Hydra is an HDR plug-in that works in Aperture.
- New feature: Source image thumbs can now be clicked for smooth overlay. This makes it easier to compare the tone mapping output with any source image, or to compare source images together.
- New feature: Accurate dual histogram display (LDR/HDR). The HDR histogram represents the merged, 32-bit image before tone mapping in a logarithmic scale (EV). The LDR histogram represents the currently displayed preview, it is a regular 8-bit histogram with a 0-255 scale. Histograms are computed in a separate thread to keep overall interactivity.
- Improved: Faster rendering pipeline when previewing (up to 5x), especially true for RAW input images.
- Improved: Incremental rendering as tiles is implemented.
- Improved: Faster window resizing.
- Improved: The sharpen filter is now scale invariant, meaning that the preview rendering accurately demonstrates the effect as it appears in the full resolution output.
- Improved: Automatic update is now signed for improved security.
- Improved: Import progress sheet for images is displayed.
- Aperture Plug-In: Smart Aperture projects do not cause a hang anymore, option to save to the Pictures folder when project is read only.
- Aperture Plug-In: 16-bit TIFF rendering is now supported, 32-bit removed (use stand alone Hydra if OpenEXR format is needed).
- Aperture Plug-In: Shift key can be used to import modified versions of images into Hydra. This way, any modification in color temperature, contrast, etc. is made available to Hydra Plug-in. This remains an optional behavior as it has an impact on rendered image, and it can make the initial import process longer.
- Aperture Plug-In: Auto updating of the Plug-in when a new version is posted.
- Bug fixings in the stand-alone application and the Aperture plug-in.
You can now also order the stand-alone version of Hydra or the Aperture plug-in separately.
In my tests of Hydra Version 1, I was never able to make a decent HDR image – especially compared to Photomatix. I briefly tested the new version and found it much improved. It is convenient to work directly from Aperture. However, Photomatix is working on an Aperture plug-in and when that’s done, I still think Hydra falls a little short. What do you think? I welcome anyone in our audience who’s used it to chime in.
For more information
Go to http://www.creaceed.com/hydra