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Indoor HDR

As a whole, The primary use of HDR's allows you to create an image with extreme contrasts. Overly bright windows, with a darker interior. Or for landscapes to keep all the colors even.

However it can be used for a general interior shot with seemingly even lighting. This tutorial will show you how to create such an image.

Described below, this is the setup: This was taken inside with natural lighting, a window off the left, and a few smaller lamps. I took 3 hand held pictures, of those 2 came out sharp, the third is a bit softer, but  usable.

The Music Room - by Mike Savad
The Music Room - by Mike Savad
Can be purchased as a print or a gift

Original Raw files - Before Editing
original raw files
These are the original RAW files before editing.

Original Raw files - After Editing
Edited raw
These are the original RAW files after editing.

Stacked & Ready
In this scene I have a rather dark piano. The scene is a bit blah to me, a bit busy, but overall the lighting is somewhat uneven.

To begin, stack the images with the darkest frame on the top. I set the -2EV shot so I could get as much detail out of the piano as I could since this is the sharpest image. Pushing the brightness on this layer will hurt the detail in the lamps, but that will be repaired later.

Merging Layer 1 & 2
merging 1 and 2
I used a smaller brush on the piano and tassles, a Larger on at the base of the piano as there is very little detail there. I smoothed over on the table cloth for the same reasons. There is a bit of noise on the wall paper, But I won't get into that yet.

A bit blurry
You can see that the third layer is a bit soft, it is usable though and can reveal some detail - it just won't be all that sharp. Of course on the other hand, if this were a real painting, it wouldn't be that sharp anyway. 

Everything is merged
all stacked
See, even if the image is soft like the above, it doesn't matter that much. As long as you have layers above that are sharp, all you have to do is get the center areas away from the edges. And as long as you don't push hard with the pen, you shouldn't see too much shifting.

I chose areas on the piano underneath and a few other spots. I didn't want to lose the shading from the layer before, So I was very careful in what I want shaded in.

Next I want to concentrate on the burned out lights and the extra noise on the piano and walls.

Sample of the noise
noise sample
You can see the noise that was left. The piano has some grit, the metal stuff and book (hard to see here) are fairly noisy. The original image looks much noisier then what is represented here.

The Cleaner Layer
better noise
This is the layer has better noise control. I matched the colors the best I could. I should be able to clean much of the scene with this layer.

This layer has the lamps and I'll use it remove some of the glare on the piano. This was the best I could get from the lamps. Though unfortunate, the lantern on the piano I can't see the filament, oh well.

Cleaned Up
The layers are merged. The noise removal layer was added, I used it on all the walls, flowers, book, painting, and a few other spots (where ever there was noise). The darker layer was merged into the lamps and that bright spot on the piano.

Next I want to use the 0EV photo, that I already used for the walls, to clean up a few other areas. All I needed to do was to make it a bit brighter.

Cleaned Up - Detail
This is the same area as before, only merged together. It looks cleaner now.

ready to be cleaned
Cropped out, ready to be cleaned. I need to remove the wires (and shadows), Remove those bits of green, then later the door opening.

Cloned out
Same image as above only I took out the wires from the lamp (and shadows), you'll see that the shadow on the shade is gone, bits of plants, and some nicks on the molding.

Next - the Door.

My Door
my door
I got this from an old church. I've only started collecting this kind of clip-ar. So my selection is currently limited. I wanted to find a door that had a paneled look, yet matches the year. I need to straighten it, remove the pad lock, try to recolor it, and maybe replace the door knob.

 Carpentry made easy
door installed
The door was straightened, then tweaked to match perspective using the gate that was there. I decided to keep the knob, since it matches the catch on the jam. I suppose a house with a fancy piano would have a fancy knob to match... but then again it's an old farm house with nice furniture in it.

Next I need to color the door so it's less yellow looking.

 Color Matched
door colored
The yellow has been dulled down a bit. I gave it an old oak look.  I kept the highlight on the foor as it seems to match the scene. I still need to clean up the scuff marks.

The color match was done with Selective color, only instead of using it on a layer, I used it directly from the tool menu.

 Color Matched
room colored
I cleaned up around the door, the scuffs, scratches, etc. I also repaired the color a bit with selective color.

Originally I wanted to make this without the shadow layer however I think it's too bright. And my eyes go right to that lamp, then the door, since they are the brightest areas. The piano is the main focus, but it blends in too much. Overall the brightness is just a bit flat, and uneven. I like lamps that look like they are actually lighting the room.

Shadow Layer - Start with the lights
shadows around light
Start with the shadow layer. Choose a large brush and brighten around the lights all the way, Start with the walls and around the lights. Any where you know where light would normally fall.. Continue on with the door and top of piano, flowers etc.

Shadow Layer - Done
shadows done
This is the shadow layer done. It has a new ambiance then when I started, and lets the eyes flow around better. Use a large brush for this layer, though I did use a flatter brush to keep the light where I wanted.

Overlay Layer - Done
overlay done
With a large brush I focused around the lights (but not on the lights). You'll see it's brighter in some spots. Using a smaller brush, the detal work was done. I also touched up on the soft light layer for the flowes and that paper thing on the table (soft light creates a pastel look, where overlay creates contrsast).

Next to the lighting ambiance using Hard light

Hard light Layer - Done
hard light done
It's subtle, but you can see a bit of sun on the side to support those reflections. The lamps I chose the color of the shade, and using a large brush, surrounded the shade with it's own color. It creates a bit of haze that a glowing light produces.

Next the Vivid light layer for edge details.

Vivid light - Done
detail done
Hard to see in a small picture like this, but I highlighted a few edges on the lamp and other shiny spots.

Flatten this out, save it, then use the Separate highlights and shadows action.

Highlights & Shadow - Done
light shadow done
I added a little bit of saturation to the light layer, and both layers were punched a bit. The contrast is deeper and the lights seem to light the room better.

Next I'll add a second layer of Selective Color.

Selective Color - Done
selective color done
The colors are punchier. I increased the reds for the piano, yellow in the whites, and increased magenta.

With a few adjustments in contrast, see below, and now it's done. Boy that was easy...

The Music Room - by Mike Savad
The Music Room - by Mike Savad
Can be purchased as a print or a gift

Collector - Milk Bottles - by Mike Savad Weaver - In the weavers cottage - by Mike Savad Music - The victrola - by Mike Savad Harpist - The Harp - by Mike Savad Organist - My Grandmother's Organ - by Mike Savad Artist - The etching table - by Mike Savad

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Copyright - Suburban Scenes by Mike Savad 2012

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