Review: HDR on Linux with Qtpfsgui

Creating High Dynamic Range images on Linux wasn’t easy until not long ago: the libraries were available but no fancy GUI was ready to hand. Things changed now: meet Qtpfsgui.

Editing HDR images on Linux is not so easy: the current situation of HDR image editing on Linux is so so. Especially tone mapping is possible, but not easy: the libraries are available, but there was no GUI, let alone an easy to use and user friendly GUI

But today I came across Qtpfsgui (kde-apps entry)- and I was impressed. The GUI is slick and the handling is easy. It provides you with all options needed for the task, and even does not have complicated dependencies. Technically, the Qt4 program includes (which means there is no dependency) code from the famous projects PFStools and PFStmo.

Ok, Qtpfsgui does have a naming problem, but that’s the only flaw. But I can take such a name when I get such a GUI:

The main dialog shows you just the basic set of options you need to either load a existing HDR image or create a HDR image out of a stack of normal images (like jpgs) with different exposure times.

qtpfsgui - main window

The tone mapping dialog is a bit more complex, but that is due to the fact that tone mapping is a quite complex matter. Still, the dialog provides you with a fast preview (on a small scale or a scale you can choose) together with a set of predefined options. You can change them, but you can also directly hit the save button:

qtpfsgui - tone mapping window

And the program isn’t that new: according to the version number (1.8.x) it is considered stable but more important it is well documented. Lust but not least, since it is Qt4, you can also use the program on MacOS and Windows.

Finally, tone mapping on Linux is no problem at all anymore. Only thing left now is a usable name for the program which normal users can actually remember. 😉


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