CombineZP News

For terms and conditions of use, and the latest Package Download see the Installation page in the Help files, this package contains all of the files listed further down this page.

The Files available are listed Here


6th of June 2010

A problem has been reported by some people with some sizes of picture.   This causes unuseable output from any macro that uses the DFT routines.   The output usually has a broad dark streak (or streaks) across the middle.  If you suffer from this problem this update is for you.   Both the Package and CombineZP.exe have been updated, and a different version of the fftw3.dll provided.


12th of February 2010

Unfortunately I have found a bug in the alignment routine in the last two releases so have had to release another version to fix this problem.


10th of February 2010

A minor update this time, a bug has come to light which only affects a few people.   A certain combination of graphics hardware/software and type of picture can cause an error message to appear in the Progress box, and odd behaviour when magnifying and drawing on the Picture.   This bug should now be fixed but as I cannot fully simulate the conditions necessary I would be greatful for any confirmation.


7th of February 2010

There were several problems with the previous update, especially on 64 bit systems.   I have therefore decided to roll back to a previous version of the program that seems to have less problems.

This is not a re release of the same program two things have been improved.   First the alignment functions should work faster.   Second some shadow/ghosting artifacts which show up when using the Pyramid methods have been removed/reduced.


6th of January 2010

This update includes the following bug fixes and enhancements:-

You may have noticed some ghost artifacts in Pyramid Max stacked outputs from recent versions of CZP, this has now been fixed.

A problem with saving files from within a macro when the path contained a '.' in a folder name has been fixed.

Crashing with a CPU usage of 3 has been fixed.

You can now set Points at a number of fixed locations, e.g. point anywhere in a frame and press 1, then press the 'Point 1' button on the dialog that appears and the various options for P1 will be displayed.

Crashing after freeing DFT memory has been fixed, and a better way of storing DFT wisdom files have been included.   You can now set a DFT flag on the Options dialog that lets you choose how thorough you want the routines to be when finding an optimum filter configuration.   This is only done once for each combination of CPU usage and DFT flag setting.   Warning all settings but 0 and 64 will take a long time to finish and so are only worth while if you intend to process a lot of stacks at one size.   0 is fast to set up but is slowest to filter, 64 is a good compromize.   Only use the values recommended on the dialog.

This release marks the first with some 'speed up' machine code routines.   Some are always on but others you need to switch on on the Options dialog.   The latter routines use some instructions (SSE2) that are only available on most Intel Pentium 3 CPUs and later, and on recent CPUs made by other manufacturers.   Your operating system needs to be able to cope with the new instructions too, that is why I have left them as an option for you to switch on yourself.   Try turning it on and running a stack using Pyramid Maximum Contrast if there is no crash you are OK to leave it turned on, and can reap tjhe benifits of greater speed.   I will gradually convert one routine at a time.   So far most of the Automatic Alignment (without rotation) have been converted along with most of Pyramid Max.


10th of December 2009

A small update to fix a bug that causes blank frames to be created from 'out' which were put there by the DFT routines.   The .msi file and CombineZP.exe only have been updated.


5th of December 2009

This update contains a fix for the 'Save and Edit' problem as discussed in the News Group (I have not yet added the ability to include the active frame's path on the other Commands command lines yet).

Pressing 'F3' now brings up an improved go to frame dialog, you can now alter the order of frames in the stack and rename them.

There has also been some reorganization of the Frame menu, and several new functions have been added here.   Thesae new functions are to enable pixel and colour mapping.   Basically this involves creating a new frame a 'Map' the colours in this map can be used to modify another frame.   I have added some new key strokes to simplify using maps too,   The mapping functions macro commands have not been fully implimented yet so these functions are manual use only for the time being (and may still have a few bugs, or be changed slightly).   Here is a brief step by step example if you would like to give it a try.

1. Load a frame, choose a smallish one to experiment with, these functions have not been optimized yet so are still a little slow

2. Frame->New->Horizontal Gradient, followed by OK

3. Frame->New->Vertical Gradient, click the 'Invert' button then OK

4. Frame->New->Blank Frame, click the 'White' button

5. Move back down the stack two steps to the Horizontal Gradient, press the 'control' key and '.' together

6. Move back down the stack to your frame

7. Frame->Pixel Mapping->Rectangular, press the 'Preview' button

Your original picture should be turned upside down.   Try altering some of the settings on the mapping dialog and see what heppens, press 'Finalize' when you have finished.

Steps 2 to 5 build the Map.   Step 7 applies the Map using one of the four mapping functions.

As you will have noticed a Map is coloured, the three colour components of the Map, R G and B, are used to store information.   R (Red) stores the X coordinate in the original picture where you want a pixel copied from, black is the left and white is the right.   Thus the smoothe Horizontal gradient which we created above maps pixels into their original X (Horizontal) positions.

Remember that we inverted the Vertical gradient above, you may have guessed that this is what caused the picture to turn upside down, the Y or Vertical values have been flipped.

The White frame above controls how 'strongly' the X and Y values are applied, white is full strength, mid grey is not at all and black is full strength in the oposite direction.

When using the Rectangular mapping functions the R component of a map controls the X coordinate, G controls the Y value and B controls 'strength'.   There are also two Polar mapping functions, when using these R controls Radius and G Angle again B is strength.   Both Rectangular and Polar functions have an Absolute and a Relative version.   We have used the Absolute Rectangular version above the values of X and Y were the actual values used.   The Relative functions compute their X and Y coordinates by adding the values in the Map to the value that would cause no change.

As another example try this

1. Load a frame, choose one with someons face in the middle

2. Frame->New->Radial Gradient, OK

3. Frame->New->Blank Frame, click the Mid Grey button

4. Frame->New->Blank Frame, set the numbers to 200, 200, 200

5. Move back down the stack two steps to the Radial Gradient, press the 'control' key and '.' together

6. Move back down the stack to your frame

7. Frame->Pixel Mapping->Polar Incramental, press the 'Preview' button, 'Finalize' when finished

This Map takes pixels from the original frame but alters their distance from the centre from what they would normally be by adding the R component to their Radial coordinate.   In polar coordinates the radius is the distance from the centre.

You need not rebuild the whole map to alter the 'strength' value, just alter it's blue component as follows

1. Go to the Map frame

2. Frame->Colour->RGB Levels, alter the Blue value, Preview if you like, Finish

3. Press 'R' to replace the old Map with this modified one

4. Frame->Pixel Mapping->Polar Incramental, press the 'Preview' button

As you will notice above I have added two new key strokes, 'R' replaces the active frame with what ever is visible.   '.' styill sets the active frame (A1) if it is visible to active frame 2 (A2), if A1 is not visivble i.e. out or the picture is on the screen, a new frame is created from this which is made A1 and A2.

The other new key stroke is 'control' + '.' it invokes a whole series of actions, first you must go to the first of three frames that you want to make into a map.   Press this key combination and a new frame is made which is a combination of the three going up the stack from A1.   This new frame is then made A1 and A2.   When using Mapping functions A2 should be the frame that contains the Map.

There is one other function which maps Colour Shift, Brightness and Saturation.   Try the following

1. Load a frame

2. Frame->New->Blank Frame, Mid Grey (No colour Shift)

3. Frame->New->Radial Gradient, Invert, OK (get darker towards the edges)

4. Frame->New->Radial Gradient, Invert, OK (get greyer towards the edges, like your night vision)

5. Move back down the stack two steps to the grey frame, press 'control' + '.'

6. Move back down the stack to your frame

7. Frame->Colour->Modify with Map

For more advanced usage of any of the mapping functions you need not stick to the built in New Frame functions.   Try this create a blank frame, edit it in an external editor e.g. add a shape or text etc. reload it into CZP soften the edges with a Low Pass Filter.   Make sure you have three building blocks, create and use a Map.   I have used this to correct a photo when I had my finger near the flash gun i.e. to remove a shadow.


16th of October 2009

An updated version of CZBatch is included in this update along with a new macro command that is only important to anyone who wants to reuse the previous dft input without having to calculate it all over again.   The new macro command is 'Refilter Old Input' and is useful when trying different filters on say the sum of the stack, it saves a lot of computing time.


10th of October 2009

This major update as well as including the usual round of bug fixes and other minor improvements uses multiple threads for many of the major functions, this means that it can take advantage of multicore processors, and multiple processors to run faster.   Retouching of one frame using information from another is now possible.   Scrolling using a mouse wheel is now available.   The automatic alignment functions have been improved.   And the standard macro set has been expanded.

You should have no trouble updating to this new version if you uninstall the old one and download and reinstall the CombineZP.msi file.   If you prefer to download CombineZP.exe you may need to download fftw3.dll which is now a multithreaded version.   I still have some work to do to bring the help files completely up to date, and the .zip file containing the source code still needs updating.


6th of April 2009

I hope that this release will fix some problems with colour spaces which were due to incorrect information being copied into the header of saved files.   There is also an optiuon on the Options dialog that can be used to turn off the copying of all information from the first frame loaded to output images.   I have fixed a bug that prevented the Title Line displaying properly when designing a High Pass Filter.   The updated 3d Macro Sets whith corrected RG macro have now been included in the installation package.


28th of March 2009

I have discovered a problem with the RG 3d Macros in the four 3d macro sets, these are used to create Red/Green Anaglyphs for viewing with 3d spectacles.   I have posted corrected sets to the Files page linked above.   The package will contain the erronious versions until it is next updated.   Therefore if you wish to use RG 3d you will need to download these sets and place them in the CZP folder, even if you have done a fresh download and install of the Package.   Apologies for any inconvenience caused.   For a brief instruction on how to use this macro see the CZ Yahoo group post announsing this fix.


22nd of March 2009

Two features added that use the Windows Clip Board to enable text from within the program to be copied into your documents, emails etc.   A 'Select All' button has been added to the Progress Box so you can copy it's contents more easily.   A new menu item has been added to the Edit submenu of the Macro menu, 'Copy Macro Set to Clipboard' this will copy the entire set, Macros, External Commands and Parameters to the Clip Board for pasting later.   There is no facility for pasting sets into CZP, place a copy of the appropriate set in the installation folder.

The 'Automatic (Shift+Rotate+Scale)' function has had an incramental improvement, this is not a substitute for the other alignment functions but helps in some difficult cases that need rotation.   Note the alignment function names have been changed on the Stack menu.

I have fixed a bug that prevented 'Do Stack' from working properly after using the Skew function.   The Skew function has now got two parameters and can skew the stack horizontally and vertically.   I use this to compensate for my microscopes gradual shifting when being focussed.

The Help files still need updating to reflect the above changes.   There was a bug which may have prevented the Help from being displayed as a stand alone document, this has now beeen fixed, (you may have had an insufficient memory message before).

The date in the About Box should now read 22nd of March 2009.


25th of February 2009

A minor update this time to fix a couple of problems I have noticed since the last.   And Here are two new Macro Sets that I forgot to include with the major update. 

I hope that this will be the last major update to CXombineZP for this year, there may be minor ones if there are any bug reports.

There have been updates to the main program, the Batch Processor and some of the macro sets that are available here.   You need only download and replace updated files, but as there are rather a lot of them if you wish to be completely up to date download CombineZP.msi, uninstall the old version and then install this new one

The date in the about box of CZP should now reaad


21st of February 2009

Recent enhancements include the following

1.   EXIF data is copied from the first frame loaded and included in saved files, provided their format will allow.

2.   You can now add a Scale Line to a frame.

3.   The Take Picture Dialog will reappear where you left it.

4.   The camera interface has been enhanced so that settings can be saved, the manufacturers dialog accessed, the resolution of still and preview images can be indipendantly adjusted.

5.   Movie clips can be captured and the frames loaded directly as the stack.

6.   A new Automatic alignment function that allows Shifting, Rotating and Scaling of frames is included.

7.   A Grid can be displayed on top of the image to assist with drawing and counting etc.

8.   An editor program can be started and a frame passed to it with a single key press or menu item.   The default editor is IrfanView.  This allows for adding text, copyright etc. arrows, lines and boxes and circles, touching up using a clone tool etc. etc.

9.   There are more option buttons on the Batch dialog.

10.   The last directory used on the Batch Dialog will be redisplayed the next time it is used.

11.   A Scroll Bar has been included next to the file type dropdown list on the Batch dioalog.

12.   Several Macro Sets have been improved.

13.   A new Macro Set is included which is the same as the Standard set but with no sharpening or contrast enhancement.   Several people have sed that CZP overdoes these operations.

14.   There have been improvements to the Add, Blend and Brightness functions.

15.   The Shift Rotate Move function is available as a Macro Command, so you can do special effects in movie clips.

16.   The internal timer now has ms resolution instead of second.

17.   There is now an Empty Stack File menu item for retaking movie clips, stills etc.

18.   A new Correct Brightness function allows you to specify a neutral (grey) background thus correcting for colour temperature etc.

19.   Save Debug Information now works properly.

20.   Several minor cosmetic improvements have been made.

21.   The Help system has been updated to include information on the above.   Unfortunately Help may not be displayed once a stack has been loaded, this is a Windows bug.   The solution is to display it before any stack is loaded, only untick the option on the options dialog if you are sure you will not want to access help from within the program.