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Lining up eyes to same frame position in series of photos.

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This is my first post  so I hope I do it correctly and you don't mind me posting in your forum.

During 2014 I would like to create 'photo a day' video of myself, similar to this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MPyoAN4FIk. I have no plans to inflict my work on the world via YouTube and the like, it is purely for my own amusement.


My question is a compositional/editing one. I understand how to take the stills and create a video from them using Windows Movie Maker, not the best software but sufficient for my purposes, unless anyone has a more suitable, free, suggestion?

In the link above the young ladies eyes and nose stay at a (mostly) fixed point in the frame, I find this makes for a better video when all the stills are run together. The problem I have, is, when I take stills of myself my nose and eyes are at different positions frame to frame which makes for a rather jumpy end result.

Does anyone have any tips on how to remedy this, is it done when taking the shot, or in editing afterwards?  The shots are taken on a small point and shoot digital camera, as the shots will be taken at various locations etc I wont be able to have a static setup with a tripod and mark on the floor to ensure the same position each time. The method I have tried it just holding the camera out in front of me at arms length and trying to get the same height each time.


Is there a way to easily and quickly edit shots in Paint.NET so that the eyes and nose are at the same position in each frame for a series of photos, I'm not too bothered about  all the frames being the same size or the edges lining up etc.

Apologies for, what I fear is a rather basic question, but if any of you fine folks could point me in the right directions I would be most grateful.



Edited by pg0qzy8298
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Hello pg0... welcome to the forum,

Sounds like an interesting project. The example video looked a bit sad though.
I have taken a series of photos of an oil painting progressing and made them into a short animation with WMM. The main problem I had was the light changing from photo to photo - lining things up was relatively easy (using the edges of the canvas).

I suggest you make your day 1 photo the 'master' and then try to line up all subsequent photos to that. I would think you could make the centres of the eyes 'datum' points, to help you adjust size and position horizontally. It will be difficult getting any fixed reference vertically as lips, jaws - even ends of noses all move with expression and angle of head.

Regarding adjusting the photos - I would simply keep a copy of photo day1 on the bottom layer (possibly with the centres of the eyes marked) - then import your day2 photo onto the layer above and lower the transparency in the layers window whilst resizing/stretching. When happy make the day2 layer opaque again, adjust brightness/contrast and save that layer.

You want to be happy with your day1 photo compostion too.

I would be careful about keeping your original photos safe - so be rigorous about renaming the edited stills and keeping them in a logical file order. Try to be consistent with the camera settings too (keep the same d.p.i and zoom level etc) .
- And save the edited phtots as the .png filetype as repeated editing of jpegs will lower quality. Back up original and edited photo regularly.

Best of luck!


Red ochre Plugin pack.............. Diabolical Drawings ................Real Paintings



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You could use a semi transparent layer to line up the photos with a reference

1. Open the reference photo in paint.net

2. Add a new layer (ctrl+shift+n)

3. Open the layer properties window and set the layer opacity to about 128 (move the slider to the middle)

4. Open the image that needs adjustment, select it and copy (ctrl+a ctrl+c)), go back to the reference image, and paste it on the semi-transparent layer you made (ctrl+v)

5. Move the image around until the eyes and nose match the reference image (rotate with the right mouse button, move and resize with the left).

6. Copy and paste back into the original image. Crop the image as needed and save it.

Let me know if any of that was confusing!

EDIT: Red types at light speed xD best of luck!

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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It's called Image Stacking. If you want to automate the process there is software available. See my post in this thread here for a link.

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Thanks very much for taking the time to help me folks, I am a complete newcomer to image editing so need all the help I can get :-)


The clear instructions and suggestions about keeping files/backups in order are received and understood.  I have downloaded a copy of 'RegiStax 6' as suggested, but having had a play about I can't quite get it to do what I want yet, I'll have to do some research and have a read up on how it works.


I can now line up the facial features using layers in Paint.NET as instructed, but am having a slight issue.  After step 6 (above) pasting the image back in, it doesn't line up with the chequerboard background (is this the canvas?), if I then go and make a video with the image files like this I get a varying white space around the image, depending on how it has been moved to align.  I can crop this checked area out of the image which gets rid of the white space in the image/video, but the way I do it seems to just reset the image back to it's original alignment again, loosing the edited lining up with the 'day 1' master image.  Where am I going wrong with the final cropping?


Thanks again,

Take care


P.S.  I agree the example video wasn't very cheery, the original YouTube example video I would have preferred to post has been made 'private' so I could no longer view it, it was a bit happier though!  The sad one was just the first one I came across that demonstrated the point.  :-)

Edited by pg0qzy8298
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Rather than cropping, try filling all the empty space with black (that seems to be how it was done in the video you gave).

If you crop them individually, you risk changing where the center is relative to the eyes and noses on each image.

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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