Auto-Align layers in Photoshop

Auto-Align Layers in photoshop

In this Photoshop Lesson, we’ll learn about ‘Auto-Align Layers command in Photoshop‘. Auto-Align Layers command is available under Edit menu in Photoshop.

My name is Lalit Adhikari and we are at LTY. Let’s begin!



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Auto-Align Layers

The Auto-Align Layers command under Edit menu in Photoshop can automatically align layers based on similar content in different layers, such as corners and edges.

We assign one layer as a reference layer or let Photoshop automatically choose the reference layer. Other layers are aligned to the reference layer so that matching content overlays itself.

Hence, it is used frequently for creating panoramic images.


Tutorial Images


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How to use Auto-Align Layers

To show the use of Auto-Align Layers command, I’ll be creating a panoramic image using the three images mentioned above.

First, I’ll open ‘Image -1’ in photoshop. After that, I’ll place other images, ‘Image – 2’ and ‘Image – 3’ in the same document as different layers.

Images opened and placed in Photoshop document
Images opened and placed in Photoshop Document

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How to Create Panoramic Image in Photoshop

  • Image place after opening ‘Image – 1’ will be placed as Smart Object, we’ll need to Rasterize those layers.
  • To create panoramic image from the above opened images, we have to select all the layers in the layer panel.
All layers selected in layers panel in photoshop
All layers selected
  • Go to Edit > Auto-Align Layers…
Auto-Align Layers dialog box
Auto-Align Layers dialog box

Different options available in Auto-Align Layers dialog box are as follow:

  • Auto: In this method, Photoshop analyzes the source images and applies either a Perspective or Cylindrical layout, depending on which produces a better composite.
  • Perspective: It creates a consistent composition by designating one of the source images (by default, the middle image) as the reference image. The other images are then transformed (repositioned, stretched or skewed, as necessary) so that overlapping content across layers is matched.
  • Cylindrical: It reduces the “bow-tie” distortion that can occur with the Perspective layout by displaying individual images as on an unfolded cylinder. Overlapping content across layers is still matched. The reference image is placed at the center. Best suited for creating wide panoramas.
  • Spherical: It aligns the images with wide fields of view (vertical and horizontal). Designates one of the sources images (the middle image, by default) as the reference image and spherically transforms the other images so that overlapping content is matched.
  • Scene Collage: It aligns layers and matches overlapping content, without changing the shape of the objects in the image (for example, a circle will still be a circle).
  • Reposition Only: It aligns the layers and matches overlapping content but does not transform (stretch or skew) any of the source layers.

Two options for Lens Corrections are also available:

  • Vignette Removal: Compensates for a lens defect that causes the edges, especially the corners, of an image to be darker than the center.
  • Geometric Distortion: Compensates for barrel, pincushion, or fisheye distortion.

  • In this case, Auto value under Projection will give the best result. Though if your images have any of the visible defects then other Projection values could be tested.
  • Click OK
result after auto-align layers in photoshop
Result after Auto-Align Layers in Photoshop

Here, Photoshop has arranged common content and placed images to create a possible panoramic image. We can use the Auto-Blend Layers command in Edit menu. It will blend the layers together and also fill transparent areas with Content-Aware Fill.

  • With all the layers still selected, go to Edit > Auto-Blend Layers
Auto-Blend Layers in Photoshop
Auto-Blend Layers under Edit menu

The following dialog box will open:

Auto-Blend layers dialog box in photoshop
Auto-Blend Layer dialog box

Here, I’ve chosen Blend Method as Panorama and also checked bottom 2 checkboxes. They will blend tones and colors as well as fill transparent areas with Content-Aware Fill.


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Final Result

The final screen after auto-blend layers in photoshop
Screenshot after Auto-Blend Layers in Photoshop
Final output
Final panoramic output

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