running a bunch of Dmap stacks of Pmax?

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ctron
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:30 pm

running a bunch of Dmap stacks of Pmax?

Post by ctron »

I'd like to try this, but I am unclear as to how to use ZereneVS. I am using one of the other scripting programs that's GUI to do auto slabbing of frames so that I end up with a certain number of Pmax stacks. However, this program doesn't seem to be able to generate the script needed to run the above. Perhaps Zerene itself could do the Dmap stacks of Pmax, but might take a lot longer.

Thanks for any help.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I'm not completely sure what you want to do, but let me take a stab at this.

In concept, the slabbing process goes like this:

1. Align all images (talking now about images shot by the camera).
2. Do a Stack Selected (PMax) on just the images in each slab.
3. Save all the output images from step 2.
4. Load the images from step 3 as input files.
5. Do a "Stack Selected (DMap)" on those slab output images, with options set so that they don't get re-aligned.
6. Retouch if necessary.
7. Save final output.

The biggest value of the scripting programs is that they automate doing the potentially large number of Stack Selected operations in step 2. After that, it's not much trouble to do the remaining steps by hand if you like.

In steps 4 and 5, there are a couple of different ways in which you can prevent re-alignment. The simplest, if you're stepping through the process by hand, is to leave the project open after step 3, set Options > Preferences > Preprocessing > "Add files to existing project as already aligned", then do step 4 to load (add) the previous outputs back in as input files, already aligned so that step 5's Stack Selected will not actually have to do any re-alignment.

It's been a long time since I ran any one of the scripting programs, so I'm not sure about how to push the buttons. But at the end of the day, the scripts that they generate will have to follow the conceptual outline given above.

--Rik

Chris S.
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Post by Chris S. »

Ctron,

Which GUI-driven slab-making program are you using? If it's SlabberJockey, I can help you. If it's Bugslabber, I'm sure Bill Eldridge can help you. Likely the same with the other authors. These utilities should easily do what you want--it's an essential task that they were built for.

Cheers,

--Chris

ctron
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:30 pm

Post by ctron »

Thanks, guys. I'll try to explain what I'm doing as I'm sure there is a better way. I do prefer GUI's as I'm not that familiar with command line scripting, so I used Bugslabber 1.1.

I read about this technique here and I was trying to do #3 under "Focus Stacking with Zerene Stacker", but the author apparently used ZereneVS, which is command line, and I wasn't able to figure out how he set it up to run the "permutations".

Here's how I tried to approximate the aforementioned in Bugslabber:

1) I used Bugslabber to create 34 PMax slabs of 30 images each with 50% overlap. These were saved in Zerene output as TIFF.

2) I then appended these output images to the original input images in Zerene input, so that I could run a DMap test of the PMax slabs to check overall contrast so I could determine the threshold, but Zerene wanted to realign all 450+ images (despite trying to turn alignment off), so I ended up deleting all input images except the 34 PMax slabs. I then did a PMax stack so I could check contrast threshold.

3) I revisited Bugslabber and created a DMap script using the initial contrast threshold I obtained from my check in #2.

4) I then used a text editor to change DMap values, then saved each script under a different name.

5) Went back to Zerene, loaded first script and then appended the 25 other scripts I edited and created. I have the scripts running now.

I don't think this is the best way to do this, quite tedious this way, so welcome suggestions for faster and better routine. One thing I'd like to do is, instead of manually having to change DMap values per script, somehow have it done more randomly with a range of say 1-50, 1-10, etc, per parameter. I'd also like to have contrast threshold range changes too, so welcome better ways in this regard too.

I ran a particularly difficult session yesterday (an arachnid with plenty of hair) and there is some smearing behind the hair in certain areas, so thought I'd give the above method a try.

Thanks in advance for any help.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I can address one bit:
ctron wrote:I then appended these output images to the original input images in Zerene input, ..., but Zerene wanted to realign all 450+ images (despite trying to turn alignment off)
If the 450+ images are already aligned, and you set Options > Preferences > Preprocessing > "Add files to existing project as already aligned" before appending the output images, then you should get no realignment on subsequent Stack operations.

The above scenario is exactly why that option exists, so if it doesn't work as described then something is going badly wrong.

--Rik

ctron
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:30 pm

Post by ctron »

Thanks, Rik. I think I'm just going to stick with a single script to make 30 or so PMax subs and retouch from those. A lot easier and less memory/ hard drive space needed.

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