Hydra + Plug-ins

Version: 3.0 || Release Date: 2011-11-20 || License: Commercial with demo ($79.95) Developer: Creaceed | App Owner: sanbirdette

Easily create stunning HDR Images

Hydra (formerly known as Hydra + Aperture Plug-In) provides human eye-like perception to your photographs by allowing you to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images from a series of regular photographs (up to 10), either from DSLRs or traditional point-and-shoot cameras. This is because a single photograph cannot represent the full gamut of light due to the physical limitations in the sensor.

Hydra does not require pictures taken with a tripod, as it is usually the case with HDR software. This is a unique feature that means you can take photos anywhere without a tripod to later merge them in Hydra.

Hydra uses an advanced image processing pipeline that first aligns the imported images and then merges them in a smart way to preserve the interesting inputs of each image. This method has been entirely implemented on the GPU to provide interactive previewing. This allows you to finely tune all parameters (matching, merging) in real-time while observing the changing result until you are satisfied, and then render the full resolution image (resolutions above 20 Mega Pixels supported) in less than a minute. The output produced by Hydra is much closer to what your eyes actually see.

Hydra is also available as a plug-in for Aperture. Here is the file to be downloaded to install the Aperture plug-in: http://www.creaceed.com/downloads/hydraplugin2.pkg.zip

Want to see HDR examples mode with Hydra? Have a look at http://www.creaceed.com/hydra/photo_contest.html

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3 Opinions

Hydra's histogram blend interface is inspired (exactly what I envisioned for ease of use ;), however it seems to try too hard. It assumes photos will have consistent exposure steps, and it tried unsuccessfully to align 5 images that were in fact exported from the same RAW file. End result after tweaking was always fuzzy.

If I used Aperture I would definitely try the plug in, which would likely (I hope) avoid both these issues.

As it stands, my HDR result was unusable, and the 8-bit blend result unimpressive.

I tried the demo, can't really say if I like it or not because it didn't work for me (PB G4).

When I tried to render the result, a totally distorted image came up. Tried 3 different image sets.

No go for me, I wil try the feeware.

I tried this and didn't like the results. I really did give it a chance and tried multiple merge settings, nothing appealed to me.

Give Bracketeer a shot, it's totally free (it's a GUI frontend for the freeware app "enfuse"). Bracketeer is half the price of Hydra and puts out far more impressive results!