Aurora HDR 2017 has an interface similar to the other Skylum Pro applications, with a large image view, a navigation/toolbar at the top edge and Layer/Adjust tools along the right side. Check out this video that explains it all.
On the top edge, the meaning of the buttons from left to right are as follows:
Open Image Opens the Open dialog for selecting an image, (or images), to edit.
Save & Share Reveals a panel that allows you to export the image, transfer the image to one of Skylum’s Creative Kit apps or directly share to popular social media and gallery sites.
Zoom In and Out Tools Controls for viewing an image at 100% or Fit to Window, or at a selective zoom level with the + or - magnifying glass.
Quick Preview Switches between the original and edited images.
Compare Provides a side-by-side view of the original and edited images.
Undo and Redo Reverses the last editing steps to the beginning of the session, or moves forward to the current editing step.
Crop (when running as a standalone software) Overlays a cropping rectangle on the image which can be adjusted to crop your photo. Includes both a “Rule of Thirds” and “Golden Ratio” guides and several popular Aspect Ratio choices.
Move Mode Use to move the image around when zoomed in.
Brush Mode Use to brush effects and adjustments into the image - creates a Mask wherever brushed. Includes Erase brush, Gradient tool and Luminosity Mask controls.
Layers Shows or hides Layers, with controls to add or delete layers.
Histogram Shows or hides the image Histogram.
On the right edge, the tools and control panels top to bottom are as follows:
Histogram Displays the complete tonal range of your image from dark to light. Clicking on the arrows in the upper left and right corners will display pure black and white areas on the image.
Layers Layers are a great way to organize your editing activities en route to creating, or “building up” the best image possible by placing different effects or editing steps on separate layers. Every image will have a single layer to begin but can have unlimited layers in Aurora HDR 2017 (4 in the standard version). Each layer that is added can have a separate effect, opacity, blend mode, mask and use as a source image any of the original exposures. Also includes the ability to add a Custom Texture to a layer.
Tone Mapping This panel controls how Aurora HDR 2017 “compresses” the files and what weight it places on each exposure in the bracketed set. You can get more information about Tone Mapping algorythms in Aurora complete HDR tutorial.
Tone This panel provides control over highlights, midtones and shadows, plus the ability to accentuate whites, black and contrast within the image.
Structure Finds edges and avoids adding contrast to edges but rather affects areas. Introducing Structure will produce an increase of perceived texture. Removing Structure decreases perceived texture.
HDR Denoise The HDR merging and tone compression process can sometimes produce artifacts in a photo. The Denoise control diminishes that effect. This is one of the fastest and most powerful noise reduction tools out there!
Image Radiance Gives a “dreamy” feeling to your photo with a unique set of controls that alternatively smooths, colorizes and adjusts color temperature.
Color Includes controls for adjusting color, vibrance, color contrast, temperature and tint in the image.
Details Increased clarity, detail, and sharpness to bring out the details in an image. This feature will reveal details in your photos resulting in a more crisp image.
Glow Use the Glow feature to create a soft “fantasy” feel to the lighter tones in your image.
Top & Bottom Lighting Similar to a graduated neutral density filter, this control splits the image in two segments and darkens or lightens the image. Adjust blend, rotate and shift position until desired effect is achieved.
Tone Curve Click anywhere on the line to add points and adjust the curve for brightness and contrast. Levels - drag the slider at the bottom to either increase brightness or add darkness to the entire image. You’ll see the entire curve move accordingly.
Color Filter 6 Color Filters are available which act similar to glass filters that are placed in front of a camera lens. Each Color Filter when applied will brighten that specific color and darken the opposite color on the color spectrum.
Color Toning A powerful creative tool, Split Toning offers the ability to introduce color toning to black and white images. Toning a black and white image can transform the mood of the resulting image and also help in some printing processes.
Vignette Controls the luminosity around the edges of the frame inward. This tool can be used to darken or lighten the edge of the frame, thus creating interest inside the frame to direct the viewer's attention.
Presets Presets have been created by the team at Skylum and Trey Ratcliff to provide amazing HDR looks in a single click. Each preset is made up of the use of one or more native tools in Aurora HDR 2017.