Automating Exposure Blending with Enfuse

In many situation you may find yourself wanting to capture a scene with an increased dynamic range, but might not want to go through the full process of generating an HDR image, and then tonemapping it.  (Or you find the tonemapping operators don't produce results that you like).

Enfuse (part of the Open Source panorama software package Hugin) is an incredibly useful piece of software that will automatically combine/mask multiple exposure images for you.

-2 EV 0 EV
+2 EV

For example, these are 3 representative images at -2EV, 0EV, +2EV for a simpel scene.  I could create an HDR from these, and then tonemap them to bring the values into a range I could display.  I can also directly feed these images into enfuse and have it automatically generate the exposure blended output for me:

Results after running "enfuse *.jpg" in a directory of the images

Enfuse does a remarkably good job of blending the multiple exposures, while avoiding some of the pitfalls of some tonemapping operators.  There are no halos at high-contrast edges, and the saturation has not been modified.   It has kept the details in the darkest areas of the image, while not blowing out highlights.

For a fast and relatively painless method of exposure blending multiple images, enfuse can help make short work of the process.  In my post I also show how enfuse has an option for saving the masks that are used for each layer.  These can then be brought into other software like GIMP/Ps for further fine-tuning or other manipulations!

Read the rest of the article here:

blog.patdavid.net: Automatic Exposure Blending with Enfuse (HDR-ish).

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

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