The Photoshop result is very good, both aligning and blending the sharp segments of the three layers into a composite image. The program can automatically adjust and resize images to combine the perfectly focused image Overview Helicon Focus is a Shareware software in the category Graphics Applications developed by. Method B produced gross errors in processing the texture of the mushrooms as well as the out-of-focus background, likely due to the variation in lighting throughout the stack of captures. Helicon Focus Lite basic version : - Automatically adjusts and resizes images important for stereomicroscopes and macrophotography - Uses all available processors 1. While Helicon Focus seems to do a better job overall of combining focus slices into a composite image, there are some instances where Photoshop was able to process an image that was impossible to complete in Helicon Focus. A detailed examination of this image is presented in Focus Stacking — Part 3. The Photoshop and both Helicon Focus processing methods differ only subtly in the way the render the surface of the droplets.
It appears that the Photoshop algorithm has difficulty in selecting a sharp section where it overlaps another more distant object. Layer mask editing to repair the image would be minimal for any of the three results. The Helicon Focus images have some trouble selecting the appropriate components of the foreground, resulting in a strange out-of-focus area in the lower right of the image. Helicon Focus Method B has a more severe halo on the stick and berry, and the berry in berry effect is more pronounced. This is a tool that will allow you to create and edit images.Next
The Photoshop image has a significant amount of halo around the edge of the leaf hole. The latest version of Helicon Focus is 7. Additional images may be presented which are obviously cropped to illustrate some detail. The comparison images are presented without editing of any sort with the exception of resizing and occasionally cropping an image so that the Photoshop and Helicon Focus images match. Method B produced fewer errors in processing than the previous image but exhibited some green bands as well as the odd treatment of the out-of-focus background. Helicon Focus Method B did poorly with both alignment of subject parts and background color.Next
There are no halos in any of the three results. For this comparison, the five captures were brought into Photoshop and aligned using the auto-align feature, saved as individual images, then brought into Helicon Focus for processing. Helicon Focus is a program that creates one perfectly focused image from several partially focused images. In addition to subjects photographed outdoors, I conducted experiments indoors to eliminate some of the variables normally experienced in the outdoors; moving subjects and changing light. For this set of focus slices the camera was set at an angle of approximately 15º to ensure that a single image would not achieve sufficient depth of field to capture all the droplets in-focus. On review of the individual captures for this stack it can be seen that the lighting on the background varied during the series of exposures.
Both Helicon Focus composites have reduced halos and might be rectified with additional layer masks during editing. The Helicon Focus Method B result has no hope of repair as this algorithm cannot effectively process captures that do not have identical illumination during the capture process. The Photoshop composite image is very good with no artifacts in the rest of the image. The Photoshop result is the cleanest with a minor halo on the left side of the berry, but the intersection with the stick is more pronounced with sections of stick showing well into the berry. The image is cropped from the original composition, cropping off approximately 50% of the original canvas, to increase visibility of the processing results.Next
Helicon Focus is a program that creates one perfectly focused image from several partially focused images. All three processes exhibit similar defects in processing; all have a halo along the both sides of the stem in the center of the plant as well as along the upper edge of the leaf on the right of the plant. Users of Helicon Focus gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Live View was used to determine the placement of the focus point for each exposure. A few images may have a small increase in brightness for ease of viewing detail.Next
This defect can easily be rectified using the Retouching tool. As can be seen in the Helicon Focus images, there is texture in those areas available, it is simply not being included in the Photoshop merging algorithm. This image is included in this set as it demonstrates one of the problems focus stacking has in general; it cannot beat the laws of physics. Photoshop does not detect all the sharpest section of the petals when combining the slices, and does not include the one dew drop in the lower left corner of the composition. To align the images for Helicon Focus to process the captures were brought into Photoshop, aligned, then saved as separate images to be imported into Helicon Focus. The Photoshop composite image is very well handled except for the region where the side s of the berry overlap the stick. Berries on a Stick This series of images was captured in the effort to understand the stacking problem associated with halos appearing along the edge of in-focus foreground subjects with in-focus background subjects.Next
The Helicon Focus Method A image has a slight halo around the berry and along most of the sticks, and the berry itself has the appearance of a berry within a berry. This is just barely enough to capture the spider and some of the web, but a side effect is a slow shutter speed and significant detail in the background. Helicon Focus does not performance well unless the camera is held steady on a tripod , the focus steps are roughly equal, and the brightness is consistent in the set of images to be combined. In this set up, the berry is one inch forward of the portion of the stick directly behind it. The initiall processing for this stack in Helicon Focus accentuated the limitations of the algorithms to assemble poorly alighned images in the stack. All three algorithms adequately combined the focus slices of the orchid and delivering a soft background without aberrations.Next
The Helicon Focus Method A image is very well done and the Helicon Focus Method B only suffers from some bad handling of the smooth color areas in shadow. However, the background was illuminate by natural light which did vary some during the capture of the focus slices. The mushrooms were in a forested setting, with light filtering through the trees. The retouched image is provided for comparison. Photoshop shows prominent halos around the edges of the blossom along with some incorrect selection of in-focus septals. Helicon Focus Method A did much better with the only problem being the soft presentation of the top mushroom cap. Helicon Focus Method A processed the background colors well but could not deal effectively with the subject movement of the spider and the web.Next