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P: Auto Align Layers slightly misalinged

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2023 Jan 10, 2023

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I have posted about this previously, but perhaps someone has new sugestions.

 

I am shooting mutiple exposures of the same fixed image. The images have been taken on a Canon 5D Mk IV on a sturdy tripod with a remote shutter release at the same aperture. I use BBF to reduce any in camera movement. 

 

Because I want to blend those images, I need to ensure the frames or layers are all 100% aligned.

 

As I shoot and edit a lot of images, I like to speed up my worklow as much as possible by creating preset 'actions', and Auto Align Layers is one of my 'actions'.

 

Before I apply this preset, and when I zoom in on the 3 layers, all 3 appear aligned. However, when applying >Auto-Align Layers>Auto this misalignes the layers (see attached images).

 

'Nudging' as as been suggested before is time consuming.

 

All suggestionss for a solution welcome.

 

Mac OS Ventura 13.1 PS v.24.1.0 attached images at 400%

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correct answers 1 Pinned Reply

Adobe Employee , Jan 12, 2023 Jan 12, 2023

Thank you, the team will investigate this issue.

 

Cory

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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I work with real state photography and have had some problems with auto-align in photoshop. Photoshop auto-align simply doesn't work as it should and does not align photos correctly.
Someone else has had identical problems?

If so, how did you solve it?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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"Doesn't work correctly" is a vague description. You need to be more specific, and illustrate with screenshots if you can.

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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I said that auto-align does not align photos correctly. Is this vague for you? Do you need an illustration to see waht are photos misaligned?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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Can you please let us know what you mean by it doesn't work as it should. What problem are you having? Also, if you could let us know what version and OS, that would be helpful.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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Yes, I'm sorry, but that is too vague. Don't align completely, or just a little? Do you have enough overlap between frames?

 

Very often this is because the original frames don't have enough solid overlap. You'd be surprised how many try to align images with mostly water and waves, which has no overlap whatsoever. Or clouds, or trees moving. Or parallax error, where foreground and background are shifted between frames.

 

I'm not saying that's it, but we need to rule that out if it isn't.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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I´m using Photoshop 2020 and macOS Catalina.

In real state photography we use several photos to make one final picture, one with ambient light and one or two with flash. The photos are the same, only the light is different. When I try to align the photos with auto-align photoshop does a terrible job as in the image below.Captura de ecrã 2019-12-29, às 23.49.26.png 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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Is this the result, then? Can you also show the two photos?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 29, 2019 Dec 29, 2019

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Photoshop does a very poor job aligning images that have strong straight lines and areas with little detail, like your example. The alignment in Camera Raw and/or Lightroom does a better job.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 30, 2019 Dec 30, 2019

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In my experience the Auto-Align algorithm is very reliable and almost never fails. However, it can sometimes happen that the top layer is offset by a couple of pixels. In that case going to 100% and nudging with the arrow keys will almost always bring them into perfect alignment.

 

Another thing: The fact that you are using auto-align in this way suggests that you are not using a tripod. With a solid tripod, auto-align should not be necessary at all, at most a single-pixel nudge should be enough.

 

But without a tripod, parallax error is almost a certainty, especially in a room interior where you have parts of the image at varying distances. Parallax error happens when the optical center of the lens shifts between exposures, and it takes very little for this to become a factor. This will inevitably throw the algorithm off.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Dec 30, 2019 Dec 30, 2019

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I use a tripod like every real state professional phtographer should do.
I'm a professional photographer, don't come teach me basic stuff.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 30, 2019 Dec 30, 2019

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My. I do seem to offend a lot of people these days.

 

This isn't necessarily for your eyes only. Thousands read these posts. I make it a point to always include generic all-purpose information in my replys for the benefit of all these people. Years ago, I learned a lot by just lurking around these forums and reading. In fact, I still do, even though I've worked professionally as a photographer for over twenty years, and have used Photoshop daily since v 7.0.

 

Secondly, you have a lot of information that I don't. I have absolutely no idea what you do, or for how long you have been doing it. There's nothing in your posts to tell me, and I can't read minds. All I have is a small crop from a random image, I don't even get to see the full frame.

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Explorer ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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Dear friend, no one was offended. I just said what I said so you realize you're not talking to a beginner. I provided all the necessary information for the problem presented, it's a matter of reading carefully.
The question is only for those who use the auto-align tool to align two photos with different lighting. If you are not one of these people do not bother to answer.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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OK, none of us particularly enjoy being talked down to. I get that. Sorry, but I couldn't know.

 

So for the record, I do a lot of interiors, using studio flash units in combination with natural light. I have a lot of practical experience with this, just like you do.

 

That's why I pointed out that while the algorithm itself is reliable, it has a tendency to offset the result by a couple of pixels. I don't know why, but it does. If the shots were taken with a good tripod, it's much better to just nudge them into position, rather than auto-align.

 

Just between you and me, you wouldn't believe some of the image sequences people bring in here, and then complain that auto-align doesn't fix it for them. 99% of those are hand-held shots. And in 99% of these threads, my job is to explain that this has to be executed carefully for a good result. Garbage in, garbage out, and all that.

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Explorer ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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Ok, now you gave me a direct and helpful answer.
The problem is not new but I was curious if other people had the same experience as me.
I was wondering if it was a bug in Photoshop or just a lack of efficiency, but I needed confirmation from others with experience in the same situation.

And yes, I believe a lot of people complain about this situation because they just don't know what they are doing. It is the same in many other things.
I know that automations do not work correctly often, especially when it comes to photography. The auto-align tool could not be an exception.
Thanks.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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I'm sorry but auto align almost NEVER works correctly.  This seems like a prime target for Adobe to tackle with AI.  The fact that Photoshop still can't align 2 or more photos from the same spot hand held is pretty sad.  They seem to have just given up after whenever they wrote their last auto align script 10 years ago.  Can I get a warp to align photos option?  Auto align will help a lot more people than the new "AI change an expression to uncanny valley" features added recently.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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Also, instead of telling people they are taking photos wrong.  Maybe make your PHOTOSHOP product more powerful and capable?  It is very strange that Adobe doesn't just improve autoalign.  I don't want to use a tripod.  Photoshop should be able to pull this off and other companies HAVE pulled this off.  Please fix photoshop.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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I have been using Photoshop for years and this Auto-align feature has always been broken.  I would recommend finding an alternative product as adobe has given up on this and just tells you us we are taking pictures wrong.  Maybe their AI team will eventually get around to fixing core features instead of adding useless bells and whisles nobody asked for.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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This picture represents perfectly how broken auto align is.  Photoshop should be able to get these photos perfectly aligned but just falls flat.  I almost always get the result above.  Stuff like this is where adobe will loose customers.  I think they have already lost the astrophotography crowd due this issue.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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quote

@AdamB82 said:

Also, instead of telling people they are taking photos wrong.  Maybe make your PHOTOSHOP product more powerful and capable?... I don't want to use a tripod.  ... Please fix photoshop.

 

I think you are confusing the experienced professional photographers / Photoshop users on this thread with Adobe employees. Those who have answered thus far are experienced volunteers who do not work for Adobe and can't "fix" anything.

 

I see that you have said basically the same thing six times in 25 minutes. If you want to make a thoughtful post for the Adobe Engineers, you can put in a feature request and tag it as an "Idea".

 

To think that you can take photos with full knowledge that you are doing it incorrectly (i.e., no tripod) and expect software to fix your errors is — I'll just say — asking a lot. This is my opinion only as a volunteer.

 

Jane

 

janee_0-1639425323061.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2023 Jan 10, 2023

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Yes, you're right, and it's a bit annoying. It's often a couple of pixels off, and I've made it a habit to always hit ctrl+1 to check and nudge when needed.

 

Note that the algorithm itself works perfectly. The alignment itself is usually very close to perfect, even subsampling (less than a pixel) when necessary - it's just that it often puts the final resulting layer a few pixels off. Once nudged with the arrow keys, it's dead on.

 

I've been meaning to post a bug report but never got to it.

 

EDIT - I'm not moderator, but maybe someone who is could move this to "Bugs"?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2023 Jan 10, 2023

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Moved to Bugs. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2023 Jan 10, 2023

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I agree that this is an issue. With all the precautions that you're taking, do you need to auto align. I stopped doing that, as often I didn't need to, and the few that were somehow out of alignment could be nudged.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 10, 2023 Jan 10, 2023

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Hi @eddybaby would it be possible for you to share a set of images with the team to look into? 

 

Thank you,

Cory

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 12, 2023 Jan 12, 2023

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Thank you, the team will investigate this issue.

 

Cory

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