Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Focus Stackingin C1  (Read 3637 times)

smahn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
Focus Stackingin C1
« on: April 07, 2015, 01:09:50 pm »

I'm new to C1, currently suing LR.

What's your focus stacking workflow in C1? What 3rd party tools do you use (if any) and do you use the C1 editing tools before or after the stacked TIF is made?

If there's a good writeup or tutorial out there that would be great.
Logged

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8915
Re: Focus Stackingin C1
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 04:29:26 am »

I'm new to C1, currently suing LR.

What's your focus stacking workflow in C1? What 3rd party tools do you use (if any) and do you use the C1 editing tools before or after the stacked TIF is made?

Hi,

C1 is not much different form other image processing programs when it comes to focus stacking. What does help is the usually good Chromatic aberration corrections, and the LCC functionality which also allows to remove dust spots automatically. Chromatic aberration reduces luminance resolution and adds color where there should be none, and which would not help a focus-stitch. The dust spots will form an even easier to see trail of dustspots, because the focus stitching application will resize the different tiles to improve registration at the blend positions.

So you'll want to correct Chromatic aberration and Dust.

In addition, I'd only use Capture sharpening (which only improves the sharpness of the capture that was in focus without adding halos), because that may make it easier for the focus stitcher to select the in focus areas because they now have better contrast.

Of course, one has to make sure that all images have the same color balance settings.

That's about all there is to it, as far as preparation of the slices goes. Once the stitch is ready, you can use whatever photo-editor you are most comfortable with. Capture One does have a couple of nice features, like its Color Editor, that may be useful, but there are also other plugins that can perform miracles on any image. I'm particularly fond of Topaz Labs Detail, when it comes to controlling the rendering of detail in an image, and focus stacking is all about selective detail ...

For Focus stacking I use Helicon Focus Premium, often in combination with Helicon Remote (e.g. on my tablet).

Quote
If there's a good writeup or tutorial out there that would be great.

Don't know, as I've collected my experience over a couple of decades of experimenting. But reading some of the tutorials at Heliconsoft or Zerene Systems may help to fill in the blanks.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

smahn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
Re: Focus Stackingin C1
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 10:32:17 am »

Hi Bart,

I'm really too new to Capture One to ask intelligent questions, but a couple of not so intelligent ones do come to mind.

I'm coming from Lightroom, where I capture tethered, focus stack manually by focusing the lens, then using the Plugin Enfuse to create the stack easily straight from raws within LR. I was already considering adding Helicon to automate the focusing/capture, if nothing else, and perhaps using their software to blend the images as well.

However, I'm liking the raw processing of Capture One, so exploring how to integrate it in the process. I believe you also use LR in addition to C1, so if you could go into when in the workflow you use each that would be informative.

Now you probably work more in the field and me more in the studio, so what I think I'm seeing for studio use would be using Helicon Remote for the tether/capture. The images would be sent to a watched folder where C1 would pick them up with a session (?). I'd use C1 to process the raws. (Including capture sharpening. Is there deconvolution in C1?) Now here I get foggy. Do I make tiffs to be stacked or does Helicon/Zerene work from raws. I'd go back to Helicon or Zerene, use their browser to find the images to stack, or do I invoke those programs from C1?

After a stacked tiff is procured it's off to Photoshop for retouching, and then I suppose to LR for cataloging.

Any suggestions you can add or points of confusion you could clarify would be greatly appreciated.
Logged

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8915
Re: Focus Stackingin C1
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2015, 03:31:33 pm »

However, I'm liking the raw processing of Capture One, so exploring how to integrate it in the process. I believe you also use LR in addition to C1, so if you could go into when in the workflow you use each that would be informative.

That's correct, although I do not use LR that much (due to the better Raw conversions of C1). Therefore I have not invested in the Enfuse option, and can therefore not offer a direct comparison of the stacking differences. Enfuse (as far as I know from the past) only offers one type of focus stacking/fusion with some sensitivity selection capability which probably is close to some of Helicon's (presumably Method C (pyramid for resolution masks), but with some A (contrast differences) mixed in). Helicon Focus can handle really large stacks while using multiple processor cores and offers several interpolation methods that make a lot of sense. It's a real workhorse.

Quote
Now you probably work more in the field and me more in the studio, so what I think I'm seeing for studio use would be using Helicon Remote for the tether/capture.

I do both, but indoor is mostly macro stuff, not so much products. The requirements for product photography depend on the intended use of the images. A lot of those I can shoot with a T/S lens. For hands free stacking, Helicon Remote is a real time saver. Just set the front and rear of the required DOF zone, and HR calculates the required number of shots based on the aperture and focus step size that the lens allows (fed back to HR by the camera), and takes the images. HR apparently also plays nice with a Stackshot rail, although I haven't tried doing that yet because I have the stackshot controller to run the rail's stepper motor.

Quote
The images would be sent to a watched folder where C1 would pick them up with a session (?).

HR sends the files to a folder of your choice, and that can indeed be a watched folder that Capture one is monitoring. C1 only allows to select the 'hot folder' from the menu in combination with a catalog, but with sessions you can select a hot folder with the library tool (see attached warning). Selecting hot folders for sessions is covered in this link.

Quote
I'd use C1 to process the raws. (Including capture sharpening. Is there deconvolution in C1?)

Not that I can detect, but the sharpening not too bad as it is. I still hope they will improve by adding deconvolution, but on their main focus (the Phase One backs), deconvolution may not be optimal due to the lack of an OLP filter, and deconvolving an aliased image may be too much of a good thing. But maybe they could add it as an option for situations/cameras where diffraction attempts to play the role of an AA-filter. Also with shrinking pixel sizes, it starts to become an even more worthwhile addition.

Anyway, if you use extremely thin focus slices then the differences in the resulting image will probably be small, because then you can deconvolve the finished stack.

Quote
Now here I get foggy. Do I make tiffs to be stacked or does Helicon/Zerene work from raws. I'd go back to Helicon or Zerene, use their browser to find the images to stack, or do I invoke those programs from C1?

Helicon does run on Raws, using a DNGs or other Camera Raws, by using DCraw, which is fine for a quick conversion, but not as good as working from TIFFs. The benefit of TIFFs is the superior Raw conversion quality, and the possibility to address Chromatic Aberration, and more sophisticated noise reduction (if needed) and Capture sharpening , LCCs for both dust removal and to counter vignetting, and better pre-stitching color management/balancing. I'd go for TIFFs if the best quality is needed. Raws can be used for a quick first impression though.
You can setup HF as an external editor, but it will apparently open multiple instances of HF, not fill the stack automatically (might be a useful feature request, unless I overlooked a feature). But manually loading the TIFFs from a folder with HF is perhaps quick enough for most work.

Quote
After a stacked tiff is procured it's off to Photoshop for retouching, and then I suppose to LR for cataloging.

Helicon Focus comes with an LR plugin, so you can call HF from within LR if you want to catalog your intermediate TIFFs there, together with the finished product. But HF also allows to export layered output for retouching in e.g. Photoshop, if the built in HF Retouching capabilities are not fitting for someone's workflow. There are a number of options available, HF doesn't force to follow a particular a workflow.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

smahn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
Re: Focus Stackingin C1
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2015, 08:45:58 pm »

Thanks a lot, Bart. I hope to get some practice time in w/ HR and C1 this weekend or early next week. Your info gives me a leg up on the situation.
Logged

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8915
Re: Focus Stackingin C1
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 05:04:14 am »

Thanks a lot, Bart. I hope to get some practice time in w/ HR and C1 this weekend or early next week. Your info gives me a leg up on the situation.

You're welcome, and I look forward to hearing about your findings/likes/dislikes. They may also benefit others who may be contemplating to add focus-stacking to their toolkit. Focus-stacking is not a perfect solution but it is pretty cool, it's a compromise to beat the limitations of physics, and it often works quite well when given a bit of practice and a methodical workflow.

It also adds some help in re-introducing DOF lens blur because it can produce a Depth-map, a feature that HeliconSoft added at my request, that allows to use e.g. filters like Photoshop's Lens Blur, or TopazLab's 'LensEffects'. A bit of retouching of the imperfections in the depth-map offers a lot of additional creative possibilities.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==
Pages: [1]   Go Up