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Feature request: auto align night sky photos

Community Beginner ,
Mar 19, 2024 Mar 19, 2024

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The auto align tool in photoshop is great, except when trying to align two photos of the night sky with stars. It does not seem to be able to handle it at all. I'm not talking about drastically different scenes. Take a shot of the night sky above the horizon. Take a second picture say 10 seconds later same camera same lens same exposure time. They are different because of the rotation of the earth, and they will not auto align.

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3 Comments
Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2024 Mar 21, 2024

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Auto align layers is hit and miss, I try and use it to align two photos of a painting shot on a unmoving tripod with two slightly different lighting setups, it's maybe a few pixels off start off with. Sometimes it works perfectly, sometimes it un-aligns them by 100 pixels and makes it way way worse.

 

I have found the best way to align is to (also you can use smart-objects) is to put the top layer on difference mode, then transform it using distort and line up corner by corner until the entire image is black.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 21, 2024 Mar 21, 2024

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You may want to use a dedicated astronomy app instead.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2024 Mar 21, 2024

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quote

Take a shot of the night sky above the horizon. Take a second picture say 10 seconds later (...) They are different because of the rotation of the earth


By @Chris36186656ku1v


To be clear: there is no horizon and the stars are not in the same position? So you want one frame to move/rotate to align only the stars?

 

It would probably require a different pattern recognition algorithm. Auto-align has never worked well, or indeed worked at all, with starry skies, it seems to be treated simply as noise (which it technically is). Maybe it's deliberately written that way to avoid being thrown off by high ISO noise.

 

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