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Free Star Trail Stacking Script (removes gaps): http://www.artinnaturephotography.com/content.php?page=startrailstacker
Free Star Trail Tutorial: http://www.artinnaturephotography.com/gallery.php?gallery=twilightarticle

Although it's been quite some time since I personally have made an image of star trails, it seems to have gained a lot of popularity recently. A while back I wrote a free tutorial, which has been the go-to reference for a lot of people. I thought it was time to share it again. I also put together a free photoshop script to stack star trail images from multiple exposures using my gap removing algorithm (discussed in my tutorial).

Please share with anyone you think might find this helpful!
#startrails #nightphotography
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26 comments
 
Although I haven't tried star trails in digital yet (one of the few areas where film was much simpler: no battery or noise problems), I have greatly enjoyed your great images and tutorial. Thanks for making available the script.
 
Thanks +QT Luong- yes, there's a lot more to deal with when doing star trails digitally! The control you ultimately get though is very liberating.
 
great tutorial +Floris van Breugel - I've been recommending this one to lots of interested night photographers the past few years.
 
Wow, incredible. Thanks for the link to your tutorial as well.
 
Just a heads up. +Floris van Breugel you need to change your file extension to .tiff (with 2 ff's) to make this script work. (at least on y mac)
 
Thanks +Olivier Du Tré - for now try just renaming your files to .tif, as that's what worked on my Mac. But, I will try to figure out how to let it search for more types of extensions so that won't be an issue in the future. Thanks for the feedback!
 
Yeah I just changed the code. Hope that's ok. Testing it now. :) thank you for sharing your stuff man. Appreciate that. 
 
+Olivier Du Tré yes that works just as well! I should probably fix that as others may not be brave enough to actually read the code (though it's not that complicated).
 
Absolutely stunning! (You have obviously found the center of the universe... ;-)
 
This is great, but is there any way to stack many large images? I run out of memory (16 gigs worth) fairly quickly.
 
I can get around 20 16mp images into the stack before getting an out of memory error. Wondering if there's a way to do it more efficiently. I just tested and loaded about 100 images into photoshop as layers without issue from bridge. Your method works great, but having to do it by hand at the moment is painful :) But it really is a world above the other stacking methods which leaves gaps from the spots where the stars have not completely traveled in frame.
 
+Rob Mosher - Thanks for the additional details. I think a slightly different approach that flattens the image every iteration would consume less memory. That is how I had initially written the script, but some people wanted access to the layers after the fact so I changed it. I'll put up the flatten-as-you-go script later tonight and hopefully that helps.
 
Awesome, can't wait to give that a try. I did just notice I had some memory settings bad in photoshop as well, so giving it another go now. Up to about 50 layers and running.
 
Just worked ok after fixing the memory settings in PS. Thanks for the great script. It's great not having gaps from the other processing method.
 
Great to hear that it's working for you now! In that case I'll leave the scripts as they are. If you have any other trouble, let me know!
 
Thanks for sharing this great shot, and of course the link you provided.
Great work +Floris van Breugel !

BTW Nice Dutch name you've got there ;-)
 
Your work is stunning +Floris van Breugel!!! I've bookmarked your website and I look forward to following your work!!!
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