HDR Expose 2 great for editing 32-bit HDR images
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

HDR Expose 2 great for editing 32-bit HDR images


By Jeff Gamet

Processing HDR images to get just the right effect can be as much art as science. The new HDR Expose 2 from Unified Color Technologies (www.unifiedcolor.com) aims to help you find the right balance between the two, so you get just the finished image you want without headaches and frustration.

HDR Expose 2 is a standalone application for Mac and Windows PCs that includes plug-ins for Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom. For photographers who prefer to do all of their image editing in Photoshop, UCT offers the 32 Float v2 plug-in, packed with the same editing and adjustment features. Both of these products support 32-bit HDR image editing, while 32 Float v2 also offers the ability to save image edits as layer masks.

The Aperture and Lightroom support in HDR Expose 2 is seamless: The included plug-ins pass images to the app for editing, then put them back into the collections from which they came. This means you don’t have to worry about losing any organization in your image sets.

Both the standalone app and the Photoshop plug-in support adjustment presets that can be grouped together. Adjustments can be reapplied, allowing you to apply the same effect more than once. HDR Expose 2 also supports batch processing, and batches can include multiple presets—a big timesaver when processing image groups.

The included presets can get you started on image adjustments quickly, although you’ll probably want to fine-tune the changes to get the look you want. (Think of them as great starting points, not the final destination.) The bundled presets include effects such as a linear tone map, tone map plus contrast, black and white, and grunge. If you don’t like the preset changes, there’s a reset option, too.

Tools for controlling white balance are included, along with color tuning, noise removal, veiling glare removal, sharpening, dodge and burn, tonal curves, and tone mapping. The tools are easy to use, and applying adjustments to images is fairly snappy; however, you can’t see adjustment changes in real time. Instead, changes appear when you release the sliders (although you can preview adjustments before they’re applied).

On the right side of the image-viewer window, adjustments are organized from top to bottom in the order that you’re most likely to work through on your image. The workflow makes sense; however, you can jump through settings in any order you like.

Depending on the adjustments you apply, images can start to show halo effects, but that’s easily corrected using the halo-removal tool. The tool doesn’t include controls, which turned out to be just fine because it worked surprisingly well.

Brush-applied adjustments, such as dodge and burn, work like you expect them to, and brush sizes are adjustable using a slider, numeric pixel values, or keyboard shortcuts. The tools can also show brush masks, and the maximum density for dodge and burn can be limited by exposure settings.

Blending HDR shots into images with striking contrast and color effects is easy to do. Both HDR Expose 2 and 32 Float v2 build natural-looking images for photographers who want to re-create the actual colors of a scene quickly. (This isn’t quite so easy to do with some other HDR apps.)

HDR Expose 2 is a great option for photographers who are looking for excellent control over their HDR images, and 32 Float v2 brings that same power to Photoshop users as a plug-in. Both products offer results that can be at least as good as -- if not better than -- other HDR image-processing apps and plug-ins.

Pricing: US$149 HDR Expose 2; $99 32Float v2; $199 Combo Pack

Rating: 10 out of 10

 
AAPL
$129.01
Apple Inc.
-0.35
GOOG
$571.19
Google Inc.
-2.45
MSFT
$43.10
Microsoft Corpora
-0.18
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Protect Yourself from an Onslaught of Ca...
Surprise Attack Games has announced a Cat-astrophic new physics puzzler called Fort Meow! In the game, a young girl named Nia finds her grandfather’s journal which triggers an all mighty feline attack! Why do the cats want the journal? Who knows, but you’ll have to protect it with pillow forts and over twenty items to discover. As you read the... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Jelly Reef will be Game Oven’...
GDC 2015 – Jelly Reef will be Game Oven’s Last Hurrah, and it Seems like a Good Note to Go Out on Posted by Rob Rich on March 4th, 2015 [ permalink ] It’s sad knowing that Game Oven ( | Read more »
daWindci Deluxe Review
daWindci Deluxe Review By Campbell Bird on March 4th, 2015 Our Rating: :: BLUSTERY PUZZLESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This updated puzzle game offers some creative gameplay and new mechanics, but still suffers from difficult controls.   | Read more »
Dungeon Hunter 5 Coming on March 12
Gameloft has excitedly announced that Dungeon Hunter 5 is on its way! Once again, you will adventure across the land of Valenthia exploring dungeons and fighting monsters. The game will have a new asynchronous multiplayer mode called Strongholds which lets you create a customizable base that you can defend and raid your opponents bases. | Read more »
GDC 2015 – The Sandbox 2 is Coming, and...
GDC 2015 – The Sandbox 2 is Coming, and Now it has Textures! | Read more »
Warner Bros. Interactive Announces Mort...
Mortal Kombat X, by Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios, will be a a free-to-play fighting/card-battle Mortal Kombat game. The game promises card collecting, multiplayer team combat, classic characters such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Raiden, and the ever popular fatalities that made the series famous. | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Piloteer is Whitaker Trebella...
GDC 2015 – Piloteer is Whitaker Trebella’s Latest Project, and it’s Definitely Something DIfferent Posted by Rob Rich on March 3rd, 2015 [ permalink ] You know | Read more »
PangoLand Review
PangoLand Review By Amy Solomon on March 3rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: COME VISIT PANGO AND FRIENDSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PangoLand is an open-ended world full of familiar characters, bright colors and interactive appeal.   | Read more »
Knights of Pen & Paper is Leveling U...
With the roll of a die and a critical success, Paradox Interactive has announced Knights of Pen & Paper 2! You’ll be taking your place at the table once again in this sequel to Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition. The game will introduce the new ruleset, new races such as Dwarves and Elves, an updated combat system, new crafting and loot,... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Project Highrise is an Intere...
GDC 2015 – Project Highrise is an Interesting Idea from SomaSim Posted by Rob Rich on March 3rd, 2015 [ permalink ] You might know SomaSim best from their gold rush sim, 1849< | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.