14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2014 2:42 PM by 1Dray1

    Macro stacking


      Hi all.


      I am having a problem when trying to do a photo stack. the end result is always a blur......

      These are the steps I'm taking in full...

      camera set up on tripod...5 or 6 pics taken adjusting the focus in small increments and shutter controlled with remote.

      i then download to LR and open (edit as layers) in PS.

      I highlight all the layers and then align the layers....crop the excess.

      then with all layers selected i merge...stack....and wait, and boom....blurry pic.

      just to add to this...im using a d7100 with a sigma 105 macro and off camera flash...so the pics are pin sharp.

      what am i doing wrong?

        • 1. Re: Macro stacking
          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You should use the auto-blend layers option form the edit menu. Not merge layers. Here is a video explaining how it works: http://petapixel.com/2014/09/07/tutorial-easily-focus-stack-using-photoshop-feature-probab ly-didnt-know/

          • 2. Re: Macro stacking
            1Dray1 Level 1

            Hi Jao.

            thanks for the link but that shows exactly what i described my action to be in my first message....barring a few mis described words.

            however i will use this video as a reference....the point were the guy shows how much detailing is in the different masks...well i have no detail in any of the masks except the last layers mask which shows as full whiteend result.png

            i have inserted a screen shot to show the results of what i am trying to blend...merge...stack, as you can see from the layers panel.....this isn't the result I'm hoping to get. this end result is the same no matter what i try to merge...blend...stack. as you could imagine, I'm getting quite stressed about this, if you could shed some light that would be great.

            • 3. Re: Macro stacking
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              That's definitely not right. Are you sure you are using the "auto-blend layers" item in the edit menu? Not one of the options in the layers menu? Also, did you select "seamless tones and colors" in  the auto-blend layers dialog?

              • 4. Re: Macro stacking
                1Dray1 Level 1

                Hi Jao.

                yeah I'm following the steps that i normally use...i open the files from LR into PS as layers...i wait till all the layers have downloaded then select all...from the top menu's i go edit...scroll down...and auto align, i then crop if needed then still with all layers selected i go back to the top menu...edit and merge layers, i ignore the vignette and select seamless tones and colours and that is the outcome. It is strange as i have done quite a few focus blended/stacked pics and i have been really pleased with them, then one day it just all stopped working.

                there is one thing...when I'm aligning the layers and the progress bar appears on the screen, it always says it is working with 145 of 156 items??? is this the problem?

                Jao, thanks for your help ; )

                • 5. Re: Macro stacking
                  Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  At no point should you do a merge layers except after you have created the

                  focus stack correctly. Where you say "with all layers selected i go back to

                  the top menu...edit and merge layers, i ignore the vignette and select

                  seamless tones and colours and that is the outcome" I think you are going

                  to the wrong menu option. you should not have a vignette option for

                  example. You need to go to the Edit menu and select "auto-bend layers.

                  Select "stack images" and select "Seamless Tones and Colors". I don't know

                  which dialog you are using but it sounds like what happens when you create

                  a panorama using the photo merge option in the file menu. That doesn't work

                  for photostacking.

                  • 6. Re: Macro stacking
                    1Dray1 Level 1

                    you are correct...the ignore vignette is on the align layers, my mistake.

                    i will state all the steps i take as i take them...this time in the correct order.

                    once all the layers are there to work with, i select all the layers by clicking on the top one ...holding the shift key and then clicking the bottom layer...selecting all layers.

                    I then go...edit (on the top task bar)  auto align layers ( this is where the ignore vignette option is...my mistake)  select auto...select geometric distortion(i have tried this selected and de-selected) and then ok.

                    i then crop the result.

                    then with all layers still selected...i go ...edit...auto blend...stack images....seamless tones and colours selected...and hit OK. i have also tried it without seamless tones and colours selected and still get blurred result.

                    • 7. Re: Macro stacking
                      Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      That looks like the exact right sequence of things to do. I do not

                      understand why it isn't working for you. Very strange.

                      • 8. Re: Macro stacking
                        1Dray1 Level 1

                        There is one thing that seems to be standing out the more i look at it....is the count layers being aligned wrong? i don't see this on the instruction video.

                        align screen.png

                        • 9. Re: Macro stacking
                          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Those just appear to be the names of your layers. Normally you don't see a

                          count there. But you can see that your filenames are "untitled(142 of

                          156).NEF". this is probably done by your importing into Lightroom. You

                          probably have a file rename in there. That said, is it possible that you

                          don't have the right files in here. When you progressively hide the layers

                          from the top in the layers panel, do you see any difference between the

                          layers in your file? What you see might simply be that the files are the

                          same for some strange reason.

                          • 10. Re: Macro stacking
                            1Dray1 Level 1

                            yeah. if i select/ deselect the images it will show each pick in their own DOF plain. each shot is a different plain of focus.

                            is that what you were asking?

                            when importing from LR i select the shots i want from the sequence i shot and then edit...open as layers. ill try putting the shots i want into their own file and see if it works from there.

                            • 11. Re: Macro stacking
                              1Dray1 Level 1

                              no...that didn't work either.....i even tried opening up the file directly from PS by following the scripts method....still no joy

                              thanks for your help

                              • 12. Re: Macro stacking
                                Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                No clue what to do. Perhaps you should post in the Photoshop forum instead of the Lightroom one. Doesn’t look like a Lightroom problem at all if the layers are all different, it should blend.

                                • 13. Re: Macro stacking
                                  ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  There was a bug in PS CC 2014 where focus stacking and maybe panos didn't work properly, but this has been fixed in 2014.2.1 which you should be able to update to as of a few days ago.  Check what version of PS you're using - Help / Updates and if you're not up-to-date then log out of and back into the CC Desktop application using "Gear" / preferences / Account Sign-out.

                                  • 14. Re: Macro stacking
                                    1Dray1 Level 1

                                    yep...after some searching on internet, turns out all i needed to do was do an update as this was a common problem.... all sorted now