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by Bart Arondson

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What software is available and widely used for macro focus stacking? In other areas photoshop, lightroom, aperture, etc are kind of industry standard options. Is there such a thing for focus stacking?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I believe you are looking for something like Helicon Focus.

I've heard from reliable sources that stacking can also be done manually in Photoshop CS 5, but I haven't done it myself.

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Can you elaborate more in the answer without just a link? –  rfusca Jan 3 '12 at 18:28
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Indeed, Helicon Focus (linked) is the standard AFAIK. –  Itai Jan 3 '12 at 20:40
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In CS5, load your images into layers.

  • Select Edit > Auto Align Layers (at macro distances even on a tripod small changes in focus will alter the perspective of each shot)

  • Select Edit > Auto Blend Layers. This will select the sharpest parts of each layer and create a mask. The masks can be quite complex, but it does a very good job.

There is an open source program CombineZP

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You can also use the hugin toolset which includes the align_image_stack and enfuse tools. You may also wish to add the EnfuseGUI to cut down on the typing.

  • Works very well
  • Free & Open Source
  • Multi-platform runs on Mac/Windows/Linux

There is a very nice walk through here. enter image description here

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