Aligning and Stacking in Affinity Photo

We’ll be going over everything you need to know about aligning and stacking. This powerful feature can help you reduce noise, remove objects, stack exposures, and more.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of auto aligning and stacking in Affinity Photo. We’ll show you some examples of how to create amazing images!

Let’s get started!

What is Stacking in Affinity Photo?

Stacking is a process of combining multiple images into a single image. This is useful for many different purposes, such as reducing noise, removing objects, focus stacking, exposure merging, and other creative effects.

There are two main ways to stack images:

  • Auto-aligning
  • Manual aligning

Auto-aligning is the quickest and easiest way to stack images. Basically, the software automatically aligns the images for you.

Manual aligning is a more precise way of stacking images, but it requires a bit more time and effort.

Uses of Stacking in Affinity Photo

Stacking is handy for many different purposes, such as reducing noise, removing objects, focus stacking, exposure merging, and other creative effects.

  • Reducing noise: When you stack multiple images, the software can average out the noise from each image. This helps to produce a cleaner and clearer final image.

  • Removing objects: If there are any unwanted objects in your image (e.g. dust on the sensor), use stacking to remove them.

  • Focus stacking: This is a common technique handy for macro photographers. By stacking multiple images, you can extend the depth of field and produce a final image with everything in sharp focus.

  • Exposure merging: This is a helpful technique if you want to extend the dynamic range of your image. By stacking multiple images with different exposures, you can create a single image that has a greater range of tones.

  • Other creative effects: There are many other ways that you can use stacking to create unique and interesting images. For example, you could try blending multiple images together to create a composite or double exposure effect.

It’s time to go through these effects one by one. Let’s start with noise reduction.

Noise Reduction by stacking (& More) in Affinity Photo

There are 2 ways to reducing noise:

  • Stacking

  • Using a Denoise filter

Using Stacking to remove noise

To reduce noise via stacking in Affinity Photo, follow these steps:

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Stack.

  • In the dialog box that appears, click Add and Open to choose the desired images for the Stack list.

  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.

  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, and select Mean or Median stack operator.

  • Experiment with both features according to your preference.
Stacking

Helpful Tips:

  1. Use a Tripod to ensure the picture is correctly aligned, or to make sure the camera is in a stable position.

  2. The ISO value you use determines how many photos you’ll need to eliminate noise. The higher the ISO number, the more photographs you’ll require to reduce noise.

  3. When editing handheld images and if a high-speed burst option is available, utilize it for the greatest framing consistency between photos.

  4. To minimize large variations in tone between the frames, try to utilize a fixed white balance.

Denoise Filter

Applying Denoise filters is a simple and fast technique to reduce noise. However, these may sometimes result in an extremely “smooth” appearance that is unappealing.

If you’d like to learn more in detail about denoising, check out our in-depth article over here.

Aligning and Stacking in Affinity Photo: Denoise Filter

Next, let’s take a look at Affinity Photo’s auto-align and stack functionality, which includes object removal.

Object removal in Affinity Photo

Object removal happens frequently in post-production. There are a few ways to get rid of things from images in Affinity Photo.

To remove objects:

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Stack.

  • In the dialog box, click Add and Open to choose the desired images for the Stack list.

  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.


  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, and select Median stack operator.

If you do not manage to remove every unwanted object in a scene, you can use the Inpainting Brush Tool for a more practical approach.

Aligning and Stacking in Affinity Photo: Inpainting brush tool

Let’s examine Affinity Photo’s Focus Stacking capability when aligning photos.

What is Focus stacking in Affinity Photo?

The goal of the depth of field is to maintain a certain amount of focus throughout the scene. In landscape photography, depth of field is commonly handy to ensure that everything in the shot has sharpness.

You can make a greater depth of field in the final image by combining several photographs with varying depths of field.

Aligning and Stacking in Affinity Photo: Focus Stacking

To focus merge in Affinity Photo:

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Focus Merge Stack.

  • Select Add and Open to choose the images you want to add to the Stack list.

  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.

  • Focus Stacking is automatically applied.

  • Then, you can apply any adjustments that you wish to enhance the outlook.

However, it’s important to note that this technique can’t correct an image that’s completely out of focus. If an image is too blurry, the software will simply create a new image that’s also blurry.

It’s also worth mentioning that focus stacking is a destructive process. This means that it will permanently change your original images. So make sure to save a copy of your original images before you begin!

Let’s look at the Exposure merging offered by Affinity Photo when you auto-align and stack photos.

Exposure merging in Affinity Photo

When you merge photographs shot at different times and/or in different exposures, you can increase the dynamic range of your photograph. You may make a single image with a wider variety of tones by combining many images with various exposures.

The results are often more natural and faster. You don’t have to take an HDR picture or tone map it, which saves time and makes the process much more straightforward.

Aligning and Stacking in Affinity Photo: Reduce noise

To exposure merge in Affinity Photo:

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Stack.

  • Click Add and Open to add the images to the Stack list.

  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.

  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, and select Mean or Mid-Range stack operator.

  • Experiment with both the features according to your preference.

Remember that this technique can’t rescue an overexposed image. If an image is too bright, you will end up creating a new image that’s also too bright.

Once again, this is a destructive process so make sure you have a copy of your originals.

Next, let’s check out the other creative effects you can achieve by aligning and stacking images in Affinity Photo.

Other creative effects in Affinity Photo

There are so many different creative effects that you can apply to your photos when stacking images.

Some of the most popular creative effects include long exposure imagery and brightening images.

Long exposure imagery is a technique that’s often used to capture light trails or to create a sense of motion in a photo.

Brightening an image is a technique that is used to make an image appear brighter. This is often done by increasing the exposure or by using a Curves Adjustment layer.

To create a Stack,

  • File Menu > New Stack.

  • Choose Add and Open to select the preferred images.

  • Click OK.

  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, select and experiment with the options Median, Maximum, and Range.

Conclusion

Auto aligning and stacking are extremely useful features in Affinity Photo.

In this blog post, we’ve looked at how they can be used for noise reduction, object removal, focus stacking, exposure merging, and other creative effects.

Thanks for reading & feel free to check out more of our articles!

Similar Posts