Oloneo PhotoEngine out in the wild

After all these pre-announcements it should not come as a surprise that PhotoEngine v1.0 is out. Flickr is currently getting swamped with interesting shots, and the Oloneo Flickr group doubles as official support forum.

If I had to pick out just one innovative feature, that would be the ingenious use of the main tone-mapping slider, simply called Strength. Instead of changing only a single parameter from low to high, it cycles through a whole variety of look adjustments. From 0 to 100 it reduces the global contrast, from 100 to 200 it additionally enhances local detail, and beyond 200 it aggressively boosts every contrast it can find.

Combined with live feedback, that single slider alone can already lead to instant satisfaction. In fact, when you work in Auto mode that Strength slider is all you have. Local mode gives you more control over exposure, detail, and contrast. And Advanced Local finally drills the detail setting further down, so you can tweak every individual aspect of the tonemapping engine. Really clever.

Here's a quick summary of what I like most about PhotoEngine:
  • The main tone mapping slider goes through a wide variety of adjustments
  • Realtime feedback all the way
  • Advanced Local Tone Mapper mode exposes tons of detail controls to fight halos
  • 360 Panorama mode
  • Lots of color controls for creative styling
  • BIG tone curve window
  • Automatic DeGhosting that is rather capable (see my previous test)
  • History Replay shows a timelapse of all the adjustment steps
  • Display with Color Management

Highslide JS

It pays off to right-click in the Curves interface. You'll see that the curve type is freely configurable. Although the Bezier curves are implemented exceptionally well, you can also change it to Linear or Catmull Rom Splines (a.k.a. Photoshop-style, without the extra Bezier handles, shown here below).

In the color equalizers, which pack a lot of power in a compact interface, choose Free Mode to target your adjustment to a very specific color.

Highslide JS

Not so awesome in my book:
  • No OpenEXR support, not even loading.
  • Can't save any 32-bit files, so it's only useful as end of the HDR pipeline
  • ReLight mode doesn't work with 32-bit HDRs
  • No noise reduction, neither in RAW development nor in post
  • A mysterious tendency to add dark color fringes around bright highlights
  • PC only

It’s a great start, however. If PhotoEngine manages to stick around it definitely has what it takes to rise to the top.


PS: Meet me at the RED user group meeting this Saturday

June 11 has approached quickly. If you're in the Burbank area, come and say Hi.

There will be breakfast buffet. And possibly cookies. And i'll be giving a presentation on the Foundations of HDR Imaging, every 30 minutes from 9:00 AM to 12:00. First time I'm giving 6 shows in a row, we'll see how that goes...

Avid reader of this blog might not learn much new in my talk. But the event has now turned into some sort of Mini-HDR-Convention; there will be several RED EPIC cameras to play with, some totally sweet door prizes, and a very interesting lineup of presenters.

www.REDusergroupLA.com / Kappa Studios, 3619 W Magnolia Blvd. (Map)

See you there.
Next Page