This freeware program, developed and continuosly updated by Professor Cypionka (University Oldenburg, cypionka[at]cbm.de) can be downloaded using the link www.picolay.de. Installing this program bears no risk as PICOLAY does not change any system files.

PICOLAY is a very efficient stacking-program which in addition can transform the resulting stacking-images into stereo-images. It is even possible to generate stereo-images from only one single SEM-image! Further morePICOLAY offers many features to improve the quality of the images generated and allows to vary many parameters, so this program is much more flexible than other programs of this kind.

Animated GIF-image of a diatom, generated using PICOLAY
  Animated GIF-image of a radiolarian, generated using PICOLAY

  Radiolarian; stacking image, generated using PICOLAY.
Stereo image, generated using PICOLAY  

The file Picolay (pdf, 50 kB) is one of the help-files of PICOLAY. It may give you an idea of the many options PICOLAY offers.

PICOLAY stores the stacking sequence in an internal list and stores all resulting images in this very list, too. By doing so this list becomes not only longer and longer, but tends to confuse the user after a short time. Novices should not only read the file Hints concerning the file management of PICOLAY (pdf, 10kB), but should try to keep in mind the advices given here. Using PICOLAY will be much easier then.

The file Stereo images of microscopical objects using PICOLAY (pdf, 1.5 MB) deals with the different features offered by PICOLAY to generate stereo images. Regarding all the other routines offered by PICOLAY to further improve the images we refer to the different help-files of the program.

For those who are especially interested in the stereo-images generated by PICOLAY some restrictions should be noted: All stereo-images are based on monocular stacking sequences or single SEM-images, so the stereo-images are "pseudo-stereo-images" and not "genuine stereo-images", which can only be generated by using binocular photography. If the internal sighting-angle of the stereo-routines is restricted to about 2 - 5 degrees this is no drawback and the results are striking, but if you increase this angle to more than 10 degrees this will lead to artefacts at the edges of the images. This inherent weakness does not debase PICOLAY at all, but the user must know this to avoid a too vigorous a handling of PICOLAY.

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