After reading the thread about HDR Panorama workflow I was a bit confused. I need some help with clarification. In my current workflow I have to edit the nadir shot(s) using The GIMP. I do my best to take out the tripod and pano-head by rotating Nadir1 on top of Nadir2 and mask out what I can. This become very complicated if I take exposure bracketed shots and attempt to build what I believe is called an HDR Panorama.
I think my confusion comes from my limited understanding of what bracketed shots are and how to use them. For example: I don't understand why there are so many HDR programs (ie luminescence) when Hugin is there for just such a stacked project. However that idea did not pan out either.
First what is the difference between a bracketed exposure stack and an HDR image? Also if editing the nadir in order to stitch I have to tone map and if using The GIMP downgrade to an 8-bit image losing all the data that Hugin would have needed to have for best alignment and exposure blending.
So if I was making just a simple HDR photo or horizontal panorama either HDR first or stitch first works however if you need to edit the Nadir shot prior to stitching (as needed in a 360 panorama) then you run into the chicken before the egg problem.
What knowledge am I missing? How do you reconcile a good work flow to make a well tone mapped HDR 360 panorama with edited out tripod from bracketed exposure shot in raw format using tools like Hugin, The GIMP, etc.?
EDIT: After reading a little further into the above question and this question I realize that I'm not asking a direct question here but clarification into a specific workflow that uses the workflows described in the other questions together. Also by HDR I probably mean Exposure Fusion instead. If anyone is willing to clarify my confusion I would be grateful. I did learn quite a bit from the other questions as well.