How to Make a Star Trails Photoshop Action [video]

Photoshop Star Trails Action

This tutorial describes how to make star trail photos that can be used in time-lapse videos. I go through the process of making a Photoshop action to batch edit star photos and offer a link to those who don’t want to make their own action.

Links mentioned in this video:

  • My photoshop actions
  • jcmegabyte’s Youtube channel

  • I’ve decided to start posting some video tutorials in addition to my written posts because I usually look for videos when I’m looking for help online. I’m going to gradually update some of my more popular posts with videos to augment the existing material. You can subscribe to my new Youtube channel to avoid missing any updates or new tutorials. I made this video in response to a question about the star trails Photoshop action I made and uploaded a couple of years ago. If there are any other topics you’d like me to cover, please send me an email through my contact page.

    I’m also looking for ideas on how best to use these videos. Do many people read these posts at work or someplace else where they can’t watch a video? If so, I’ll work to add text tutorials below the videos.

    If you use this action, please post a link to your video below. It takes about a day for me to approve each one because of the amount of spam comments I get. Thanks for watching and please let me know if you have any suggestions.

    Related posts:

    20 thoughts on “How to Make a Star Trails Photoshop Action [video]

    1. Hey,

      I love your blog! I just found out about it but I love taking time lapses. I watched you video on the star streaks and here is my first test. I’ve been shooting stars for a while now and have tons of photos which I’m going to render into videos like this. I’m working on the sequencing but the chaotic number made a cool effect i feel. Thanks for giving me a jumping off point. I learned a lot. Here’s the clip. The second clip which I think you’ll enjoy as well is shot from my iPhone.

      Never Stop Shooting,

    2. Thank you very much for this wonderful tutorial and PS action. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I especially like the short trails, it gives ppl “the sky is falling” effect. Thanks again. I used your actions for the photos I took in Taiwan to create this video:

    3. Hi – thanks for the post. I do read these at work, and don’t have access to youtube or any video channels…so if you have text descriptions as well that would be great! thanks for the tutorials…i love this stuff

      1. Thanks for reading. I know some people like to read or can’t watch the videos, so I’ll try to post a transcript until I write a proper tutorial. I get a little lazy on the writing after spending 2-3 days on the video but I’ll work on making my posts more accessible for everyone in the future.

    4. Hi, great tip and great action set. I wonder, is it possible to ramp out the stretch so to speak. So that towards the end of the streak, it would slowly return to no streak say over a period of 10 -24 frames? What I\’m trying to do is start a milky way lapse with normal movement, halfway through start it trailing, and towards the end, start lessening the streaks (shorter streaks) until if goes back to normal and finishes with no streak.

      1. For anyone else reading this, we found a good solution by ramping up and ramping down the video by slowly changing the blend percentage over a few seconds of video. You can do this by running the regular action but having it stop before blending. Then, adjust the percentage by about 5% every few frames.

    5. Thank you so much for the action is great i will put it to use and post results shortly. question would it be libel to leave let\\\\\\\\\’s say 100 images as a regular time lapse and the do the following 100 with your action? I have seen it some where but can\\\\\\\\\’t remember where. Thank you.

      1. I’m not sure of the question but I think you could do this action for any number of photos in a sequence. I don’t think you’ll run into memory issues because each photos is saved and closed before the next in the sequence. The only place you might have trouble is if you open the photos as layers on one photo.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

    Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box