Stacking software comparison

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acerola
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Stacking software comparison

Post by acerola »

I created a presentation from stacking. I will present it to fellow photographers tomorrow. I made comparison pictures to stacking programs. So I publish them here. I know we already discussed it in detail, but maybe it will be useful for somebody new.
I chose this mosquito picture for the comparison.

I used
- CombineZP "Do Soft Stack" macro.
- Helicon Focus "Method A" with default settings. (I finally bought a one year license)
- Tufuse Pro (pictures aligned with CombineZP)

This is the out of the box result without much fiddling.
My verdict is nothing new.
- CombineZP produces lots of details and contrast. There is some artifacts in the background and at the edge of things (sometimes lots of them).
- Helicon Focus produces a consistent result. At the edges it sometimes creates wide halos. (it depends on the parameters) It is the fastest of all tree.
- Tufuse Pro produces nice transitions, good contrast. It sometimes over emphasizes highlights and create a bit fuzzy images on pixel level, because of the intensified noise.

Image
Image
Péter

acerola
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Post by acerola »

I just posted the second picture to the TuFuse forum asking about the highlights. It is a known problem and Max try to address it in a new version. You can read the forum post here
Péter

maxlyons
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Post by maxlyons »

acerola wrote:I just posted the second picture to the TuFuse forum asking about the highlights. It is a known problem and Max try to address it in a new version. You can read the forum post here
Hello all,

I've just released a new version of TuFuse Pro with a "shadow/highlight preservation" control. The idea is that control should allow you to reduce or eliminate the highlight/shadow clipping (illustrated in this thread) that can result from the increase in contrast when focus blending in TuFuse Pro.

http://www.tawbaware.com/tufusepro.htm

This new feature is part of TuFuse Pro (GUI/shareware), but not TuFuse (command line/freeware). TuFuse Pro also contains a couple of other features specifially designed to improve focus blending described in the TuFuse Pro online documentation.

Max

augusthouse
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Post by augusthouse »

Hi Max,
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the info and update.

Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

augusthouse
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Post by augusthouse »

Péter,
Are you able to run this comparison again using the latest version of TuFuse Pro 0.9.5?

Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

acerola
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Post by acerola »

I'm just back from a holiday. I will try to test it in this week.
Péter

acerola
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Post by acerola »

I was very curious so I run a quick test. I did not include all the frames to stack to preserve disk space and to quicken test. But the details of the previous crops are there.

I used the latest version of TuFuse Pro 0.9.6 There is a new artifact introduced. I think it is a program error and can be easily fixed. The dark areas where details are lost are pixelated with bright colors. This effect is especially strong with the new function "Preservation Strength" set to 0 and "Perform exposure blending on higher levels" switched on.

If I set the "Preservation Strength" to higher level than this effect gradually vanish.

Image
Péter

acerola
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Post by acerola »

I did not show you yet the test of the new "shadow/highlight preservation" control. I tested with the default setting it was fairly low (maybe 20). It is on the first picture. Then I tested with values set to 70 and 100. There was no big difference between the last two.

Here is the test picture:
Image

You can see that the default settings not differ much from the previous version. It is maybe a little worse. (lover contrast) If you set the new parameter to 0 then the highlight blows out much more.
If I set the preservation parameter to a higher level the overall contrast will be lower too. It is on the second picture. There are maybe a tiny little more detail on the highlighted area than on version 0.9.4. But the contrast is much lover.

Based on my test I did not feel content. I waited for a miracle, but I did not see much improvement.
It is only a quick test so maybe I overlooked some parameter.

It is only a idea, but I would like a new parameter where I can define when the clipping occurs. But this is the realm of Max, I did not absorbed in this field much.
Péter

P_T
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Post by P_T »

I have to say when it comes to blending with the red background, I'd prefer the splotchy artifacts in the CZM example in the first post as it would be the easiest for me to fix with clone stampin Photoshop. That "soft glow" look however, would be harder to fix.

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