Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Extended Depth Of Field
Focus stacking defeats the limits of optics
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
5) Helicon Focus' main window
1. Select the exposures to merge—File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stacks, checking Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images.
2. In the Layers palette, highlight the separate layers by Shift- or Command-clicking them.
3. Go to the Edit menu and select Auto-Blend Layers.
4. Photoshop automatically will mask the layers to reveal the sharpest image areas.
You then can further refine these results, including manually adjusting the automated masks or distorting layers, but this is rarely necessary. Photoshop does a fine job for a majority of applications.
When you're looking for the highest quality, consider focus stacking with Helicon Soft's software, Helicon Focus. It delivers superior sharpness consistently and can be used to batch-process multiple focus-bracketed sequences. Take these steps:
1. Click the Add Images icon; select the exposures to be combined.
2. Click the Render button to save a combined result.
3. Option: Choose a Method other than the default Method B (Depth Map)—Method A (Weighted Average) or Method C (Pyramid).
4. Option: Use the Radius slider; this helps refine the software's search for focused sources by specifying a line width to favor.
5. Option: Use the Smoothing slider; lower settings generate sharper results, while higher settings create smoother transitions between sources.
6. Option: Use the Autoadjustment dialog to refine image alignment.
6) Helicon Focus' Autoadjustment panel
You can get highly technical with this technique, but I recommend keeping it as simple and practical as possible—so that you'll use it more frequently. Develop this new habit, and you'll quickly find many situations where focus stacking will help you make images of superior technical quality, sometimes subtly superior and other times dramatically superior.
Visit this url to read more on depth of field: www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/downloads/technique/exposure.php.
John Paul Caponigro, author of Adobe Photoshop Master Class and the DVD series R/Evolution, is an internationally renowned fine artist, an authority on digital printing, and a respected lecturer and workshop leader. Get his enews Insights with access to hundreds of lessons at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com.
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