Introduction . . .

This is a brand new blog, by a brand new blogger. However, some readers may recognize this blog's title, taken from a series of books of the same name. Unfortunately, time has a way of gradually making printed material all too quickly outdated -- especially these days -- and so, this blog was created partly as an attempt to address that issue.

As we move forward from here on-going efforts will be made to transfer selected content from the Better Microscopy books series into this new format, not only to provide to provide more effective distribution, but also as a means for making timely additions and overdue updates to that material. In addition, much previously unpublished material is now planned to be released, including high-resolution color images.

The current plan is to aim for a content mix that is both interesting and educational -- perhaps even inspiring -- and which will address the needs and interests of a wide range of user levels, from beginner to semi-professional. With more decades of Microscopy experience than I care to admit, I hope I will be able to contribute something to others in terms of both knowledge and enjoyment.

I hope you find something of interest in new undertaking as it takes shape and gain much from its content, now and well into the future!

Just beware of the occasional attempts at humor...

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 9, 2017

3D Image Enhancement made Easy – Part IV.

Combining contrast methods

In prior posts we described a simple method, "Radial-3D Masking," for microscope image enhancement with could produce both contrast enhancement and a perception of "3D" (relief effect).

However, while useful on its own, it is also possible to combine this method with at least one other popular contrast method, namely, "Circular Oblique Lighting", ("COL"). This new method has the potential to not only further improve contrast levels in the COL image, but also to add a 3D effect.

Unfortunately, the results of this combination, in some instances, can become a bit excessive. For this reason we will introduce a more moderate version of the Radial-3d Method, termed here the "Diffuse Half-Mask" ("DHM") method.

This is. basically, little more than half of the Radial-3d Method, using only a single diffusion strip, rather than two. It produces results that are a bit less dramatic than the Radial-3d Method, but which may be better-suited for combining with other optical contrast methods. Details of this method, as well as the original Radial-3d Method are shown below:

Examples of just how simple and effective these "combo" contrast methods can be are depicted in the photo set immediately below.

The image set on the left depicts increasing levels of "3D" effect, beginning with 'Brightfield' (no 3d enhancement), then 'DHM' (moderate 3D enhancement) and, finally, 'Radial-3D' (full 3D enhancement).

The image set on the right depicts the same series, but now in combination with COL.

Click anywhere on the above image for larger versions. 

In general, these methods appear to be most effective when applied to subjects which exhibit fine structural detail. Still, they may also be useful with less demanding specimens, as shown in the next photo set:  

Click anywhere on the above image for larger versions. 

Note that when the image contrast is already high (e.g: Phase Contrast) additional contrast enhancement using these methods is likely to be rather limited, if at all. 

In any case, thoughtful experimentation is highly recommended! 

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