Massive depth of field

Michael Bode mb at soft-imaging.com
Fri Oct 29 12:08:32 EST 1999

Let me jump in here, as it concerns our company:

I agree that image montaging has been available probably since people put
the first images on computers. And I don't think, that Gary wanted to claim
that we "invented" this. The question is: what does it do for you.

We at Soft Imaging System have always tried to make things useful for the
user. To manually align two images and then overlap them is no big deal.  To
automatically do that, take care of background fluctuations, equalize the
contrast between the images and provide a smooth transition is a bit more
complex. Add to that stage control and calibration and you end up with a
fairly complex piece of software.

Again, we are not the only company that does this, and synchroscopy probably
has a very good product, but I think the focus of the products is different.
While we place more weight on complete automation, where with a motor stage
one sets up a field of view and the software and computer does the rest
(calculate number of images and overlap, move stage, acquire images, do the
background correction, pattern match them and finally montage them), I
believe the synchroscopy product focusses more on an interactive way of
acquiring the images (at least thay say so in the posting ("...it doesn't
require a motorised stage"), although I don't know the product well enough
to know for sure. Also, we do this for SEM, TEM and Light Microscopy. I
think, Synchroscopy focusses on Light Microscopy.

EFI is similar. We have a live mode and a "stack" mode. In live mode, the
screen shows a live image and a reconstructed image. Every second or so an
image is acquired, evaluated and the focussed parts are transferred to the
reconstructed image, replacing the unfocussed parts there. Within a few
seconds a fully focussed image can thus be acquired. In the "stack" mode, a
set of images is acquired beforehand (with a motorized stage), and then
evaluated afterwards. Of course we get the height map from this and can
display that in 3D, with or without texture, etc.

Finally, MIA and EFI can be combined to achieve, fully automatic, high
resolution 3D images with a standard microscope and a TV camera.

If you want to know more, please check out our web site and look for MIA and


Michael Bode, Ph.D.
Soft Imaging System Corp.
1675 Carr St. # 105N
Lakewood, CO 80215
voice: (888) FIND-SIS
fax:    (303) 234-9271
info at soft-imaging.com

> gary gaugler  wrote:
> > Bad URL
> > What's so unique and revolutionary about this?  Soft-Imaging has had
> > this in their analySIS product for years.  It is called EFI, Extended
> > Focal Imaging.
> >
> > They also have MIA, which is Multiple Image Alignment and makes a
> > large montage image out of many smaller images.
> >
> The correct URL is http://www.syncroscopy.com/syncroscopy/am.asp
> Although there have been products that allowed manual cutting and pasting
> in-focus sections of an image series, Auto-Montage was the first system to
> automatically extract in-focus elements of an image series. Auto-Montage
> also allows you to make 3D measurements based on the depth map data.
> MIA-type systems have indeed been available for years (since well before
> did it).  Montage Explorer is different because the image combination
> happens in real time, and it doesn't require a motorised stage.

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