Save and reuse rendering?

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks

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RPMtl
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Joined: 07.10.2014 23:55

Save and reuse rendering?

Unread postby RPMtl » 08.10.2014 00:13

I'm relatively new to using Helicon Focus. So far I am VERY impressed by its results using a Nikon D800e with a 105mm f/2.8 G macro lens.

Can I save and reuse the rendering of a stack of images?

I ask as I'll shoot a set of images ((automated using Helicon Remote / usually 6-8 images) and then repeat the sequence with either change in lighting quality, direction or modify the exposure by varying the flash output intensity -- the f/stop remains unchanged.

I would like to insure that the processing of the image sets is done in exactly the same way for all of them. I get the impression that each set is assessed individually by HF and the results do not match exactly. I'm seeing dimensional variation in some areas.

Is there a way to save the processing applied to one set of images and then apply it to others that are shot using the same 'locked down' setup and focusing steps?

Thanks for any help and sorry if this has already been asked and answered before.

Russell

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Save and reuse rendering?

Unread postby Stas Yatsenko » 09.10.2014 11:56

Helicon Focus takes first image in the stack as a base and aligns all others accordingly. This means that for multiple stacks (HDR), their first image should be made with the same focusing.

I would recommend to use Helicon Remote to combine exposure and focus bracketing. Helicon Remote will make exposure bracketing for each focusing position, that ensures that resulting focus stacks are aligned the same way.

RPMtl
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Joined: 07.10.2014 23:55

Re: Save and reuse rendering?

Unread postby RPMtl » 11.10.2014 01:16

Hi Stas. Thank you of your help :-)

I think you've misunderstood what I'm doing.

I AM using Helicon Remote to shoot with, and am not doing HDR. I'm simply moving my main light position and perhaps changing its intensity so that I have 2 stacks of images of the same subject : one (for example) lit from the left and the second lit from the back. I then use HFocus to process the 2 sets of images. As I'm using HRemote the focus points and lens f/stop are (should be) identical in both stacks.

The two (or more) resulting images are then opened as Photoshop layers with the top layer set to 'Lighten' mode. Using a mask I can then add/blend as much of the second light version to achieve a 2-light result using only 1 light for each focus stack shot and blended afterwards.

The problem I'm running into is that HFocus does not seem to make the focus maps in exactly the same way. So I get some dimensional variation between the 2 results and their shapes do not match exactly from front to back.

I was hoping there might be a feature that allowed me to capture/record/save/recycle the way one stack of images is processed and apply the same to a second stack that matches the shape of the subject, nothing moves, and uses the same focus steps -- which I assumed Helicon Remote is doing.

I suspect the different lighting (back-lit subject instead of front-lit) is causing HFocus to change the way it puts all the pieces together.

Thanks again

Russell

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Save and reuse rendering?

Unread postby Stas Yatsenko » 17.10.2014 11:18

Yes, this is possible reason for different alignment.

I would suggest you two workarounds:

1. Disable alignment completely. Go to Helicon Focus Preferences\Auto adjustment\ and set magnification and shifts to zero.

If you are lucky, the result will be ok even with disabled alignment.

2. Make sure that the same position and focusing is used for the first images in both stacks. Disable automatic sorting of source images too (see Source image list options). First images is used to align all other images in the stack. So it is crucial that first image in both stacks are aligned as well.

RPMtl
Posts: 12
Joined: 07.10.2014 23:55

Re: Save and reuse rendering?

Unread postby RPMtl » 18.10.2014 02:42

Hi Stas,

Thanks for responding. It's too bad there are not more folks in here to offer help.

I'll try your suggestions to see how well they work.

Something else I just tried with the sample images looks promising : if I use 'File -> Export layers' I can use these to create layer masks in Photoshop that can be used with other stacks that are shot with the same lens->subject position and the same focus points (using Helicon Remote). But I assume this disables the magnification and shifts so I would have to do that manually -- if it's possible to do such a thing. I would have to align each image in the additional stacks to match its mate in the first.

If saving and reusing the processing steps from one stack and applying it to another is not currently possible then perhaps it could be a worthwhile feature to add.

Russell

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Save and reuse rendering?

Unread postby Stas Yatsenko » 22.10.2014 11:55

Exported layers are aligned so you will need to align it manually.


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