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My attempt at multiple stacks

 
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oxkarthemighty



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 109
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: My attempt at multiple stacks Reply with quote

This is my attempt at multiple stacking with macro. 7 stack shot, Canon 65mm @ 4x mag, I believe it was shot at a F5, might have been a F4. Stacked with CZM, because I am cheap and have not purchased Zerene yet. I had quite a bit of problems with smearing on the edges, and low amounts of artifacts which I cloned out in Photo-chop. Is there a way to get the software to ease up a little on high pass filter amount? I feel that it has a tendency to give an overexposed look on the highlights.


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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks good.

In CZ, you can edit the macros to adjust or turn off the high pass filtering.

For example in the Do Stack macro, just delete the two lines that say "Create a Highpass Filter(1000,750)", "Filter Active Frame", and "Replace Frame with Out".

I see there's an "Adjust Contrast()" also, but I don't know what that does.

--Rik
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oxkarthemighty



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 109
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. I suppose I will have to fiddle later this evening on a solifugae. Smile
Question, is there a way to eliminate the "smearing"? I am just guessing that it is some sort of an issue with the software reading between really short distances. I took about 20 frames on a separate stack at F3, but it was insane on how much was distorted. Maybe its because I am new to focus stacking with such small distances, but I am positive that I could not have screwed it up that bad.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having trouble understanding "smearing" and "distorted". The image that appears above looks clean to me. I've checked it for the usual artifacts of halos, echos, edge streaks, blotches, transparency, etc, and I'm not seeing them.

So I assume I've overlooked something or it's not obvious at web resolution.

Can you post out some crops and a more detailed description that shows clearly what you're concerned about? It's often helpful to list pixel coordinates in the posted images.

It would also help to see corresponding crops of the original source images. Sometimes it's not clear whether a defect arises in the stacking, or was present but not noticed in the original source.

--Rik
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oxkarthemighty



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 109
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't find the original, I think I saved over the top *whoops. I still had the original photos on the CF card, so I stacked it again. It didn't have as much smearing this time. Still though, had some where I highlighted. There was also more halos in this one, but less artifacts that I would be busy cloning out in PS. I did try taking out the high pass filter, it however looked worse than the slight over exposed look. It just might take some adjusting on the numeric entries within the settings. I have stacked before, but with landscape. This is a little different animal. Smile Thanks RJL, I appreciate the help.


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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the annotated version.

Those are what I call "edge streaks". They result from slight misalignment in the stack.

What happens is that the software picks one frame, probably the first, to use as a master. Then each succeeding frame essentially gets registered against the first using a rotate/shift/scale approach based on comparing the image content. If it happens that a later frame ends up not covering the whole area covered by the first frame, then the software fills in the missing edge strips with copies of the closest available pixel. As a result, any detail that appears along the edge of the frame gets smeared from wherever registration puts it clear out to the edge of the frame. That produces streaks like the ones you see. Sometimes the streaks do not propagate clear through to the output because they are overwhelmed by stronger real detail in other frames. But when the filled-in streaks are the strongest available "detail", then they propagate to the output and produce the effect you see.

To minimize streaking, you need to get your rig aligned so that images throughout the stack stay centered, or pretty close to it. Then you need to process the stack in order from narrowest field of view to widest. In your setup, that's probably back to front. If it was shot in the other order, then just reverse the stack before processing it.

--Rik
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oxkarthemighty



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 109
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, well that seems easy. My tripod is definitely no Manfrotto (I suppose I could weight down the center hook of the tripod to give more stability), and keeping the little bugs centered without pinning whilst taking 7 shots would render quite difficult. I had pinned this little bugger though. 99% of my images are field, but all this amazing work I have seen on this little forum has jolted me forward into learning some stacking. Some of them are quite compelling. I just got a tiger beetle the other day I wanted to try out.
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