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Process HDR Panoramas: Create a Master Frame

The most efficient way to proceed with HDR panoramas is to create a master, tone mapped frame and use that as the template to process the other frames of the panorama in HDR. After you create the master frame, you have the settings you need to plug into your HDR application’s batch routine.

This also ensures consistency across the panorama. You don’t want to use one set of HDR options and tone mapping settings for one frame of the panorama and a completely different set for the next.

Thankfully, creating a master frame is exactly like generating an HDR image from normal brackets and tone mapping it in your HDR application. This figure illustrates creating the master frame HDR image. This is used to tone map the master frame — which can then be discarded. The only reason to do this is to get the settings you want in a file.

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Next, tone map the master frame. This is necessary to find what settings you want applied to the entire panorama. Then save the settings.

Mac users: Save your tone mapping settings when you save the file. This takes an extra step. Windows users can check a box on the Save As dialog box and have Photomatix Pro always save the settings with the file (very handy, that is).

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