HDR software maker Unified Color Technologies has released what it says is the first 32-bit HDR plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. The 32 Float plug-in is based around the company's 'Beyond RGB' color space that attempts to separate brightness and color components of the image data to allow tonal adjustments without color shifts. The plug-in supports the CS5, CS4 and CS3 versions of Photoshop and will be available at an introductory price of $79 from September 2010.

Press Release:

Unified Color Technologies Announces 32 Float

New Plug-in Provides Complete 32-Bit Color Editing Functionality To Photoshop Users

South San Francisco, Calif. – AugUST 2, 2010 Unified Color Technologies, the experts in high dynamic range imaging (HDR), today announced the launch of 32 Float, the industry’s first HDR-specific plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® that brings 32-bit color controls and editing tools to Photoshop users. With 32 Float, photographers have complete control over images in the full 32-bit color gamut, regardless of the software used to create the resulting merged file.

For photographers looking to create the most true-to-life HDR images possible, the ability to manage the image at 32-bit depth color is imperative, and the ability to make these edits directly in Photoshop helps streamline the HDR workflow for users. Powered by Unified Color’s patented Beyond RGB™ color space, 32 Float is able to separate color data from brightness information, to make brightness adjustments without introducing the color shift often seen using other HDR solutions.

“Photoshop has supported 32-bit images for many years, but provided only limited functionality to actually work with the images in 32-bit mode,” said Alfred Zee, CEO of Unified Color Technologies. “With 32 Float, Photoshop users can finally take full advantage of all the data in their 32-bit images and process them for color and tone without having to first down sample them to 8 or 16 bits to use editing tools. 32 Float allows Photoshop users create realistic HDR images regardless of the merge tool they have used to kick start the process and even supports legacy CS3 and CS4 versions of Photoshop in addition to the latest CS5 release.”

Developed alongside the company’s fully-featured HDR solution, HDR Expose, 32 Float was created with the input of the rapidly growing HDR photography community, a group which relies on refined control of its full 32-bit image data to create the most realistic HDR images. Putting more control into the hands of the photographer, the 32 Float plug-in offers an interactive HDR histogram that ensures the necessary adjustments made to highlight and shadow details are maintained even at lower resolutions. 32 Float also presents an intuitive user interface and a comprehensive HDR tool kit to address image issues common with the HDR technique, including:

  • Improved halo reduction and local contrast tools to provide more precise control
  • Complete control of contrast, shadow and highlights to take advantage of the available dynamic range
  • Noise reduction and veiling glare adjustments to combat the negative effects of merged exposures

The 32 Float user interface is designed for streamlined workflow and offers an intuitive layered adjustment panel enabling photographers to easily revisit previous adjustments. For a quick start to HDR newcomers, or to find a starting point to further edit any merged HDR image, a one-click Dynamic Range Mapping tool easily sets optimal image processing.

Powered by Unified Color’s proprietary Beyond RGB color space, 32 Float also improves on a variety of features found in previous offerings, including:

  • New Digital Readout that enables users to view color values RGB or Bch values
  • New editable recipe procedures to simplify batch processing and saving of “favorites”
  • Enhanced performance using OpenCL GPU processing

Pricing And Availability
Starting August 23, 2010, 32 Float will be available for purchase at www.unifiedcolor.com at a list price of $99. A special introductory launch price for the plug-in of $79 will be available through September 23, 2010 and a free 30-day trial version is also available.

Free Online Training Sessions Available
Unified Color also offers free online training sessions for users of its software. Each session covers a complete walkthrough of the HDR workflow made possible with the recently launched HDR Expose and the new 32 Float. The live online classes will start with a general product demonstration followed by a question-and-answer session during which photographers can discuss various tools and techniques or even inquire about their own ongoing projects. Photographers are encouraged to visit the following URL to confirm the upcoming schedule for these sessions: http://www.unifiedcolor.com/event-calendar

True Vision HDR Photo Contest
32 Float and Unified Color’s stand-alone HDR Expose will be featured prizes in the upcoming round of the company’s True Vision HDR Photo Contest. Photographers of all levels are invited to submit their HDR images for a chance to win prizes, including a grand prize of a photo adventure through National Geographic Expeditions and a 15-inch MacBook Pro. There is no fee or purchase required to enter. Phase three of the multi-phase contest opens today and more details can be found at www.unifiedcolor.com/contest

System Requirements
32 Float is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS3, CS4, and CS5 versions, and is available for Windows and Apple operating systems. System recommendations inclued:

PC: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (64-bit Windows version is recommended.) Unified Color recommends utilizing a quad-core processor. Minimum 2 GB RAM, recommended 3 GB.

Apple: Intel Macintosh 2.5 GHz dual core CPU with 2GB minimum RAM (4GB is recommended) running Mac OS 10.5.x (Leopard) or Mac OS 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard).