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Monday, March 13, 2006

32-Bit Editing

The acronym HDR stands for High Dynamic Range (32 bit editing). In Adobe's implementation within Photoshop CS2, this is accomplished by using a series of photographs which one takes in the same manner as with previous blending techniques, and then, using floating point 32-bit (per channel) math, merging these files automatically into one huge high dynamic range image. Reading Michael Riechmann's tutorial "Merge to HDR in Photoshop CS2" intrigued me, so I began investigating further. Industrial Light and Magic developed the OpenEXR format in response to the demand for higher color fidelity in the visual effects industry. Roger Clark has done some thorough investigation comparing the dynamic range of digital, transparency, and print films, and Norman Koren has also done some exhaustive testing with RAW format conversion and tonality. It's all very fascinating—if only we had printers that were capable of better than 8-bit printing!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does using several shots in this manner do anything for increasing the "effective" resolution (ie, making the final image appear that you've got more pixels than the individual files direct from the camera)?

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a piece of software called Photomatix that handles HDR duties exclusively, and arguably rivals the output from CS2's Merge function.


8:33 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Does using several shots in this manner do anything for increasing the "effective" resolution?

No, because the level of detail is the same in each image (give or take; camera shake/subject movement can have some impact, obviously). All that HDR offers is extended dynamic range.

Of course, I'm not an expert, so I could be completely wrong.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new Canon iPF5000 A2 printer is 16 bit.

3:18 AM  
Blogger David Emerick said...

Interesting. The plug in for photoshop "facilitates" printing from 16 bit photoshop files "by processing the data outside the conventional driver". Does this loose terminology mean it prints 16 bit? I'm not sure and neither is the FCC yet. The other drawback is that this is still a small format printing system. Hopefully it will grow up.


7:40 AM  

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