Thursday, 9 September 2010

Image-stacking software for Linux

Back in the day, when I was still Windows-based, I was able to get some pretty decent focus-stacked ("automontage") photos of insects using the brilliant freeware programs DeepFocus and PrepareStack written by Stuart Ball. Unfortunately, I can't find the download anywhere, though his detailed manual is still available. While commercial applications are available, I have not yet found an open-source version that will suffice. Internet searches indicate that ImageMagick's "combine" might be suitable, when given a suitable stack of photos. Preparing that stack is a little trickier. There are suggestions that GIMP might be suitable, however as far as I can see, there are no published scripts or tutorials that make it easier beyond tedious manual adjustments. I will continue to look around and see if I can work out some sorta fix.


Dave said...

Thanks for pointing out this technique Sam. Did you ever have trouble getting the subject to sit still while you took multiple shots?

ps - which flavour of linux are you rocking? I'm a Ubuntu Server Edition user, but back in the days of software development,I had a Debian desktop running VMWare so I could still use Outlook on the side.

Samuel Brown said...

Hi Dave

Most of the time, my specimens are dead on pins, so unless something goes drastically wrong, they shouldn't move too much! That said, thanks to the effect of parallax the image moves relative to the frame as one changes the microscope focus. Hence the need to prepare the image stack.

I'm currently using Ubuntu 9.04 dual booting with Vista.

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)