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Misalignment after applying Auto-Align Layers funtion

Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2022 Nov 02, 2022

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Hello Adobe community! The situation is that I have 5 brackets exposure sent from Lightroom to Photoshop. Before working with luminosity masks I need to perfectly align them together to make sure there will be no halos or ghost effects in the final image. So I'm quite limited in working with individual masks as I need to get this smooth transition from brighter exposure to darker and vice versa. But after I apply Auto-Align Layers function I see a misalignment lines across all the image. Please check the attached 300% crop image. This misalignment lines as I call them appears in different parts of different layers (not only one layer). Even though my camera was set on tripod during the whole shoot there is a minimal shift between these 5 images. At the same time lots of YouTube videos tell us that Auto-Align Layers function can be applyed even to a handheld images. I'm a bit confused with this situation. Is there any helpful advice on this point?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2022 Nov 03, 2022

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Auto Align has no guarantee of perfection. Many times its great but sometimes it requires help.

There can be misalignments depending on various issues with the images.

Why are you limited with working with individual masks?

I'd run auto align (what settings are you using? A screenshot would be helpful) and then adjust using the applied masks to resolve any shifts that still exist.

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Explorer ,
Nov 03, 2022 Nov 03, 2022

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I'm afraid I wasn't completely accurate in discription of my problem caused by Auto-Align Layers function. As you can see on the screenshot attached to my original message the photo was somehow damaged by the algorythm and this strange pixel shift line (or boarder) appeared on every layer in different places of the frame. So there is no chance to fix (or adjust) it after Auto-Align function was applyed. Settings for Auto-Align are just Auto with all check-boxes in Lens Correction section unchecked (I've tryed to do vise versa but it gets even worse). Speaking about limitations of using individual masks as I've said before I need to get smooth transition between lighter and darker exposures using luminosity masks. I can't just paint them with regular white/black brush. That's why I need all layers to be perfectly aligned to get rid of halos and ghost effects after applying luminosity masking to each layer. Again my camera was set on a tripod. So it shouldn't be that difficult for Photoshop to make this quite simple alignment. I don't know maybe there is a problem with my specific copy of Photoshop.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2022 Nov 03, 2022

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What version are you running?

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Explorer ,
Nov 04, 2022 Nov 04, 2022

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2022

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Community Expert ,
Nov 04, 2022 Nov 04, 2022

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You had the camera on a tripod, but did you also make sure to eliminate parallax error? I can imagine there would be quite a lot judging from the snip of a screenshot you posted.

 

In your example, the interior matches, but the exterior has moved and is out of alignment.

 

You should use a focusing rail to make sure the optical center of the lens remains in exactly the same position as you rotate the camera. That usually means pulling it back a bit. The optical center is where the diaphragm appears to be when you look into the lens from the front.

camera_manfrotto_3.jpg

If you do this carefully, overlapping frames will be a dead match no matter how much you rotate, and the stitching has a much higher chance of success.

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Explorer ,
Nov 04, 2022 Nov 04, 2022

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I have no need to rotate the camera while making my shots. The only difference between these 5 images is exposure. Again the camera was set on a tripod and fired remotely. So there was no moving, rotating, tilting, etc. Just five shots in braketing mode. If you will look close enough you will notice that exterior part of the building was also damaged after applying Auto-Align Layers function. Below is another 300% crop from another part of the frame.

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Explorer ,
Nov 04, 2022 Nov 04, 2022

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Community Expert ,
Nov 04, 2022 Nov 04, 2022

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Well, yes, sometimes you need to nudge a pixel or two. Just press ctrl+1 and check each layer in turn.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 04, 2022 Nov 04, 2022

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So are you saying the misalignment shown in your screenshots is in the layer pixels itself and not a misalignment between two layers? 

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Explorer ,
Nov 08, 2022 Nov 08, 2022

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Yes, exactly. I guess it more like kind of damaged/skewed pixels rather than a missalighnment since we are talking about only one layer. And yes this problem appears on all layers, not only the top one.

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