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Everything posted by Xiga

  1. It must be a full year now since i last captured or processed anything, but I've been trying to get back in the Astro saddle lately. Of course, the awful weather we've been having here in N. Ireland certainly hasn't helped, but when i saw this i thought it would be a good opportunity to get back to processing again. Workflow for this was actually fairly simple. I don't have P.I, but the stars really needed BXT so i used trials for both P.I and BXT to correct them. APP was used for gradient reduction (which i did find was needed) as well as doing the initial stretching, before manually combining as SHO in Photoshop. Lots more stretching then done in PS. Star-Xterminator and Noise-Xterminator both used along the way (in PS, not P.I, just because i prefer to do as much as i can in PS) and finally a bit of high pass filtering. Also left some green in too, as i personally prefer it on SHO images. Decided to really push it, given the size of the data set. Thanks for sharing!
  2. No probs Adam, more than happy to help! And it's great to see your processing improving all the time 👍
  3. The starless image is really quite striking. In particular the Ha ðŸ˜ē
  4. I had the exact same idea when I imaged the cocoon a few months back 🙂
  5. Wowsers, this one is a little bit special Adam. I've been taking a break from Astro recently so i haven't gone anywhere near the computer in a good couple of months, but i simply had to boot it up to take a proper look at this. Fantastic work, you should be really pleased with this. I definitely wouldn't say you went overboard with pushing the dust, it's pretty much spot on in my book. I also don't think it's too dark either. In terms of brightness, t's very close to how i would have presented it myself tbh. The histogram is very well controlled too, with no clipping on either end. I took the jpg into PS and played around with it for 15 mins (couldn't help myself!). I agree with the points above about removing the hint of green in the image (both ways, normal and inverted, to remove the slight magenta halos). Aside from that though, i did very little. I added a bit more Vibrance, then applied a bit more NXT to all but the brightest areas, then applied a bit of Dehaze (this actually darkens the image slightly, but helps the dust pop a little bit more), then finally downsized it to 66%. For images like this, without any fine filamentary detail, for me the real draw is being able to see as much of the dust at once. In this case I don't think viewing at 100% really offers anything extra over something like 66% so i like to downsize a little, but that's just my own personal preference. It also helps with SNR too obv. NXT has totally converted me now as well i must say. Historically i've always preferred a little bit of grain in images rather than too much NR, but NXT is just so good i'm quite happy to go with more than i normally would. Result is below. As you can see, not much different to yours as it was already excellent!
  6. Stuart, that's simply amazing how BXT has transformed that data! A lot of very skilled imagers have been happily making jaw-dropping images for years now without using any form of deconvolution (mainly because of it's dark art form, I guess). So if this now makes it a trivial affair, then that's great! For me though, the real wow factor comes from how it can correct star shapes. That just blows my mind tbh, and your images are a perfect example of what's possible now with this software. I'm also starting to wonder whether we still need all these expensive flatteners anymore, lol 😋 Ps - I read a few comments where people where saying they weren't seeing much improvement in non-stellar details. I think this could be down to not using the Manual PSF option. Here's a video that describes it pretty well. You can skip to 10:30 for that specific bit
  7. Came across this last night. Russ Croman has done it again, this time using AI to help with deconvolution\sharpening. Adam's video is excellent, i really recommend watching the whole thing. The improvements he was able to achieve are remarkable, so much so, i think i'm now going to have to finally give in and get Pixinsight! Up to now i've been happy using StarXT and NoiseXT in Photoshop, but this one only works in P.I as it needs linear data. It's a bit pricey mind, $100 (or $90 if you already own one of Russ's prior tools) but once i saw how it can even fix bad corner stars (or even stars affected by differential flexure throughout an image) then i realised it was something i need to have in my life. And the best part is, like all of Russ' tools, it looks easy to use. Deconvolution is a total faff to try and do, so this simplicity is a big plus in my book.
  8. Merci Monsieur! The main objective of the re-process was all about the dust so that's good to hear 👍 Absolutely Gorann! It's almost like having new data isn't it? Happy reprocessing 🙂 Seeing as I use PS, what I do is I just make a new layer every time I make an adjustment. So I can always see a history of all the major changes I've made. It does end up in a huge Tif file though, and because of the max file size of 4GB there is a limit to the number of layers you can have (and which I usually end up maxing out) but it's good enough for my current workflow. P.I users definitely have an advantage here, but that requires using P.I 😋
  9. Thanks Andy! Cheers Lee 👍 Hehe, yes fair point! The operator has definitely learned a few new controls since last time 😋 Even so, there's simply no way I could have made the new version without StarXT and NoiseXT, as the workflow relies so heavily on them. Bad flats are hard to overcome for sure. I've heard good things about AstroFlat Pro though, might be worth looking into. Thanks for the feedback. Good to hear it still looks fairly natural, as I did finish it very late last night. I knew I was pushing it quite hard so there's always the risk that you end up going too far and not noticing!
  10. Thanks! I never actually produced a finished image first time around, i was that unhappy with it. But i did find the version below, which seems to be the most recent one i had before i gave up on it. Pretty bad, i know! 😅 🙈
  11. This data dates back to April 2020. In my mind it was basically a gonner, as i could never process it properly. I tried a few times to process it, but i was always disappointed with how it came out. Try as i might, i could never get the dust to really stand out, and any attempt to do so would just lead to the image breaking down, fast. I just figured i needed faster optics and darker skies, so in the end I threw the head up and deleted all of the lights, lol. Thankfully though, I had the sense to at least hang on to the stacks. This was taken with a Qhy163c. Truth be told, i never really liked it, as i could never take a good flat with it for some reason, so i sold it soon after getting it (I then moved on to a Qhy9m, before getting my current camera, a Qhy268m). So for this I had 3 stacks (shot on 3 separate nights) but one of them was shot during a full moon so it was no good. That left me with 2 stacks, each one shot on different nights and from different locations (Bortle 4 and Bortle 5/6). On both nights, the scope was pointing quite close to a street light, one of which was the old sodium vapour type, and on the other it was one of the newer LED ones. So when i stacked the 2 stacks the resulting gradient was truly horrible! Yet another reason why i always assumed the data was only fit for the bin. Well, fast forward 2.5 years and i thought i'd have one final crack at this, now we have amazing tools like StarXTerminator and NoiseXTerminator available. Capture details: Qhy163c 9.5 hrs (570 x 60s ) SW 80ed, HEQ5-Pro Stacked in APP, processed in PS. Downscaled to 75%. Fairly happy with how it came out in the end, for what basically amounts to a bonus image! C&C welcome, and thanks for looking 🙂
  12. Woah, that's deep Goran! I love the deep brown colour in your dust, and i really like the areas of blue reflection nebulosity you've picked up. Very nice!
  13. Thanks mate. You're right about the RC-Astro add ons. There's absolutely no way i could have turned this data set into anything even half-way decent where it not for NoiseXT.
  14. I do now. And now i can't unsee it! 😅
  15. Thanks Adam. I thought I was mad too tbh lol. I probably still am in fairness ðŸĪŠ. It wasn't until I was about 75% of the way through the processing that I realised it was going to come together ok.
  16. Not sure Rodd, i don't really use Pixinsight (apart from doing PhotometricColourCalibration). But i'd be willing to bet the farm (if i had one!) that NXT would beat it, or any other NR software out there.
  17. Cheers Rodd. It's all down to the software doing it's magic. StarXT to boost the dust, and then NoiseXT to bring it back from the precipice. I'm finding that I can usually make do with about 8 hrs of data, split as 5 for Lum and 1 each for R G B. I fell short of that here, which honestly made the processing very difficult, but luckily NoiseXT helped to hide all 1000 sins! Thanks Simmo 🙂
  18. This is my take on Barnard 150, aka the Sea Horse Nebula. The Lum was captured over 2 moonless nights on Sep 28 and Oct 1st. The RGB was captured on Nov 3 & 5, with a fairly bright moon about (although low down). SW 80ed; Qhy268m; HEQ5-Pro Lum: 125x120s (4 hr 10); G: 20 x 180s (1 hr); B: 20 x 180s (1 hr); R: 10 x 180s (0.5 hr). Total: 6 hr 40 Stacked in APP and processed in PS. Starless processing (using StarXTerminator) used to bring out the dust, and NoiseXTerminator used for NR.
  19. I was really hoping to get more data for this, but the weather just hasn't been playing nicely. We did actually have an amazingly full clear night last week (and with no moon about either) but as luck would have it i was sick at the time and could barely lift my head off the pillow nevermind lift the gear downstairs! In any case, it now sets below the roof of our house too early in the evening to get much in the way of data, so i'll have to wait to next year now to get some more RGB (especially the Red) plus some Ha to help give the edge of the Bat more definition. Until then, i decided to just go ahead and process what i have for now. The Lum was captured over 2 nights in late Sep with no moon about. The RGB was captured over 2 nights in early Nov, with a fairly bright moon about (although low down). In all honesty I really didn't think i'd be able to make a presentable image with just 30 mins of Red data, but i'm happy enough with how it came out, all things considered. SW 80ed; Qhy268m; HEQ5-Pro Lum: 125x120s (4 hr 10); G: 20 x 180s (1 hr); B: 20 x 180s (1 hr); R: 10 x 180s (0.5 hr). Total: 6 hr 40 Stacked in APP and processed in PS. Starless processing (using StarXTerminator) used to bring out the dust, and NoiseXTerminator used for NR. C&C welcome, and thanks for looking 🙂
  20. Really nice to meet up with you too Adam. It was good to talk processing to someone (other than myself! lol) for a few hours. Hopefully i didn't ramble on too much 😅 You're off to a good start. Are you using the option in APP to separate out the Ha and Oiii signal into 2 mono stacks to process independently, or are you just integrating it into one colour stack? It's been a while since i did any bi-colour work with OSC data, but i always found that having the 2 stacks gave more control.
  21. thanks mackie. it came as a nice surprise to me too! cheers Lee. I've used this method before in the past, but i was never totally satisfied with it to tell you the truth due to the limitations of the software available at the time. It's only now with the much improved StarXT (or Starnet++V2) but especially NoiseXT that i've now found it possible to push the data far enough without ruining the image thanks Adam 👍 I think for any image containing dust (no matter how much) using a starless image to help boost it is always worth a go now. it might not work on every image, but it's always worth a shot, especially now we have software that's able to give us clean starless images and an effective way to deal with the noise thanks mate! you're absolutely right about camera technology, it really has come on a lot in recent years. I'm super hapy with how the 268m performs, it definitely has made processing more fun for me in my Bortle 5-6ish skies. Thanks Olly, that means a lot! 🙏 By the end, i'd been staring at the image for so long i'd forgotten just how much the addition of the starless processing had transformed it. It was only when i looked back that it hit me, and that's when i had the idea of showing it as an animation.
  22. Thanks Adam. 🙂 For a long time, while i was processing it, i wasn't really happy with how it looked. Then when i removed the stars and boosted the starless image, it suddenly came to life. I thought it would be fun to show a quick animation. Here is a gif which starts from the image right after doing the LRGB combination, and ending at the final image. No intermediary processing steps, just a smooth transition between the two. Note, i had to downsize it by 50% in order to keep the file size down. Ignore the slight posterisation effect, this is just a side-effect of converting the image into a gif.
  23. Very nice indeed Carole. I love those gold and cyans! I think you could safely lower the black point a tad more, just to darken the sky background and help the nebula stand out a bit more. ps - I prefer the one without the star reduction. It looks like this was shot with a narrow bandpass Ha filter, is that right? I've found that since getting one of the 3.5nm Baader Ha filters, i now usually only need to do a very small amount of star reduction.
  24. Good to see you back posting images again Adam. I took a break capturing data between Feb and Aug but am back at it now myself. For only 40 mins with the 2600mc it looks really good! You can tell the Ha has made a real difference and added some nice detail inside the nebula. All it needs now is some more data and you'll have a winner. ps - The stars look a bit elongated from bottom-left to top-right. Given this is a tight crop and you're using a CC, it's unlikely to be coma or tilt. Do you think it was a collimation issue due to using the Ocal?
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