Batch-Process Multiple HDR Image Files
If you want to process multiple high dynamic range images simply at one time, be on the lookout for an HDR application that can perform batch processing, like Photomatix Pro.
The following steps illustrate how batch-processing multiple files works in Photomatix Pro:
Generate the HDR image; choose Process→Generate HDR.
Generate an HDR image from a good set of brackets that are representative of the photo shoot.
Develop the tone mapping settings to your liking.
You don’t have to perfect an image in tone mapping. You can continue to edit in your graphics application.
Save the settings and close the tone mapped image.
You may forgo this step and simply save the settings in Photomatix, which doesn’t require processing the tone mapped image.
The important part is finalizing the tone mapping settings and saving the settings file for use in batch processing.
Click the Batch Processing button from the Workflow Shortcuts window that appears.
The Batch Processing of Differently Exposed Images dialog box appears, which has a number of options for you to choose from. Notice that it’s a pretty blank slate to work from the first time you run it.
Select the Generate HDR Image check box to work with HDR, click the Settings button beside the check box to access the HDR options, and then click OK.
Clicking the Settings button opens another dialog box, as shown. There are a few differences in this dialog box compared with the routing to generate HDR.
Choose tone mapping options and settings as described earlier in this chapter, and then click OK.
Check the Details Enhancer and/or Tone Compressor. In this case, the Details Enhancer is being used, and the settings are entered in the dialog box shown. You may enter the settings manually (as here) or load the settings file of the sample HDR image you tone mapped in Step 4.
Back in the Batch Processing of Differently Exposed Images dialog box, select the image-selection criteria by entering the number of images in the Select Images at a Time text box.
You can identify the number of images to select for each bracketed set, or select the Advanced radio button, which lets you apply more advanced rules for selecting the images.
Select the desired alignment and cropping options.
Select the Align Images check box to align your images, or leave it deselected if you don’t want Photomatix to align them. Select the Don’t Crop check box to preserve your images. Choose whether to save the aligned output.
Choose the source images by selecting the Folder or the Individual Files radio button; click the Select Source Folder or Select Source Files button to browse to the desired folder on your hard drive.
You can select a folder or individual files. After you have files selected, you can remove files and filter them by selecting the files in the preview box and clicking the Remove File button or selecting an option from the Filter By drop-down list, which allows you to select certain types (such as JPEG).
Select the Created under Source Folder radio button to save your batch-processed files in the source folder.
Or select the Customized Location radio button and then click the Choose button to specify a different destination for the files.
Select the file format to save from the Save As drop-down list, adjust the JPEG Quality setting if desired, and choose an option for HDR image format from the Save 32-Bit HDR Image As drop-down list.
If you’re saving the 32-bit HDR image, select the Remove 32-Bit HDR Image After Tone Mapping check box if you want to delete the HDR image after tone mapping.
(Optional) Click the Naming Options button to select your own naming options for the processed files, as shown.
Starting with the processed set is a good choice if you want the results organized by set number, while selecting the Start with Filename of First Image in the Set radio button is good if you want to organize by the image file names.
Finally, click the Run button.
This starts the process. You see interim progress reports show up in the dialog box as Photomatix Pro works its way through all the images. When it’s done, you’re notified. Close the dialog box.