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Comparative Physiology @ Guelph

Making movies from image stacks in Photoshop CS4

Protocol: Converting Time Lapse Images into Movies Using Photoshop CS4

Load Raw Images

  • Navigate to folder containing time lapse images using Adobe Bridge
  • Highlight all images in series
  • Tools…Photoshop…Load Files into Photoshop Layers…

Adjust LUTs and Sharpen Images

  • Image…Auto Tone
    • NOTE: If adjustment looks incorrect, use Image…Adjustments…Levels, for finer control
    • Filter…Sharpen…Smart Sharpen…
    • Increase the Amount to approx 200%. Increase the radius by increments of 1.0 until there is a good tradeoff between the object of interest and the background noise. Ensure “more accurate” is selected
    • Hide the layer
    • Repeat adjustment steps for remaining layers
      • NOTE: This can be done more efficiently by using actions (see Below)

Align Image Stack

  • Make the last two image layers visible
  • Select the higher layer and in the LAYERS panel, set the opacity to 50%
  • Select the move tool and shift the upper layer so that it aligns with the layer below
    • NOTE: If the image seems to skip to incorrect positions automatically and you want more control go to View … Snap, and ensure it is deselected
    • To ensure alignment is accurate, toggle opacity between 50% and 100%. Once satisfied leave the upper image opaque.
    • Select the next layer above and repeat the alignment process

Crop Image Stack

  • Once all images are aligned, Select …All Layers, and zoom out so that the entire image is visible
  • Using the crop tool select only the region of the stack that is common to all images
    • NOTE: To get a rough idea of where this region is, scroll through the LAYERS panel and plan to remove all of the checkered grey/white regions
    • Hit enter to apply crop

Export Layers to Images

  • File…Scripts…Export Layers to Files…
  • Set a destination folder and an image format (TIFF/JPEG)

Convert Images to Film

  • Using ImageJ, File…Import…Image Sequence, navigate to your exported images
  • Ensure the images are well aligned by moving the horizontal slider back and forth
  • File…Save As…Avi (settings = uncompressed and increase/decrease frame rate as required)