why do overdone HDR photos look like paintings?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bucky3, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. bucky3

    bucky3 Guest

    Let me start by saying this is not to debate the merits or demerits of
    HDR. All I want to understand is the technical reason that overdone
    HDR/tone-mapped photos look like paintings or cartoon drawings.

    I can't grasp why changing the tone of a photo would make it look like
    a painting. I found some clues at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_mapping#Visual_effect
    :

    "Local tone mapping produces a number of characteristic effects in
    images. These include halos around dark objects, a painting-like or
    cartoon-like appearance due to a lack of large global contrasts, and
    highly saturated colours."

    But if I take a regular photo, increase saturation and decrease
    contrast, it'll just look oversaturated and poor contrast. No tonal
    adjustment will make that photo look like a painting.

    On the other hand, look at this HDR photo: http://preview.tinyurl.com/yd5thqh
    It doesn't seem oversaturated to me, and I see plenty of contrast, yet
    it looks like a drawing. Can someone help explain the technical
    reasons?
     
    bucky3, Nov 18, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. bucky3

    Nervous Nick Guest

    On Nov 18, 7:42 pm, rwalker <> wrote:
    > On Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:05:30 -0800 (PST), bucky3 <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > >Let me start by saying this is not to debate the merits or demerits of
    > >HDR. All I want to understand is the technical reason that overdone
    > >HDR/tone-mapped photos look like paintings or cartoon drawings.

    >
    > >I can't grasp why changing the tone of a photo would make it look like
    > >a painting. I found some clues athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_mapping#Visual_effect
    > >:

    >
    > >"Local tone mapping produces a number of characteristic effects in
    > >images. These include halos around dark objects, a painting-like or
    > >cartoon-like appearance due to a lack of large global contrasts, and
    > >highly saturated colours."

    >
    > >But if I take a regular photo, increase saturation and decrease
    > >contrast, it'll just look oversaturated and poor contrast. No tonal
    > >adjustment will make that photo look like a painting.

    >
    > >On the other hand, look at this HDR photo:http://preview.tinyurl.com/yd5thqh
    > >It doesn't seem oversaturated to me, and I see plenty of contrast, yet
    > >it looks like a drawing. Can someone help explain the technical
    > >reasons?

    >
    > I think the reason that they look like paintings is because your eye
    > accommodates to the light directly where you are looking, and so if
    > there is differential illumination of a scene, your eye accommodates
    > directly to what you are looking at, and so areas with lower
    > illumination will appear darker with less detail.  With an HDR photo,
    > all areas start to appear as they would if your eyes were accommodated
    > to all areas simultaneously, thus creating an artificial appearance.  
    >
    > Well, that's my story anyway.


    I agree. If an HDR photo was printed or projected so that it would
    completely surround your field of vision, so that your eyes had to
    adjust to each area you looked at, then it might seem more realistic.

    My two cents, fwiw.

    --
    YOP...
     
    Nervous Nick, Nov 19, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. bucky3

    Rich Guest

    We keep hearing as responses that HDR "should" look good if it's done
    properly, and yet we see so few examples of this.
    HDR is to digital imaging what Velvia is to film-only worse.
     
    Rich, Nov 19, 2009
    #3
  4. On Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:23:48 -0800, Savageduck
    <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:

    >On 2009-11-18 18:37:50 -0800, Nervous Nick <> said:
    >
    >> On Nov 18, 7:42 pm, rwalker <> wrote:
    >>> On Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:05:30 -0800 (PST), bucky3 <>
    >>> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>> Let me start by saying this is not to debate the merits or demerits of
    >>>> HDR. All I want to understand is the technical reason that overdone
    >>>> HDR/tone-mapped photos look like paintings or cartoon drawings.
    >>>
    >>>> I can't grasp why changing the tone of a photo would make it look like
    >>>> a painting. I found some clues athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_mappi

    >> ng#Visual_effect
    >>>> :
    >>>
    >>>> "Local tone mapping produces a number of characteristic effects in
    >>>> images. These include halos around dark objects, a painting-like or
    >>>> cartoon-like appearance due to a lack of large global contrasts, and
    >>>> highly saturated colours."
    >>>
    >>>> But if I take a regular photo, increase saturation and decrease
    >>>> contrast, it'll just look oversaturated and poor contrast. No tonal
    >>>> adjustment will make that photo look like a painting.
    >>>
    >>>> On the other hand, look at this HDR photo:http://preview.tinyurl.com/yd5

    >> thqh
    >>>> It doesn't seem oversaturated to me, and I see plenty of contrast, yet
    >>>> it looks like a drawing. Can someone help explain the technical
    >>>> reasons?
    >>>
    >>> I think the reason that they look like paintings is because your eye
    >>> accommodates to the light directly where you are looking, and so if
    >>> there is differential illumination of a scene, your eye accommodates
    >>> directly to what you are looking at, and so areas with lower
    >>> illumination will appear darker with less detail.  With an HDR photo,
    >>> all areas start to appear as they would if your eyes were accommodated
    >>> to all areas simultaneously, thus creating an artificial appearance.  
    >>>
    >>> Well, that's my story anyway.

    >>
    >> I agree. If an HDR photo was printed or projected so that it would
    >> completely surround your field of vision, so that your eyes had to
    >> adjust to each area you looked at, then it might seem more realistic.
    >>
    >> My two cents, fwiw.

    >
    >Since these are individual opinions until a definitive answer arrives,
    >here is mine;
    >
    >With extreme HDR which results in an artificial look, I believe there
    >are several contributing factors:
    >
    >1. In order to provide definition in the opened up shadows, edge
    >contrast is emphasized beyond the soft edges usually found in shadows
    >and shadow/light boundary areas. This is not what the eye & brain
    >expects with reality.


    Incorrect. Those halo edges are due to the tone mapping trying to fit
    puzzle-pieces together from different images. It's not intentionally
    "emphasized" for any reason. It's just an artifact of the process. Since
    the software is not "smart" enough to mask to fine edge details, only
    averaged regions of similar tones are grouped from one photo and merged
    with another. To make it semi-plausible those edges have to be blended
    together. One darker region that's been lightened merged next to a lighter
    region that's been darkened.

    Since you have the most crucial information wrong due to your amateur's
    ignorant assumptions, the rest of your numbered points are also wrong.

    If you don't have a clue of what you are talking about, please refrain from
    posting your inane assumptions and guesses. This is how all the net BS
    starts. Someone trust your troll's "sounds about right" explanation,
    because they are dumber than you are, and then they re-spew it to the rest
    of the world. Then the rest of the trolls eventually post on Wiki pages,
    blogs, and their "professional websites" and we are left with a net full of
    ignorant guesses. All popularized on Google because your stupidity happened
    to get the most hits on someone's eye-catching or controversial web page.
    Eventually your stupidity and ignorance now gets touted as "facts". When
    the only thing that's truly factual is your ignorance and stupidity.
     
    As Misinformation Keeps Spewing Along -- sung to O, Nov 19, 2009
    #4
  5. On Wed, 18 Nov 2009 22:37:53 -0500, rwalker <> wrote:

    >On Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:23:48 -0800, Savageduck
    ><savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:
    >
    >snip
    >
    >>
    >>With extreme HDR which results in an artificial look, I believe there
    >>are several contributing factors:
    >>
    >>1. In order to provide definition in the opened up shadows, edge
    >>contrast is emphasized beyond the soft edges usually found in shadows
    >>and shadow/light boundary areas. This is not what the eye & brain
    >>expects with reality.
    >>
    >>2. Saturation is off balance, with saturation applied to the newly
    >>revealed shadows, contrasted with desaturation in the light areas. To
    >>make things worse, many HDR artists then boost the saturation, and we
    >>end up with Kinkaide nightmares.
    >>
    >>3. The eye/brain combo does not make dynamic range adjustments to the
    >>entire field of view at once. The eye/brain combo adjusts as it pans
    >>and scans, making dynamic range adjustments on the fly. So a fully
    >>adjusted HDR is not what the brain expects from reality, but is fully
    >>prepared to tolerate (to some degree) in a one dimensional painting.
    >>Given that works of art are single dimension illusions of
    >>dimensionality and dynamic range.
    >>
    >>So it seems the key to the "grungy" HDR is hard edges and desaturation
    >>after multi-exposure processing. Then to get the over the top cartoon,
    >>up the saturation beyond a level the brain understands, or is able to
    >>tolerate.
    >>
    >>That is my silly opinion.

    >
    >I like it. Mine seems to be a subset of yours.


    See? Just like I told you, SavageCluck. Someone dumber than you are. Now
    you're all going to believe your own misinformed guesses borne of
    ignorance.
     
    As Misinformation Keeps Spewing Along -- sung to O, Nov 19, 2009
    #5
  6. bucky3

    bucky3 Guest

    On Nov 18, 7:09 pm, Rich <> wrote:
    >  We keep hearing as responses that HDR "should" look good if it's done
    > properly, and yet we see so few examples of this.
    > HDR is to digital imaging what Velvia is to film-only worse.


    Maybe if HDR is done properly, you don't realize it's HDR. I found
    these examples that showed HDR results with different settings
    (natural and surreal):

    http://www.vanilladays.com/hdr-guide/#examples
    http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/HDR_ps/compare.jpg

    I compare HDR to AutoTune. When AutoTune's done subtly, you won't
    notice it. But people love to use AutoTune on its extreme settings for
    the effect (which get old really fast).
     
    bucky3, Nov 19, 2009
    #6
  7. bucky3

    Rich Guest

    On Nov 19, 3:48 am, bucky3 <> wrote:
    > On Nov 18, 7:09 pm, Rich <> wrote:
    >
    > >  We keep hearing as responses that HDR "should" look good if it's done
    > > properly, and yet we see so few examples of this.
    > > HDR is to digital imaging what Velvia is to film-only worse.

    >
    > Maybe if HDR is done properly, you don't realize it's HDR.  I found
    > these examples that showed HDR results with different settings
    > (natural and surreal):
    >
    > http://www.vanilladays.com/hdr-guid...hotoshopcafe.com/tutorials/HDR_ps/compare.jpg
    >
    > I compare HDR to AutoTune. When AutoTune's done subtly, you won't
    > notice it. But people love to use AutoTune on its extreme settings for
    > the effect (which get old really fast).


    What you say is true! But few are achieving it! I'm pretty sure
    buildings aren't surrounded by glows (looks like a bad film print
    dodge job) and clouds except at sunset and dawn aren't pink!!
     
    Rich, Nov 20, 2009
    #7
  8. I think the reason that they look like paintings is because your eye
    accommodates to the light directly where you are looking, and so if
    there is differential illumination of a scene, your eye accommodates
    directly to what you are looking at, and so areas with lower
    illumination will appear darker with less detail. With an HDR photo,
    all areas start to appear as they would if your eyes were accommodated
    to all areas simultaneously, thus creating an artificial appearance.
     
    Teraposa Lunodas, Nov 24, 2009
    #8
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Guest
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    529
    Guest
    Oct 28, 2003
  2. =?Windows-1252?Q?Frisbee=AE_MCNGP?=

    Re: Wall-paintings, Mural and Monumental Paintings, Frescos

    =?Windows-1252?Q?Frisbee=AE_MCNGP?=, Oct 28, 2003, in forum: MCSE
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    526
    |{evin
    Oct 29, 2003
  3. Hugo Drax
    Replies:
    97
    Views:
    1,942
    Tony Parkinson
    Jan 23, 2004
  4. Polly the Parrott

    Re: Has the Photoshopping been overdone?

    Polly the Parrott, Feb 10, 2014, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    105
    Views:
    415
    PeterN
    Feb 15, 2014
  5. Liam O'Connor
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    143
    Liam O'Connor
    May 13, 2014
Loading...

Share This Page