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Thread: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!



    Here's my attempt, first time with M27.


    Crop Edges

    Levels and Curves (1st Curve aggressive, pull it into data slightly then back down the clipping. 2nd Curve use eyedropper to select edge of DSO and select the black background, then adjust the anchor point at the edge of the DSO to brighten it and maintain a dark background)

    Set Black and White Points.

    Hard Color Gradient Removal

    Run Local Contrast Enhancement

    Fix Cosm Problems

    Increase Saturation

    Run Increase Star Color

    Final strectching

    Run Deep Space Noise Reduction

    Smart Sharpen (Advanced settings, Adjust Sharpen Amount to 80 and Radius to 2.8. Adjust Shadow Fade Amount to 100, Adjust Highlight to 0-20)

    Run Less Crunchy More Fuzzy

    Challenge 5 master.jpg

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    Looks great!

    Thanks for posting Jason!
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  4. #13
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    Even though I'm not eligible for the Challenge, I figured I would post my attempt using the software that will be awarded to the winner of the Challenge contest. (Startools).

    Here's my shot at this months image.

    As always comments / suggestions welcome!

    File loaded [C:\My Documents\Telescope stuff\AF Challenge stuff\Challenge photos\Challenge 5 master.tif].
    --- UNKNOWN MODULE
    --- Bin
    Parameter [Scale] set to [(scale/noise reduction 29.28%)/(1166.43%)/(+3.54 bits)]
    --- Deconvolution
    Parameter [Heal Masked-out Pixels] set to [No]
    Parameter [Radius] set to [1.5 pixels]
    Parameter [Iterations] set to [6]
    Parameter [Radius Reblur] set to [1.5 pixels]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]
    Parameter [Brightness Mask Power] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Non-linearity] set to [1.00]
    --- Develop
    Parameter [White Calibration] set to [Use Stars]
    Parameter [Gamma] set to [1.00]
    Parameter [Skyglow] set to [0 %]
    Parameter [Noise Suppression] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Digital Development] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Blue Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Green Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Red Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [5 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [3.0 pixels]
    --- Wipe
    Parameter [Mode] set to [Correct Color & Brightness]
    Parameter [Top End Treatment] set to [Wipe 2.0]
    Parameter [Cap Green] set to [No]
    Parameter [Output Gradient Only] set to [No]
    Parameter [Precision] set to [256 x 256 pixels]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [1 pixels]
    Parameter [Drop Off Point] set to [0 %]
    Parameter [Corner Aggressiveness] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Aggressiveness] set to [75 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [10 %]
    --- Crop
    Parameter [X1] set to [39 pixels]
    Parameter [Y1] set to [46 pixels]
    Parameter [X2] set to [951 pixels (-49)]
    Parameter [Y2] set to [636 pixels (-30)]
    --- Contrast
    Parameter [Allow Brighten] set to [No]
    Parameter [Precision] set to [256 x 256 pixels]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [1 pixels]
    Parameter [Aggressiveness] set to [75 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [10 %]
    --- Contrast
    Parameter [Allow Brighten] set to [No]
    Parameter [Precision] set to [256 x 256 pixels]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [1 pixels]
    Parameter [Aggressiveness] set to [75 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [10 %]
    --- Boost
    Parameter [Filter Mode] set to [Conservative Nudge]
    Parameter [Sampling Method] set to [3x3 Average]
    Parameter [Filter Width] set to [5]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]
    --- Deconvolution
    Parameter [Heal Masked-out Pixels] set to [No]
    Parameter [Radius] set to [1.5 pixels]
    Parameter [Iterations] set to [6]
    Parameter [Radius Reblur] set to [1.5 pixels]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]
    Parameter [Brightness Mask Power] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Non-linearity] set to [1.00]
    --- Magic
    Parameter [Mode] set to [Shrink Core]
    Parameter [Mask Grow] set to [1 pixels]
    Parameter [Iterations] set to [1 pixels]
    --- Wavelet Sharpen
    Parameter [Channels] set to [Brightness & Color]
    Parameter [Scale 1] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 2] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 3] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 4] set to [48 %]
    Parameter [Scale 5] set to [47 %]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]
    Parameter [Brightness Mask Power] set to [0.00]
    Parameter [Amount] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Small Detail Bias] set to [75 %]
    --- Crop
    Parameter [X1] set to [198 pixels]
    Parameter [Y1] set to [153 pixels]
    Parameter [X2] set to [710 pixels (-202)]
    Parameter [Y2] set to [448 pixels (-142)]

    Used Ifanview to convert to .jpg.



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  6. #14
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    WOW! That looks fantastic Gordon!
    StarTools looks to be a great processing software.

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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    Thanks Lonnie.

    There's a slight learning curve, (the terminology is a bit different that PS) however 95% of the time the default setting will work fine. It's pretty powerful and has a great gradient removal tool. The lens tools works great to remove the coma I have in my images. For the price it's fantastic. He has a free unlimited 'demo' version you can play with on his website.
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    My quick 3 minute attempt using 'my own dogfood' & obviously disqualified from this challenge...
    This was done with StarTools 1.3 alpha, but can mostly be replicated in 1.2 as well (except for the Optimize stage).

    I first started off cropping the image. I wanted to frame M27 in the center, with HD 189410 at the edge of the frame.

    --- Crop
    Parameter [X1] set to [1110 pixels]
    Parameter [Y1] set to [718 pixels]
    Parameter [X2] set to [2263 pixels (-1153)]
    Parameter [Y2] set to [1628 pixels (-649)]

    Next I used the Bin module to get the image down to 1000px (and avail of a tiny bit of noise reduction).

    --- Bin
    Parameter [Scale] set to [(scale/noise reduction 86.75%)/(132.88%)/(+0.41 bits)]

    It appears the image had been already stretched (making any further detail enhancement using deconvolution impossible). I decided to stretch it a bit more and let the automatic black point detection do its thing. In order to help the automatic black point detection cope with the dark noise a bit better, I bump up the Dark Anomaly filter slightly.

    --- Develop
    Parameter [White Calibration] set to [Use Stars]
    Parameter [Gamma] set to [1.00]
    Parameter [Skyglow] set to [0 %]
    Parameter [Noise Suppression] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Digital Development] set to [15.93 %]
    Parameter [Blue Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Green Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Red Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [5 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [2.1 pixels]

    A rather streaky type of noise becomes apparent now, probably due to not dithering between frames when the individual subs were shot.
    In order to reduce this noise, I fire up the Wavelet De-Noise module with the following parameters. The 'Brightness Mask Power' parameter ensures noise reduction is only gradually applied to the darker parts of the image (e.g. the background), leaving M27 and the stars alone.

    --- Wavelet De-Noise
    Parameter [Scale 1] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 2] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 3] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 4] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 5] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]
    Parameter [Brightness Mask Power] set to [2.30]
    Parameter [Color Detail Loss] set to [33 %]
    Parameter [Brightness Detail Loss] set to [79 %]
    Parameter [Edge Repair] set to [0 pixels]
    Parameter [UNKNOWN] set to [100 %]

    Next it is time to tackle the gradient. I try the default settings in the Wipe module. However, I notice some faint blueish halos in the output. If this happens it is caused by dark noise remnants. If StarTools can't do its work properly due to the presence of this type of noise, the noise is easily taken care of by bumping up the Dark Anomaly Filter (just like in the Development module).

    --- Wipe
    Parameter [Mode] set to [Correct Color & Brightness]
    Parameter [Top End Treatment] set to [Brightness Mask]
    Parameter [Cap Green] set to [No]
    Parameter [Output Gradient Only] set to [No]
    Parameter [Precision] set to [256 x 256 pixels]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [5 pixels]
    Parameter [Drop Off Point] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Corner Aggressiveness] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Aggressiveness] set to [75 %]
    Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [100 %]

    The following is only applicable to StarTools 1.3 (not publicly availble yet), but the Equalise preset of the 1.2 Optimize module should get you a fair way there as well.

    --- Optimize
    Parameter [Noise Suppression] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Channels] set to [Luminance]
    Parameter [Algorithm] set to [Equalize]
    Parameter [Dark/Bright Response] set to [1.00]
    Parameter [Integration Window] set to [15 pixels]

    Now it is time to do some selective wavelet sharpening. To do this selectively I create a quick mask with only M27's pixels set to green (on).

    --- Wavelet Sharpen
    Parameter [Channels] set to [Brightness & Color]
    Parameter [Scale 1] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 2] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 3] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 4] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Scale 5] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [5.2 pixels]
    Parameter [Brightness Mask Power] set to [0.00]
    Parameter [Amount] set to [291 %]
    Parameter [Small Detail Bias] set to [90 %]

    You could leave it at this, but one module that gives your image that little bit of extra 'oomph' at the end of your processing, is the Life module. Its main purpose is to restore a sense of depth/life/3D to your image that is typically lost when you're trying to tease out detail and battle dynamic range problems. It has a good many presets, but my favourite preset by far is the 'Isolate' preset. It does a great job at isolating interesting objects from starry backgrounds and makes them 'float free'.
    Make sure to reset the mask (Clear, Invert) so all pixels are once again selected for processing.

    --- Life
    Parameter [Detail Preservation] set to [Linear Brightness Mask]
    Parameter [Compositing Algorithm] set to [Multiply, Gamma Correct]
    Parameter [Inherit Brightness, Color] set to [Off]
    Parameter [Output Glow Only] set to [No]
    Parameter [Airy Disk Sampling] set to [128 x 128 pixels]
    Parameter [Airy Disk Radius] set to [8 pixels]
    Parameter [Glow Threshold] set to [0 %]
    Parameter [Detail Preservation Radius] set to [20.0 pixels]
    Parameter [Saturation] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Strength] set to [100 %]
    Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]

    And that's it! More could be done and, as always, no one interpretation is the right interpretation, but this is mine (in under three minutes).

    Notice that no color modifications were necessary at all. In fact, most of the time you can just trust your data and all you have to do is to find and counteract any negative outside influences (ex. gradients).
    Really, astronomical image processing is quite 'zen'. All you need to do is get to know the strengths and weaknesses of your gear and circumstances (they are different for nearly all of us!) and find the right tools to counteract your weaknesses and capitalise on your strengths. Once you get your head around your personal challenges, it's a totally repeatable, enjoyable and oh-so satisfying process!

    Cheers,

    Challenge 5 master_cropbin_final.jpg

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  12. #17
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    I finally got around to finishing my work on this challenge. I used GIMP. Steps were:

    1. artificial flat
    - a. duplicate layer
    - b. rectangle select
    - c. copy
    - d. paste
    - e. drag (to hide nebula)
    - f. noise spread 250 pixels
    - g. blur gaussian 250 pixels
    - h. flatten image
    2. levels (to stretch)
    3. curves (slight stretch)
    4. colour balance: red +15
    5. saturation: +12
    6. unsharp mask:
    - radius: 7.3
    - amount: 0.67
    - threshold: 166
    - (This is my first time trying the Unsharp Mask feature. Kewl. Who'd'a thunk that an unsharp mask would sharpen?)
    7. curves (to darken background)
    8. crop (to remove stacking artifacts)
    9. curves (to highlight nebula details)
    10. save to .png master file
    11. scale image (to 1000 pixels for posting)
    12. save to .jpg
    Challenge 5-p2-1000px.jpg
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    Keith and Ivo, all I can say is
    Very excellent work!

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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    I didn't do much to it. It's got good data, I don't think it needs that much manipulation. I remember once I used to spend all day processing just one image. It gave me a headache so I gave it up.

    Photoshop - pre-stretch.

    Filter - RC-Astro GradientXterminator.

    Basic levels again.

    Crop off the edges (needs a field flattener).

    Light unsharp mask.

    Resize and save to jpeg.

    Done.


    Challenge 5_Learjet.jpg

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  18. #20
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    Default Re: Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 5!

    Great work guys!!!!

    Ivo, nice to see some new tools coming up in the new version. I'm still learning so thanks for the excellent suggestions!
    Gordon
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    Explore Scientific ED80CF,
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    254N,
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    ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII
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    corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar
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    . Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary
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    Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP,
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    Blog:
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