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Cute baby hippo, gifted by my girlfriend a while back. We’re both wildlife enthusiasts, so I’m often imagining it wandering across my desk.
It’s also the smallest complete model I ever scanned (56mm in length), which posed some interesting challenges. I started by shooting 10s exposures in a dim-lit room for diffuse lighting, at 275mm focal length for minimal lens barreling, with my compact camera. To get the most out of my capture, for each input frame, I averaged 3 consecutive shots to reduce sensor noise, and stacked 2-3 focus planes to extend the shallow DoF. That’s about 400 carefully aligned and blended images contributing towards only 50 inputs. I also masked the inputs for added performance.
RC’s alignment wasn’t great at first, but after tinkering with preselector features/distortion model settings, and applying smoothing/noise-reduction to clean up the mesh around the eyes and skin, I’m quite happy with the result.
Quite the workflow for such a small toy…