Synopsis: outputs averaged frames using an existing layer stack in Photoshop.
Requirements: stack of art layers, free of groups or other layer kinds.
Includes directions on how to use (super easy).
As shown below, I started with 15 frames. The script did all the stuff needed to add averaged frames for 2, 4, 8, 15 frames, and can be easily modified if you prefer some other behavior. It hides the intermediate frames (makes them non visible, as seen), but keeps the first frame at the bottom.
This approach allows convenient checking of the averaged frames against the single-shot frame, to see how much noise is reduced, whether there is a sharpness loss, motion issue, etc. This is highly useful, because sometimes a particular frame or two needs to be omitted (e.g., excessive subject movement), or things just work better with a handful of frames (maybe only 2), again because of movement issues.
The idea is (1) make a quick assessment, (2) back up in history to before, (3) delete any problem frames, then just give it another go. This allows quickly figuring out a high quality averaged frame even if a few frames of the series have issues. Or simply deciding that 2 or 3 frames is better than N frames.
In other words, an efficient workflow that acknowledges the issues with frame averaging outdoors. Of course if everything is perfect, all you have to do is delete all but the desired averaged frame and you’re done.