I don't use HDR for my panoramas, but I do make use of features that support HDR such as linking images and generating blend planes (stitches of all the images shot at a particular exposure) for blending manually
Could you explain that in more detail what this is?
Are you refering to bracketed exposures, or is the another circumstance?
HDR images need more bits per pixel to accommodate a wider dynamic range, so 16 or 32bit files are commonly used. These cannot be directly used for viewing or printing and so a process of tone mapping is employed to generate an LDR (low dynamic range) image in 8-bit format. This can often produce results that are somewhat synthetic looking. Bracketing is simply a mechanical technique for taking a series of shots at different exposures. HDR software can take such sets of images and generate a 32bit HDR file in which the smallest tonal differences recorded in the input images are preserved throughout the full brightness range.
An alternative to HDR is to take the bracketed shots and simply merge the images using masks. A typical technique would be to shoot an interior using an exposure to suit the indoor lighting (and also white balance setting). A second exposure would be taken to suit the much brighter daylight scene seen through the windows. The two sets would be merged by overlaying the overexposed windows in the interior shots with corresponding parts of the outdoor shots. No extended dynamic range file is generated at any point; LDR images are used throughout.
An alternative to HDR is to take the bracketed shots and simply merge the images using masks.
Thanks John...is there functionality to do this masking automatically in PTGui?
I have normally done this manually in the past for still images, as most HDR software I have tried looks too fake or synthetic as you also mention.
No masking facilities are provided in PTGui. Blending with Fusion is provided as an alternative to HDR and that can produce more natural looking results. Other possibilities are blending with similar programs: Enfuse, EnfuseGui, Tufuse, Tufusion. You can automate the blending of sets of images before stitching with some batch files produced by Erik Krause: http://www.erik-krause.de/enfuse_droplets.zip.
thanx for all the information
i will try using all the suggestions
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