Thursday, October 8, 2020

Tamiya M26 Pershing 1/48 making and focus stacking

Continuing with my series of posts about scale models, I built this Tamiya M26 Pershing 1/48 scale model.

Unfortunately, this time I didn't take photos during the process. However, I wanted to explain how I took all these photos.

If you are a good observer you will have noticed that all photos share a common characteristic. They are completely in focus. Normally, when you take a close-up photo like this one, some parts of the tank will be out of focus.

One option to increase the depth-of-field is to take the photo from a little further away and using a long focal distance lens. However, such lenses are usually quite expensive. The trick here is to use focus stacking. Actually, all of these pictures were taken using a very cheap (around $100) Huawei smartphone. I took them using an awesome Android application called OpenCamera.When you open the application touch the symbol with 3 dots. That will open a menu with many interesting features. One of the features I use the most is NR (Noise reduction). 

For focus stacking, you need to choose the feature indicated as "FOCUS{}" on the same menu. Additionally, on the same menu, you can specify how many photos you want to take for each shot (for example, 6 shots for each). Going back to the camera menu you will now see 3 sliders on the left. The lowest one is just for zooming. The other 2 are the interesting ones. One slider will allow you to set the source distance (the closest point that you want in focus ) and the other slider is to set the target distance (the furthest point in the tank that you want to be in focus). When you take a picture, the application will take multiple shots starting from the source distance and increasing the focus distance for each shot until the target distance. It's important that you don't move the smartphone while the application is taking the shots. The best is to put your smartphone on a tripod and use the timer for the first shot. Once you have your shots, you need a software in your PC to compose the final picture. For that, you can choose the open-source tool Combine-ZP, which uses the Pyramid algorithm. If you can afford it, there are also good commercial tools such as Helicon or Zerene.

Some of you may have been wondering why I was using that green clothing for the background of my pictures. Now you now. If you search for "green screen removal with Photoshop" on Google, you will find techniques to remove the green background and substitute it with any picture you want.

In this case, I am using photos from which is a very useful site.

No comments: