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Bridge CS4: Auto-Stack Panos & HDR


What is it?

This is probably my favorite little “mint-on-the-pillow” feature in Bridge CS4. Bridge can look at a selection of images, analyze both their pixels & their EXIF metadata, and automatically stack together components of panoramas & HDR merges. Once it has built these stacks, you can choose “Process Collections in Photoshop” to have PS batch-create panos & HDR files.


Before you can begin using the Auto-collect script, you need to first activate it in Bridge Preferences using the following steps:

1) Open Bridge Preferences (Bridge CS4>Preferences (Mac), or Edit>Preferences (Win)) select the Startup Scripts tab and click on the Auto Collection CS4 heading. Alternatively, you can select Enable All to activate all Startup scripts. Press Ok.

2) Quit, then relaunch Bridge. Startup Scripts are only activated when the application is launched.

Once the script is successfully activated, you will find the Auto-Stack Panorama/HDR heading at the bottom of the Stacks menu.

Why is it important?

Stacking panorama and HDR images together simplifies the process of merging them using Bridge’s Merge to HDR or Photomerge scripts. It also prevents you from omitting photos from your multi-image composites.

Bonus Tip: Process Stack: After grouping your HDR and Panorama images, head over to the Tools menu and select Photoshop>Process Collections in Photoshop to have Photoshop automatically merge your HDR and Panorama images and save them as a layered PSD back into the original folder. Way Cool!



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