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3.4
out
of
5
Rated By
8 Users
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Program Information
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License:
Shareware (Free to try)
Size:
317849.6 MB
Updated:
Downloads:
4645
Platform:
Windows (All Versions)
Publisher:
Helicon Soft(more)
Website:
FindMySoft Editor's Review
Helicon Focus - Focus stacking software
Review by on
If you try to take a picture of something up close or take a macro picture, you will find it impossible to focus on everything at once, due to the shallow depth of field. Helicon Focus provides an excellent solution for this particular situation. The software is capable of extending the depth of field, through a process called "focus stacking". With this advanced functionality, you will be able to make the entire surface of a picture completely clear. What's more, the operation takes only a few clicks to prepare and execute, due to the simple and straightforward controls.

The software is free to try for a limited period of time, but without any functionality restrictions. The installation process involves common settings, like selecting a destination folder or creating shortcuts, but you will also find an option to include a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom. The program requires MS Visual C++ 2010, but the setup wizard will install it automatically, if you don't have it.

The principle behind focus stacking is quite simple. As the name implies, the procedure involves overlaying differently focused photos. This means that you have to take several pictures of the same object, preferably with a tripod, from the same angle, and focus on different parts of the object for each picture. Next, you have to load the pictures into Helicon Focus, click a button and the program will take it from there.

This example should clarify what the software can do for you: if you look at a locomotive, down its long axis, through a camera, you won't be able to focus on the entire locomotive, because that's how optics work. What you have to do in this situation is place the camera on a tripod, focus on the front end of the locomotive, take a snapshot, focus a little further and repeat for the entire locomotive. When Helicon Focus is done processing these pictures, the result will be a picture in which the entire locomotive is focused from one end to the other.

The software's interface has an efficient layout, so you won't get lost in a large number of options. Loaded pictures are displayed in a list, on the right side of the interface and you can preview them in the largest area of the window. You can choose and tweak one of three rendering methods beneath the images list. If you process the photos multiple times, you can switch between the results in the same area.

When the rendering process is complete, Helicon Focus will display one of the original pictures and the output image side by side for comparison. Furthermore, you can retouch the image, scale it and add text, on the same interface, on separate tabs. The software places various output options at your disposal, from saving to uploading the image to the Internet. You can also generate a 3D model. Because the operation involves using depth of field information, the model will be generated almost instantly.

Pros:
You may create images with an extended depth of field. The focus stacking operation does not involve anything more than loading pictures and clicking a button. The results can be saved, uploaded and you can also generate 3D models.

Cons:
A tripod is highly recommended if you want good results.

Thanks to the smart and straightforward functionality of Helicon Focus, you can create anything from macros to sceneries with a limitless depth of field in just a few moments.

You can download Helicon Focus free here.
About the author: Frederick Barton
Frederick is a software review editor at FindMySoft. From gadgets to software.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter


Helicon Focus Awards
Helicon Focus Editor's Review Rating
Helicon Focus has been reviewed by Frederick Barton on 18 Jun 2014. Based on the user interface, features and complexity, Findmysoft has rated Helicon Focus 5 out of 5 stars, naming it Essential
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