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Focus Stacking settings and computer (Mac) requirements.

New Here ,
Nov 04, 2018

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Hi all.

I am testing out using Focus Stacking technique that I have found on various YouTube and macro photo web sites.

I know the steps to doing this, generally, shoot stack, in my case Nikon D850 set to shoot ~20-80 photos, then in photoshop Script> Load files into stack. Then select all layers and then Edit> Auto align layers, followed by Edit> Auto Blend Layers, then make Smart object.

So the first test I did I had the camera set to shoot in RAW mode, with a series of 5 shots. When I got to the point where I Auto Align layers, Photoshop and or my Mid 2010 Mac Pro choked.

I tried again setting the camera to JPEG Basic, so file size diminished from 55MB to 2.5MB. Same very slow process. Finally aligned 35 layers in about 2.5 hours. After that PS became very sluggish, so i decided to save the file as it was, checking my Preferences in PS for file handling etc. As file was saving, I got a message saying the file size was greater than 2GB and could not save. Huh?

And just to clarify, my set up: Mac Pro Mid 2010, 8GB DDR, ATI Radeon 5870 !GB. Startup disk has 673GB available. I also have a second internal disk 7200rpm with 380GB available. Using Photoshop CC 20

Anyone working with Macro/Focus Stacking available for comment?

Thanks for your help.

Jonathan

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Focus Stacking settings and computer (Mac) requirements.

New Here ,
Nov 04, 2018

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Hi all.

I am testing out using Focus Stacking technique that I have found on various YouTube and macro photo web sites.

I know the steps to doing this, generally, shoot stack, in my case Nikon D850 set to shoot ~20-80 photos, then in photoshop Script> Load files into stack. Then select all layers and then Edit> Auto align layers, followed by Edit> Auto Blend Layers, then make Smart object.

So the first test I did I had the camera set to shoot in RAW mode, with a series of 5 shots. When I got to the point where I Auto Align layers, Photoshop and or my Mid 2010 Mac Pro choked.

I tried again setting the camera to JPEG Basic, so file size diminished from 55MB to 2.5MB. Same very slow process. Finally aligned 35 layers in about 2.5 hours. After that PS became very sluggish, so i decided to save the file as it was, checking my Preferences in PS for file handling etc. As file was saving, I got a message saying the file size was greater than 2GB and could not save. Huh?

And just to clarify, my set up: Mac Pro Mid 2010, 8GB DDR, ATI Radeon 5870 !GB. Startup disk has 673GB available. I also have a second internal disk 7200rpm with 380GB available. Using Photoshop CC 20

Anyone working with Macro/Focus Stacking available for comment?

Thanks for your help.

Jonathan

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Nov 04, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2018

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As much as I love Photoshop. It often doesn't do a very good job at focus stacking. I ended up buying Zerene Stacker. Helicon Focus is suppose to be even better, but of course more money. Not really sure about the requirements to your question.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2018

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I agree - focus stacking isn't Photoshop's strongest side.

But not because it chokes, I haven't seen that. It's true that auto-blend tends to take a long time, but not to the point where it falls over. My problem is more that it doesn't merge optimally, leaving out-of-focus areas where it doesn't need to.

An additional problem is the PSD 2GB size limit. You'd think it would be possible to go to PSB automatically for big files. Although it is impossible to predict exact file size, it could save to PSB if there's a reasonable chance it might exceed 2GB.

The usual recommendation for focus stacking is those two Chuck mentions.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2018

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Yes, we has some major issue with out of focus areas that shouldn't have been out of focus, one reason we tried Zerene Stacker, that did a much better job.

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New Here ,
Nov 07, 2018

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Thanks for the replies.

After searching on line, I changed a few of my file management settings in PS, and performance is a little better. As good as it gets on a close to nine year old system. I did have a question: After shooting a "stack" and then File>Script>Create Focus Stack, in that dialog, there is an option to Align Layers. Does anyone know if that is different from the Align Layers in the edit menu? The only advantage I can see with Aligning AFTER creating stack is to be able to delete any unwanted layers prior to the Alignment, thus saving a bit of processing time. Is this correct?

Also, there was a technique used where you made copies of all layers to be used to correct any out of focus areas in image, fill something or other and then erase part of the image????

Can anyone explain or direct me to something that expains this?

Thanks for your help. I really like this technique!

Jonathan

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Nov 07, 2018 0
New Here ,
Oct 25, 2020

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Hey Jonathan,

 

I'm having the issue you had initially. 
Can you please tell me how/if you remedied the sluggish Mac/Photoshop?
Did you try other software suggestions?

Did you find an answer to your last question?

 

Having trouble finding the answers.

Thanks

Hannah

 

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Oct 25, 2020 0