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Although laser retinal surgery is the best available treatment for choroidal neovascularization, the current procedure has a low success rate (50%). Challenges, such as motion-compensated beam steering, ensuring complete coverage and minimizing incidental photodamage, can be overcome with improved instrumentation. This paper presents core image processing algorithms for (1) rapid identification of branching and crossover points of the retinal vasculature; (2) automatic montaging of video retinal angiograms; (3) real-time location determination and tracking using a combination of feature-tagged point-matching and dynamic-pixel templates. These algorithms tradeoff conflicting needs for accuracy, robustness to image variations (due to movements and the difficulty of providing steady illumination) and noise, and operational speed in the context of available hardware. The algorithm for locating vasculature landmarks performed robustly at a speed of 16-30 video image frames/s depending upon the field on a Silicon Graphics workstation. The montaging algorithm performed at a speed of 1.6-4 s for merging 5-12 frames. The tracking algorithm was validated by manually locating six landmark points on an image sequence with 180 frames, demonstrating a mean-squared error of 1.35 pixels. It successfully detected and rejected instances when the image dimmed, faded, lost contrast, or lost focus.