Lightroom: Ability to batch process Photo Merge (HDR and panorama)

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  • Updated 9 months ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)
Now that we have HDR inside Lightroom, with virtually no user input, the next step is surely a batch facility for a folder full of bracketed images.
Please!!!!
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Colin McDonald

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Posted 5 years ago

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Cathy Cahill

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I don't think I could do my job without batch processing. I use PTGui Pro for HDR business panoramas but the one thing it lacks is a good quick ghost removal. The tests I have done with LR HDR really produce a superior final image, but without the batch HDR processing 200+ images each shoot would have me losing hours out of my day.
It's a huge feature to have. It would surely make Adobe more sales for those who make HDR photos their living.
+1 for batch processing.
 
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JACK DIMAIO

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I'm with you 100% Cathy. PTGui has gotten much better in the past few months. It's still better than anything else available!!
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LR Fanboi

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Unfortunately for external apps, to my knowledge only LR is able to do the raw-ish processing without freezing develop settings into a tiff - no one else can apply the proprietary acr engine.
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Leonardo Praga

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Yes, pls add batch processing HDRs
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Cody Grant

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Adobe please hear our cries for HDR batch processing! We need it!
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LR Fanboi

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I can do nothing but concur - LR doing everything in parallel is total stupidity, do Adobe really expect people to sit in front of the computer to wait for an op to finish, then manually start the next? We need a batch-queue mode that appends operations and processes them one after the other ... not limited to hdr/pano, but for export, too.
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Betebete

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I know right. There is so much I could rather do while Lightroom is batch processing my HDR files. 20-60 HDR files a day takes alot of effort infront of Lightroom ATM.

PLEASE. Hear our pleads!! Save hours of mindless junk work.
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Neil Shapiro

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The irony of this is that creating a queue to sequentially process these couldn't be easier.  It's something programmers do all the time.  Yes, there are things to worry about such as the files could be deleted before they are processed, but that's unlikely and all you have to do is queue up error messages (like it does for export, with the error messages about files not accessible at the end.

There are so many awesome, hard to implement features in Lightroom, take a break and do the easy one!  Give us a HDR processing queue.  It's also a matter of performance!
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Betebete

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Well said.
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Frenchfries

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Camera Raw/Lightroom: Merge to HDR - Sumultaneous Merge to HDR of multiple stacks....

Give Lr the ability to batch-process
multiple 'bracketed image stacks' simultaneously with 'Merge to HDR'. (eg. useful for
Real-Estate photography)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Chris Hickman

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This is not the answer we are looking for as it still bottlenecks.  Additionally, some of us use ACR.  The batch feature in PTGui is a good example of what Adobe should offer.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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As I wrote, it is a partial workaround that helps many people work faster.  I agree that it is not a complete solution for what many want.
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Axl Verheul

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Either batch process or que my manual input. How anyone uses this feature professionally is beyond me.
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Jacob Hutson

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yup the parallel instead of sequential is very dumb
i can only get 3 lots of tasks going before my pc stops working.
why you cant choose sequential is beyond me.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Sequential would require some sort of queuing mechanism, the ability to view and add and delete things from the queue.   Right now you get a few little progress bars under the identity plate and if you add too many your machine stops working so there isn't much need to limit the display.  

With a queue there would be an unlimited (or large limit) to how many "jobs" could be queued up and there'd need to be a different UI and some way to understand what each job is and some sort of locking that keeps you from removing or moving or otherwise changing the photos that are part of a job that has yet to run. 

I think queuing would be great, too, but it is an added complication. 

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Marsu42

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Any software engineer with a skillset of a schoolkid can write a queue manager before lunchtime. I'd venture to say that a global enterprise like Adobe could pull it off without adding too much complication or the need for a complete code refactoring :-o

What the lack of some sane queuing  does show is the same as their doomed new import dialog: new LR customers are estimated to be casual users that certainly won't process more than one hdr or pano at a given time ... but want to online sync their baby photo collection or edit snaps on a smartphone. The "official" solution to this thread "just skip the dialog" says as much.
(Edited)
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Someone who can spell queue would probably be ok in figuring out what to do with whatever clumsy UI.   Someone should be able to use it without knowing what a queue is, though, so it's probably more an issue of design philosophy not coding, although I'd guess LR code is a mess by now to adding queueing wouldn't be trivial. 

It seems like the simplest thing would be to limit the number of simultaneous batches and let the others wait.  Unfortunately if it's like everything else, the limit would probably be something hardcoded and hidden, or calculated by LR based on memory or CPU cores and hidden, not something the user could specify in Preferences.
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Marsu42

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Indeed the current UI could work as a queue if users would be able to limit the processed items in parallel - like down to 1.  These are the simple changes that make one dream of open source ... the effect that LR freezes if you start too many tasks isn't just stupid, it's a bug that needs fixing.
(Edited)
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Tommy Hurt Jr

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Please add some sort of batch processing to the HDR feature. I currently use stack but still going through and having to HDR each stack is time consuming. I love the look we get from LR HDR vs other 3rd party software. Like many others though I find myself having to go back to these other programs just for the simple batch process. While the results are not ideal the workflow is simpler and depending on what you are doing and the amount of work involved sometimes the pay is not there for the extra time. 
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LR Fanboi

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Strike! In the latest and greatest LR 6.7, you can develop smart previews even if the original is available. Connection to batch processing: They did it by popular request! And as another option, bound to confuse users and cause mayhem with the harassed support! 

Now please add another option "Limit jobs processed in parallel to: _", would you kindly?
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Bill Ray

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Any chance you could clarify this post?
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LR Fanboi

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> Any chance you could clarify this post?

Could you please clarify which posts you're talking about (mine or Tommy) and which parts you'd like clarified specifically? Thanks.
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Bill Ray

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I just couldn't understand what you meant (LR Fanboi). Rereading your post, I think you are saying that Adobe has failed those of us who want panorama and HDR workflow improvements.
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LR Fanboi

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@Bill: Well, here's the official clarification from me :-) ...

... you can already start as many hdr or pano ops as you want, i.e. batch process.  The problem simply is that LR insists on doing all of them in parallel. If the user could limit the operations done in parellel to a certain number, the user interface already works as a queue manager (click on the top left big bar to get the little bars).

All it would take is to add one option - just like the one Adobe has just added to only process smart previews. If this was done by popular request, I'm amazed no one from Adobe has stumbled upon this and similar threads yet. Or they simply re-position LR as a casual photo app and don't expect users do really do a lot of batch photo merging.
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Dennis Frost

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Come on Adobe. It has been over a year since I last posted on this topic and still no decent batching.

I am totally tired of having to use Photomatix. It does a good job but it totally disrupts the workflow.

I just completed a job where I had to HDR over 1000 images (virtual tour). Your customers want to be able to do this in LR!!!

Today I am downloading https://macphun.com/luminar 

It doesn't have batching yet but when it does I am jumping ship.

-Dennis

PS I hate subscription software.
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Rory Jaffe

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Yes, need batch processing. This should be a no-brainer to implement, and the current workflow is terrible.
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Ted Faust

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Would love to see HDR batch processing in LR, would purchase a new edition based this feature alone.
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photographer-skensldikfnwerli

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I found a way to script Lightroom HDRmerge with Autohotkey. It was actually pretty simple but took me several hours to figure out. Sort the library by rating. Set all photos to 0 rating. Set filter to RAW and Unrated only, then select the first image on top left corner. Run this Autohotkey script and press Ctrl 8.

^8:: ; This is the hotkey change to what you like

Sleep, 1000 ; Wait 1 second

Loop, 4

{ ; Change number of loops to the number of bracket sets

IfWinNotActive, catalog6 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library ; Change to your lightroom window name

{

break

}

Send, {SHIFTDOWN}{RIGHT}{RIGHT}{SHIFTUP}{CTRLDOWN}{SHIFTDOWN}h{CTRLUP}{SHIFTUP} ; 2 rights for 3 braket add extra right for each additional bracket

Sleep, 4900 ; change your sleep time before rating

Send, 5 ; change your rating from 1 to 5

Sleep, 3500 ; change your sleep time after rating

}

return

What happens is shift right right will select 3 brackets. Then CTRL SHIFT H to start the merge headless. Wait a few seconds, rate the 3 RAW as 5 star. Since filter is set to unrated, the 3 RAW will drop out of the selection, and to the bottom of the library (sort by rating) and disappear. The first unrated RAW on top left is automatically selected by the UI. Code will loop again.  If for some reason the UI does not select the first image, you will have to add a mouse click command with XY coordinates (don't know how to do that, you'll need to research this command).

I'm not sure of the ";" in my script is actually a comment, so if your script does not work, delete all the commends including the ";" and spaces.  Also, if nothing else works, double check that the correct Lightroom window name is used in IfWinNotActive, because that will break the script.

I set the sleep times so that only 1 job is running at a time.  I don't know if it is slower or faster to run jobs concurrently.  You should adjust the sleep times to how fast your processor merges each set, and whether you want in parallel or consecutive. My CPU seems to take 8 to 8.5 seconds per 3x set.

To run Autohotkey scripts, copy and paste this into a text file and save it with extenion .ahk.  Download Autohotkey from a good source, the official website.  Don't get it from other sites because they may be malware. Double click the .ahk script to run it.  Open to the Lightroom window and set the filters and selection as described above, and press the hotkey CTRL 8. It will stop if you change the active window.

(Edited)
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photographer-skensldikfnwerli

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Ok. Here is a more advanced script for series or parallel processing. I found parallel processing is 75% time of series processing. Don't need to play with ratings filter anymore. Only filter by RAW, and either select the first top left image or select no images , then press crl 6 or 7 to start the script.

^6:: ; series processing

Sleep, 1000

MyNumOfSeries := 4

MyNumOfImagesInSet := 3

MyNumOfImagesInSet--

MyWindowName := "catalog6 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library"

MySleepSeries := 8300

MySleepTime := 200

Send, {ALTDOWN}{LEFT}{ALTUP}

Loop, %MyNumOfSeries%

{ IfWinNotActive, %MyWindowName%

{

Pause

}

Loop, %MyNumOfImagesInSet%

{

Send, {SHIFTDOWN}{RIGHT}{SHIFTUP}

}

Sleep, %MySleepTime%

Send, {CTRLDOWN}{SHIFTDOWN}h{CTRLUP}{SHIFTUP}

Sleep, %MySleepTime%

Send, {ALTDOWN}{RIGHT}{ALTUP}

Sleep, %MySleepSeries%

}

return




^7:: ; parallel processing

Sleep, 1000

MyNumOfSeries := 1

MyNumOfSetsInParallel := 4

MyNumOfImagesInSet := 3

MyNumOfImagesInSet--

MyWindowName := "catalog6 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library"

MySleepSeries := %MyNumOfSetsInParallel% * 4500

MySleepTime := 200

MySleepTimeExtra := 75



Send, {ALTDOWN}{LEFT}{ALTUP}

Loop, %MyNumOfSeries%

{ MySleepTime := 200

Loop, %MyNumOfSetsInParallel%

{

IfWinNotActive, %MyWindowName%

{

Pause

}

Loop, %MyNumOfImagesInSet%

{

Send, {SHIFTDOWN}{RIGHT}{SHIFTUP}

}

Sleep, %MySleepTime%

Send, {CTRLDOWN}{SHIFTDOWN}h{CTRLUP}{SHIFTUP}

Sleep, %MySleepTime%

Send, {ALTDOWN}{RIGHT}{ALTUP}

MySleepTime += %MySleepTimeExtra%

}

Sleep, %MySleepSeries%

}

return




^0::Pause ; pause on 1st press or resume on 2nd press
(Edited)
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Venirius Maximus

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Also it would be great if the newly generated HDR images were automatically added to the original images' collection (stacked on top of them would be just perfect, IMHO).
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rlmillerphoto

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For those of you who like to tinker with scripts, there is an application called AutoHotkey where you can automate all kinds of routine processes on a PC.  Be sure to download the AutoHotkey macro recorder (you may have to search around the internet a bit to find it, or get another version of macro recorder from a third party) but you can basically follow these steps to automate HDR processing in LR using this application.

Before beginning, download and install AutoHotkey http://ahkscript.org/ and this copy which includes the macro recorder (while the link lasts) https://web.archive.org/web/20150908182356/http://www.autohotkey.com/download/AutoHotkey.zip

1. Stack your LR brackets using auto stack (I do a 3 shot bracket on my camera with the timer so they are all within 5-6 seconds, adjust to yours as needed so they stack neatly, check for stack errors before beginning)
2. Run the Macro Recorder and start recording (the first time only, just to write the script)
3. Click your first thumbnail in the timeline (stacked images) and hit CTRL SHIFT H to start the HDR merge (Before you do this you may want to run a manual/GUI HDR merge from the right click menu to make sure the settings in LR are what you want as it repeats your last HDR options with the CTRL SHIFT H keyboard shortcut)
4. stop the macro recorder and save the script somewhere you can find easily (desktop) with the .ahk extension
5 Right click and "edit" your script to add the following:
  A. Move the mouse moves, clicks, window focus, and other commands to the top so they are not repeated in the loop
  B. add the "loop" command and  the number of times to loop the script (100 in my example) to repeat the HDR merge again after advancing:  loop, 100 {   }
  C. Add the "wait" command to wait for the HDR merge to complete before advancing (I set mine to 10000ms but on slow computers you may want to do 20s (20000ms, etc.)
  D. Add a command for "Arrow Key Right" to advance to the next image once the HDR is complete
6. test it out and see what happens by running the script you saved
7. Once your script works, just follow step 1, then run the saved script from wherever you saved it.

Here is an example of my script, yours will have different data depending on what your catalog is named, etc.  I do not offer support on this product so don't ask, but for those willing to figure it out it is worth the time.  You do need to run the macro recorder to get most of this, then add the rest of the info from my script example.


WinWait, 2016 Catalog - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library,
IfWinNotActive, 2016 Catalog - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library, , WinActivate, 2016 Catalog - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library,
WinWaitActive, 2016 Catalog - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Library,
MouseClick, left,  67,  665
Sleep, 100
Loop, 100
{
Send, {CTRLDOWN}{SHIFTDOWN}h{SHIFTUP}{CTRLUP}
Sleep, 100000
Send, {RIGHT}
}
(Edited)
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photographer-skensldikfnwerli

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I tested a few different HDR software and I found that SNS-HDR gives much better results, and it has batch process.  Compared to LR HDRmerge, the highlights in SNS-HDR is extremely better, because SNS-HDR has many more sliders that affect a specific range of the histogram.  It also has realtime preview, which means the image updates instantaneously as you adjust the sliders. I've now changed my workflow to use SNS-HDR for the bracket processing, although it does cost an extra 85 € to buy the software, I think the cost is worth it.  It was much better and more realistic than Photomatix or EasyHDR.  It is a bit slow though, but with the batch function, I start the process and do something else in the meantime.
So first I shoot in RAW with AEB brackets, then in LR I only adjust exposure, highlights (-50), shadows (+30), NR, sharpening, CA removal.  Copy Paste to all and then export to TIFF.  Then bring into SNS-HDR for processing.  It's important not to use Clarity (and maybe Contrast) (or other extreme localized adjustments) because it will not globally affect all bracketed images the same way, which will interfere with the tone mapping in HDR software.
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JACK DIMAIO

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I don't think SNS is compatible with Apple ??
True-Not-True??
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Dennis Frost

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Nope, I think it is windows only.
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Johanne Brunet

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I would also love to batch process HDRs in LR for Real Estate photography.  It gets tedious and very time consuming, which is a problem because the pricing is based on the fact that agents are repeat customers, and get lower pricing for their volume than portrait clients.  As they say, efficiency is of the essence... 
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Alexandre Zelinski

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Batch HDR, like the After Effects batch render!!! Please!!! Merge  > HDR  > Send to Batch
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Stefano Nardone

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I too would like to get batch HDR processing in LR, use it for real estate photography. Adobe can do this easily.
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Jeff Silver

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LIGHTROOM CC HDR MERGE BATCH!!!!!!! LIGHTROOM CC HDR MERGE BATCH!!!!!!! LIGHTROOM CC HDR MERGE BATCH!!!!!!!

I am a professional Real Estate Photographer.. and this is why I bought the suite! 3rd party software to Lightroom to photoshop is still far less time consuming then CTRL-H, CTR-H Ctrl H... then wait 5 minutes come back and repeat 30 times!!!!!! I know they say somethings are worth the wait.. but come on!!! I spend all day just merging, then even more time adjusting. So here is my recommendation...

1. allow us to group each multi exposure capture into stacks, then select all stacks and batch merge!
----- merge each stack one at a time in order instead of 3 to 5 hdr's processing simulataneously, eating up the resources and possibly crashing.

2. Instead of putting each HDR image at the end of the whole project, put the HDR image to the right of each respective stack. So if I shot 3 different hdrs wihtout moving my tripod i can clearly see each HDR belongs to the stack to it's left. or some other way to clearly tell which hdr  belongs to which stack. Sometimes I want to bring the HDR and one of the darker exposures into layers in photoshop to manually mask out the windows.

PLEASE PLEASE Create this feature. it seems like such an easy add with adobe's skills.
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Snowchimp Creative

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Hi Jeff, I 100% support the batch merge but I noticed that there's already a solution for your second problem. It sounds like you're importing the images then immediately stacking then merging and a bug I've found with Lightroom is it likes to reset it's sorting to "Capture Time". A simple fix is if you change that back to "File Name" your HDR merged images will be right next to your stack :)
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Dennis Frost

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I have that sorting problem happen to me all the time too. It drives me absolutely nuts because each time it happens, it has just been long enough for me to forget how I fixed it the last time. Lightroom really just sucks if you are trying to work with multiple files.  :(
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Snowchimp Creative

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I made a mistake in my comment. It doesn't change it to "Capture Time", it changes it to "Added Order". Just switch it to "File Name" and your problem will be solved.
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Tim Baldwin

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Please, Adobe, make an HDR batch-processor!
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Tim Baldwin

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An option for HDR batch processing is Google Photos. Just upload everything to a folder in Google, and in a few hours, the Assistant will create HDRs for you. They're smaller file sizes and it doesn't always create all of them, but they're high quality. And free.
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Conrad Allan

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bump for this!

Even just sequential processing instead of parallel instead would be a bloody godsend... then you can just smash through the selections and hitting Ctrl+Shift+H and it'll do them sequentially much faster.
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Bill Ray

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OK. We all agree that we need batch functionality. I think we can agree that this post hasn't gotten us anywhere. We need to get out on various software review sites and start lamenting the lack of batch option. Something along these lines, "I would love the recommend this software -- it does a fantastic job with the HDR merging, but without a batch function it is more or less useless to any serious HDR photographer. Perhaps here we could start a list of forums to help each other mount a serious campaign for this feature.