HDR Efex Pro: What is U Point Technology?

Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro is sophisticated plug-in software for creating excellent HDR images. The software provides an easy workflow and has superior tone mapping and photo aligning features. The quality of the HDR image output is superior due to the superior controls provided by U Point technology used by Nik Software. Here is a brief explanation of this technology.

Selective Editing

The major challenge that most photographers face during post editing is that most controls have a global impact on the image. Editing a specific area in the image is quite difficult and the edits invariably affect the other parts of the image. The process itself is also quite laborious with the creation of various layers and masks to get the desired effects over an area. U point technology is now able to provide easy controls for selective editing, which is a major requirement especially for output of good quality HDR images.

Control Point

For selective editing, U Point technology enables the user to select and edit specific areas through Control Points. These Control Points can be placed directly on to the parts of the image by a simple click and drag process, to map out the area. After the mapping of the area, there are simple slider controls to adjust the contrast, brightness, warmth and color saturation inside those areas. This gives the user precise control over every part of the image individually, resulting in a much superior output. In comparison to this, most editing software use marquee, lasso tools and layer masks with a complex selection of the appropriate filters to get the desired effect.

Working of the Technology

The working of the U point technology is quite simple as it is based on Control Points. The software is able to read the RGB (Red Green Blue) value of pixels and the location area through the placement of the Control Points. It also calculates specific values of saturation, hue and brightness coupled with other image details to generate a unique pixel characteristics report. This data is then placed under a function of intelligent blending where the user is able to control the various aspects which include the saturation, hue warmth, contrast and light. These adjustments are done with the respective sliders attached with the Control Point.

If multiple Control Points are placed, the pixel characteristics are calculated individually for each area and then fed into the blending function centrally. As more data is received from the various Control Points, the central function gathers more intelligence about the image, making it even more precise and the edits get even more refined.

Although the calculation of the data of various Control Points is done individually, they form interdependency when they are centrally combined so as to blend all the edits into one natural whole.

U point technology provides nondestructive edits which can be undone or further adjusted at any point, even if you do not follow the same order as that of the edits. This simplifies the workflow and one can easily edit multiple areas in an image selectively.