New Exposure Blending Tool for digiKam
...or how to make pseudo HDR images with digiKam using a stack of bracketed images...
ExpoBlending is the name of a new tool that i implement currently for next kipi-plugins 1.1 release planed to end of January. This plugin use 2 command line tools available under Linux, Windows, and Mac : align_image_stack from Huggin project and enfuse from Enblend project
Plugin is composed by two parts : an Import Wizard to pre-process bracketed images, and an second one which is a Front-End to enfuse. See below some plugin screen-shots with details
ExpoBlending plugin is available in digiKam Tools menu entry. The first wizard page welcome you and explain what you can do with it. If you have set before a selection of bracketed images from your digiKam collection, you will see all items in the stack. You can add more of course using drag and drop or usual images selection dialog.
The goal of this wizard is to prepare images. If Raw images are selected, there are converted to tiff 16 bits with auto-gamma. If you turn on auto-alignment option, align_image_stack program will be called to adjust bracketed images position. New tiff files will be generated for that. Auto-alignment is very important there, especially if you haven't used a tripod to take pictures. Raw conversion and alignment can take a while of course... Start job and take a Champagne cup to enjoy this new year...
Great. Pre-processing is done. It's time to use the second part of this plugin and to fuse bracketed images to a pseudo HDR image. On this new window, you can see a preview area on the left, and on the right, the bracketed images stack on the top, all Enfuse settings on the center, and finally, all processed images generated on the bottom. For each enfused image, you can choose which input bracketed images you want to use. Selecting a processed image on the bottom will load it to preview, to easy compare results. You can zoom in/out and pan preview if you want. To save processed images, just press Save button, and all selected items from processed stack will be saved to the current digiKam album.
As all is multi-threaded in this plugin, you can go back to digiKam and lets computations running in background. Like this, you can process enfused items and at the same time compare the best one on the Light Table.
Note: this plugin exist also as a stand alone application named... expoblending