I've used Adobe Photoshop Elements before to stack several star trail shots to extend the effective exposure time. The most I've done is three or four images of several minutes each. As far as I know it's a manual process...load up the images, set them as separate layers, set the opacity to 50% so they're all visible, and voila, job done.
But what if I have a couple of hundred images? I loaded them all into PS the other night and the load process alone took 10 minutes or so. Manually dragging each one into a new frame and setting the opacity would take hours.
Would it work effectively if I loaded them all into something like Deep Sky Stacker, and set it to use the entire frame for each image, rather than telling it to do any sort of alignment? I did try it, but again it was taking ages, and I ran out of time before it had finished, so aborted. (My laptop isn't very quick and stacking in DSS can take ages sometimes.)
I'm sure I've tried DSS before to stack several hundred images of Jupiter, and it make a right hash of it, so I'm not sure how well it would work to stack several hundred star pics. Perhaps Registax would work better, as that did Jupiter pretty well.
Thanks in anticipation for any suggestions. The reason I ask is the only images I've got of M45 recently were wide-angle shots from indoors, which I made into a timelapse, but I wanted to see if I could do something else to submit for Challenge #2. Something "different" perhaps, because no way can I compete with the sorts of professional images that stargazr and Nighthound have produced of M45!