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Shibby

Heart & Soul Mosaic

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I'd been hoping to do this for a while now and finally got the opportunity to realise my plan this weekend. I already had some Ha and colour for the Soul and Melotte 15 (heart of the Heart) so went about collecting 9 colour panels, plus some extra Ha in key areas, to mosaic this large region all together.

This was hard work to say the least, keeping me constantly busy all night aligning each frame as best as I could against a reference image to eliminate gaps. It was a long, clear night and I eventually packed up like the walking dead at 6.30!

This image covers a field which is about 4.5deg wide, meaning you could fit nearly 9 full moons across it!

Total integration time adds up to around 23 hours:

Colour mosaic base: 9x5x240s

Heart: 66x600s Ha + 23x240s+18x120s Colour

Soul: 8x600s Ha + 82x120s Colour

Ha bits & bobs: 17x600s

Camera: Canon 450d modded

Scope: SW 150PDS

Mount: Vixen GP

Guiding: SPC900 + Orion finderguider

gallery_5051_1080_265526.jpg

Unfortunately, you may have noticed that a tiny piece of my Soul is still missing... Not in a spiritual way! ;)

Processing has been a difficult task. I had a real nightmare manually aligning all the layers to the base mosaic, particularly where seams from one layer overlap seams from another; this shows up as a few odd star shapes at higher resolutions (Can Registar do mosaics??) Colour gradients were also a headache to tackle, leaving myself plenty of room for improvement, so this is still a work in progress really.

Thanks for looking, I hope you like it; but criticism of all kinds much appreciated!

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Wow, great work Lewis!

Gigantic FOV here. You may try PixInsight. Will take care of you sleep as far as mosaics concern at least.

Mark

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Excellent pic, super work. I can't see any seems in the joins, and I know thats difficult to achieve. The colour looks very good, and I also don't notice any soul missing. I use Registar for aligning frames, works ever time. Don't have enough pc power to use PI's Gradient Mosaic. Let me know if you some tips or a how to with Registar.

T.

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Really lovely and I couldn't find the missing Soul either. This is heroic and looks it! What a treat.

Personlly I'd drop the blue saturation a little but that's only preference.

You can 'sort of' do mosaics in Registar and that's how I do them. I have never sussed out how to make it do seamless ones though. Maybe it can but my method is this;

1) Take all the linear tiles into Registar and ideally take in a widefield lens shot to use as a template as well. Register all the tiles to the template and save them then discard the template for good. No template? Register all the tiles to a central tile. It must be a central one or weird field curvature will grow as you move off centre.

2) Open this central tile in Ps and put it on a huge canvas in the middle. Stretch it open in Levels and Curves, noting the curves you are using in your head. Leave plenty of room left of the Histo peak. Paste a neighbouring tile onto the wide canvas and move it into position next to its neighbour. It will fit thanks to Registar. Stretch open as before using similar curves. Also play with the colour balance till the new one is close to the first one. I do it by eye first and then use the colour sampler in the same place on both images. Then use a well feathered eraser on a curvy trajectory to melt the edges of the top layer for a seamless transition.

3) And on to the next tile...

There must be an easier way but the proprietory pano tools aren't good enough for DS images. I haven't tried PT gui above, though.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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Absolutely stunning :) Really beautiful :) I wish to aspire to that and have had a quick go but the weather hasn't been helpful. Great effort - well done :)

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Fabian Neyer also has a good PS mosaic stitch tutorial on his website. Its in the power point presentation. I haven't used it myself but reading it looks good. I go with a very similar method to Ollys with the eraser tool in PS, and layers.

T.

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Wonderful image - a real treat. Testament to your patience and skill collecting and manipulating all that data!

Adrian

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I think I could just get these into one frame with a 200mm lens if I could get the cameras of my WF DSO rig at right angles to their present orientation. Unfortunately I can't go this with my present arrangement mounted on the dovetail.

Edited by Gina

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Thanks all for the nice comments! And all the handy tips on mosaics :D

Did you use a clip-in filter or 1.25"/2" filter for the Ha?

I use the 2" filters, which screw onto the end of my SW CC.

You can 'sort of' do mosaics in Registar and that's how I do them. I have never sussed out how to make it do seamless ones though. Maybe it can but my method is this;

Thanks very much for the guide! Hiding the seams themselves I find relatively easy in PS, but aligning all the images and Ha layers together really troubled me - your advice of aligning them all to a master image is a brilliant idea, and should solve most of the problems I've been having!!

I used PTGUI http://www.ptgui.com/

Download the free trial and see how it works for you

Interesting, definitely worth a look at - downloaded.

I think I could just get these into one frame with a 200mm lens if I could get the cameras of my WF DSO rig at right angles to their present orientation. Unfortunately I can't go this with my present arrangement mounted on the dovetail.

Yes! That should give you a good 6 deg wide field, a damn sight easier than the 9 panels I needed!

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Great image Lewis - I don't know how you managed to find all the hours of clear sky though - you must be blessed in East Anglia. To put together 9 panels like this is some achievement, and the result is cracking good. A tad on the blu-ish side but as others have added this is all personal preference. At some stage you may want to have a go at this in full narrowband since both the Heart & Soul respond very well to these filters.

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This is great Lewis, you're becoming the master of the DSLR & Newt combo.

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Really excellent work Lewis, a lot of effort has gone into capturing this and it shows! It's making me want to crack out my DSLR again!

Well done! Whats next? :D

Clear skies,

Matt.

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Superb... thats a better image than some of us produce with equipment 10x the price!

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Missed this one. Excellent work Lewis - bet youre glad to be moving on to something else now.... Well, not that anybody can at the moment with all this rain!

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I really like that what a fantastic image and great colours well done

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This is an absolutely stunning image Lewis - Shows what DSLR's are capable of in the right hands. Well done!! The star colour is sublime and the whole thing is sharp and the overall colours beautiful.

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