I was checking to see whether there was an update to the ReDynaMix plug-in I use in Photoshop when I spotted a stand alone product from the same company. Dynamic Photo-HDR from Media Chance. At $54 it is far from cheap but I do like their other product and what really caught my eye was that it was able to perform an HRD like process on movie files as well as still photos. They say this is an experimental addition to the program. With photos it can work on a single one like ReDynaMix or with multiple photos with diferent exposures as you would expect for genuine HRD processing.
There is a fully working trial version (the only extra in the trial is to put a small watermark on the output files) so I downloaded and installed that. For video processing I also had to download a package of free video codecs. That was a bit unnerving as the first thing it wanted to do was uninstall a codec I had already. As it had its own copy in the package I let it do that. Then it gave many reports of errors in the registry. These seemed to related to the stuff it had uninstalled so I followed its recommendation of removing those references from the registry. That took a while as each was reported seperately.
Once that was finished and before anything else I made a quick check that video playing was still working OK. It was so I could start breathing again!
Last night I tried a few short video files in Dynamic Photo-HDR and was reasonably impressed with the way it improved the dynamic range and some detail in murky video files. That could be useful for dull weather nature videos. The interface is pretty easy to use and there is an instant view of the changes though I would have liked the window to have been larger. Once satisfied with the changes saving is a slow process - the company acknowledge this and do warn that increasing the dynamic range on a video can increase the effect of grain.
On to the results:
Still photo HDR:
One of three photos taken with different exposures
Resultant tone mapped HDR using all three exposures
( the program allows for much tweaking and variation)
This is a reworking of a video I took some time ago.
This is not a program for making video. Either clips can be HDR processed and later assembled together in a program like Corel Video Studio or Video Pad or the clips assembled first and the resulting video then HDR processed.
All in all, given a bit more testing, I think I shall be investing in a copy of Dynamic Photo-HDR as I am used to the interface - very similar to ReDynaMix - and it is easy to use when manipulating photos or videos. The only gripe I have so far is that video files cannot be dragged and dropped on to the program whereas photos can.
Can't resist linking to this brilliant video:
Apple should be ashamed of themselves and I'm sure Steve Jobs would be turning in his grave to see such useless software being produced in what should be a top end product.
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