Zerene Stacker

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stacker:docs:faqlist [2018/09/25 03:28]
rjlittlefield test of editing
stacker:docs:faqlist [2019/06/07 23:12] (current)
rjlittlefield [Are there more FAQs?]
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 ===== My colors changed a little.  Why is that? ===== ===== My colors changed a little.  Why is that? =====
  
-There are three reasons that output images can have different colors from the input: 1) brightness adjustment, 2) PMax, and 3) "Retain extended dynamic range" when saving.  "Brightness adjustment" refers to Zerene Stacker's attempt to correct for uneven exposure between various input images.  That feature is turned on by default, but you can turn it off by un-checking Brightness at Options > Preferences > Alignment.  "PMax" refers to the PMax stacking method, which often makes slight changes in brightness, contrast, and saturation as a side effect of doing its focus stacking.  This behavior is an unavoidable side effect of PMax and should be considered as one of the tradeoffs of PMax versus DMap.  "Retain extended dynamic range" when saving causes the range of internal pixel values to be compressed if necessary to fit within the 0-255 range of image files.  Internally the range can exceed 0-255 as a result of PMax, brightness adjustment, or even just pixel interpolation during alignment.+There are three common reasons that saved output images can have different colors from the input: 1) brightness adjustment, 2) PMax, and 3) "Retain extended dynamic range" when saving.  "Brightness adjustment" refers to Zerene Stacker's attempt to correct for uneven exposure between various input images.  That feature is turned on by default, but you can turn it off by un-checking Brightness at Options > Preferences > Alignment.  "PMax" refers to the PMax stacking method, which often makes slight changes in brightness, contrast, and saturation as a side effect of doing its focus stacking.  This behavior is an unavoidable side effect of PMax and should be considered as one of the tradeoffs of PMax versus DMap.  "Retain extended dynamic range" when saving causes the range of internal pixel values to be compressed if necessary to fit within the 0-255 range of image files.  Internally the range can exceed 0-255 as a result of PMax, brightness adjustment, or even just pixel interpolation during alignment.
  
-Color/brightness/contrast changes can be completely avoided by using the DMap stacking method, with Brightness adjustment turned off at Options > Preferences > Alignment, and "Retain extended dynamic range" turned off at Options > Preferences > Image Saving or in the file save dialog.+These sorts of color/brightness/contrast changes in the saved images can be completely avoided by using the DMap stacking method, with Brightness adjustment turned off at Options > Preferences > Alignment, and "Retain extended dynamic range" turned off at Options > Preferences > Image Saving or in the file save dialog.
  
 +In some unusual cases, color changes can also result from issues in the handling of color profiles of the image files and/or monitor.  See the discussion above, at [[https://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker/docs/faqlist#how_does_zerene_stacker_handle_color_profiles|How does Zerene Stacker handle color profiles?]]
 ===== Why do my images look noisy as soon as I load them into Zerene Stacker? ===== ===== Why do my images look noisy as soon as I load them into Zerene Stacker? =====
  
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 ===== What is the difference between PMax and DMap? ===== ===== What is the difference between PMax and DMap? =====
  
-PMax is a “pyramid” method. It is very good at finding and preserving detail even in low contrast or slightly blurred areas. It's also very good at handling overlapping structures like mats of hair and crisscrossing bristles, nicely avoiding the loss-of-detail halos typical of other stacking programs. But PMax tends to increase noise and contrast, it can alter colors somewhat, and it's liable to produce fuzzy "inversion halos" around strongly contrasting objects.+PMax is a "pyramid" method. It is very good at finding and preserving detail even in low contrast or slightly blurred areas. It's also very good at handling overlapping structures like mats of hair and crisscrossing bristles, nicely avoiding the loss-of-detail halos typical of other stacking programs. But PMax tends to increase noise and contrast, it can alter colors somewhat, and it's liable to produce fuzzy "inversion halos" around strongly contrasting objects.
  
-DMap is a “depth map” method. It does a better job keeping the original smoothness and colors, but it's not as good at finding and preserving detail.+DMap is a "depth map" method. It does a better job keeping the original smoothness and colors, but it's not as good at finding and preserving detail.
  
 The two methods complement each other. Some types of subjects look good when they are processed automatically by PMax, but not by DMap. Other subjects are just the opposite. For particularly challenging subjects like bugs and flowers shot through microscope objectives, neither method is ideal by itself. In that case the best results are obtained by using human judgment and the retouching tool to combine the best aspects of both algorithms. The two methods complement each other. Some types of subjects look good when they are processed automatically by PMax, but not by DMap. Other subjects are just the opposite. For particularly challenging subjects like bugs and flowers shot through microscope objectives, neither method is ideal by itself. In that case the best results are obtained by using human judgment and the retouching tool to combine the best aspects of both algorithms.
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 In any case, set Smoothing Radius to half the value of Estimation Radius. In any case, set Smoothing Radius to half the value of Estimation Radius.
  
-When DMap pauses for you to Set Contrast Selection, move the slider until out-of-focus background goes black in the preview image, while your subject retains most of its natural colors.  What you're doing is using your human judgment to mark "can't tell" regions where you want the program to emphasize smoothness rather than getting misled by pixel noise that might look like detail but isn't.+When DMap pauses for you to Set Contrast Selection, you're supposed to move the slider until out-of-focus background goes black in the preview image, while your subject retains most of its natural colors.  What you're doing is using your human judgment to mark "can't tell" regions where you want the program to emphasize smoothness rather than getting misled by pixel noise that might look like detail but isn't
 + 
 +When you use the slider, you are actually setting two numbers: the //percentile// which says what fraction of pixels ended up getting shown as "black in preview" (that is, contrast of details is below threshold), and the //level// which describes the strength of detail at the break between "black in preview" and normal colors.  The numeric value of level is not meaningful to a human, beyond the understanding that the values will be larger in areas that show sharp detail with high contrast, and smaller in areas where there is less detail to be seen. 
 + 
 +Usually it is best to set the slider interactively on every stack.  However, for batch operations where you have a bunch of stacks with similar appearance, you can checkmark the option to "Use preset contrast threshold".  That prevents the slider and preview image from being shown, so that multiple DMap operations can be done with no user interaction.  In that case, you must also select to either use the value of Level that was left over from the last interactive setting of the slider, or compute a new threshold for each stack based on specified Percentile and the image contents of that stack. 
 + 
 +Suppose, for example, that you're doing product photography.  If your collection of stacks consists of various colors of shoes photographed against a uniform background, then it's probably best to select Percentile because the shoes may have very different appearances but all will cover about the same fraction of the frame.  But if you're photographing an assortment of diamond and silver jewelry, say rings, bracelets, and necklaces, then it would be best to select Level because different pieces of jewelry would cover much different fractions of the frame but have similar appearance of detail in whatever region they did cover.
  
 **Note:** If DMap does not pause for you to Set Contrast Selection, then go to Options > Preferences > DMap settings and remove the checkmark on "Use preset contrast threshold".  The software is distributed with that option not checked, but sometimes it gets checked by accident and then the lack of pause can be very confusing! **Note:** If DMap does not pause for you to Set Contrast Selection, then go to Options > Preferences > DMap settings and remove the checkmark on "Use preset contrast threshold".  The software is distributed with that option not checked, but sometimes it gets checked by accident and then the lack of pause can be very confusing!
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 [[:stacker:docs:keyboardshortcuts|HERE]].   [[:stacker:docs:keyboardshortcuts|HERE]].  
  
-Currently there are no keyboard shortcuts for common operations such as opening and saving files.+Recent versions of Zerene Stacker also have keyboard shortcuts for some common operations such as opening and saving files.  These are identified in the menu system, as usual for whatever type of computer you are using. 
  
 ===== Is there some way to turn off the welcome screen? ===== ===== Is there some way to turn off the welcome screen? =====
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 ===== Is there some way to control those output names? ===== ===== Is there some way to control those output names? =====
  
-You've probably noticed that the default names are based on timestamps --good for uniqueness but not necessarily what you want for readability.  You can construct your own templates to include source image numbers, processing options, and so on.  This feature is documented at **[[:stacker:docs:options:preferences:imagesaving|Options > Preferences > Image Saving]]**; look at the Template field. +You've probably noticed that the default names are based on timestamps, for example "2018-12-01_16.48.14" means 2018 December 01 at 4:48 PM plus 14 seconds (local time zone).  Names like that are good for uniqueness but not necessarily what you want for readability.  You can construct your own templates to include source image numbers, processing options, and so on.  This feature is documented at **[[:stacker:docs:options:preferences:imagesaving|Options > Preferences > Image Saving]]**; look at the Template field. 
  
 ===== How can I find and remove orphaned files? ===== ===== How can I find and remove orphaned files? =====
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 To locate log and configuration files, proceed as follows: To locate log and configuration files, proceed as follows:
-  * On Windows, do a Start > Run on the Windows taskbar.  In the little window that pops up, specify to Open: "%APPDATA%\ZereneStacker" (note, no space in the name).  Click OK.  This will open a file explorer window showing the ZereneStacker folder in your user area. \\ \\ On Windows 10, usually it is not possible to open the Start > Run dialog.  Instead, you can open a File Explorer window, then in that window's address bar, type in %APPDATA%\ZereneStacker and hit the Enter key. Searching Windows for %APPDATA%\ZereneStacker will also work.  \\ \\ On some systems, it is also necessary to set the folder view options to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".  See for example [[http://www.windows10themes.net/guides/how-to-view-the-appdata-folder-in-windows-10/]] \\ \\ +  * On Windows, do a Start > Run on the Windows taskbar.  In the little window that pops up, specify to Open: "%APPDATA%\ZereneStacker" (omit the quotesand no space in the name).  Click OK.  This will open a file explorer window showing the ZereneStacker folder in your user area. \\ \\ On Windows 10, usually it is not possible to open the Start > Run dialog.  Instead, you can open a File Explorer window, then in that window's address bar, type in %APPDATA%\ZereneStacker and hit the Enter key. Searching Windows for %APPDATA%\ZereneStacker will also work.  \\ \\ On some systems, it is also necessary to set the folder view options to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".  See for example [[http://www.windows10themes.net/guides/how-to-view-the-appdata-folder-in-windows-10/]] \\ \\ 
-  * On Mac OS X, use Finder to navigate to your home directory, and from there to your home directory's Library/Preferences/ZereneStacker.  \\ Note that the required directory is //not// in the /Library/Preferences that hangs off the root of your computer's disk.  Instead it is the one located in your own home directory, **~**/Library/Preferences.  In recent versions of Mac OS X ("Lion" and later), your own Library folder is normally hidden in Finder.  To see into it, simply click the Go menu in Finder, then press and hold the Option (Alt) key to add Library to the list of available folders (as shown [[http://osxdaily.com/2016/12/12/show-user-library-folder-macos-sierra/|HERE]]).  Continue holding the Option key while you click on Library to view its contents, then double-click to open the Preferences folder and then the ZereneStacker folder.+  * On Mac OS X, use Finder to navigate to your home directory, and from there to your home directory's Library/Preferences/ZereneStacker.  \\ Note that the required directory is //not// in the /Library/Preferences that hangs off the root of your computer's disk.  Instead it is the one located in your own home directory, **~**/Library/Preferences.  In modern versions of Mac OS X ("Lion" and later), your own Library folder is normally hidden in Finder.  To see into it, simply click the Go menu in Finder, then press and hold the Option (Alt) key to add Library to the list of available folders (as shown [[http://osxdaily.com/2016/12/12/show-user-library-folder-macos-sierra/|HERE]]).  Continue holding the Option key while you click on Library to view its contents, then double-click to open the Preferences folder and then the ZereneStacker folder.
  
 Probably the ZereneStacker folder will contain several log files.  To identify the proper one, consider the circumstances:  If you received a popup diagnostic that said "Uh-oh -- something went wrong and caused an internal error", then the file is named something like ErrorLog<timestamp>.txt or AutoErrorLog<timestamp>.txt, where <timestamp> is a string of digits that indicate date & time.  For example the file may be named ErrorLog20110508090456.txt, for a problem that occurred on 2011 May 8 at 09:04:56 am.  If you did not receive such a popup, then the log file is LastNormalLog.txt.  Probably the ZereneStacker folder will contain several log files.  To identify the proper one, consider the circumstances:  If you received a popup diagnostic that said "Uh-oh -- something went wrong and caused an internal error", then the file is named something like ErrorLog<timestamp>.txt or AutoErrorLog<timestamp>.txt, where <timestamp> is a string of digits that indicate date & time.  For example the file may be named ErrorLog20110508090456.txt, for a problem that occurred on 2011 May 8 at 09:04:56 am.  If you did not receive such a popup, then the log file is LastNormalLog.txt. 
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 +VPS
  
stacker/docs/faqlist.1537846104.gz · Last modified: 2018/09/25 03:28
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