Automatic object alignment pack

175.74$ 123.02$

Do you work with product images and spend much time on aligning every object within the frame manually? Do you still resize the images by adjusting the image size and canvas size manually? This process doesn’t really require that much effort. And with the Auto Alignment action pack devised specifically for mass image production, it’s a piece of cake!

UPDATED May 2020

A free test version is available (LINK)!

Photoshop CC 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 (English version) is required for this product to be used.

Retouching images for online stores can be a really smooth, easy, and fast process. Forget boring object alignment – from now on it will be done automatically. The Automatic object alignment pack includes four action sets that will change your workflow forever.

It's really important that you read the following article and watch the videos, as the actions are tricky to use without understanding how they work. Even after that, but before you consider purchasing the action set, TRY A FREE TEST VERSION (LINK) to see if it works on your particular images. The free test version doesn't let you enter or save parameters, but apart from that, it works exactly the same way.

What's included in the action pack:

  1. ALIGN_TRIM action set will let you align images isolated on a pure white background
  2. ALIGN_ALPHA action set will let you align images that cannot be simply aligned by trimming, like those with a shadow.
  3. ALIGN_360 action set will let you align 360 product images with spinning effect
  4. Isolate_manual action set will let you isolate images quickly and achieve a pure white background with no leftover trash and dots.
  5. Edge_detection action set will let you select objects and align them if you need to keep the original background.

No more manual twiddling with the Image Size or Canvas Size dialogue windows! Set your parameters (like image size, ppi, margins width, object orientation, background extension color), and the scripts will use the numbers you provided to align all your images with no annoying prompts. This and more – just watch the following video to get a better idea of how it all works.

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In product image retouching for online stores, it's really important to align images in a precise and fast manner. Unfortunately, Photoshop doesn't offer us anything to help. You can use the Image Size, Canvas Size, Fit Image commands, you can Crop, you can Transform – all that by yourself, of course. But when you have to retouch a few hundred images in a single working day, and they all have to be aligned the same way, doing it manually is one of the most tedious and boring things you can imagine. Well, not anymore. Forget about manual transformations or tons of clumsy actions. With the system I devised, you can align anything – objects, mannequins, flat lays, on a white background or not – in just a second, and with just a single step in History.

When I have objects isolated on white without a shadow, I want to align them automatically, no matter what their initial proportions are. I want them to fit some specific parameters like the image size, margins, orientation. And I also want to have control over the alignment process so that I can quickly realign any image if I don't like its position in the frame.

When I have objects isolated with a shadow, I want the shadows to stay out of the margins, I don't want them to get in the way of the alignment. And I also want to be able to stick objects to the bottom margin or the top margin if I need to, instead of just centering them all the time.

When I have objects that are not isolated, I want them to be aligned automatically, too, and quickly.

And, of course, I absolutely need to be able to quickly change the desired image size, margins width and the objects orientation within those margins.

Now it's time to learn how is all that possible. Let's start with the first set from the pack, which is called “ALIGN_TRIM”. As the name implies, this set of actions will help you align images by trimming. There's the Trim command in the Image menu, and if you have an object isolated on white, you can trim the background around it away. That's exactly what the script does and the resulting image is aligned using the parameters defined by the user.

To change the parameters, run the first action in the set, which is called “set_parameters”. You'll get a window full of settings that you should change. When you run it for the first time, it will be quite empty. You should change that. Width and height are the aligned image full width and height. Ppi is 72 by default, but you can change that. As for the margins, the next four input fields specify how far the object should be from the image edges, that is, how wide the margins should be. They don't have to be the same width, of course, it's totally up to you. The last thing is the orientation drop-down menu. Use center if you want your objects to be centered, up or down if you want them to stick to the respective margins – either the top or the bottom. Mannequins are often aligned to the top margin, objects like shoes and bags are often aligned to the bottom margin, so it might come in handy. It's not necessary to fill all the input fields, just don't forget the width and height. Margins can stay zero, of course, and if you don't choose something from the orientation menu, the script will just center everything. When you're finished, press Save and all the settings will be saved to a text file on your desktop. Then you can use the Close button or just press Escape to close the window. That's it.

Make sure your image is flat before you run the “Align_via_trim” action, if it's not flat, the action will flatten it anyway. Then it will trim the image and align it on a white background according to the settings you've just specified. The action can be used to align all the isolated objects that don't have a shadow automatically, and if trimming is not appropriate, the user can use a rectangular selection to show how exactly the image should be aligned. Like when you have a mannequin, like this one, with some strings hanging far below. With the default trimming mechanism, it gets aligned so that the strings touch the lower margin. But if we need to emphasize the mannequin instead, we should show the script how to align the image. To do it, undo the alignment first, it's just one step in History anyway. Then use the Marquee Tool to make a rectangular selection of what exactly has to be fit within the margins. Run the action and will do it just the way you need it.

If there's a selection anywhere in the image, the script will use it for alignment, but if there's no selection, the image will be trimmed instead. Make sure the isolation is done well and there's no trash on the background. It doesn't matter if you can see it well or not, but even if there's a tiny dot somewhere, the trimming process will fail. If that happens, undo the alignment, find whatever is out there and erase it, then run the action again. That's it.

Now let's move on to the next set in the pack. It's called ALIGN_ALPHA and alpha means alpha channel. In Photoshop, if you want to save a selection, that's what you're going to use: an alpha channel. In product image retouching this is exactly what lets us align images isolated with a natural shadow. If you wonder why we can't just use the trim-based alignment method – that's why. Because when there's a shadow under the object, you can't trim the shadow away, and it will get in the way of your alignment. If I try to run the trim-based action on this image, you will see that the object is located too high, and its bottom doesn't reach the bottom margin. We can only align this image with the trim-based action if we use a selection instead. But isn't that tedious, making selections manually all the time? Sure it is. That's why there's the alpha-channel based alignment method. Here's how it works.

But before you watch whatever follows, make sure you are acquainted with the isolation methods that I use and especially the isolating actions I use. There's manual isolation and there's automatic isolation, and there's a lot of information on my website about all that. So I'll keep it really short. The idea of alpha channel based alignment is this: when we isolate images on white with a natural shadow, we make a selection of the background, and if you invert that selection, you get a selection of the object. So if we have a selection of the object at some point, why not save it and reuse it later when we need to align it? This is how it works. We select the background around the object we make sure that the shadow is also included in the selection. As we're pushing our objects down to the lower margin, it's important that the lower part of the selection includes all the shadow and doesn't include the object. It doesn't matter how exactly you get this selection, but when you have it, you run the isolating action that modifies the selection to make the edges nice and smooth, it fills the selection with white, and then it saves the selection into an alpha channel. Then you use the History Brush to restore the shadow, and you also retouch the object if it has any flaws. And in the end, when everything's done, it's time to align the object.

The ALIGN_ALPHA set has two actions, and one of them is used to save parameters, just like the trim-based aligning pack. You run the “set_parameters” first, set it all up and press “Save”. Then you run the second action, which is called “Align_via_alpha”. What it does is very simple. It loads the selection from the alpha channel, which has to have a specific name, which is “mch”. It is created by all my isolating actions and you can make one, too, it's just the name you use when you run the Save Selection command. So, if there's an alpha channel called “mch”, the script loads it and uses it to align the image according to the parameters you've specified. That's it.

Now the object is sticking to the margins, while the shadow is out of the margins, which is exactly what we need.

This method allows you to retouch product images really fast because it takes care of the alignment process. You have to select the background to isolate these shoes anyway, so why not use the selection for alignment as well? Replace the background with white solid color, restore the shadow underneath, and run the action. It's as easy as that. Even easier if you use my actions for automatic isolation and shadow restoration, but that's another story.

Just like the Trim-based action, alpha channel based alignment is not possible when there's some trash on the background. If you missed a dot or two, it will be recognized by the script as a part of the object. If that happens, go back in history exactly one step, erase whatever is there. The script will correct the selection automatically and it will align the image properly.

If you need to align an object in a particular way, you can always make a selection and run the same action. It will use the selection instead of the alpha channel. It's especially useful when you want the object to stick out of the margins.

Now let's move on to the last set of actions from the alignment pack. This one is called Edge Detection and there are three actions in the set. They all do exactly the same thing, just a bit differently. What they do is select the object on a relatively consistent background. It's a crude selection, of course, and the only reason why you want such a messy selection is when you need to align the image without isolating it. You can make a selection manually, of course, why bother if you can do it automatically. Just run one of the three actions, I would recommend the High Pass or the Find Edges as they are the fastest. After that, run any of the alignment actions, be it “Align via trim” or “Align via Alpha”, because they handle selections in the same way.

If the object is white but relatively contrasted with the background, it will be selected with no problem at all. However, objects blending with the background won't be selected properly, as there's no magic in Photoshop, just math, and programming. But this is exactly what gives us the opportunity to speed up the workflow. At least when you don't have to waste time on stretching and transforming images to align them.

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I've made a major update of the Automatic Alignment pack to make it even more versatile and useful for everyone. So what's new? When we align objects, no matter if it's trim-based or alpha-channel-based alignment, if there's not enough canvas, it will get extended depending on the image proportions. Before the update, we could only extend the background with white solid color. But what if you need gray or any other color?

Credit goes to Fabio De Martino for the idea as well as the photographs of a spinning shoe I used in the following video:

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This bag is isolated on a light gray solid color, the background is not white. When I run the alignment action, you see how the background gets extended and filled with white. Too bad.

But now you can set the background extension color as one of the parameters. Run the “set parameters” action and enter the three values for all three color channels. This is how we describe color in RGB space. By default, it's set to three times 255, which is white color. I'll change it to 201 to get the same light gray color, the same as the image background.

Save. Now, when I run the alignment action, the extension color matches the original background perfectly.

Any other changes? Sure. Before, all the alignment actions flattened the image. But what if you still need your layers after all? Without flattening, we can align this object on a transparent background while still preserving transparency.

The actions still remove all the alpha-channels. Aligning should be the last step before export, so make sure you've done everything you need beforehand.

However, that's not all. There's a whole new set of alignment actions called ALIGN_360

They can be used to align objects shot on a turntable, from the same angle. The photographs like that can be used to make 360 spinning product images some online stores truly love.

This shoe was shot from the same angle across all the images. However, if you use regular actions to align them separately, the object will jump and it won't be possible to achieve a spinning effect. But with the new pack, it's easy. The ALIGN_360 action set contains three actions.

The first one is called “set_parameters” and you need to set it up exactly the same way you would with any other alignment actions. Image size, margins, orientation, and background extension color. Then you need a benchmark image, the one that will fit the margins. It's usually the first image in a batch. Make a selection around the object and run the “set_selection” action. This will add some data to the settings file on your Desktop. After, and only after that you can run the third action on all the images in the same batch. They will all be aligned exactly like the benchmark image.

The object will sometimes miss the margins, sometimes it will stick out, but it's necessary for the spinning effect.

You don't have to set parameters anymore, as long as you work for the same client, but you need to set the selection on every new item. That's the whole point – you can't just use the object edges to align, you need to align all the images like one. You show the script how you want to align one and it aligns them all.

With the new actions and updates, product image editing becomes even faster!

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A detailed description of the contents:

SET 1: Align_TRIM

Action 1: set_parameters
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you need set parameters for object alignment
Requires to run: the "set_parameters_trim.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory
What it does: a window pops up where you set all parameters necessary to correctly align an object and resize an image: size, ppi, margins width, orientation, background color extension. When you're ready, it saves all the parameters in a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_trim.db)
Output: a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_trim.db)
User intervention: you can enter parameters and save them within the script interface
Possible alteration: none

Action 2: align_via_trim
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you need to align an isolated image of a shadowless object
Requires to run: the "align_trim_sel.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, an isolated RGB image or an image with an active selection, a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_trim.db)
What it does: if there's a selection active, the action resizes the image according to the guidelines. If there's no selection, it trims the image and resizes it according to the guidelines. It also deletes guides, path items, and alpha channels if any exist.
Output: a resized image where guides show the margins
User intervention: you can make a selection with the Rectangular Marquee tool to show the action how to align the image
Possible alteration: you can record and run other actions or commands in the end, like sharpening, saving or closing, etc.

SET 2: Align_ALPHA

As for the alpha-channel based alignment, the idea is explained HERE (LINK).

Unlike trim based, alpha channel based action doesn't trim images at all. It either uses an alpha channel (created during the process of isolation with the isolating action that creates alpha channels), or an active selection created by the user. It allows the alignment of objects that cannot be trimmed (like those with a shadow underneath).

Action 1: set_parameters
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you need set parameters for object alignment
Requires to run: the "set_parameters_alphasel.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory
What it does: a window pops up where you set all parameters necessary to correctly align an object and resize an image: size, ppi, margins width, orientation, background extension color. When you're ready, it saves all the parameters in a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_alphasel.db)
Output: a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_alphasel.db)
User intervention: you can enter parameters and save them within the script interface
Possible alteration: none

Action 2: align_via_aplha
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you need to align an isolated image of an object with a shadow
Requires to run: the "align_alpha_sel.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, an isolated RGB image with an alpha channel or an active selection, a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_alphasel.db)
What it does: if there's an alpha channel, it loads it into a selection. When there's a selection (created from the alpha channel or manually by the user), it is used to resize the image according to the guidelines. It also deletes guides, path items, and alpha channels, if any exist. When there's neither an alpha channel nor a selection, an error message pops up
Output: a resized image where guides show the margins
User intervention: you can make a selection with the Rectangular Marquee Tool to show the action how to align the image
Possible alteration: none

Aligning actions from both sets described above can use selections to align images, which makes alignment of non-isolated images possible, too. But as manual selection-making is time-consuming, objects on a consistent background should better be aligned with another approach. You can use an automatic edge detection action from the next set, which will make a rough selection of the object, facilitating the automatic alignment process.

SET 3: Align_360

Align_360 set is based on the alpha channel based alignment action set, and it can be used to align images for 360 product images — to achieve a "spinning" effect.

Action 1: set_parameters
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you need set parameters for object alignment
Requires to run: the "set_parameters_3d.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory
What it does: a window pops up where you set all parameters necessary to correctly align an object and resize an image: size, ppi, margins width, orientation, background extension color. When you're ready, it saves all the parameters in a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_360.db)
Output: a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_360.db)
User intervention: you can enter parameters and save them within the script interface
Possible alteration: none

Action 2: Set_selection
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you have the first image of the 360 set open, the is object selected (or there's the "mch" alpha channel available in the channels panel), and you want to save the coordinates of the object to align all the other images from the set just like this one
Requires to run: the "save_position_selection.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, an RGB image with an alpha channel or an active selection
What it does: if there's an alpha channel, it loads it into a selection. When there's a selection (created from the alpha channel or manually by the user), its coordinates are saved in a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_360.db)
Output: a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_360.db)
User intervention: none
Possible alteration: none

Action 3: align_360
Type: Script, automatic
When to run: when you need to align an isolated image of an object with a shadow
Requires to run: the "align_3d.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, a text file located on your Desktop (align_settings_360.db)
What it does: it loads data from the special text file on the Desktop (align_settings_360.db) to align currently open image exactly like the image which was used when running the previous, "set_selection" action. Can be used to batch images.
Output: a resized image where guides show the margins
User intervention: none
Possible alteration: none

Aligning actions from all the sets described above can use selections to align images, which makes alignment of non-isolated images possible, too. But as manual selection-making is time-consuming, objects on a consistent background should better be aligned with another approach. You can use an automatic edge detection action from the next set, which will make a rough selection of the object, facilitating the automatic alignment process.

SET 4: Edge detection

All the actions from the set are doing exactly the same thing: they create a rough selection of the object that is later used for cropping or image alignment. The aforementioned selection cannot be and is not supposed to be used for isolation. The principles are described HERE (LINK).

Action: ALL the actions from the set
Type: Action, automatic
When to run: when you need an image of an object on a consistent background and you need a rough selection of the object's edges
Requires to run: RGB image
What it does: the action creates a new layer, applies some filters to make edges more definite, makes the rest of the image pure white, and selects whatever is not white. Then it deletes the layer and leaves you with the original image where the object's edges are selected.
Output: a selection
User intervention: none
Possible alteration: none that I can think of

Despite the fact that all the three actions in the set do exactly the same thing, you might want to try the “find_edges” action first. It's the fastest of the three, while the “smart_blur_edges_detect” is the slowest, but the most sensitive at the same time. You should only use slower actions if the fastest one fails to select your object's edges properly. There's no magic though, so if the background is not consistent, but dirty, you won't be able to get a good selection of the edges no matter which action you use.

SET 5: Manual_isolation

There are two actions that facilitate manual isolation: “Isolate_manual_alpha” and “Isolate_manual_noalpha”. As you can tell from the names, one of them deals with alpha channels, while the other one doesn't. You only need alpha channels in your images if you're going to use alpha channel based alignment, described HERE (LINK).

When you make a selection around the object and run the action, it doesn't just fill the background with white solid color but also creates an alpha channel that can be used to align the image after you've finished retouching it. Handling alpha channels takes time, so if you're not going to use them for alignment, use another action, the one that doesn't handle alpha channels.

All the actions in the set modify selections and fill them with white. That's all they do. It means that prior to using one of the actions from the set, you're supposed to select the background first. Why we need to modify selections, how we can do it, and how to use isolating actions to isolate hundreds of images is thoroughly explained in the respective chapter of the course HERE (LINK).

Pay attention to the fact that any selection modification will most probably damage the texture of fine hairs, fur, feathers, and things like that.

Action 1: Isolate_manual_alpha
Type: Script-based action
When to run: when you have selected the background with the Magic Wand in the image in need of isolation
Requires to run: the "isolate_manual_selmask_adaptive.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, a HIGH-RES image with an active selection of the background
What it does: it modifies the selection to make it smoother and to include small trash on the background left out of the initial selection. Then it saves the selection into an alpha channel and fills the background with white
Output: an image where the originally selected background is filled with white, plus an alpha channel
User intervention: the selection created by the user matters. Too much trash omitted, and the action will not be able to include it all
Possible alteration: none. I've described how to record an isolating action in the course, so if you want to twiddle with the settings, you should make your own actions. The scripts are encoded and cannot be modified.

Action 2: Isolate_manual_noalpha
Type: Script-based action
When to run: when you have selected the background with the Magic Wand in the image in need of isolation
Requires to run: the "isolate_manual_selmask_noalpha_adaptive.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, a HIGH-RES image with an active selection of the background
What it does: it modifies the selection to make it smoother and to include small trash on the background left out of the initial selection. Then it fills the background with white
Output: an image where the originally selected background is filled with white
User intervention: the selection created by the user matters. Too much trash omitted, and the action will not be able to include it all
Possible alteration: none. I've described how to record an isolating action in the course, so if you want to twiddle with the setting, you should make your own actions. The scripts are encoded and cannot be modified.

Action 3: Isolate_manual_alpha_nofill
Type: Script-based action
When to run: when you have selected the background with the Magic Wand in the image in need of isolation
Requires to run: the "isolate_manual_selmask_nofill.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, a HIGH-RES image with an active selection of the background
What it does: it modifies the selection to make it smoother and to include small trash on the background left out of the initial selection. Then it saves the selection into an alpha channel.
Output: an image where the originally selected background is still selected and modified as well, plus an alpha channel
User intervention: the selection created by the user matters. Too much trash omitted, and the action will not be able to include it all
Possible alteration: you can record new steps in the end of the same action to do exactly what you need, like invert the selection and copy the object to another layer, or fill the background with some specific color (not white), or any other things.

Action 4: Isolate_manual_noalpha_nofill
Type: Script-based action
When to run: when you have selected the background with the Magic Wand in the image in need of isolation
Requires to run: the "isolate_manual_selmask_noalpha_nofill.jsxbin" script present in the Scripts folder of the Photoshop directory, a HIGH-RES image with an active selection of the background
What it does: it modifies the selection to make it smoother and to include small trash on the background left out of the initial selection.
Output: an image where the original background selection is modified to make the edges smoother and to include small trash omitted during the initial selection
User intervention: the selection created by the user matters. Too much trash omitted, and the action will not be able to include it all
Possible alteration: you can record new steps in the end of the same action to do exactly what you need, like invert the selection and copy the object to another layer, or fill the background with some specific color (not white), or any other things.

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