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Thread: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

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    Default Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data



    I'm slowly dipping my fingers into acquiring data with a Mono camera, ZWO ASI 1600MM Cool. I am still in the process of getting all my equipment and software working together, whenever my medical difficulties allow me to get out to the observatory.

    One of the challenges, and I believe this is true for Everyone who takes the plunge into mono photography is the processing of all that data you patiently acquired. For myself, I did a test of 10 subs each of L R G B, and then ran the data through DSS for the four data sets. Unfortunately, while taking these data sets, I learned how to get my Atik EFW2 filter wheel set so that my camera sensor was properly set in the filter window. Well, actually that part was good, but it wasn't good for the data sets, three of which ended up being askew from the L data set by some 30 degrees. This caused my attempts to align the four data sets in Star Tools to get the whole process rejected, because the program decided that the photo sizes were different. I gave up, and just stuck with my original processed data, and will be happy.

    But I do have to try learning, during my down time from the observatory, how to process data. I am asking for help on this. How do you go about stacking in DSS. Are there setting differences in DSS between DSLR and Mono cameras?

    I know many of you use PixInsight, and I doubt you can help, except in a general way. I am particularly interested in how those who process their data in Star Tools, go about the task. Have any of the Star Tools users kept a work flow listing that Star Tools makes, and if you have, would it be possible to provide a sample work flow for me to start out with.

    Next, since I am not presently acquiring data, does anyone have an online source for data I could download to provide myself some practise. I definitely need to learn the basics prior to starting on my own data, whenever I do get started. I appreciate any suggestions, help or links you can provide.
    Caley Ann
    Explore Scientific ES102ES and TPO RC 8 inch; Celestron AVX and Celestron CGEM DX mounts; Canon 3Ti, and 7D mkII, and ZWO ASI 174MC and 1600MM cooled; Orion Stratus (68*) 21, 17, 13, 8, 5, 3.5MM, Q70 26, 32, 38MM ; Orion 80mm ST and MMAG; ATIK EFW 1.25

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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    Hi Caley Ann. I use DSS for stacking and it works a treat. See the link below on how to stack and calibrate mono images in DSS. I use Star Tools and I have posted a basic tutorial here at AF.net in the Star Tools Group. I will list a few points to help you.

    1. After stacking and calibrating in DSS, load the calibrated luminance frame into Star Tools.
    2. Process it as per normal (make sure you remove all the stacking artifacts by cropping it) and save it as a Tif.
    3. Load the three RGB channels into the LRGB Module and crop it right away. It is important to not close Star Tools between the luminance processing and the RGB processing so that the crop you gave the luminance will be identical with the RGB.
    4. Process the RGB and save as a Tif.
    5. There are a couple of ways to create the LRGB image. The easiest way is to go back to the LRGB Module and load the luminance and then the RGB from the RGB Tif that you already have saved. Star Tools will extract the RGB from the RGB Tif as you load each channel. You then have a LRGB image.
    6. Here is a link for the second way to do it by using the Layer Module. It is the method that I use.

    StarTools • View topic - Ha, R, G, B data -> synthetic luminance

    A key point is that you have to process the luminance and RGB separately before combining them. I also suggest that you shoot everything at 1x1 Binning until you are proficient with processing LRGB images. Shooting 1x1 for luminance and 2x2 for RGB is doable with DSS but there are a lot more steps involved before you can get it to Star Tools for processing. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    the program decided that the photo sizes were different
    Were the color frames binned?
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    Scott, Thanks so very much. This is what I have been searching for. As soon as I can download some data sets, I will be getting on to practising. I have very slow internet, so this is going to take some time.

    You mentioned that I should crop my Luminescent data, and keep that in memory. Then cropping the RGB would be cropped the same. I think there is something I do not know about Star Tools Cropping function. How does having the cropped L data in memory make cropping the RGB data easier? The way I cropped my trial data was to find key stars in the upper left and lower right corners, then drag the cropping square from one to the other, ensuring the size is the same, as indicated below the photo on the screen. I'm sure there must be a better way, but I don't know how.

    UM, No, my subs were all shot using 1x1, as I kind of knew that throwing in differences would cause problems. My problem was the fact that my camera rotated when I adjusted the camera sensor in the Filter Wheel window. At the time I failed to realise that this might cause a problem. I followed the suggestion of another person trying to help me. They said to use my l Luminescent data to find the key frame in which to do the stacking on my RGB data. In hindsight, that probably wasn't such a good idea. It caused my RGB data to be skewed about 30 degrees off, which created the size problem. I think that next time I will just stack each of the data sets without a key frame. and then try manipulating things in Star Tools.
    Caley Ann
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    After you crop and save the Tif it retains the cropping info as long as you did not close Star Tools. If you close Star Tools and reopen, the cropping info is reset to the defaults. You can still get the exact crop but you would have to search through the Star Tools log to find it. If you image a target over multiple nights and keep adding data to it, then the log file comes in handy. It just sounds more complicated than it actually is.
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    Or... keep track of the numbers used for the crop in the first place instead of just dragging a box try setting actual numbers or record the numbers from your drag crop.
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    I'll give that a go whenever I am back to imaging.

    I downloaded a data set from Misti Mountain Observatory, and gave it a go. The only problem was that the data I obtained had a strange artifact about 1/3rd of the way from the bottom of the photo. It was a wide bar. It actually looks like what I was getting from my Canon 7D mk II, except I had a matching bar on the top half of the photo. At least I got a little practise uploading the data. I'll try again with another data set in a day or two.
    Caley Ann
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    Hey Everyone. I went to Jim Misti's web site, and downloaded Thor's Helmet, NGC 2359. I struggled for quite some time, trying to use the same processing techniques that I use with my DSLR data, and never got anywhere. So I decided to wing things, and play around. Unfortunately I cannot remember how I managed things, though I think I can dig up the Star Tools log to see how I went about the processing. While my results leave something to be desired, I got things to at least show how the object should generally look. This is my first every LRGB processed image, so please don't laugh. I get the feeling that it will take years of learning before I finally get even half as good as some people do.

    One thing I noticed with Misti's data is that there seems to be strange artifacts throughout the stacked image. That is one reason I took a different approach to work the data, and it seems to have hidden the odd things.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    That image looks pretty darn good to me for your first practice run. You are not far off from my point of view. I'm in the same boat as you, but my struggles with guiding and tracking have delayed my post processing learning. I've had some ongoing mechanical issues, but I believe for the first time in a long time I've made some progress. In the meantime I have been dabbling with processing using data I've collected, data with oblong stars though. Recently i hit a road block trying to follow a processing tutorial of M42, couldn't for the life of me initiate a layer mask to suppress the blown out Trapezium using PS CS6. I kind of like doing the "paint by numbers" style of following a tutorial with two screens going, one for processing the other with the video tutorial going. However, it gets dicy when the instructor forgets I'm a newbie and moves the cursor too fast to follow or moves it around the screen as a nervous twitch or talks a language at too high or fast level or doesn't frame his screen where you can see the whole thing, specifically what is he clicking on?

    I think you will discover a couple break thoughs and you'll be back on track.
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    Default Re: Processing LRGB and Narrowband Data

    John, Thanks. I am beginning to think that you cannot use the same, basic routine for LRGB or Narrow Band, that you use with the data you collect from your DSLR's. I tried that half a dozen times with this data from Misti Mountain, and it just wouldn't work. When I changed the order of processing steps, that got rid of all those anomalies I previously mentioned, and seemed to settle down the colour problems.

    I haven't tried another data set. I've been too busy with other life problems and tasks. But I hope to get back into things within a few weeks to a month, and give things another go.

    I agree that the video tutorials just do not do well with myself, and many other people. That's kind of one reason I like to take things in written form. I can do it step-by-step. Sometimes I write down what a video tutorial is saying. That usually means I have to rewind several times in places in order to understand just what is happening. Might take longer that way, but I have something in written form to follow once all that hard work is done.

    Good luck on the layer mask task. Hope you get it to where you can digest things at your own rate. Caley Ann
    Caley Ann
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