Aligning images in Photoshop

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wally, May 9, 2014.

  1. Wally

    Wally Guest

    I am doing some macro work and focus stacking. Focus stacking is best
    done with a tripod, but sometimes that's not possible. Then I
    handhold, and end up with a set of photos that are not aligned very

    Helicon Focus does focus stacking but does not do a good job of
    aligning the images.

    I know Photoshop does focus stacking, and has an align feature to help
    register the pics in the stack.

    But I don't know PS's capabilities when aligning.

    There are three aspects to aligning images (ignoring local warping):
    - Translating along the x and y axes
    - Rotating
    - Resizing

    Does PS do all of these?

    And can I save the individual pics after aligning? Or are they just
    used internally for focus stacking?

    (I'm not a PS user.)

    Wally, May 9, 2014
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  2. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Thanks for the info.

    I am not a PS user YET. Perhaps it is time to join the rest of the
    photographic world, especially if PS can solve my focus stacking

    No, the camera is not on a tripod. Try taking a picture of a jumping
    spider with the camera on a tripod. So the pics in the stack won't be
    perfectly aligned.

    That's why I'm wondering how well PS can align images that are
    slightly off in position, rotation, and magnification.

    Position, Rotation, Magnification.

    If it can deal with all three of those insults, then I will consider
    going to PS.

    I have MANUALLY corrected position, rotation and magnification using a
    photo app (not PS), and it is very effective in getting good stacking
    results. However, one doesn't want to do this manually more than once.

    Wally, May 9, 2014
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  3. Wally

    Tony Cooper Guest

    While SavageDuck has done a yeoman's job of providing help, with the
    type of questions you're asking, go to a real expert: "Lord Vetinari"
    over in the Digital Grin _Holy Macro_ forum.

    Digital Grin is a site that contains forums on various types of
    photography. The _Holy Macro_ forum is devoted to macro photography.
    You can read the forums by just going to the site, but if you want to
    post you must register. It's free, and there's no spam result.

    There's a tutorial there by "Goldenorfe" on high mag focus stacking.

    But, the Lord Vetinari is the go-to person for questions. Open some
    of his posts and follow the links to his websites and you'll see why I
    recommend him.

    Once you've signed up, you can create posts or send private messages
    to anyone there. Lord V is fantastically cooperative in helping
    people and sharing his techniques.

    As in any forum, it's best to lurk and read for a while before jumping
    in to post. Get an idea of what is going on there first.
    Tony Cooper, May 9, 2014
  4. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Thanks for the tip! I just had a look -- great place, plenty of

    Wally, May 9, 2014
  5. Wally

    Sandman Guest

    And more!

    File -> Scripts -> Load files into stack
    Select your images
    Select all layers created by the stack
    Edit -> Auto-align Layers
    Choose auto

    Edit -> Auto-blend layers
    Choose Stack images

    And then you're done. Each layer will have a layer mask hiding or showing
    parts of the image. You can edit this mask to further finetune your

    It's super easy, and with really good results.
    Sandman, May 9, 2014
  6. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Thanks for this! It sounds like PS is the solution.

    There is also (potentially) a lot of support at as pointed
    out by Tony Cooper. Just a brief tour of that site shows that lots of
    folks are dealing with exactly the same issues as I, namely
    imperfectly registered shots that need to be stacked.

    And reflecting a bit, OBVIOUSLY there will be many in the same
    situation... there is practically no other way to get shots like this.
    I've done macro for years, but not at this level. It is fun and a
    great learning experience.

    Now I've got to learn PS.

    Wally, May 9, 2014
  7. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Give macro a try. It is really a different world. The demands are
    surprising, and one needs to learn different tricks.

    Sandman has answered my question with an affirmative. I don't know PS,
    but suspected it would do all that I asked. See, when I did my own
    manual aligning, the requirements became clear. (Wrote an Excel
    spreadsheet to calculate how to move the corners to get registration.)
    Could the PS engineers be less smart than I? Probably not! -- ergo PS
    should be able to do this.

    But the Helicon engineers turn out to be dumber than I!! (Marvelling
    at that a bit.)

    Wally, May 9, 2014
  8. Wally

    PeterN Guest

    There are lots of good videos on Adobe TV.

    Just register with an Adobe ID, which you get with the trial
    subscription to CC. I think the subscription for Photoshop CC, is still
    $9.95 a month, with some extras thrown in.


    Kelby One has soe neat tutorials, for which they charge an annual fee.

    If you want a less expensive version, that will stil do stacking you can
    poke around and find an older version, such as CS 5 or 6. That will do
    what you want.
    If CS2 will work for you, It used to be available free, from Adobe.

    PeterN, May 9, 2014
  9. Wally

    Guest Guest

    supporting piracy, i see.

    cs2 has been made available for those who already own it.

    it is not intended to be distributed to the masses for free.
    Guest, May 9, 2014
  10. Wally

    PeterN Guest

    Adding one more. Since when is getting a free product from the
    publisher, supporting piracy. You are just looking for arguments, when
    the rest of us are supplying helpful and legal information.

    Back up your statement, or STFU.
    Bettr yet, if, as usual, you have nothing helpful to say, STFU.
    PeterN, May 9, 2014
  11. Wally

    Guest Guest

    there was no need to do that until a certain someone made an ass out of

    i also posted it last time the issue came up.
    Guest, May 10, 2014
  12. Wally

    PeterN Guest

    Few take you seriously. Of course yu contradicted several other things I
    said and typically failed to rprovide any evidence. Just your usual
    PeterN, May 10, 2014
  13. Wally

    Guest Guest

    more lies. all you do is lie and argue. you are so full of shit.

    i didn't contradict anything and i provided the evidence requested.

    once again, you won't admit that you were wrong.
    Guest, May 10, 2014
  14. Wally

    PeterN Guest

    And what about the other points, that you cut out.
    PeterN, May 10, 2014
  15. Wally

    Guest Guest

    he was advocating piracy.

    and it doesn't matter what i said anyway. he would have made an ass out
    of himself no matter what.
    Guest, May 10, 2014
  16. Wally

    Guest Guest

    what about admitting you were wrong about cs2?
    Guest, May 10, 2014
  17. Wally

    Wally Guest

    I don't have Photoshop, and therefore don't have PS documentation. I
    would actually like to avoid PS.
    My hair is already thin and white.

    I have found out that Zerene Stacker does a good job of aligning pics
    in a stack before combining. Problem solved.

    Wally, May 10, 2014
  18. Wally

    PeterN Guest

    PeterN, May 11, 2014
  19. Wally

    Guest Guest

    a complete waste of money, since it won't run on any current hardware.

    the only reason to buy that is if someone has a very old computer and
    didn't buy cs2 when cs2 was current and wants to use that old computer
    with cs2 for some twisted reason.
    Guest, May 11, 2014
  20. Wally

    Guest Guest

    you obviously don't understand what piracy is. selling old versions of
    software is not piracy.

    as usual, you have no idea what you're talking about.
    Guest, May 11, 2014
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