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Please click [here] to view the Photogenics HDR brochure in PDF format.

Idruna Software Launches Photogenics HDR, the First 32 bit per channel High Dynamic Range Paint Package, at Siggraph 2002, July 23rd

Photogenics HDR 7.0 is currently in beta testing, please email if you are interested in taking it for a spin.

Idruna Software Inc., a specialist in innovative graphics software, is pleased to announce that the new high end version of Photogenics for Windows and Linux was launched at Siggraph 2002 in San Antonio, Texas. Photogenics HDR is the first graphics package capable of working with images in 32 bits per channel floating point format, otherwise known as High Dynamic Range, or simply HDR. HDR images allow real world levels of illumination to be represented, which makes Photogenics essential for those working with film, images rendered by 3D graphics software, digital camera RAW files, or for creating realistic textures for the latest image based lighting techniques. Photogenics HDR supports all of the popular HDR formats, including OpenEXR, Alias|WaveFront IFF, Cineon/DPX, mental ray map, Lightwave FLX, Radiance RGBE, all flavors of tiff (8/16/32 bit, LogLUV etc.), RAW CCD files from Canon and Nikon cameras, as well as dozens of standard 8 and 16 bit per channel file formats. Photogenics HDR also allows the creation of HDR images by combining multiple exposures taken at varying shutter speeds, and because it supports the RAW digital camera files, the quality and ease of use is unprecedented.

Why 32 Bits Per Channel?
Regular 8 and 16 bit per channel applications are simply not capable of realistically or accurately processing real world levels of illumination, because they clamp brightness levels to be discrete values between 0 and 255/65535. HDR floating point images can represent a vastly wider range of values, for example a bright object in a scene might have a brightness of 0.9, and the sun 10,000,000. As a result, you could darken an image, and just as you would expect, objects in the scene will become darkened, but the sun is still thousands of times brighter than the rest of the scene.

HDR Imaging as Part of the 3D Pipeline
The latest 3D rendering packages work in floating point format internally, and support a technique known as image based lighting. Multiple exposures of a film set taken at different shutter speeds to capture detail in both the highlights and the shadows can be combined into one HDR image by Photogenics HDR, and imported into a 3D package and used as a texture or radiance map. This allows 3D objects to be extremely realistically inserted into the scene, as the HDR image is used to calculate the actual levels of light illuminating the objects.

HDR Imaging for Film and Digital Photography
35mm film has been scanned and saved in Kodak Cineon/DPX format for a long time, but only 32 bit per channel software is capable of round tripping images without losing precious highlight detail. Digital Cameras are also starting to require HDR software to manipulate photos. The affordable Canon S30/S40/G2 cameras for example are the first to support saving images in 10 bits per channel RAW linear mode. As well as giving higher quality images, you also get the benefit of needing to take less photos when combining multiple exposures, and the need to calculate the camera's response curve is eliminated.

Photogenics HDR provides all the tools needed to create and manipulate HDR images. You don't need to be a color scientist to use it either, editing and painting in HDR mode is as easy as in 8 bit mode, although naturally the airbrush is much smoother. Photogenics also brings several unique innovations to the table, with the ability to paint all of the many filters directly on to the image, using the standard drawing tools and media, without the need to create a mask beforehand. Once a filter has been applied, the settings can be adjusted, and what you have painted will be instantly updated with the new settings. If you make a mistake, simply fade it out using the right mouse button! Screen Shots

Top Left: HDR image of a 100 watt lamp. Middle: An 8 bit image of same scene but darkened. Right: The darkened HDR image shows orders of magnitude more detail, you can even read the label! Bottom: The difference with HDR really is night and day. (Montreal skyline ©Greg Ward)

Left: HDR image with exposure slider set to show shadows. Right: Same HDR image with exposure slider set to show extreme highlight detail. Image taken by Jake Schoellkopf.

Main: HDR Image of a Nice sunset captured using a Spheron HDR camera. Inset: Same image darkened to show amount of range in the sunset.

Photogenics HDR is now shipping for Windows and Linux, priced at $699 for a floating license. Please click on the Buy icon to make a purchase.

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