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Stacking images

346 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2012 7:14 PM by Kirby Krieger RSS
HJKeats Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 12, 2012 4:37 AM

Does Aperture 3.4 have the capability to stack multiple images? For instance to take a number of images with long exposures and at long intervals and then combine them all into a single image, such as those images we see of the moon progressing across the sky. If Aperture does not is there a plugin for Aperture that can achieve the same result.


Thanks in advance for all helpful replies.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,700 points)
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    Dec 12, 2012 4:45 AM (in response to HJKeats)

    "Stacking" images means something differently in Aperture. Aperture has stacks, but a stack of images is a set of image versions collapsed and hidden behind a single thumbnail, to make browsing and tagging easier.

    What you want to do is image compositing, and that is something that Aperture does not support at all. Aperture provides no tools to combine elements from different images into one single image or to layer images. I'd recommend to use Adobe Photoshop or elements, pixelmator, or the free Gimp as an external editor to do compositing.




  • jfa643 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 12, 2012 7:56 AM (in response to HJKeats)

    Try StarStax ( It is freeware and does the job.



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,700 points)
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    Dec 12, 2012 8:03 AM (in response to HJKeats)

    See GIMP supported image formats


    To use GIMP, you will have to export the images as tiff or PSD file, but that is, what Aperture will send to an external editor anyway,

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,700 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 12, 2012 9:42 AM (in response to jfa643)

    Thanks for the link, jfa643.  That looks like a great program.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,590 points)
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    Dec 12, 2012 7:14 PM (in response to HJKeats)

    Here's what I do for focus-stacking, HRD, and other multiple-exposures-to-one-final-image processes.  Modify to suit  .


    • Import files into Aperture.
    • Stack them.
    • Assign a color label I don't use for anything else (this alerts me to what they are, and keeps me from mistakenly using or deleting them).
    • White balance and any other adjustments that should be done at this point (un-correct the exposure, if I forgot to lock it in the field).
    • Select all and export to a Finder folder (I have folders already in place for panoramas.
    • Use another program to combine the exported files and create the new one.
    • Import the new one into the same Project in Aperture.
    • Drag it into the Stack (the Aperture Stack -- what Léonie mentioned), and make it the Stack Pick.  Collapse the Stack.
    • Delete all the files in the Finder folder.
    • Prepare the new Image for publication.


    It's more roundabout than one might want, but it works well (imho).


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