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How does "live alignment" option work in Photo?

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I'm using median or average stacks to reduce noise in night and milky way shots, and most of the time they work great.


Anyways, sometimes alignment fails, mostly because the sky is moving, while the landscape is not, and I need to manually tweak image alignment. 


I've tried to enable the "live alignment" option, but didn't understand how to use it to manually realign my shots. 


Thanks in advance for any help.




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Hi gerlos,

Welcome to the forums.


If you want to manually align you images, you can do this once the stack has been created. On the Layers panel, expand the stack, switch to the Move Tool and select one of the images. The bounding box will appear allowing you to move, resize and rotate.

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Stars rotate rather than shift, of course. If you can find Polaris (assuming you're in the Northern hemisphere) in your star map, you could perhaps rotate images about this.


From the help system:



"To move the rotation centre:

  1. Select layer content.
  2. Select the Move Tool, then click Show Rotation Centre on the context toolbar. The centre shows centrally within the selected layer content.
  3. Drag the rotation centre to a new position in the selected layer content or anywhere on the page.

Once you've moved the centre, you can rotate your layer content about it as described above"

Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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Thanks everyone. I did some experiments, and I think that I understand now.


What I found: when I check the "live alignment" option in the "new stack" window, Affinity Photo adds a perspective filter to each image. 

When reviewing alignment, I uncheck all the images but two, and set the blending mode from "Median" to "Range" so i can see the difference of those image. 


I use an image as a reference, and move the others. 


Then, for each image, I first use the Move tool to move the image, so the center of the image "disappears", and then double click on the Perspective Filter to change it, dragging the corners until everything disappears (if they are perfectly aligned, the resulting stack in "Range" mode is almost black). 


Unfortunately, when stacking photos taken with wide angle lenses translations and rotations aren't enough to align images, since lenses could cause several complex distortions. 

But I found that using the Perspective Filter I can almost always get a perfect alignment of the images. Awesome! 




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