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Hello all, I hope it's OK to post this thread (and that I'm using the correct forum). I wanted to introduce myself: I'm the Affinity Photo product expert and I work for Serif who are responsible for the Affinity range of software. I've already seen a couple of threads and posts here about Affinity Photo and its usefulness for astrophotography image editing. As it has been noted previously, version 1.9 launched with a dedicated workspace for stacking astrophotography data—this came about because one of the developers and myself are keen astrophotographers, and seeing as Affinity Photo has other advantages for astrophotography retouching it made sense to put the effort in so that people could stack in the software as well and therefore have an all-in-one solution. Basically, I'm a huge astrophotography geek, especially when it comes to the retouching aspect of the genre: I've been producing a variety of official video tutorials and providing macros (essentially the equivalent of 'actions') and example documents to try and make it as accessible as possible for people. I wanted to raise awareness about all this material that is available for people to take advantage of, and also to offer support on this forum if people had any questions about Affinity Photo for astrophotography. Video tutorials I've produced an array of video tutorials that cover stacking and subsequent editing techniques for various composition setups (e.g. one shot colour, LRGB, SHO, bi-colour, greyscale colour mapping), as well as some shorter videos that demonstrate how to use certain features like the background colour removal filter, file groups, sigma clipping etc. The best place to see them all is on YouTube with the Astrophotography playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjZ7Y0kROWit-4cZY2A-tiEsYaWzWQoIC Macros Since the release of version 1.9, I've been releasing and updating macros to support the software. As well as being a workflow aid to speed up the editing process, I also wanted to highlight the various non-destructive functionality that Photo offers, as the natural tendency is to try and recreate equivalent workflows from Photoshop which are not always the most efficient. The macro functionality includes: Automated tone stretching: normalised, logarithmic, colour preserving options. Composition setups: designed for greyscale data, these will quickly set up the appropriate layer structure, blend modes and colour mapping for combinations such as RGB, LRGB, SHO, HSO, HOO and many other variations, including more exotic combinations like HORGB-L and HaRGB-L. Structure enhancement, local contrast enhancement, structure softening, highlight brilliance enhancement Live luminosity masks that allow you to reduce background or star luminosity, produce weighted saturation masks etc Star reduction and fringing removal Star motion deconvolution Colour signal options including selective luminosity and saturation enhancement Noise reduction: luma and chroma, just chroma, structure denoising and harsh/blocky noise removal RGB and Min/Max calculation live luminosity options, to alter brightness and contribution of colour channel data Monochrome colour mapping for single greyscale data compositions Merge to 16-bit sRGB/wide gamut options (after tone stretching) to improve compositing performance on older/weaker machines. A separate 16-bit category with most macro behaviours tweaked to compensate for the difference in gamma compositing (32-bit uses linear compositing, 16-bit uses gamma transformed non-linear compositing). I tend to add to these macros and improve them quite regularly, and they are now on version 9! Alongside this latest release, I have finally managed to plan, record and edit a comprehensive video tutorial that covers how to use each macro in detail, and it's 41 minutes long! The tutorial can be viewed on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/s2vVO9WoDC0 I provide the macros as a free download, available on Gumroad (https://jamesritson.gumroad.com/l/jr_astrophotography_macros) and my website (https://jamesritson.co.uk/resources.html) Example documents I have started compiling finished example .afphoto document files and providing them so that people can explore the layer structure and see how various non-destructive retouching can be achieved. The documents are produced from a combination of my own data and from remote imaging services. The layers are all colour-coded (the key is provided in the readme PDF) and you are free to experiment with the layers to gain insight into how they are all being used to reach the final result. I provide these with an arbitrary £1 (GBP) fee, as Gumroad does not allow free downloads over a certain file size, and these documents are fairly large! Download link: https://jamesritson.gumroad.com/l/jr_astrophotography_example_documents There are currently 16 example documents featuring a variety of composition setups, and they are: California Nebula HOS Cone Nebula Ha Heart Nebula Ha Helix Nebula HORGB-L Orion Nebula OSC Rosette Nebula SHO Sculptor Galaxy LRGB Tarantula Nebula HaOIII Tarantula Nebula LRGB Crescent Nebula OHS Pleiades RGB Squid Nebula OSH Thor's Helmet HSO North America Nebula OSC Witch Head Nebula LRGB Rho Ophiuchi LRGB (OSC stands for one-shot-colour imagery from bayer sensors). Data sets and finished documents More recently, I have also been providing downloadable data sets along with a finished .afphoto example document. The idea is that you can stack the data yourself in Affinity Photo and learn what its stacking functionality is capable of (e.g. sigma clipping to reject outlier pixels, file groups to quickly stack multiple data sets), then follow along with the finished document to see which macros and techniques have been used to achieve the end result. All data is provided as calibrated FIT files, so there is no need to lengthen the stacking process with calibration frames. Like the example documents, I provide these with an arbitrary £1 (GBP) fee, as Gumroad does not allow free downloads over a certain file size, and the data sets are typically quite large. So far I have made available: Pleiades (M45) one shot colour bayer sensor: https://jamesritson.gumroad.com/l/pleiades Triangulum Galaxy (M33) monochrome LRGB: https://jamesritson.gumroad.com/l/triangulum_galaxy Orion Nebula (M42) bi-colour HOO: https://jamesritson.gumroad.com/l/orion_nebula I hope all the above material is of interest to fellow astrophotographers—we're always keen to find out if people are having a good experience with Affinity Photo for editing, and what the current frustrations or issues are. If anyone has any queries or feedback I've made sure to follow this thread so I can be notified. Thank you for your time!
I see that there are some great actions for PS out there but they come at a price. Have you come across any free and good actions, that you can recommend?