FAQ Photomatix Plugin for Aperture

How can I switch my Aperture Plugin license to your Lightroom Plugin?

The Photomatix Plugin for Lightroom in included for free in a Photomatix Pro license. Unlike the Aperture Plugin, the Lightroom Plugin uses the standalone Photomatix Pro to process your photos, and therefore cannot work without Photomatix Pro.

As licensed user of the Aperture Plugin, you can upgrade to Photomatix Pro for the $20 price difference between the two products. To request the upgrade pricing, please use this form.

Can Aperture plugin licenses be transferred to Apple's new Photos app?

Apple's App Extension SDK is designed for editing one image at at time, which makes it difficult to build a Photos Extension that merges bracketed photos to HDR.

However, our engineers have built an Extension for Photos offering Tone Mapping rendering on single photos. It is called Photomatix OneShot and licenses of the Plugin for Aperture are valid for it.

Your plugin covers my picture with vertical lines since I upgraded to Mavericks.

This happens when the file format of your Export settings is set to PSD. Please follow these steps to correct this:

  • Choose Aperture > Preferences...
  • Click on the Export tab.
  • Set the External Editor File Format pop-up menu to "TIFF (16-bit)" or "TIFF (8-bit)".

I upgraded to the latest version but the older version of the plugin shows instead.

When you installed a newer version of the plugin but the title of the plugin's window still shows an older version, this is likely because there is still an older version of the PhotomatixPlugIn.ApertureEdit file somewhere on your hard drive. As Spotlight does not include plugin files when it searches on your computer, you will have to proceed as follows to find and remove the older version:

  • Go to the Finder, and press Command+F on the keyboard to open a Search window.
  • Make sure that This Mac is selected and then use the options just below it.
  • First, choose System Files in the pop-up menu. Then, to the right of that pop-up, select are included
  • On the right side of the window, click the + button to bring up a new option line.
  • In the new line, choose Name in the pop-up menu. Then, choose contains in the next pop-up menu.
  • In the Search box to the right, enter PhotomatixPlugIn.ApertureEdit
    Searching Aperture Plugin file
  • Move any instance of the PhotomatixPlugIn.ApertureEdit file that you find to the Trash.
  • Download and install again the latest version of the Aperture Plugin from the download page.
  • Restart Aperture.

I get an "Unsupported Image Format" error when saving the image.

This error was reported by several users and seems to be very specific to some settings. The error is apparently due to an issue with how Aperture refreshes its references to the saved files.

The error should not happen anymore in version 3.0, as long as the option 'Import saved image' is checked in the Preferences for the Plugin. If you are using a version of the Plugin older than 3.0, you can upgrade for free to the latest version by downloading it.

How does the Aperture Plugin differ from Photomatix Pro?

The Photomatix HDR Plugin for Apple Aperture offers the following features:

  • Merge of bracketed photos to HDR
  • Automatic alignment of bracketed photos
  • Automatic ghost removal
  • Reduction of noise and chromatic aberrations
  • Tone Mapping with the Details Enhancer, Contrast Optimizer and Tone Compressor methods
  • Exposure Fusion with the Fusion/Natural method

The standalone Photomatix Pro offers all above features. It also offers Selective Deghosting, Batch Processing, Tone Balancer and Fusion/Interior rendering methods, and a Brush Tool, among other features. These features are missing in the current version of the Photomatix Plugin for Aperture.

The colors of my HDR image in the Aperture plugin look different than in Photomatix Pro, though I processed the same RAW files.

When you use an Edit Plugin with RAW files, Aperture will first convert these images to TIFF or PSD in order to enable the plugin to edit them. This is what the message "Preparing image for output" means.

When you process your RAW files directly in the standalone Photomatix Pro, you leave the task to convert the RAW files to Photomatix. RAW conversion is a complex task. It involves color conversion from camera to output space among other things, and each RAW converter has its own "secret" recipe to perform the color conversion. Photomatix does not know how Aperture perform its color conversion, so it can't do the same as Aperture.

If you want to compare results from the standalone Photomatix Pro and the plugin for Aperture, you will have to use the same files as input to HDR tone mapping, which are the TIFF (or PSD) versions exported by Aperture. The Photomatix FAQ has more details about this workflow.