PHOTOSHOP - Auto-blend needs easy retouching

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I have recently gotten into doing focus stacks with a good amount of images (60-100). The general opinion of macrophotographers is that Zerene Stacker is the best focus stacking software around, but I feel that Photoshop's Auto-blend feature does a very good job as well. From my experience thus far, Auto-blend produces great results in terms of preserving the color and contrast from the stacked images, but leaves blurry spots where the algorithm had trouble handling complex areas. If there was an easy way to retouch those blurry spots, I think Photoshop would be the simplest focus stacking software to use, as it already does a good job without the user having to fiddle with various settings as in Zerene.
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André Alæxandersson Myers

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Posted 2 years ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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I just watched a lynda.com video (Advanced One on One) from Deke McLelland that showed, with only 2 photos, how to work around it, maybe sort of, and he used the stack feature with auto blend layers, but unchecked both seamless tones and content aware fill.  He said taking charge of seamless tones and colors was better than leaving it to PS.

After running it on the two layers , he was able to investigate the masking, use standard PS tools to blend the very odd masks, and came up with something rather acceptable. It's when he's feathering the layer mask that he finds a good compromise, after blending the tonal values. But this was on a simple white background.

I think for 60-100, though, this might be more of a pita than a pleasure. He was taking care of blurry spots, though, at least a bit better than PS had done automatically. You might like to test your patience?

Of course, better still if PS improved the feature so we didn't feel we had to buy very expensive stacking equipment and software, but we're asking rather a lot of them then.