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With many layers in Ligthen blend mode, merging them all does not give the same result

Community Beginner ,
Aug 03, 2020

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I took a series of photos every 10 minutes of comet NeoWISE, each shot 13 seconds long with a 50 mm lens. Each RAW image (14 bit, Nikon D850) was read into PS CC (20.0.9) running in Win10, then 14 were stacked as layers, each in Lighten Blend (or Lighter Color) mode which were the only modes that let me keep detail in the comet for each shot. On my screen, the result was close to what I wanted. But when I merged all the layers, the final result was distinctly different (less contrast) than the un-merged view. It seems like the merging process does not replicate what the direct screen view of the layers shows. I tried this in both 16 and 32 bit modes and got the same problem  Any ideas?

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With many layers in Ligthen blend mode, merging them all does not give the same result

Community Beginner ,
Aug 03, 2020

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I took a series of photos every 10 minutes of comet NeoWISE, each shot 13 seconds long with a 50 mm lens. Each RAW image (14 bit, Nikon D850) was read into PS CC (20.0.9) running in Win10, then 14 were stacked as layers, each in Lighten Blend (or Lighter Color) mode which were the only modes that let me keep detail in the comet for each shot. On my screen, the result was close to what I wanted. But when I merged all the layers, the final result was distinctly different (less contrast) than the un-merged view. It seems like the merging process does not replicate what the direct screen view of the layers shows. I tried this in both 16 and 32 bit modes and got the same problem  Any ideas?

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Aug 03, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 03, 2020

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You most likely want to create as smart object layer from your stack of comet shots and then use some stack mode blending option. Look into stack mode blending.

JJMack

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Aug 03, 2020 0
D Fosse LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2020

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The merged result is correct.

 

At zoom ratios other than 100%, you get a misleading preview. It's the "before" view that is incorrect. You must view at 100%. Then you get a correct preview and the two match.

 

For performance reasons adjustment and blending previews are calculated on the basis of the screen image. Zoomed out, that's a resampled and therefore softened and blurred version, so it contains intermediate values that are not there in the original data.

 

In a normal photograph this is not an issue, but with noisy or "binary" images (line art, halftone etc.) it becomes critical. Make it a habit to press ctrl+1 to check at 100%.

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Aug 03, 2020 0