Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

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LeonardoJ
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Joined: 20.04.2019 07:08

Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by LeonardoJ » 21.04.2019 05:17

I recently downloaded Helicon Soft and tried a few stacks with a potted plant. My results were mixed and I suspect I am not properly generating the stack.
How do I Properly create a stack for a plant when there are multiple blossoms (4) in the plant and I want 3 of the 4 blossoms sharply focused. The 4th blossom is virtually hidden at some angles and I am not concerned about it for this test. The blossoms are aligned in a somewhat diagonal line, but each blossom is at a different height. The largest blossom is in the center, and the other two are on either flank of the large blossom. One is slightly forward and the other is slightly to the rear.
I tried focusing from the bottom of the largest and tallest blossom to the top of the blossom in a relatively vertical line. The bottom of the largest blossom is below the tops of the other 2 blossoms so theoretically I am focusing through the horizontal planes that include most of the other 2 blossoms. In the output, the center blossom is in fairly sharp focus but the 2 blossoms on the flanks are not sharply focused. How do I create a stack that will result in all 3 blossoms being in sharp focus? Attached is a jpg file that shows the rendered image as well as an unedited jpg version of the first image in the stack.
Attachments
2019-04-19 00-46-00 (B,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
Rendered Image of Calla Lilly blossom
(1.31 MiB) Not downloaded yet
0Z1A0643-2.jpg
Image of Calla Lilly blossom
(1.39 MiB) Not downloaded yet

MikeCT
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Joined: 08.04.2014 19:56

Re: Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by MikeCT » 22.04.2019 17:15

I usually start earlier than the first focused image and continue past the last. That way I am sure the entire object will be covered. You can omit the extremes later in the stacking process.

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 24.04.2019 15:10

If you use camera autofocus to focus on different subjects in the scene, please make sure that you are using methods A or C which do not require consecutive focus movement. In general we suggest to use focus bracketing to continuously move focus from foreground to background (or vice versa). Focus bracketing gives more reliable results than random focusing.

LeonardoJ
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Joined: 20.04.2019 07:08

Re: Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by LeonardoJ » 25.04.2019 02:30

MikeCT wrote:
22.04.2019 17:15
I usually start earlier than the first focused image and continue past the last. That way I am sure the entire object will be covered. You can omit the extremes later in the stacking process.
Thanks for your suggestion I will try that approach.

LeonardoJ
Posts: 4
Joined: 20.04.2019 07:08

Re: Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by LeonardoJ » 25.04.2019 02:47

Stas Yatsenko wrote:
24.04.2019 15:10
If you use camera autofocus to focus on different subjects in the scene, please make sure that you are using methods A or C which do not require consecutive focus movement. In general we suggest to use focus bracketing to continuously move focus from foreground to background (or vice versa). Focus bracketing gives more reliable results than random focusing.
Thank you for your suggestion.
My Canon 5D Mark IV does not have a feature called focus bracketing, but I can manually focus on areas of the main (foreground blossom) then focus along the same horizontal plain on areas of the two flanking blossoms . Would methods A or C work with that type of manual focus?

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 25.04.2019 12:21

Yes, it will work fine. Even though I would suggest to move focus in a regular step to mimic automated focus bracketing. This way you will be sure that all parts of objects are covered and you do not miss anything.
Also, have a look at Helicon FB Tube (https://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconsoft-products/helicon-fb-tube/)

LeonardoJ
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Joined: 20.04.2019 07:08

Re: Focus Stacking with 3 subjects in image

Post by LeonardoJ » 27.04.2019 09:42

Stas Yatsenko wrote:
25.04.2019 12:21
Yes, it will work fine. Even though I would suggest to move focus in a regular step to mimic automated focus bracketing. This way you will be sure that all parts of objects are covered and you do not miss anything.
Also, have a look at Helicon FB Tube (https://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconsoft-products/helicon-fb-tube/)
I created a stack using a single subject focusing in a straight vertical line and it appears to work ok.
However, I got a little triangle on the output thumbnail with the message “ Please check that the images are shot in a consecutive order with roughly equal step”. I used live view with magnification at 5X and moved the focus box 4 clicks each time. I will try again to see if I can get a result without the triangle. I tried all three methods with the same results.
I looked at Helicon FB Tube and it looks interesting. If I get the results I‘m looking for with the software I may consider Helicon FB at a later date. Right now, I need more experience and success before committing the money for that. It is not quite in the budget now.
Can you suggest videos with more advanced techniques than the ones on your website to help me get more familiar with the features of the software?
I’m not sure I know how focus bracketing works. I’m familiar with exposure bracketing where you shoot a normal exposure then 1 or more over and under exposures.
How does focus bracketing work?
2019-04-26 22-36-57 Straight Vertical Focus (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
21 image stack using Method A
(1.76 MiB) Not downloaded yet

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