Top 5 Focus Stacking Software for Windows – TechWhoop

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For any photographer, it is all about the focus, exposure settings, and most importantly the composition of the photograph to get a good snap. But, even if the structure and exposure are set correctly, a photographer, most of the times struggle with the focus and defocus of the snap. When you are shooting outside or taking a macroscopic shot, you will face a problem focusing on the subject.

To overcome this problem, there is software available online from where you can download, install and use it for getting a well-focused photograph. Things are made more manageable for the photographer to reduce their effort and time focusing on the subject of their composition. And furthermore, we have deduced a list of 5 best Focus Stacking Software for your Windows PC.

5 Best Focus Stacking Software

Picolay

The software is small in size with lots of amazing features installed in it. The stacking is carried out very smoothly; just you need to add a couple of photos focusing on different parts, and then the processor will itself stack them together by evenly focusing them. Picolay best works for macro or microscopic images shot from a fixed distance.

Picolay
Picolay

Once you install the software, it will provide you with some tips and tricks so that you get familiar with the software and know how to make ready your pictures for stacking. Once you get through the tutorial, you can now entirely rely on the app for focusing and piling up your photos. You can also create GIFs from a set of images.

Getting started with Picolay:

  • Click on File and add images. Select those photos which you want to focus stack. The attached pictures will be displayed as a bunch, and you can also preview them.
  • After adding your photographs, go to the stack operation and click on Stack with current parameters. This will generate the focus stack of your pictures and gives you the output within a concise amount of time.
  • You can also change the stack operation settings according to your wish from the settings.
  • Once you are done and satisfied with the out, you can now save the pictures in many formats; jpg, png, gif, tiff, etc.

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TuFuse

TuFuse is a free command-line software with many surprising features loaded in it. It combines the best-focused parts of numerous shots and produces a sharp and evenly focused image. Not only the focus, but it also helps in exposing your photograph somewhat by combining the well-exposed parts from multiple shots.

TuFuse
TuFuse

As a result, you will get a well focused and a correctly exposed picture in the output. It does not have a GUI, so, in that case, you will have to give commands yourself for adjusting the parameters. There is an alternative way; you can install another software; PTAssembler, which acts as a GUI for TuFuse.

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How to stitch photos in TuFuse:

  • Open the software from the location it has been downloaded.
  • After opening, transfer your pictures to TuFuse folder.
  • In the address bar, select all and delete the folder path to replace it with CMD. Press Enter. This will open the file using the Command Prompt with the TuFuse directory.
  • Now, you will have to enter a command and keep in mind that the command follows a specific order; tufuse-o output.tif input1.tif input2.tif…, and press Enter. Here, an output is the output file name, and input1, input2 are the input file names.
  • The output is saved to the TuFuse folder. But the output will always be in TIF format only despite being whatever the input format may be.

ImageJ

It is an open source software that has multiple platforms to work on with your images. The software runs on Java. The features are pre-installed in the software; the user will have to use the plug-in from the ocean of the plug-ins that the software offers. A very popular add-on for this software is Stack Focuser.

ImageJ
ImageJ

The process for creating a focus stack is simple. But, at first, you will have to download the plug-in. Once you download it, now you can open the software and transfer images one by one. After they are transferred, click on the “Stk” button on the Toolbar of ImageJ and again click on the Image to Stack option.

This will help you to create all the transferred images to pile up together. Click on the Stack Focuser; a small dialogue will appear “Ok,” click on that and the images will convert into focus stacked output. You can save it in any format including gif.

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Combine ZP

Combine ZP is a remarkable image stacking software. The user interface of this program is straightforward and easy to use for anyone. Just load the images from your computer and select “So Stack” followed by a click on Go. You can also align the photos before you go on with the stacking and then proceed further as above.

CombineZP
CombineZP

An output folder will be created at the time of installation of the software where your rendered images will be saved automatically after they have been successfully focused stacked. Along with focus stacking the pictures, it also offers a lot more to its users, and in case if any user faces any problem, there is also a help option in the software.

Chasys Draw IES

It is a free to use image editing software. The software has a wide range of tools like any other editing software. One of the features is focus stack images on PC. All you need to do is open the photos you want to pile up. Once they are opened as a stack, go to the Processes>>Stack>>Focus Stacking.

Chasys Draw
Chasys Draw

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On the workspace, the edited image will be displayed, and if it meets your requirements, then you can save the image in any of your favorite formats by merely clicking on the File option and then Save. The software also has features like image averaging, Image HDR, Moving objects, etc.

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