I'm really excited about the auto-align layers command in Photoshop CS3, which you can use to digitally stitch layers that share overlapping content.
My question is, is there any way I can trick this command to helping me tile IDENTICAL layers? I often want to create large textures from small repeating samples (wallpaper is a great example.) Of course, when I put the same identical sample on two different layers the best place way to align them is right on top of each other, which photoshop does. Is there any way to convince it to do otherwise?
Well, that doesn't work--usually samples represent an arbitrary area, an not a single "unit" of the repeated pattern--even if you can suss out the pattern, the lighting on the edges rarely matches. You need the freedom of different layers to blend them seamlessly. This is especially true if the texture represents anything organic--sand, leaves, whatever.
The more I experiment, I think there's no way I can bend auto-align to my diabolical purposes, and I am left to use hand alignment as before.