Well, we’ve got a lot of news to report. First off, the Beta has been extended to February 17th. You can download it for Windows at 19lights.com/license/ginger-hdr-beta-download.html.
Also, included in this version is the optical flow workflow. In the Merger application just select Magic Lantern HDR Video, select your video file and the Exposure difference, and click go. That will merge your video to a sequence of EXRs using optical flow. If you use the full speed option you will get a video at, well, full speed. If you use the half speed option, it will use optical flow to merge the underexposed frames but leave the overexposed frames as-is. That tends to result in a much cleaner merge. So if you are delivering for the web at 720p, half speed might be the best option for you.
Of course, it uses optical flow so it’s not the fastest horse in the race. One high priority is to include a lower quality option to get a faster merge in those cases where you don’t have much movement. Also, the CUDA version works but needs to be more robust before releasing it. It’s not fully optimized yet, but so far seems like it should be several times faster.
Here’s a video captured with 720p @ 60fps settings and then “slowed down” to 30fps. The merge looks very clean so far and handles movement pretty well. It has a tough time with anything that moves very rapidly and dramatically changes shape, like the flickering flag in the second shot. Also, I’d recommend staying away from 1600 ISO on the Rebel T2i. In these shots you only need about 3 stops, so if I were to do it over again I’d shoot it at 100/800 ISO.
This video was shot the same way. I wanted to see how well this workflow would do with a fast pan and the results were encouraging. The optical flow solver only goes forward, not backwards. That’s why at the top of the frame you see some major artifacts when the camera is tilting down but looks fine when it’s going up. There are ways to fix it, but of course it will be slower so you probably don’t want that option on all the time.