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Thread: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight



    There's no time to respond to everyone individually!

    I totally appreciate your responses and will definitely be checking out all the links and videos!

    There was one direct question that I'll answer...

    No, I have no processing experience from normal daytime photography, although I have considered trying to learn that aspect of photography as well. The fact that Photoshop isn't so specialized would be one advantage to learning it. I could use the knowledge for something besides just my astronomy hobby.



    So, I have a different but related question about the processing work flow....

    When you guys process your images, does it basically come down to mostly the same steps taken in the same order every time? I mean, I'm sure the work flow is somewhat different for different classes of objects but isn't processing an image of one planet just about exactly like processing an image for any other planet and processing one nebula just like processing any other nebula? I know that there are lots of variables that would make each processing session slightly different each time but I mean, in general, one session ought to go about like every other. If that's so, shouldn't there be a way to write down a sort of step by step set of instructions on basically how to process an image based primarily on the type of object that's in the photo?

    I guess what I'm asking is, why do I feel like I'm having to reinvent the wheel here? I'm certainly no graphic artist nor am I interested in becoming one. I'm perfectly happy learning how someone else figured out how to do all this stuff and following in his footstep. That sounds like what the Doug German videos might be. I'll definitely be watching those!

    Clete

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    Yes, processing tends to repeat similar steps. This is called a "workflow", and most people have one that they are comfortable with. You can find posts where people describe their workflow, and get good ideas for processing steps you hadn't thought of.

    No two images are ever processed exactly the same way, and even the same image can be processed in different ways, hence the popularity of reprocessing old data when cloudy weather lasts too long. Workflows need to be flexible.

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  4. #13
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    I consider myself still fairly new with imaging, I started with Nebulosity 4, a good basic program, I actually think it might be just fine when using a osc camera. I then purchased Pixinsight and was at first pretty overwhelmed but with turtorials and notetaking I absolutely love this software, it's just so versatile and powerful and couldn't actually think about using anything else.
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    All great input. Unfortunately the 'Easy Button' doesn't exist :-) It comes down to techniques, which can be achieved in any/all of the software mentioned here. The main difference being, that some software, PI, Star Tools are built with a high focus on astrophotography and techniques are packaged into more astrophotography specific functions - more towards the 'Easy Button' but NOT one 'Easy Button'. Stacking aside, when it comes to final processing all will do the job and do it well. All come with fairly steep learning curves, but like anything else with constant use, it can become second nature
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  8. #15
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    Clete,

    If I were you, I'd take a few images of a bright object like M42 or M31 as mentioned... or maybe even just a random star field... download the trial version of PixInsight and go here: https://www.harrysastroshed.com/pixi...sighthome.html

    This is what I did 6 years ago, knowing nothing about either piece of software (PI or PS). Long story short, I am glad to have started with PixInsight. Watching Harry's videos made it easy to do basic processing and get workable images. Over time, you will develop your own workflow as well as glean new techniques that work for you. To this day, every one of those videos resides on my hard drive, and I still refer to them to help with things that I do not do very much, or just to brush up. One thing nice about PixInsight is that it is pretty much a one-stop shop for calibrating, stacking and processing. Yes, many use DSS, which is free, but for preprocessing, I find PixInsight to be far less cumbersome.

    It is unfortunate that there is no "whammo bammo" button... but it is also the thing that makes this hobby fun (and sometimes highly frustrating!).

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  10. #16
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    When I started out, I learnt using photoshop. Added a few of the addons to help me along. When PI started to get more attention on this forum, I decided that would probably be the best route... and it’s certainly proved to be the right choice.

    There are lots of video tutorials both basic and extremely in depth to get you going... and it is relatively easy to process your images before diving into the more complex processes to further enhance.

    I actually use both PI and PS during my processing and tend to end up with result that I like.

    Yes, both are a bit expensive, no, you don’t need both and both have a good following here on the forum, so help is never too far away.

    When I was asking much the same questions as you are, someone very rightly pointed out that having spent a good chunk of money on the equipment to capture the images, it would be foolhardy to try and cut corners to actually see what you have captured!
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    Okay, I'm going to pipe in here late, and I hope I don't get flamed.
    Astrophotgraphy has three parts, all equally important:

    1) Planning
    What are you imaging? Where is it? What is your camera rotation? How long do you plan to image? How many subs? How long are your subs?

    2) Image acquisition
    Polar alignment. Guiding. Periodic error. Focus, etc.

    3) Processing
    Everything

    All three are like legs on a tripod--one fails and the tripod falls over. As an astrophotgrapher, if you don't spend time (and enjoy) all of those three, then you won't have good images.

    I did a target once that took 2 hours of planning, 20 hours of image acquisition and 10 hours of processing. I hate to say it but if you want to be a decent astrophotographer, you are going to have to learn to at least tolerate processing because the details really matter. If you want to be a good astrophotographer, you are going to have to learn to love each of the tripod legs, including processing

    In terms of which post-processing program the answer is, "It depends".
    Photoshop is fine, but it won't stack images (well, it will, but only if you really enjoy sticking hot pokers in your eye) so you have to stack them first with something else. Also, Photoshop does not work with linear images well and you have to stretch them to make them usable. That said, if you own it, it's a good place to start.

    Star Tools seems to be popular around these parts, but I've never used it, and I've not been as impressed with results as I have with other programs.

    PixInsight is what Kathy and I use (as well as many others).

    Astro Pixel Processor is the new kid on the block. It doesn't have as many options as PI but I've seen good results.

    The bottom line is whatever program you pick is going to take patience and study. I love it when I have a difficult image to process and it takes me days or weeks to get a final image I'm happy with. I rarely even post them--I just do it for myself. But I love this stuff.
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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    Just had a look at Star tools impressed to say the least, I've been struggling with PI for about 3 years now and not getting very far, solve one thing and that brings another up!

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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    This thread highlights the fact that people are very different! I find processing the fun part of getting the end result. When I got a trial version of PI it took me about a week to decide that it was the software of choice for me. I was glad to abandon PS as I always found it very unintuitive and difficult to remember processes from one session to the next.
    Geoff

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    Default Re: Photoshop vs. PixInsight

    Quote Originally Posted by ghsmith45 View Post
    This thread highlights the fact that people are very different! I find processing the fun part of getting the end result. When I got a trial version of PI it took me about a week to decide that it was the software of choice for me. I was glad to abandon PS as I always found it very unintuitive and difficult to remember processes from one session to the next.
    Geoff
    Yes, I feel the same way. I have tried both PI and PS. The key I think is understanding what is happening during the computer manipulation of the bit values for the image. I am trying to understand it, especially PS. I am still not decided. PI needs a better "manual" which should come with the book, and make it less mathematical. They may as well put complex numbers and differential equations in their variables to make it more complex than it is now.
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