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Helping to extend your depth of field by compositing numerous exposures together, Helicon Focus Pro from Helicon Soft is a focus stacking program offering refined and intuitive controls to benefit macro shooting applications as well as landscape, tabletop, and nearly any other kind of controlled photographic scenario. The basic premise of the software requires you to make sequential photographs from a fixed position at varying focus distances, and then the software will automatically combine the images into a single file in order to generate greater depth of field than is possible with a single exposure. An unlimited number of images can be used within each focus stack and both advanced algorithms and interpolation methods are applied to ensure a high degree of clarity and detail, as well as retain an overall natural appearance. A unique Raw-in-DNG-out process maintains the editing capabilities of a raw file after the stacking process and integrated smart retouching brushes let you refine the look of processed stacks. The software supports 16-bit color depth files, as well as the ability to batch process multiple stacks automatically, and it can be seamlessly integrated within existing editing workflows via a dedicated Adobe Lightroom plug-in or using command line protocols for use with other applications. Imagery can also be exported to Helicon 3D Viewer to generate a virtual 3D rendering of an image, or multiple frames can also be composited into a stitched panorama for wide-field imagery. Additionally, this Pro version also includes the desktop version of Helicon Remote to supported tethered shooting with select Canon and Nikon DSLRs from a Mac or Windows computer.
This download version of Helicon Focus Pro is an unlimited, lifetime license for use on up to four different computers.
Focus stacking application lets you composite an unlimited number of focus-bracketed photos into a single file for extending your depth of field.
Raw-in-DNG-out is a unique process that allows you to process your raw file after the photo stacking process. Whereas a standard workflow results in a JPEG or TIFF file that incorporates white balance, color profile, and other edits applied, using the Raw-in-DNG-out workflow allows you to manually adjust the look of the finished image in your raw editor of choice after the focus stacking is complete. This process does incorporate a demosaicing process, based on Adobe's DNG converter, as well as slight retouching in order to craft the composite image, but leaves you with a true raw file for greater editing control.
An intuitive application for tethered shooting, the Pro version of Helicon Focus also includes the desktop version of Helicon Remote for use on Mac or Windows computers. This software is compatible with select Canon and Nikon DSLRs and permits automatic, remote control over focus bracketing, exposure bracketing, time lapse, burst, and burst focus bracketing shooting techniques.
Several dedicated retouching brushes are incorporated within the application for refining the look of your finished stacks. Additionally, areas of aligned source images or portions from several output images can also be copied and used to replace any anomalies.
Enabling a hands-free workflow, you are able to import an unlimited number of source images, split them into the appropriate stacks, and then queue each stack up for automatic batch processing and rendering.
Stacked results can be exported to Helicon's 3D Viewer and advanced algorithms work to produce 3D-like visualizations of the image for a unique sense of depth and space. This process also lets you share your 3D images to the web, adjust the relief type and viewpoint, add a light source, and apply rotational movements for 3D-rendered movies.
Beyond compositing images on top of one another, this software can also be used to composite multiple images next to each other to produce stitched panoramas. A series of intuitive adjustment controls can be used to constrain proportions and the software will automatically detect and combine the individual frames into a seamless panoramic photo.
Supports editing with 16-bit per channel color depth for preserving finely nuanced hues, colors, and tones. Color profiles can also be used for accurate color reproduction throughout the post-production workflow.
In order to preserve the most detail from each image, raw file formats are supported and can be opened within Helicon Focus or in Lightroom via the Helicon plug-in.
Advanced processing algorithms and interpolation methods help to retain the greatest amount of detail possible when compositing images in order to produce a vivid, yet natural appearance.
Ideal for macro and scientific application, a scale bar can be added to imagery to more accurately represent the size of your subjects.
Fast performance and short rendering times are possible through the support of multi-core processors and 64-bit operating systems from both Mac and Windows.
For maintaining your existing workflow, Helicon Focus Pro can be used as a plug-in within Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or command line protocols can be used to call Helicon Focus from within other editing applications.
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Mac OS X 10.7 or later / Windows 8, 7, or Vista 2 GHz processor (4 core processor or higher recommended) 1 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended) 1280 x 1024 monitor resolution (1920 x 1080 or higher recommended)
Helicon Soft Helicon Focus Pro (Download, Lifetime License) Review