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Thread: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!



    Hi JT,

    Thanks for your continued support! I'll try your suggestion and see if that helps …

    Meanwhile, after some further searching I note there seems to be a wide range of suggestions regards the number/length of subs required for imaging M51 (and, I guess, for just about anything else out there as well!). For instance, I've noticed that my ratio of L to RGB may be inadequate (i.e., many suggest more total exposure time for RGB, often up to twice as much altogether). So, as the weather looks favourable in UK for a few days towards/over the approaching Easter hols I'll plan to get out and take some more RGB to add to the pile and try again. As it happens, I also now see that quite a few of my B subs were awful (out of focus) so that can't have helped - seems a Meridian flip occurred immediately after changing over to the B filter and even with auto-focussing it apparently screwed up!

    What do you reckon - more RGB subs should help?

    Onwards and upwards,

    Richard

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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    JT,

    Sorry - forgot to clarify - Also tried stacking subs separately and then combining in PS - still came out as grey scale!

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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    Well, color me "stumped".

    Since I am a DSLR user, essentially meaning I shoot OSC, you've already exceeded my experience level. BUT it NEVER hurts to add more total time to your image.

    When you do solve this, please let me know what you did or how you did it.

    Cheers,
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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    How are you combining the R, G, and B stacks into a single RGB image? It has been a long time since I used DSS, but I don't remember it having this capability. You talk about a single Autosave image, with the implication being that the colours are already combined. But unless newer versions of DSS have the ability to work with separate R, G, and B frames, I would expect that you would need to make three separate stacks (4 if you also have a luminance channel), and then combine those into a colour image.

    What it sounds like is happening instead is that all your frames are being combined into a single monochrome image.

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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    Hi Kathy,

    Many thanks for jumping in to help!

    Do you know, you've now got me thinking! In all the guides, tutorials, help files and so forth I've perused I haven't seen anything specific saying the different subs must be stacked independently of each other; indeed I'm sure I've seen/read to simply place all subs into DSS and it will sort everything out automatically! That said, I've already tried stacking them separately as was previously suggested to me, then combing in PS, but still no colour evident - however, with my so far limited experience I may well have messed up somewhere along the line!

    Could this simply be a very basic newbie error (doh!) on my part, in this case? If this is all it is, then it's certainly the best way to learn so you don't do it again, eh?

    I'll have another go at doing them independently again - I've now got trial versions of Nebulosity and various other options to combine as well, so I'll give it another go.

    Thanks for the hint - fingers crossed!

    Richard

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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    I am also interested in how this is resolved. I have an ASI120MM which is monochrome and I've only used it as a guiding scope, but I'm interested in doing some planetary and deep space separate RGB, Ha type of subs, but I have no idea how one combines them into a color image.
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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by richbandit View Post
    Hi Kathy,I'm sure I've seen/read to simply place all subs into DSS and it will sort everything out automatically!
    DSS can only sort them out if someone or something tells them which frame is which colour. In theory, a camera could include metadata describing the image. FITS and JPEG formats, and possibly others, allow such metadata. But in this case, the camera has no knowledge of which filter was used in front of it.

    Your capture software might add the colour assignment information (I use SGP, which does add it). And DSS might use that information if it exists. But it is sounding from your description like it is not happening. So you should stack them separately by colour.

    When you combine the colours manually (in PS or whatever), you may find that the saturation is low and the image looks pretty monochromatic. But at that point, the colour will exist and increasing the saturation will bring it out.

    P.S. I moved your thread to Imaging/Processing, where you are more likely to encounter knowledgeable opinions.

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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    I thought I'd check out one of my books "The Astrophotography Manual" by Chris Woodhouse. He talks at great length about using PixInsight which is apparently very powerful, but requires a lot of manual manipulation. It can combine separate filtered images into one color image. StarTools, which I currently use, apparently does a lot of what PixInsight does in a lot more user friendly way. However, like PixInsight, there doesn't seem to be a lot of documentation as to what the algorithms actually do and how one would change parameters to obtain better results. I know I do a lot of trial by error when I get iffy results in StarTools. This winter was particularly hard/enlightening as the light pollution caused by street lights bouncing off the snow and causing sky glow made post processing of images much more difficult.

    So what I'm saying is that AP is certainly a long term learning process. My results today far exceed what I've done even 2 years ago and I'm getting better at it, but still have a long ways to go. I've actually started retaking some images of objects I did 4 years ago and getting much, much better results. I see images in the "Astronomy" magazine where some photos are taken using like 8,12,10,20 hours worth of RGBHa data. Where I live that would be 4 months worth of imaging. I am super jealous of those folks who have that many clear sky nights. I am averaging about 2 all-night clear skies per month. So I just need to be more efficient and that means experimenting with as many techniques as possible to improve the outcomes.
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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    I think Kathy has "hit the nail on the head". The R, G, B, and L data is ALL monochrome data. You only get color once the individually stacked R, G and B channels are combined (merged) into a single RGB image. The link below is to a YouTube tutorial showing how that is done just in case you are interested.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BpBtDKdKDI

    The channels do need to be aligned to each other before they are combined.

    If you look at the stacked R, G, and B channels individually, and, there is data in each channel, then, you will definitely have color when they are properly combined.

    PS: Nice to see how many members have jumped in to help with your problem. Hopefully one of the suggestions will be the answer you are looking for.

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    Default Re: Newbie needs imaging guidance/advice please!

    Can you upload the .fits (or .tiff) files of the stacked L,R,G,B masters? I'll be happy to look at them. Use dropbox or something.
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