By now you’ve probably seen how the Photoshop CS3 beta’s Auto-Align Layers command can snap images together. If not, check out my 90-second overview, or this somewhat more in-depth version from Russell Brown.
The command relies on selecting multiple layers to align, so it’s handy to suck multiple images into Photoshop & stack them up as layers in a PSD file. To accomplish that easily, we created a Load Files Into Stack script, but time didn’t permit it to get into the beta. So, if you’re interested in pulling in multiple files as layers, you can grab the script here (zipped to avoid any server weirdness). Unzip the file and stick it into the "Adobe Photoshop CS3/Presets/Scripts" folder to make it appear under File->Scripts when you launch Photoshop, or just browse to it via File->Scripts->Browse.
To try it yourself, do the following:
- Grab this set of four images and unzip it.
- From within Photoshop, select File->Scripts->Load Files into Stack, then load up the four images.
- Leave the alignment & Smart Object options unchecked, then hit OK.
- Choose Select->All Layers, then choose Edit->Auto-Align Layers.
- Click the Cylindrical option, then hit OK. You should wind up with an image like this.
- So, okay, Photoshop has done a reasonable job aligning and warping the layers, but obvious color and alignment problems remain. To address these, now choose Edit->Auto-Blend Layers. You’ll wind up with an image like this–much more nicely stitched together.
- Notice that the Auto-Blend command still leaves your layers as layers, but they now have layer masks that you can further tweak by hand if you’d like.
The upshot is that the Load Files Into Stack script sets you up nicely for all kinds of alignment & blending tasks, or for any work that requires multiple files to be pulled into a single layered document.
On a marginally related note, a customer on the Labs forum was asking about getting a native version of Photoshop’s JPEG 2000 plug-in, which isn’t installed by default. So, here you go (Mac and Windows bundled into one ZIP, since they’re small).