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Author Topic: Software for stiching and focus stacking  (Read 4031 times)

HCHeyerdahl

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Software for stiching and focus stacking
« on: May 23, 2017, 12:31:57 PM »

I have no prior experience with dedicated software for stiching or focus stacking. What is worth trying?

My main software is Lightroom and I use PS for images I choose to elaborate more with some pixel editing - and for my uses I am proficient at both.

I have recently downloaded the On1, NIK and Topaz sets. I have not tried any of it yet, but have som time to play in the coming months.   Do you have any other suggestions for other support programs or plug ins I should consider to play with? Franzis?? 

Chris
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Simon Garrett

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 12:37:52 PM »

From your question I assume you've tried PS for stitching and focus stacking but want something better?  If so, what issues have you found with the PS functions? 
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 12:56:23 PM »

Further to Simon's question, have you tried these tools in LR? They're very good.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 01:17:52 PM »

I have no prior experience with dedicated software for stiching or focus stacking. What is worth trying?

Depends on your requirements. Photoshop and Lightroom have some capabilities for stitching and stacking, but offer little control of the process, and Photoshop uses lots of memory.

For dedicated Stitching, PTGUI (Pro) is the way to go. 'Hugin' can also produce excellent results.
For dedicated FocusStacking, Helicon Focus or Zerene Stacker, both produce excellent results.

These programs offer so many features, that it can take a while to master them all.

Starting with properly made images for the intended purpose, helps a lot.

Cheers,
Bart
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HCHeyerdahl

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 02:29:00 PM »

Thanks for your replies,

I of course should have mentioned that I have used the functions in both LR and PS.  They work fine for me, but as I have never used any dedicated software for these functions, I really just want some suggestions for software dedicated to these functions that perform better in some way.

 I understand from Barts reply and suggestions that there are some alternatives that may be worth looking into when time permits.

Chris
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kers

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 02:33:57 PM »

Depends on your requirements. Photoshop and Lightroom have some capabilities for stitching and stacking, but offer little control of the process, and Photoshop uses lots of memory.

For dedicated Stitching, PTGUI (Pro) is the way to go. 'Hugin' can also produce excellent results.
For dedicated FocusStacking, Helicon Focus or Zerene Stacker, both produce excellent results.

These programs offer so many features, that it can take a while to master them all.

Starting with properly made images for the intended purpose, helps a lot.

Cheers,
Bart

+1

if you don't care what really happens but just want to stitch a few times choose lightroom/ photoshop.
With those programs you do not have any control over the proces- not good is end of story.
ptGui shows you what is going on and you can steer the proces.
Properly made photographs is key and succes is guaranteed.

i use for focusstacking Helicon focus- a good program but i would like the output to be a layered 16 bit tif.
Unfortunately that is not possible (yet).


« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 03:01:24 PM by kers »
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 10:59:03 PM »

Agreed on the above, PTGUI for pianos and Helicon Focus for stacking
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jerryrock

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 12:39:27 AM »

Photoshop DOES allow some control of the stitching process using Photomerge.

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 01:27:41 AM »

I would add Autopano Giga for stitching that it is some ways superior to PTGUI, in particular when dealing with scenes with few recognizable features.

It is also pretty much click and go.

Cheers,
Bernard
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TLGG

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2017, 04:34:25 PM »

Auto Pano Pro works well as does the PT Gui.
Photoshop is OK for easier stuff but hell on too many. Have too many Auto Pano does flawless that photoshop puts into two sections or goes crazy and matches wierd combinations.

Photoshop also has problems smoothing out small sky density differences where Auto pan blends seamlessly.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2017, 05:40:35 PM »

I would add Autopano Giga for stitching that it is some ways superior to PTGUI, in particular when dealing with scenes with few recognizable features.

It is also pretty much click and go.

Cheers,
Bernard

Hi Bernard,

Based on your suggestion and a further corroborating one, I downloaded the trial version and gave it a whirl on a couple of photos that LR refused to recognize as stitchable (but should have). It did a reasonably decent job of stitching them, but not stellar. I stumbled over what appear to be 4 major limitations so far: (1) the manual is dreadful; (2) the GUI is dreadful (hard to see anything - grey on grey with very low font size is a recipe for eyestrain - I know developers think this looks cool; I think it's rubbish); (3) layers would not work, disabling the ability to correct minor misalignment in Photoshop (maybe this is a limitation of the demo version, but the option was grayed-out); (4) the colour space is limited to sRGB (that one is a deal-breaker). So unless I become enlightened about the ignorance of my ways, no cigar.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 11:58:39 PM »

I agree about the lack of controls in both PSCC and LRCC stitching and focus stacking.  It's pretty much my way or the highway. Neither of these functions has seen much upgrading over the years, despite Adobe's promises when CC appeared.

Helicon Focus works well for stacking but is expensive and subscription mode.  My license expired and I didn't renew.

Affinity Photo does both stitching and focus stacking (and HDR) and is cheap and a one-time purchase.
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bill t.

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 09:51:29 PM »

Photoshop and LR often fail on wide angle shots were the lens was tilted significantly up or down.  I have been stitching tilted-down drone shots recently, and PS/LR fail on about 1/3 those shots and sometimes leave large alignment errors on others.  OTOH, PtGui has never failed me and rarely needs any tweaking beyond discarding a few automatic control points with obviously large errors.  PtGui's continuing support for the amazing Smartblend software is also nice.

However, for those panos within LR's reach, the "Boundary Warp" function that automatically fills in white space around the boundaries of the stitched image is wonderful and a big time saver in all but a few cases requiring geometric perfection!  So I often give LR a try before going to PtGui.

Are there any other stitchers that have a boundary warp feature?
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2017, 12:46:37 AM »

I agree Billl. Boundary warp is very effective. I'm PS CC I also use SELECT ALL/EDIT/TRANSFORM/WARP for a manual approximation of this function.
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kirkt

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2017, 10:22:28 AM »

... (4) the colour space is limited to sRGB (that one is a deal-breaker).

APG will preserve the color space of the source files.  Feed it AdobeRGB, the resulting panorama will be AdobeRGB, etc.

kirk
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2017, 10:36:13 AM »

APG will preserve the color space of the source files.  Feed it AdobeRGB, the resulting panorama will be AdobeRGB, etc.

kirk

If that's the case their documentation is conducive to misunderstanding.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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kirkt

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2017, 11:55:34 AM »

If that's the case their documentation is conducive to misunderstanding.

It may be that raw files are converted into sRGB, if raw files are fed to the application.

kirk
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2017, 12:18:35 PM »

OK, that must be it, because I only work from raw files.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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kers

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2017, 01:13:11 PM »

OK, that must be it, because I only work from raw files.

In the case you use ptgui or other programs than Lightroom to do stitching i would prefer to use 16bit tifs for you do not know how the raw files will come out.
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Pieter Kers
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Software for stiching and focus stacking
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2017, 02:08:09 PM »

In the case you use ptgui or other programs than Lightroom to do stitching i would prefer to use 16bit tifs for you do not know how the raw files will come out.

You may well be correct, especially if the stitching applications don't pick up the side-car data that contains all the adjustments. I don't make many panos so having a few bloated TIFFS in storage is no big deal. I think I'll also try PTGUI and see whether it does a better stitching job than APG.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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