Can Real-Time Focus Stacking Enhance Long-Distance Wildlife Observation?

In summary, this person wants to build a camera that uses multiple video feeds to remove ground flutter and image across the atmosphere. The bigger problem is that the camera will be moving and every pixel will change, so the video will be blurry.
  • #1
Hi folks, its been a while since I've visited.

I had an idea a few years ago I never pursued and I thought I'd run it past this group simply because not only is it beyond my education to develop but its combining both optical physics and some techniques used in cosmology.

OK so here goes

I want to build a camera that used multiple video feeds, stack the images, remove the dissimilar pixels and replace them with an average of all pixels removed from that location

Call it focus stacking but with multiple frames in real time.

Its sort of like stacking images in astronomy where your looking for anomalous movement in the frames, except this things got to be fast.

What I'm trying to do is remove ground flutter so I can image across the atmosphere and get clear moving pictures.

I know there is a relatively simple program that stacks images and I suppose you'd not even have to average pixels if you could just get them to be translucent, but I don't really know how to reprogram the data stream.

Anyone feel like helping out a little. Could be a cool project and several peeps tell me if I can make it work it might be worth something.

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  • #2
Your post is kind of unclear. From what you are describing you want to do exactly what they do in astronomy but you just want it done in real time built into a camera. This would be fairly simple to do if you had access to the firmware inside of a digital camera so you could reprogram it to do that.

The bigger problem is that it sounds like you want to use it to scan across something (moving the camera). The problem here is as you move the camera every pixel is going to change so you are just going to end up bluring your video. Well, the only case in which every pixel would not change would be if you were perfectly tracking a moving object with the camera, but in this case why do you need to average the background?

I might can give more help if you clarify the following:

"What I'm trying to do is remove ground flutter so I can image across the atmosphere and get clear moving pictures."

What is ground flutter? And what is "image across the atmosphere"? Is that scanning across the horizon?

An example might help.
  • #3
Ground flutter is the heat shimmering effect you get as heat waves rise from the a surface that is warmer or cooler than the surrounding atmosphere.

the camera would be stationary. Although it would be nice to be able to pan and tilt to follow a live target. Although I didn't think the focus stacking function would work on the go either.

what I'm trying to do is view the yellowstone wolves in real time video from great distance. Like a mile or so. With greater clarity than the manual spotting scopes used now. The limiting factor to the spotting scopes is the ground effects, IE that ground flutter blurs the image to the point were its difficult to make out what exactly the animals are doing. It would be fantastic to set up a remote binocular camera base and be able to scan the area without the system on. ( stacking function off ) Then with the target subject spotted, turn the stacking function on and get some nice clear video of what the animals are doing.

By way of explanation I've spent years guiding in Yellowstone, I've watched dozens of dedicated wildlife researchers ruin there eyes looking though a lens for twenty years, day in day out. Typical video camera's just don't have the range. So I thought of using some of the techniques found in the optical physics of astronomy.

a crude explanation of the camera system would be as follows.

two smaller telescopes set together in a frame and calibrated for parallel line of site.
two digital camera's prime focus coupled one each telescope
both video feeds going into my lap top which will run the focus stacking software.

If that basic set up works then I'd move on to include a pan and tilt base as well as maybe a laser range finder and binocular focus. Which might be the more difficult part. Not sure if binocular focus wouldn't be already taken care of with the software program.

I'd use one camera and one scope to "search" for my target, then once found, I am hoping I could turn on the other, engage the focus stacking program, and have my subjects come up real time on a nice big screen. Sit back and enjoy.

Anyway I'm just beginning this journey and any help or advice I can get would be most appreciated, Unfortunately although I have a good conceptual view of what I'd like, I simply don't posses the technical skill to pull this one off.


Related to Can Real-Time Focus Stacking Enhance Long-Distance Wildlife Observation?

1. What is digital video image stacking?

Digital video image stacking is a process of combining multiple frames of a video or series of images to create a final image with improved clarity and reduced noise. It is commonly used in astrophotography and microscopy to enhance the quality of images.

2. How does digital video image stacking work?

Digital video image stacking involves aligning and stacking multiple frames of a video or series of images using specialized software. The software identifies and eliminates any inconsistencies or noise in the images, resulting in a final image with improved quality and clarity.

3. What are the benefits of digital video image stacking?

The main benefit of digital video image stacking is the improvement in image quality. By combining multiple frames, it reduces noise and results in a clearer and more detailed final image. It also allows for the detection of faint or dim objects that may not have been visible in a single frame.

4. What types of images are best for digital video image stacking?

Digital video image stacking is most effective for images with a high signal-to-noise ratio, such as astrophotography and microscopy images. It can also be used for landscape and wildlife photography, but the results may vary depending on the quality of the original images.

5. What are some common software used for digital video image stacking?

Some popular software for digital video image stacking include DeepSkyStacker, RegiStax, and Adobe Photoshop. There are also specialized software for specific types of images, such as Autostakkert for planetary images and Zerene Stacker for macro photography.

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