Is Helicon Focus for me

Announcement of new releases, bugs, support, suggestions
Post Reply
Wayne Parsons
Posts: 7
Joined: 15.02.2010 19:38

Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Wayne Parsons » 15.02.2010 20:02

I am using a Better Light scanning back for macrophotography and then using the Extended Depth of Field feature in Photoshop CS4 to produce a sharp image from the several slightly-differently-focused images I have made --- tripod, etc. But the program doesn't work all that well, as it sometimes selects fuzzy pixels when inspection of the aligned layers clearly reveals sharper areas that were ignored. My first question is, am I likely to get better results with Helicon Focus?

My files are large. The Better Light scans 6k by 8k, for a total file of 274 MB per layer at 16 bit depth. Multiplying this by the number of layers in a stack very quickly gives huge files. Will Helicon Focus handle this? (I am PC; 4 G memory of which only about half is available to CS4 since I am working with a 32 bit machine and software; fast dual core processor. Windows XP.)

I don't mind spending the money for Helicon Focus, though I would prefer not to spend a lot of time on the program if I know ahead of time that it's not likely to be of use in my particular situation. So any suggestions will be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Wayne Parsons

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 17.02.2010 11:31

Wayne,

I am sure Helicon Focus can help you with this task. Please note that you can test fully functional Helicon Focus during 30 trial days. We tested the program with 100+ Megapixel files so yours are not so big. Still, you will probably need to activate 3G flag oon your XP (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/pl ... AEmem.mspx) to allow our program use 3GB instead of 2Gb. The memory requirements depend only on the resolution of your source images, but do not depend on the number. Some of our users stack hundreds of images. Please test the program and let us know about your exprience.

Wayne Parsons
Posts: 7
Joined: 15.02.2010 19:38

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Wayne Parsons » 23.02.2010 03:19

I am getting a message "Source program error", and there is no explanation as to what is wrong. This is inputting 5 files differing only in focal point, each file is 135 MB PSD, 8 bit. There is a question mark on the error message, but it is non-functional. Can you advise?

Thanks.

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 24.02.2010 15:48

I would suggest to save these files as JPEGs and check if the effect would be the same. It would be great if you send these JPEGs to our server (as described at http://www.heliconsoft.com/ftp.html) so we can check them too.

Wayne Parsons
Posts: 7
Joined: 15.02.2010 19:38

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Wayne Parsons » 07.03.2010 23:11

I created 12 JPEGs as you suggested, Stas. This was done in Photoshop, first stacking 12 TIF files from my Better Light, then using the edit-align feature, then cropping the file to the dimension of the smallest of the 12 images. Then I saved each layer as a JPG, in this case about 30 MB per layer.

Several days ago Helicon Focus gave me a good merged image; close inspection showed that the final image was near perfect. Then the program updated with the latest version, and just to compare the results of the new version I ran it using the exact same 12 JPEGs. Now the program does not work at all. It cycles through the 12 JPEGs until the progress indicator in the lower right corner reads over 90%, then stops. My Task Manager shows the program running, but CPU activity is 0%. Nothing further happens; the program does not generate an output file than I can save. I have restarted the program several times, rebooted, ran the program wirh the original TIF files, used other images, etc., but nothing works now.

Suggestions? I seemed to be making real progress until I got the update. If nothing else, can I get the version of the program before the updates? I would really like to be up and running with a usable program.

Thanks,

Wayne Parsons

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 15.03.2010 16:56

Please upload those jpegs to our server (as described at http://www.heliconsoft.com/ftp.html) so we can test them.

Here is the link to the previous verison so you can work till we fix the bug: http://www.heliconsoft.com/downloads/He ... s5.0.6.exe

Wayne Parsons
Posts: 7
Joined: 15.02.2010 19:38

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Wayne Parsons » 15.03.2010 22:09

Dear Stas,

I just uploaded 12 files, parsons1.jpg to parsons12.jpg. The originals were created by a BetterLight scanning back as TIF files and were about 137MB each. I then saved than as JPG files at Quality 12, which made the files about 30MB each. Since this is too much data to upload in a reasonable amount of time, I saved them a second time at Quality 8, and they are now 2 MB each.

But in either case, the program processes the files, but does not write a finished file; it simply stops. I can see what I assume is the final blended file in the lower half of the window, but it's not clear if there is a way to save it.

Maybe I should uninstall and start all over again. Suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Wayne


Wayne Parsons
Posts: 7
Joined: 15.02.2010 19:38

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Wayne Parsons » 18.03.2010 18:40

Thanks for the suggestion, Stas. I uninstalled the old Helicon Focus and installed the version you indicated in your recent post. I tried it on the 12 layers I uploaded to your site with the same results. The progress indiator in the lower right corner indicates 96% and the program stops without writing an output file. I don't know what to do next.

Is anyone else having this problem?

Wayne

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 24.03.2010 11:08

We tested your images, 48 megapixels, 16bit tiffs. You can see the result here:

http://upload.helicon.com.ua/10-03-24_0 ... =8_S=4.jpg

First of all you need to rename all images so that they are properly sorted inside of the program (01...09...12 instead of current 1...12...9)

We tested the files on Windows 7 version with both Pro and X64 version. No bugs found so far. I would suggest you to reset Preferences to default values and try again. We would be greatful if you found some regularies of this bug so we can locate and fix it.

Wayne Parsons
Posts: 7
Joined: 15.02.2010 19:38

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Wayne Parsons » 29.03.2010 20:53

The problem, Stas, seems to be that my computer cannot handle the larger files. At 300 dpi, which gives a 137MB (8 bit) file, the program stops and doesn't write the finished file as I described above. I resampled my files in Photoshop to 100 dpi and then 200 dpi (15MB and 61 MB respectively) and the program executes correctly with these smaller files. I assume that the best solution, assuming I want to continue working with larger files, is more memory. Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Wayne

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Is Helicon Focus for me

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 30.03.2010 16:41

More memory on Windows XP will not solve your problem. 32 bit XP does not see more then 3.25Gb or RAM and every process can have only 2Gb for its needs. You can activate 3Gb flag (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/pl ... AEmem.mspx) and it can help. Even better solution is to install Windows 7 on the same computer.

Post Reply