hydra
Hydra is an HDR plug-in that works in Aperture.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Improved: Faster rendering pipeline when previewing (up to 5x), especially true for RAW input images.
  4. Improved: Incremental rendering as tiles is implemented.
  5. Improved: Faster window resizing.
  6. 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.
  7. Improved: Automatic update is now signed for improved security.
  8. Improved: Import progress sheet for images is displayed.
  9. Aperture Plug-In: Smart Aperture projects do not cause a hang anymore, option to save to the Pictures folder when project is read only.
  10. Aperture Plug-In: 16-bit TIFF rendering is now supported, 32-bit removed (use stand alone Hydra if OpenEXR format is needed).
  11. 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.
  12. Aperture Plug-In: Auto updating of the Plug-in when a new version is posted.
  13. 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

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