View Full Version : Freekin amazing free software for macro images

09-21-2010, 05:38 AM
I stumbled on this yesterday. It is open source software that can synthesize infinite depth of field from a series of images that are taken with different focusing distances of the same subject. It makes it possible to create images of macro subjects that are entirely in focus regardless of the range of distances included in the frame.

It took these as a test. Here are three of about 10 images of the subject showing the very limited depth of field available with the settings I used. This is about as bad as it gets since I had the aperture wide open. To do this you need a camera with manual focus since the scene should not change for each shot, only the focus should change.




This is the amazing result.


The software is here:


09-21-2010, 08:00 AM
That looks awesome !!!

Now since that's the free stuff, I'd like to see what the military gets to play with ;)

09-21-2010, 08:48 AM
software has finally caught up to the pin hole camera!

that is neat, reminds me of the software the picks and chooses areas out of different exposures and compiles discussed recently

09-21-2010, 09:43 AM
that is neat, reminds me of the software the picks and chooses areas out of different exposures and compiles discussed recently

That's because it's the same HDR software :)

09-21-2010, 09:57 AM
That's because it's the same HDR software

The I-Phone runs Windows software?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which has nothing to do with focus.

09-21-2010, 10:04 AM
The I-Phone runs Windows software?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which has nothing to do with focus.

It's all image stacking. You can stack multiple images with different exposure settings to get high dynamic range, or you can stack multiple images with different focus settings to get deep field of view, or you can stack multiple images that are translated (shifted) to get higher resolution.

This is the thread McGyver is talking about:


HDR is a version of image stacking: you extend the dynamic range of the image by taking multiple pictures, with different exposure settings, and combining them together. In theory, you get a better range of light and dark areas.

In HDR mode, the iPhone takes three sequential pictures in "underexposed", "normal", and "overexposed" modes. Then it blends the three pictures together.
If anything in the scene is moving, or you're moving, you get blurry motion effects in the picture.

The video smoothing software I posted from vReveal does something similar: it scans multiple frames of video and does image stacking to improve dynamic range and the image resolution. It's very effective if the scene is unchanging:


09-21-2010, 10:16 AM
By the way, Photoshop CS4 also does image stacking, and some OpenSource image stacking programs that are very good:


...and the Mac Daddy is Hugin, which started out as an image stitching program (for creating panoramas) and has become an Open Source platform with plug-ins for HDR, infinite field of view, super resolution, perspective correction,...



09-21-2010, 10:20 AM
I use Image stacking all the time to create my astrophotos. They are an example of high dynamic range images as I use a variety of exposure times to capture different details. Stacking to create an in focus image is a very different proposition. The software must be able to analyze the image to discover what represents the sharpest content in each image and then blend those areas with similarly selected areas from other images. That isn't the same as image stacking even though it may be called that.

The image analysis depends on the MIT FFTW (Fastest Fourier Transform in the West) Fast Fourier Transform which is an unlimited size and unlimited dimension FFT that picks out the highest spatial frequency components of the image and rejects the low frequency areas. Rather than stacking the process is properly described as compositing since it doesn't use the entirety of any one image.

Combine ZM is the program from the site I linked to except It has been superceded by CombineZP.

09-21-2010, 10:52 AM
I have also been doing HDR processing on landscape images for about six years now. This is an example:


It isn't a matter of just altering the contrast since that would blow out the light areas and render the darker areas as black. In order to preserve the highs and lows various parts of the image must be processed separately and seamlessly without exceeding the dynamic range of the display format. Regardless of the number of bits used to process the image the display on a computer monitor is limited to no more than 24 bits per pixel and printed images even less.