and two duplications are used.
HDR projects 5 also possesses the ability to read GPS Data from image files, provided these are saved in the Exif-Data. This information is available in the Display Menu -> Exif Information Window.
Clicking on the button at the bottom will open your web browser and direct you to OpenStreetMap.org where you can pinpoint the photograph location on a map.
After the final edits have been applied to the image, it can be further cropped either by using the symbol above in the tools tab or when saving. New features have also been added in this section, such as the long-awaited option for maintaining the original image dimensions.
This version also includes a display of the central point of the image, resembled by a small dot in the middle of the screen. Otherwise, all the useful tools from previous versions are still available, such as the Golden Cut, Golden Spiral, etc. That does it for the new features, and there are indeed a great—as can be seen from the length of this review.
The new HDR projects 5 delivers a wide range of new features and innovations of all kinds in many different editing fields. Existing algorithms, effects and preset underwent an extensive revision and many new ones were introduced. The photographic results appear natural looking and realistic while potential image interferences are kept to a minimum.
Ghosting Correction and its automatic capabilities provide quality results in seconds even when working with rather difficult exposure brackets. Photoshop users are bound to rejoice over the new Filter Plug-in and even the RAW-Module was granted a bundle of new capabilities. Thanks to multicore support and the sharpened Preview Mode, HDR projects 5 now runs smoothly as ever while providing the highest quality display options.
The developers were once again successful in providing a quick and time-saving program that delivers impressive results, and, at the same time, all sorts of tools for professional and newcomers levels alike. The new Composing editing possibilities have put the software well on its way to be able to do pretty much anything. With this latest software release, the developers have proven their worth of the title as the HDR-technology leaders to the fullest extent. HDR projects 5 professional is more than just HDR Software and will continue to amaze.
This Review has been written by Gerhard Lang, www.ahadesign.eu