Macro Exercises #3 Focus stacking

13

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  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 2, 2009
    The last one is more like double imaging etc.
    Spiders in webs are very difficult as the subject is often geting blown around slightly.
    Did you try manually aligning the images before stacking them ?
    Any evidence of subject movement in the stack sequence ?

    Sometimes reversing the stack helps with this (Stack\Reverse order)- sometimes several times.

    These shots do look like there has been some movement somewhere either by the subject or perhaps in the act of focusing of the lens. I do not use tripods and prefer the fixed focus move camera method for taking the shot sequence. Often I'm simply resting the front of the lens on a surface when doing this. I do however sometimes get stack sequences that will not stack in the prog normally from misalignment and if I really want the stacked pic I will stack the pictures by hand in PS

    Like Phil above I do not use czm now I've had too many problems with background blotching- the older CZ5 is better from this POV. I haven't really tried CZP - but on my limited trials it worked well but seemed more painful to use.
    Brian V.
  • Unbrok3nUnbrok3n Major grins Posts: 444Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 2, 2009
    Is manually aligning the process you described in the beginning of this thread? If so, yes, these were manually alligned.
    Could you quickly explain what the "fixed focus move camera method" is?
    I cant get a working download of cz5 to work...do you think czp is ok??
    I just see all these beautiful stacks on here, and I have no idea what im doing wrong!! haha.
    Sorry for all the questions...

    ps. when you do the reversing stack do you do that in place of the regular or after it? Thanks!
    graphic designer/photographer
  • Unbrok3nUnbrok3n Major grins Posts: 444Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 2, 2009
    AFter a lot more trys tonight, Ive realized that ALL the results are bad, and pretty much all of them are like double imaging...and I dont understand why. I use manual alignment...
    Is there a way to get the points in the exact spot on each image? Because I pretty much just eyeball it...
    I dont know. Im just trying to understand whats goin on...sorry for being so annoying here.
    graphic designer/photographer
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,597Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 2, 2009
    i think the frog pic has too large an area for the software to handle!
    try stacking 2 or 3 frames of the left hand frog, then do same for r.h.frog then merge in ps with layer mask.

    you may also be focusing too far between each frame, the subject size changes as you focus,if there is a big difference in size that may be too much for software to align.

    phil
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldenorfe/
  • Unbrok3nUnbrok3n Major grins Posts: 444Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 2, 2009
    So youre saying to do half the pic at a time and that to try and make the points closer together? Thanks for the help!
    graphic designer/photographer
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 2, 2009
    Regards the manual alignment - I try to do this pretty accurately- normally by picking some bright small spots in the middle stack image and then aligning them on the other shots. Bright spots are normally easy to locate the centre of even when they are OOF. When making the choice of alignment spots on a shot in the middle- make sure you can find the "spots" in the first and last shot before you start the aligning process. When you've done this you shouldn't see any realignment by the prog larger than about 5 pixels and normally 0 or 1 pixel.

    CZ5 requires a dll in the same working folder as the .exe file namely fftw3.dll - you should find it on the download page.
    Brian v.
  • leaforteleaforte Major grins Posts: 1,948Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 13, 2009
    I am NOT a macro shooter, but really wanted to try this. I used a 50mm with an extension tube and shot a rattle I own.

    1st shot SOOC
    454148231_5ZBnJ-L.jpg

    stack of three SOOC
    454148728_9Xtrm-L.jpg

    And curve and level adjustments to bring to realism.
    454148295_ogoUw-L.jpg

    It really is hard to get rid of the halos, and this is a great exercise for a non macro shooter like me to spend some time with focus issues.

    I shot in raw and did a straight convert to JPEG so of course the WB is whack in the stacked shots. I should have taken the time to adjust in raw, but I didn't. I wanted to learn the software. Really quite simple...I just wish I had a good macro lens.
    Growing with Dgrin



  • leaforteleaforte Major grins Posts: 1,948Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 13, 2009
    I used a mirror to help with WB here. I really like the software. I am going to try to do a rattle snake vertebrae next, and maybe a black background.

    A 24-70 with extension.
    454338416_KuaL2-L.jpg
    Growing with Dgrin



  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 13, 2009
    Stacks look good leaforte :)

    Brian V.
  • jaswebpicsjaswebpics Aussie Aussie Aussie Posts: 11Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 4, 2009
    Thanks for the tutorial! Here's my first attempt with some small images. 7 raw shots, contrast & colour cranked up for style. Single shot on the left, stack on the right...

    CherryFocusStack.jpg
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 4, 2009
    Looks like it worked well Jason :)
    Brian V.
  • bretbret Big grins Posts: 61Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 4, 2009
    Here's one I took of a Pentium chip using Helicon Focus.
    (I gave up on the last row)

    original.jpg
  • limited60limited60 Big grins Posts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 5, 2010
    Does anybody mind adding what lenses they used in some of their pictures?

    I'm a Nikon D90 owner, but pretty new to the craft and am looking to buy some glass on top of the kit 18-55 and 55-200VR lenses from my D40.
  • sebthedog1sebthedog1 Big grins Posts: 28Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2010
    ooh I'm excited - first focus stack
    Hello all - I'd read this tutorial and wanted to have a go - went for a walk this afternoon and was lucky to find this exuvium to play with. I know this is far from perfect but I am chuffed!!

    4849478587_72aafb776d_b.jpg


    4850078136_1936d2f685_b.jpg
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,597Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2010
    Well done for a first stack.clap.gif
    makes a huge difference in dof compared to a single frame

    how many frames? 2 or 3 ?

    you can see an oof band just behind the wing cases and posibbly behind the head. you will learn with practise to shoot each frame without missing any pieces.

    phil
  • sebthedog1sebthedog1 Big grins Posts: 28Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2010
    GOLDENORFE wrote: »
    Well done for a first stack.clap.gif
    makes a huge difference in dof compared to a single frame

    how many frames? 2 or 3 ?

    you can see an oof band just behind the wing cases and posibbly behind the head. you will learn with practise to shoot each frame without missing any pieces.

    phil

    Thanks Phil - I am chuffed it nearly works rolleyes1.gif

    It was 3 frames - taken at Rixton this afternoon. Got some nasty bites -wading into the rushes to get a pic of a dragonfly and my right hand is so swollen I could hardly hold the camera at all - never mind we all make sacrifices for our art :D
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 2, 2010
    sebthedog1 wrote: »
    Hello all - I'd read this tutorial and wanted to have a go - went for a walk this afternoon and was lucky to find this exuvium to play with. I know this is far from perfect but I am chuffed!!
    Agree- worked pretty well -esp for first try at this.
    You have some stacling borders on left and right sides that need cropping off (stripey effect)
    Brian v.
  • sebthedog1sebthedog1 Big grins Posts: 28Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 2, 2010
    Thanks Brian for the comment and the tutorial - looking forward to learning lots here.
  • DeVilDeVil Major grins Posts: 1,037Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 4, 2010
    This is my attempt at focus stacking (Thanks to LordV clap.gif)


    Single shot

    1-7.jpg






    Fokus stacking (Zerene stacker - 11 shot's f/11)

    vk.jpg
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    Hi nano you can either try to use the clone tool as you suggest or a method I frequently use, is to use the healing brush tool to copy the affected part back from one of the original pics onto the stacked pic. Obviously you have to find the correct original with that part of the subject in focus.

    Brian V.


    Is there a way to mask a specific part of 1 image to exclude it? I have a moth here and its antennae were moving quite a bit while its body was still. I want to mask some of the frames that are oddballs for the position of the antennae.

    By the way Combine ZM is now superseded by Combine ZP:

    http://www.hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZP/files.htm
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    Is there a way to mask a specific part of 1 image to exclude it? I have a moth here and its antennae were moving quite a bit while its body was still. I want to mask some of the frames that are oddballs for the position of the antennae.

    By the way Combine ZM is now superseded by Combine ZP:

    http://www.hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZP/files.htm

    AFAIK no you can't mask part of the image before stacking.
    In that situation I normally stack and then use the cleanup tool in zerene stacker which allows you to copy from a specific frame back onto the stack, or just use the healing brush in photoshop to do the same thing.

    Yes I never really got into combinezp before finding zerene stacker which I think is worth the money. I actually stopped using combine zm and went back to the older combine z5 which seemed to handle backgrounds better.
    Brian v.
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    AFAIK no you can't mask part of the image before stacking.
    In that situation I normally stack and then use the cleanup tool in zerene stacker which allows you to copy from a specific frame back onto the stack, or just use the healing brush in photoshop to do the same thing.

    Yes I never really got into combinezp before finding zerene stacker which I think is worth the money. I actually stopped using combine zm and went back to the older combine z5 which seemed to handle backgrounds better.
    Brian v.

    This case is pretty nasty; its gonna need more than a healing brush. Its not handling the detail of the antennae well in any stack method. Here's a %100 crop. The rest of this picture is perfect which is what is confusing me since the rest of the picture is every bit as detailed as the antennae are.

    20273800.jpg
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,597Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 23, 2010
    how about opening the stacked version in ps, then open original frame with good anntena detail, place stacked version over the top on a layer. reduce opacity of top layer to 50% to manually align and then erase/mask off to show through the good detail .
  • basfltbasflt Major grins Posts: 1,882Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    or, better , mask and copy copy only the antenna on top
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    Got it
    It's a stack of 29 images so it was a bit more difficult than that. The brick information specific to where it is blurred is not in any of the photos since the antennae are covering the bricks at that spot. I just ended up going old school and manually masking the antenna/legs/bricks in steps since it wasn't just 1 image that could be masked in. It took a few hours since this was my first calculated/tripod stack ever, but its worth it in the end since it will be able to make 24x36 prints.

    Single:
    mg1390copy.jpg

    Stacked:
    stonewalledcopy.jpg
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,001Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    Looks like it worked pretty well in the end.
    It's much easier for fine detail stacking if the background is OOF behind the fine detail - not always possible but worth thinking about.
    Brian v.
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    Looks like it worked pretty well in the end.
    It's much easier for fine detail stacking if the background is OOF behind the fine detail - not always possible but worth thinking about.
    Brian v.


    It is but I wanted %100 DOF for this one :) Right now all I have is a home made 2 way rail-slide thing with a detachable tripod plate on it. Its got no adjustment knobs or lock downs so its just free-sliding. I ordered a 4 way with a MM scale on the side which will make it much faster in the future and I won't need to see it in the screen anymore to know if I moved it just right.

    Thanks for the feedback all!
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 25, 2010
    Wow image stacking will be the death of me. A 24 x 36 JPEG @ 10 quality is 62 MB and the LZW TIFF is 241mb. I have to make it quality 6 to even upload it to smugmug lol umph.gif
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,597Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 20, 2010
    Wow image stacking will be the death of me. A 24 x 36 JPEG @ 10 quality is 62 MB and the LZW TIFF is 241mb. I have to make it quality 6 to even upload it to smugmug lol umph.gif


    WHY ARE YOUR FILE SIZES SO BIG? what camera are u using?

    my stacked files from zerene average 7-9 mb
  • JGS2NJGS2N Big grins Posts: 61Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 22, 2010
    Thank you for the tutorial. Here is an attempt from today.
    1018509045_mK82p-M.jpg

    1018510704_TEdfn-M.jpg
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