Author Topic: Stacking  (Read 2151 times)

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Offline Stef.

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Stacking
« on: March 17, 2009, 05:05:18 PM »
How to do stacking so the the depth of field increases in a shot:

You can achieve sometimes very good results with the following FREE program
http://www.hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZP/News.htm

Photoshop version:

There is a tutorial here in darkroom techniques...
http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php?topic=4197.135;wap2

Nevertheless... here is how it works:


1. put your object to the left or the right of your image frame- looks better than bang in the middle
2. focus preferably with a macro lens (but any other will do as well) on the point closest to you
3. take a test image with a certain aperture/ exposure combination and when you found out what works best DO NOT change the aperture or exposure for all the following shots. So in a nutshell: set you camera to manual and also set your focusing to manual. Also don't change lighting or white balance. For me I tend to start with f14. WB set to daylight (even if I use flash). ISO 200 or lower. Self-timer or remote control. And certainly tripod.
4. Start taking your series of photographs focusing on the closest part of your image first. Then change your manual focus ever so slightly to focus slightly behind the closest point. The easiest way is to try out in which direction you need to turn your focusing ring first and then don't even look through the viewfinder but just turn the focusing very slightly in the right direction.
5. Once you have taken all your images - the last one should have focused on the point the farthest away- open them all up in your RAW converter. (Should you have decided to shoot in Jpeg mode then you can skip this step). Don't make too many changes in the raw converter- I just check white balance and exposure. Save them as 8 bit tiff files in the same folder you had the originals in.
6. In Adobe Bridge I click then all my tiff files-> tools  -> photoshop -> load as files in Photoshop. If you don't have CS4 than you just open all you files and copy paste them into each other. So at the end you will have one enormous document with let's say 6-12 layers on top of each other (please choose the correct order- you can tell from the numbers of your files. It's not important whether they go up or down in the numbers but don't mix them up)
7. Double click the bottom layer and change it to a layerby just clicking O.K. so it is no longer a  background layer
8. Click the bottom layer -> hold the shift key and then click the top one- this will select all layers.
9. in the meu bar: edit > auto align
10. click all the eyes to the left of all layers but the two bottom ones to make them invisible. (This means you can only see the last two layers). Then click the bottom layer and ctrl click the one above. Once more: edit > auto blend layers (make sure stacking is selected) > it will do it's job then. Once this is done with these two layers > layers > merge visible > then click the eye above the very bottom layer to make this layer visible and once again chose the two bottom ones by ctrl clicking both of them > edit > auto blend layers > merge visible. Again click the eye of the layer above the bottom layer > choose both layers by ctrl clicking them > edit > auto blend > layers > merge visible.
11. Continue until you are done and then make your usual adjustments.

If you have 64 bit computers: you can ctrl click all layers in one go and do the above: edit > auto blend and then flatten theh layers

If you are on a version of Photoshop or whatever other post-processing software you use that has no stacking function: it works in a similar way if you load all files into one document and then erase the blurry parts of each image. You can do this with the eraseer tool or with masks.

Hope it helps?
Stef.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 05:25:51 PM by Stef. »
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Offline Simon [aka springtide]

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Re: Stacking
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 09:23:42 PM »

Thanks v much for this.  Should this work in CS3?

I've just had a go, but I don't get any blending options when I run:

10....        Once more: edit > auto blend layers (make sure stacking is selected) > it will do it's job then

i.e.  I can run 'edit > auto blend layers', BUT I get no dialogue box for the 'stacking' option.

Any ideas? 
NEX-7

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Offline chappo1

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Re: Stacking
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2009, 09:45:28 PM »
I think it is a new feature in CS4...john
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Offline Stef.

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Re: Stacking
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2009, 10:41:53 PM »
CS3 does not support stacking. You have to put all your images into one single document and then work with masks or the eraser. Your best bet is to download the free program anove and work with this one.
Stef.
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