Analyzing the Results
How does this process compare with HDRSoft Photomatix tone mapping? In this section, we’ll analyze the results from Photoshop CS3 and Photomatix and compare the differences.
First, we’ll begin with this tone mapped cityscape of Vancouver, BC that was toned mapped using both Photomatix and Photoshop CS3.
Color & Noise
Artifacts – Changing Color
The sails in the images below are lit by a color chaging light that fades from one color to another.
Artifacts – Flares
Pros and Cons
The two methods of tone mapping are similar, but they share their own pros and cons. Photomatix does a better job for most of the time. We recommend using Photomatix tone mapping first. If it doesn’t produce good results, use try using this Photoshop tutorial instead. While the image generated by Photomatix has more noise and isn’t as sharp, these can be fixed in Photoshop aftewards.
Photomatix Tone Mapping
Photoshop CS3 (This tutorial)
- Simple process and easy adjustments
- Excellent color results
- Smooth tones
- Exposures in their own seperate and editable layer
- Good sharpness
- Lower level of noise compared to original
- Most hot pixels are removed
- Less artifacts
- Slightly more noise than original
- Visible hot pixels
- More artifacts
- More steps required
- Tweaking the results require advance Photoshop knowledge
- Abnormal outlines around bright edges
- Less saturated colors
Update: Fixed the “Photomatix” spelling mistake. Thanks for the notice in the comments. :)