Very often, a single photo can’t represent the entire dynamic range of light in a scene due to the physical limitations of the sensor. The picture is either underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too bright), or both at the same time.
Hydra allows you to overcome this limitation by merging a number of photos with different exposure settings and to create a natural image that is much closer to what your eyes actually see. Alternatively, Hydra also lets you artistically push contrasts to increase drama and emotions in your pictures beyond reality.
Want to see it in action? Have a look at the video trailer, or download it and give it a try.
Hydra comes with a completely rewritten computation and display architecture that is optimized for Metal from the ground up. It provides a high-precision 128-bit per pixel internal format with extremely fast 60 FPS previewing at full resolution.
This lets you change tone mapper settings in real-time, at full size, and with no delay which in turn gives you more creative power and control on the result.
Hydra 4 provides an advanced alignment tool to interactively align images against the reference one by locating feature points. You can inspect alignment quality through various 1 to 1 image difference schemes (blue/red, overlay…) or even preview the whole merging result. Full automatic alignment is also provided for simple cases.
For ghost handling, Hydra 4 lets you delineate regions where moving subjects occur, and then, for each of these region, define which images do contribute to the merged image. This makes it possible to create beautiful HDR images even for difficult conditions.
This new tone mapper allows real-time previewing on the full resolution image for the best possible user experience. All settings get instant feedback that corresponds to the actual output.
12 tone mapping presets are available in Hydra 4 from which you can start, and then fine-tune the result using Hydra’s manual mode.
A number of unique features are also provided for a complete HDR editing experience, such as a new comparison tool that lets you compare the result with individual input pictures, a flashing mode that shows under- or overexposed regions, and snapshots that let you quickly save multiple tone mapper configurations to later compare together.
Hydra 4 also provides more advanced options when needed, such RAW input options, Radiance and OpenEXR input and output file formats, color space choices for image exports, and per-scope tone mapper settings.
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