Jump to content

Stars_Banner.jpg.843f9de1cf2bdcd4b91ede4312ecf0ca.jpg

In praise of Deep Sky Stacker (DSS)


Recommended Posts

For years I have used MaxIm DL (v. 4.58) to do my guiding, capture, calibration and stacking before moving the data file in to PhotoShop for final processing and have always been pleased with how it performs the various tasks but when stacking colour images, it can take so long that I sometimes go to bed while it works away!

Yesterday, I gave it 40 APS size colour subframes to stack and after 2 hours I decided that it had crashed (again!) so I downloaded the latest version of DSS and tried that instead using the images already calibrated by MaxIm DL and about 5 minutes later the job was done. I also like the fact that you have a constant readout of what is happening whereas in MaxIm DL, all you get is an hourglass until it either completes the task or, as happened yesterday, it crashes! The fact that it retains a data file on the registration data is also very handy for incremental stacing if you just can't wait to see how the session is progressing :grin: !

For a free program, DSS really is a cracker. I much prefer MaxIm DL's calibration routines (they look complicated but they work really well) and will continue to use these and the MaxIm DL de-Bayering routine but will be looking much deeper into DSS now for stacking.

For image capture, calibration, guiding and mount control, MaxiIm DL is hard to beat but it certainly isn't the only kid on the block when it comes to stacking.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Steve. I just love its simplicity of use - throw all the subs and calibration files at it and let it do its stuff :grin: I've found the colour balance much better in DSS than when I tried debayer in Maxim.

Helen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it too opaque. I dare say I could battle through the literature to find out just what all the settings do but for me the most logical and transparent stacking and calibration is to be had in AstroArt. For speed it beggars belief. Pixinsight is said to give the tightest results but it isn't easy to understand. Another AA plus is that it is so fast that you can restack and recalibrate with a change of parameters to see what works best.

However, DSS is a great freebie, no doubt about it.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve, what stacking method did you use for the lights in DSS?

I actually used Kappa-Sigma Clipping is DSS as I have some hot pixels that I wanted the processing to work on and I believe that this mode rejects 'outlier' pixels.

In your book you say you normally use "Sum" for stacking, but I couldn't see such an option in DSS.

In the book I discuss several stacking methods but recommend 'Sum' to beginners as it is simple and fast and makes the maximum use of the data available thus giving a more positive result early on. It is a little crude though as it doesn't work on outlier pixels (although dark frames should have cut these down somewhat) but it does get a satisfactory result which is what I want beginners to get early on to keep'em going! In MaxIm DL I now mainly use SD Mask or Sigma Clip as both these modes reject outlier pixels (although they do it in different ways). However, returning to MaxIm DL's Sum mode, I suspect that DSS's Maximum is the closest but I believe this to be a little crude so expect some potentially wild results.

Experimentation is the key here but from my very quick tests with DSS, the Kappa-Sigma Clipping method seems robust.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KS stacking in DSS work a treat getting rid of Satellite and plane trails and also passing clouds which when your shooting widefields can move between different parts of a number of frames...

Peter...

Must check which method I'm currently using in DSS as I'm getting plane trails showing. Thought I was on KS - I was at one time - I've played around with most of the settings :D

Later... NO it was on Average. I'd better set it back to KS and restack and repeat all that complicated processing :eek: Oh well... it's good practice I guess :D

Edited by Gina
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KS stacking in DSS work a treat getting rid of Satellite and plane trails and also passing clouds which when your shooting widefields can move between different parts of a number of frames...

Peter...

I just used to use the defaults... seemed to work ok...

Sent from my GT-P7300 using Tapatalk HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It always amused me when people talked about subs ruined by Satellites, planes, chinese lanterns etc... by using an outlier rejection method you can use them...

and yes it really does work for subs partially effected by clouds...

Peter...

Sent from my GT-P7300 using Tapatalk HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.