HF fails but Photoshop CC succeeds: alignment issue?

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ktgivens
Posts: 4
Joined: 07.05.2017 19:33

HF fails but Photoshop CC succeeds: alignment issue?

Post by ktgivens » 13.06.2019 14:56

Generally I rely on HF for 100% of my stacking needs. And FYI, I leave HF in Pyramid mode. Recently I had a small stack (about 6 images as I recall) that HF simply could not get right. The picture was a closeup of two odd-looking flies coupling. Like most flies, they had numerous protruding hairs and HF just couldn't get them aligned. Out of boredom I tried stacking them in Photoshop CC and the results were vastly better--- the stacked image was at least usable. I went back to HF and loosened the image alignment settings and that didn't help. Yesterday I updated HF from version 6 to the new 7.0 update and tried again. Unfortunately, same outcome.

It seems to me that if Photoshop can pull this off, then a dedicated stacking program like HF should not have so much trouble. Am I doing something wrong? I've attached the final stacked image from PSCC and from HF. Both are downsized from their 6000x4000 pixel size so you're not seeing full detail, but the alignment artifacts and general lack of detail in the HF image are still pretty obvious.
Attachments
copulating thick-headed flies 3 Myopa species on wild geranium shenks ferry lancaster county 2019 HF stack small.jpg
Helicon focus
(1.24 MiB) Not downloaded yet
copulating thick-headed flies 2 Myopa species on wild geranium shenks ferry lancaster county 2019 PS stack small.jpg
Photoshop
(1.09 MiB) Not downloaded yet

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Catherine
Posts: 96
Joined: 29.04.2019 22:38

Re: HF fails but Photoshop CC succeeds: alignment issue?

Post by Catherine » 16.06.2019 09:42

Could you please upload your stack to our server (as described at https://www.heliconsoft.com/ftp-server/) and we will see what is happening.
If you are user of GoogleDrive, DropBox, OneDrive or other cloud service, you can upload your files there and send us a link.

Also, did you try method B in Helicon Focus 7.5.4? in many cases it may cope better than C.

ktgivens
Posts: 4
Joined: 07.05.2017 19:33

Re: HF fails but Photoshop CC succeeds: alignment issue?

Post by ktgivens » 19.06.2019 06:23

I could not get your ftp address to open in either Windows Explorer or Chrome--- not sure what I'm doing wrong. So instead, you will find the images at this Dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/az6tl8ngg3948n4/AABFTTP1K6MgHZZVu2WbFcGOa?dl=0

It's a challenging stack since the image is not completely stationary--- a constant wind kept moving the plant on which the flies sat.

I tried your suggestion and re-ran the stack using Helicon Focus on method "B"--- the result is better than the pyramid technique, but still not nearly as clean as the Photoshop CC result.

I'll be interested to see if you can come up with some adjustment in HF that equals Photoshop.

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Catherine
Posts: 96
Joined: 29.04.2019 22:38

Re: HF fails but Photoshop CC succeeds: alignment issue?

Post by Catherine » 26.06.2019 23:07

Thank you for sending over the stack. Please try experimenting with rotation compensation in Preferences\Autoadjustments (https://www.heliconsoft.com/focus/help/english/HeliconFocus.html#HF_ADJ)
Increasing Rotate value does help achieving a better result in this case.

ktgivens
Posts: 4
Joined: 07.05.2017 19:33

Re: HF fails but Photoshop CC succeeds: alignment issue?

Post by ktgivens » 27.06.2019 00:18

Thanks Catherine for your suggestion. I tried increasing the rotation compensation by an extra 20 degrees. This should have been more than enough. I agree that this made a slight improvement, but the result is still a very distant second to Photoshop CC.

I will continue to rely on Helicon Focus for the bulk of my photostacking needs, but it looks like there are occasional situations where HF loses its crown to Photoshop. I suspect their Auto-align algorithm is simply a little more sophisticated than HF's. Just my guess.

Thanks again for your help,

Kerry

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