The Macropod imaging system uses automatable technology and the image generation technique of focus stacking (or Z-stacking) to produce 2D imagery and 3D models that are completely in focus, color accurate and high resolution. This combination of software and hardware solutions was designed to capture images of microscopic and macroscopic sized objects without having limitations in depth-of-field, color and resolution that are severe challenges in conventional microscope systems. The results images from this system and process are not only stunning but also more consistent with human perception.
The mechanical process uses a motorized stage that moves the object relative to the camera. Images are automatically captured from back to front with an open aperture to record thin, overlapping focal sections that are used to recreate and show total depth of the targeted specimen. Images are captured using an open aperture because it keeps ISO levels low and exposure time fast, which produces the sharpest possible image of each individual focal plane. The computer process distinguishes sharp from blurry as represented by the image. The blurry areas of each image is discarded and the sharp areas are blended together until the entire image is displayed completely in focus; hence the term, focus stacking.
The Macropod technology allows the operator to recreate a visually striking image that combines the structural detail of a scanning electron microscope (SEM), with the color detail of a microscope, without the need for irreversible specimen preparation techniques. This defines the Macropod a non-destructive technology for all purposes relating to conservation. Furthermore, the technology is still capable of generating images of slides, thin-sections and other materials historically prepared for observation by conventional microscopes.
This system and technology was developed by Macroscopic Solutions, LLC