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Author Topic: CS4 DoF stacking vs Helicon Focus  (Read 8242 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: December 04, 2008, 03:46:21 PM »
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I have started to compare Helicon Focus and CS4 DoF stacking capability on the test image below, made up of 9 Nikon D3 frames.



The results are very similar, but it takes about 5 minutes for CS4 to do what HF is able to do in about one.

Cheers,
Bernard


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RobertCubit
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008, 05:09:59 PM »
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Hi Bernard,

I've also been comparing CS4 and Helicon Focus. I've been using HF for both macros and wide landscapes since it was released a few years ago and have found the same thing - CS4 is very slow in comparison (gets MUCH worse with larger numbers of images in layer stack). In terms of halo artifacts that can occur around high-contrast edges with all focus stacking programs, they seem about equal. However out of the 5 images stacked with CS4, three of the final images had various degrees of poor blending near the edges that needed to be corrected manually with layer masks. HF did not have these issues on the same stacks. I'm hoping Adobe can improve the rendering speed and accuracy with a future update sometime before CS5. Would be nice to handle this all in Photoshop instead of having to focus stack in a separate (expensive) program. One place that CS4 beats HF is in the better refined post-stack editing of layer masks. HF's cloning and editing featurers are not as well implemented.

BTW, that's a beautiful image!

Regards,

Bob
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 06:39:48 PM »
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Quote from: Bob^3
One place that CS4 beats HF is in the better refined post-stack editing of layer masks. HF's cloning and editing featurers are not as well implemented.

Yes, indeed. The same could be achieved if HF has a layered ps export capability, similar to that of PTgui for instance.

Quote from: Bob^3
BTW, that's a beautiful image!

Thanks!

Cheers,
Bernard
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RobertCubit
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 08:09:04 PM »
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That's true. The sad thing is that Helicon Focus used to have a version with the option of exporting layered files to PS---unfortunately, they dropped that feature when they implemented their own editing tools (I think this was a very bad decision).

Yep, I think PTGui is one of the best written programs on the planet. Not only with regard to features and speed, but it's one of the only programs that is so well beta tested that I don't have to bother making a backup image of my hard drive everytime I install a simple update.

Regards,
Bob
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 09:45:49 PM »
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There a tutorial for doing DOF stacking somewhere?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 04:36:42 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
There a tutorial for doing DOF stacking somewhere?

Here is one just for you (excat command names do differ a bit):

- from Bridge use open in stacked layers
- multi-select layers
- from the Edit menu, align the layers first
- go and have a first coffee cup
- then blend them
- get some more coffee
- ...
- get some more coffee
- check the result

Cheers,
Bernard
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2008, 08:21:18 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Here is one just for you (excat command names do differ a bit):

- from Bridge use open in stacked layers
- multi-select layers
- from the Edit menu, align the layers first
- go and have a first coffee cup
- then blend them
- get some more coffee
- ...
- get some more coffee
- check the result

Cheers,
Bernard

Thanks, Bernard.  I was thinking of tips for taking the images that are going to be stacked.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2008, 09:04:49 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
Thanks, Bernard.  I was thinking of tips for taking the images that are going to be stacked.

Oops, sorry. :-)

Well, the obvious things I guess:

- use a steady tripod, MLU and a release cable
- check the framing at all focusing distances before commiting to the frames, the actual focal lenght of the lens will change slightly depending on focus point,
- use M mode if the light is reasonnably stable
- pick an aperture around f11
- use more closely spaced focus points for the foreground
- better to use a few too many frames rather than too few

Cheers,
Bernard
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Doug Fisher
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 09:07:00 AM »
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Is this feature available in the standard edition of CS4 or do you have to get the extended version?

Thanks.

Doug
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Steve Gordon
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2008, 06:15:04 AM »
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Quote from: Doug Fisher
Is this feature available in the standard edition of CS4 or do you have to get the extended version?

Thanks.

Doug

All editions
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Steve Gordon
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2008, 06:16:08 AM »
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Quote from: Doug Fisher
Is this feature available in the standard edition of CS4 or do you have to get the extended version?

Thanks.

Doug

All editions
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jjj
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2008, 07:18:46 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Here is one just for you (excat command names do differ a bit):

- from Bridge use open in stacked layers
- multi-select layers
- from the Edit menu, align the layers first
- go and have a first coffee cup
- then blend them
- get some more coffee
- ...
- get some more coffee
- check the result
Whilst I found this a bit slow on my ancient laptop [3yrs+ Vaio, single core 2g ram], on my desktop [2008 8Core Mac Pro 4G ram] it was a fairly painless process.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2008, 08:26:53 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Whilst I found this a bit slow on my ancient laptop [3yrs+ Vaio, single core 2g ram], on my desktop [2008 8Core Mac Pro 4G ram] it was a fairly painless process.

I am on an 8 core MAc Pro with 16 GB ram and a very fast Raid 0 pair as scratch (disks are empty)...

Cheers,
Bernard

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madmanchan
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2008, 09:01:48 AM »
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Questions, Bernard ...

- Did you run Auto Align Layers prior to Auto Blend Layers?

- Were you in 16-bit mode?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2008, 10:42:02 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Oops, sorry. :-)

Well, the obvious things I guess:

- use a steady tripod, MLU and a release cable
- check the framing at all focusing distances before commiting to the frames, the actual focal lenght of the lens will change slightly depending on focus point,
- use M mode if the light is reasonnably stable
- pick an aperture around f11
- use more closely spaced focus points for the foreground
- better to use a few too many frames rather than too few

Cheers,
Bernard

Thanks Bernard!
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Brandon W.
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2009, 09:56:13 PM »
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Yes, thank you guys!
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