We are always tinkering with our products here at StarCircleAcademy to make them faster, more powerful, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We have overhauled the StarCircleAcademy Advanced Stacking Action. Here are some of the things we did:
- Split the features into clearly identifiable sets of operations.
- Added automation for the “Bump Up” and “Pump Up” star effects (the Pump up technique has been discussed in the NP150d webinar and is also called the Dust-Subtract StarMask).
- Added the ability to resize, watermark and save both individual files and intermediate files used for creating a timelapse
- Included custom resizing and watermarking of your images – individually or in batches.
- Fixed a bug here and there:
- Some operations didn’t preserve the ProPhoto color space – they now do.
- The All-in-One darken operation was confusing people so the effect has been scaled back by default.
- Fixed a problem that prevented proper operation on PS CS3
- Created a Starter Set (TEST Stacker) that behaves much like Advanced Stacker+ so you can try before you buy.
- Expanded the instructions, added more help in the actions, and included troubleshooting to help with errors you may create using the customization features.
While actions are not the most powerful method for performing operations, they are by far the most portable and the easiest to install and get running. Simply download, unzip and click (or drag and drop) to install.
How do you find, buy and install the StarCircleAcademy stacking action? Watch above and find out.
If you already have it installed, move on to general usage instructions here.
Take a look here for more advanced operation, including using Intermediates and customizing the output.
There is awesome incredible power in this itty-bitty living space. The first thing that is obviously different is that the Stacking Action has been segregated into four Action sets:
- StarCircleAcademy Stacker Advanced
- StarCircleAcademy All in One
- StarCircleStacker Customizations
- StarCircleAcademy Primitives
The features found in the Advanced Stacker are visible in the “Stacker Advanced” and “All in One” sets.
The Primitives are the basic building blocks of the family of operations and should not be used directly.
The Customization set is for you to adjust how you want the actions to behave. You can create your own watermark, align the watermark how you like (upper left, bottom right, middle, etc.), custom crop or resize your image(s) and pick what kind of file to save when a file is written. Choices are as easy as clicking!
Two methods of brightening stars have been added to the Advanced Stacker+ Those methods are the Bump Up technique and the Punch Up technique (which I sometimes call the Pump Up). The Bump Up has been well described here in the BLOG, while the Pump Up is an action to implement a method I’ve taught in the Night Photography 150 Photo Manipulation Webinars. The Pump Up technique can be automatically applied to each frame of a timelapse or applied to any single image with a click. You can see how much the stars have been enhanced from the original image above – there is such a thing as too much!
A Batch Resize and Watermark operation has also been added. You can use the action as a batch command or on a single file. Your file is loaded, custom sizing, and watermark are applied and file the is saved using your pre-chosen file type and quality. And there are some simple operations you can quickly apply like resize to 1000 pixels high, or HD format.
If you purchased the Advanced Stacking Action, or the Bundle including the Advanced Stacking Action, you can upgrade to Advanced Stacker+ for free, we’ll send it to our registered users. If you don’t already have one of our stacking actions here is a helpful hint: watch the video above!
- August, 2013: Version 13B Numerous little bug fixes, plus we added an (undocumented as yet) feature to load watermarks. Very useful for preparing files for web or social media.
More to Come
We have not run out of ideas, but it takes a bit of work to create and test all of the actions and combinations on all the possible Photoshop versions we support – not to mention documenting and providing clear examples. Just know that we have some spectacular plans ahead as well. With the core operations in Advanced Stacker+ you’ll have the building blocks for even more advanced tools.
And Yet More
We’ll also be inviting owners to free Usage Clinic webinars from time to time where we’ll help you work through using the Advanced Stacker+. Express your interest on our Subscription page by selecting “Usage Clinic”. NOTE: You must already be subscribed to see the Usage Clinic option.