For those who are not (yet) in possession one of the latest digital cameras with build-in HDR capabilities or the more experimental folks, there is a fantastic free tool to create HDR images by combining multiple shots of the same scene: Its called qtpfsgui.

That is, it used to be called that and is still available in Ubuntu under this name (sudo apt-get install qtpfsgui). However, qtpfsgui is discontinued since mid 2009 and has been replaced by the Luminance HDR project.

Since qtpfsgui crashes under ubuntu 9.10 when attempting to save any HDR image, I downloaded the latest luminance version, compiled and installed it like so:

  1. Download the luminance source and unpack the folder.
  2. Install the dependencies required to compile luminance:
    sudo apt-get install qt4-qmake libexiv2-dev libopenexr-dev fftw3-dev libtiff4-dev libqt4-dev g++ libgsl0-dev
  3. Compile luminance (takes a few minues) and install it. Change to the unpacked luminance folder and do:
    sudo make install

That´s it! you now have luminance installed and it should be in your main menu under applications>graphics.

It works perfectly with Karmic.
One of the best things about luminance is that you can play a lot with the algorithms and parameters used to tonemap the HDR into a LDR image. In contrast to many other (commercial) tools, you actually get to know which algorithms are used, who created them and can read a little more on how they work (if you are not to opposed to mathematics) by googling up the corresponding papers.

Tagged with →  
Share →

3 Responses to Creating HDR images in Ubuntu with Luminance (QTPFSGUI)

  1. Ingolf says:

    Hello Olaf,

    When I try qmake then libraw-dev was not found and it did not seem to be in the standard repositories (synaptic did not find it for me) so I downloaded and installed it from

    qmake works withoug error message, but when I make I get the following error msg. I tried make clean and make again, but it would still produce the same error. Do you know what to do?

    I am impatiently looking forward to using luminance 🙂


    ingolf@golf:~/bin/luminance/luminance-hdr-2.0.2-pre1$ make
    g++ -c -pipe -ffast-math -msse -fomit-frame-pointer -g3 -fopenmp -O2 -D_REENTRANT -Wall -W -DQT_NO_DEBUG_OUTPUT -DHAVE_FFTW3F -DI18NDIR=”/usr/local/share/luminance-hdr/i18n” -DQT_NO_DEBUG -DQT_WEBKIT_LIB -DQT_XML_LIB -DQT_GUI_LIB -DQT_CORE_LIB -DQT_SHARED -I/usr/share/qt4/mkspecs/linux-g++ -I. -I/usr/include/qt4/QtCore -I/usr/include/qt4/QtGui -I/usr/include/qt4/QtXml -I/usr/include/qt4/QtWebKit -I/usr/include/qt4 -Isrc -I/usr/include/exiv2 -I/usr/include/OpenEXR -I/usr/include -I/usr/include/gsl -I/usr/include/libraw -Igenerated_moc -Igenerated_uic -o generated_obj/pfsinraw.o src/Fileformat/pfsinraw.cpp
    src/Fileformat/pfsinraw.cpp: In function ‘pfs::Frame* readRawIntoPfsFrame(const char*, const char*, LuminanceOptions*, bool)’:
    src/Fileformat/pfsinraw.cpp:177: error: ‘dcraw_clear_mem’ is not a member of ‘LibRaw’
    make: *** [generated_obj/pfsinraw.o] Error 1

  2. Ingolf says:

    Hey Olaf,

    sorry, I didn’t know this is public. I fixed the problem by following instructions in this link:

    I am posting this because I think it will be important for anyone who tries to install luminance on ubuntu.


  3. […] from Ubuntu 9.10 instructions and updated for Ubuntu 11.10 and Luminance HDR version 2.1.0. Why do you want to install Luminance […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.