Paint Shop HDR is a method used to convert images to a full dynamic range. The setup can be one RAW image or three images taken with different exposure values at one time.
What this procedure will do is produce a final image that will far surpass the original single RAW image or any of the original sequential images.
The high dynamic range conversion in Paint Shop HDR produces images that conform quite closely to the original scene rather than being limited by the ability of your camera to faithfully capture the full range of information. Interestingly, the conversion is exactly the same for both Paint Shop Pro and AfterShot Pro 3 (which is a Corel product).
The end result can be either natural or very creative - the end is up to you.
The set-up to create the sequential images is detailed here and if you are not sure how to do it then check it out ...
Using a Single Raw File
A single raw file contains an enormous amount of information and because of this is can be used for a Paint Shop HDR by splitting one image to act like three different exposures in the exact same way you would get with three sequential images, that is ...
If you've only got one RAW image of a particular scene and the image isn't quite up to your standards then creating and HDR from that one single RAW file may save the image.
Using Sequential Images
This is done by taking at least three images at one time with the camera set to APERTURE Priority, the exposure set to Bracketing and the camera set on a tripod. The exposure brackets are generally set to plus or minus one exposure value.
Single Raw File
In the Manage tab or the Edit screen go to File > HDR > Single Raw Photo ...
This will bring up this screen ...
This dialogue tells you exactly how to get started with a Paint Shop HDR using one RAW file. When you click Close the following screen appears ...
The three image split with no adjustment to the center exposure.
The three image split with the center image increased by two stops.
When you're happy with the three image split click the Process button at the bottom of the page to go tho the next step in the Paint Shop HDR.
Paint Shop HDR Step 2
Paint Shop HDR
Three Sequential Images Set Up
And that's only the set-up for the Paint Shop HDR!
Those five points lead to one conclusion and that is - converting to HDR requires some planning.
To process your three awesome shots in Paint Shop HDR in either the Edit Tab (if all three are open) or highlight the three images in the Manage Tab and go to File > HDR > Exposure Merge ...
This dialogue tells you exactly how to get started using sequential images. When you click Close the following screen appears ...
Paint Shop HDR Multiple Images
This dialogue requires a bit more work than a single RAW file.
This is how the three images look after Brushing ...
Minus one stop with Flag painted Green. On the other two version in the three shots Red was automatically added.
The Red in the Lighthouse appeared when it was painted on another version of the plus one version of the three shots.
The middle, or correct exposure has no green and two Red Areas.
To keep the light in the lighthouse visible it was painted Green (green) which will keep it visible in the final Processed version.
The Red in the Plus One (overexposed version) appeared when Green was painted on the Minus One (underexposed version).
If all this is making your head spin the get three shots and paint Green on one of them Check the other two versions and the same spot will be red and you'll have no ghosting.
Hit the Process key to move to the next step in the Paint Shop HDR procedure.
From this point forward the procedure for either a Single RAW file or sequential images is exactly the same.
The combined image can be adjusted as it is presented or one of the 12 Presets can be chosen. Clicking on each Preset will apply that adjustment to the image in the center window.
Below the Presents are two buttons - Color and B&W. Be sure to check the B&W setting for each Preset because you may find an awesome black and white under the color image.
There are six built in Presets included with Paint Shop HDR and they range from natural to very creative. This is a good starting point for the rest of the adjustments in this panel.
On the top right are two icons - one to Save your very own, and probably awesome, preset and another for Preset Options. Any Presets that are saved will be at the bottom of the built-in Preset list.
Below the Preset thumbnails you can choose to either work with Color or Black and White.
There are a lot of adjustments on this Paint Shop HDR panel. From top to bottom ...
There really are no guidelines at this point because all of the adjustments are to your taste.
The first three are White Balance, Temperature and Tint.
Contrast - move the slider to the right to increase the contrast and to the left to decrease the contrast.
Highlights, Midtones and Shadows - adjusting each one of them will make an overall adjustment to the specific portion of the Curves dialogue. Highlights will raise or lower the top part of the Curve, Midtones will modify the middle part of the Curve and Shadows affect the lower part of the Curve.
Vibrancy - move to the left to remove the affect of color and to the right to make the colors more intense.
Detail (Natural or Creative) - each one provides a unique appearance. If you select normal you can adjust the highlights, midtones and shadows. If you select Creative then the next adjustments are Strength and Block size.
Reset - zeros out all of the adjustments.
Back - takes you back one screen.
Create HDR File - saves the image as it is at this point.
Process - loads the Fine Tuning page.
The Fine Tune panel in Paint Shop HDR lets you do just that - apply some fine tuning adjustments to your image and all of these adjustments can be found in the main Edit screen of Paint Shop Pro.
Histogram - is modified as the rest of the adjustments are changed. Shows red, green and blue component and greyscale.
Basic Tools - Crop, Straighten, Red Eye, Makeover and Clone.
Smart Photo Fix - modify the sliders are choos Select Settings.
White Balance - adjust the temperature and the tint in the photograph.
Brightness/Contrast - as described and not often used.
Fill LIght/Clarity - fill light (like a fill flash) and Clarity. the level of datail in an image.
Vibrancy - boosts the color of the least saturated color in an image.
Local Tone Mapping - enhances details in an image.
High Pass Sharpen - adjust the radius (the specific distance within which dissimilar pixels are selected) and the strength of the adjustment.
Digital Noise Removal - remove small specs that interfere with image clarity.
At the bottom of the screen are three buttons - Back, Edit and Save and Close
Back - takes you back to the previous screen if you're not satisfied with what you see.
Edit - takes you into the Paint Shop Pro Editor allowing for additiona adjustments.
Save and Close - saves the image as a jpeg (or any format you wish) wherever you want and closed the program.
The new, and improved, Paint Shop HDR conversion with Paint Shop Pro is excellent. The procedure is exactly the same with both Paint Shop and AfterShot Pro 3.
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