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AlistairW

Stacking Programs - CCDStack, Registar, Astroart

14 posts in this topic

Hello,

I am looking for software other than DSS or PI that can stack. I primarily do wide-field CCD narrowband. This is probably an unfair summary, but I hear good things about all three (in the title). CCDStack does more than just stack of course (think experts like Adam Block use this a lot). Registar seems to be a 'one trick pony' - but that trick is very very impressive! Astroart is great for stacking and colour alignment, and as of v6 has a good set of post processing tools. I am not considering the price at the moment, but for stacking, I am liking the Astroart offering (especially as it considers rotation too), and I can see myself using the other tools along with PShop too. Any thoughts ..... ?

Thanks

Alistair.

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Is the reason for not doing it in PixInsight because you haven't bought it? I ask as it's stacking is really rather good...

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You are right. No reason not to consider PI I guess.

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I trialled CCD Stack a few months back and was ever so close to purchasing. Its a good piece of software but it is a little limited in its abilities that it primarily stacks and that's it. Though the deconvolution tool is very good and it has a few other tools.
The reason I didn't was one I was a little dismayed to find you have to purchase an additional plug 'CCD ISP' which allows meridian flips etc to be processed?! Why this isn't included was beyond me. This plug is not cheap and the whole lot was working out to be around £270

I then downloaded PixInsight trial, purchased the Warren Keller 'Inside PixInsight' and I haven't looked back. I think PI cost me around £245 and does everything (very well) this includes Stacking and all Post processing.
I am currently reprocessing a lot of old data and I am very pleased with the improvement it has made to my images. A lot of people will tell you its a steep learning curve (it is) but with the book purchased and a lot good web sites its not that hard to get some good results from. Of course I have only just started so still have much to learn.
You can even subscribe to http://www.ip4ap.com/ for £3.49 a month. Loads of video and tutorials. I don't work for PixInsight but have become somewhat impressed with it!

Download the 45 day trial and see what you think. I would purchase the WK book and if you don't like PI you will be able to easily sell the book on.

 

Edited by Droogie 2001
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+1

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Have you tried Nebulosity?  It works for me (on Mac and PC) but perhaps I'm not very acute in my evaluation of the result.  (Actually, TBH, my data is not yet of great quality.)

 

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17 minutes ago, AKB said:

Have you tried Nebulosity?  It works for me (on Mac and PC) but perhaps I'm not very acute in my evaluation of the result.  (Actually, TBH, my data is not yet of great quality.)

 

I've happily used Nebulosity for years to do the stacking.  It will also make a valiant effort in combining images with differing image scales, though not as proficiently as Registar, as it takes some coaxing at times to get that to work.

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On 2/7/2017 at 14:45, AlistairW said:

Hello,

I am looking for software other than DSS or PI that can stack. I primarily do wide-field CCD narrowband. This is probably an unfair summary, but I hear good things about all three (in the title). CCDStack does more than just stack of course (think experts like Adam Block use this a lot). Registar seems to be a 'one trick pony' - but that trick is very very impressive! Astroart is great for stacking and colour alignment, and as of v6 has a good set of post processing tools. I am not considering the price at the moment, but for stacking, I am liking the Astroart offering (especially as it considers rotation too), and I can see myself using the other tools along with PShop too. Any thoughts ..... ?

Thanks

Alistair.

Hi Alistair

I have a variety of programs that I have accumulated that can perform stacking or registration (MaximDL, CCDstack, Registar, Pixinsight).

My default stacking algorithm is CCDstack which I like mainly because of its data rejection capabilities (you can see the data which is going to be rejected in the stack).  By default, I always use this with the CCD Inspector plug in. I originally bought CCDstack not for the stacking but for the deconvolution ability, which it does very well.  However, I decided to start using CCDstack for calibration,  registration, stacking and error rejection after watching a several videos by some eminent astrophotographers (Adam Block and Ken Crawford). If you do go down the CCDstack route, then to use it effectively, I would recommend that you also purchase Adam Block's instructional video.  

Registar is not a stacking program but an outstanding image registration program. Occasionally, if I have problems with stacking an image eg due to a large misalignment between subs or optical distortion then I use Registrar to register the image and CCDstack to perform the error rejection.

I now only use MaximDL for image acquisition in conjunction with ACP.

I've tried Pixinsight and it does stack very well, I choose not to use it because of the other options available. 

Alan

 

Edited by alan4908
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will download some trials and have a try first.

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I'm another believer in pixinsight. For me it has replaced IRIS by Christian Buil - an old but powerful bit of freeware

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Pixinsight may have sorted itself out by now but twice I've had folks here saying, 'Why don't you stack in PI? It's easy, watch. Oh. Oh, why did it do that? Hmm, let's try it a different way... etc.' So I still use AstroArt! The logic of the layout for stacking is impeccable and transparent. There's a good suite of filters which work. Column or row removal, hot pixel filtration etc. Also AA is supernaturally fast. I don't realize this till I see other programmes being used. I'm sure there are lots of good ones but I'm very much at home in AA and using its defect map (bad pixels) instead of darks has given me the sweetest stacks I've ever had.

Registar is not a calibration programme, it only does registration and image combining. You can't use it for applying darks and flats etc. It is, though, incredibly useful for doing what it does.

Olly

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I've tried pixinsight. I lost my way of processing but it was good. I'm looking forward to get Astroart but can't find much reviews. If ollypenrice uses it. Then it must be good :)

4@j£$#

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+1 for AstroArt.

Fabio has done a great job enhancing the program to meet the needs of the spectroscopy community. It's not often you hear of developers listening to their users....

I use AA6 to control all my cameras, all my pre-processing - stacking lights and darks etc. as well as very effective slit spectrograph guiding. Majic - no issues, no hassles.

 

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I ve been an AA user since AA3 I think. I agree with Olly. Its simple, fast and effective. We also use it for guiding on the dual rig. While there are some settings that need a bit of trial and error, and so may not be totally user friendly, it does a great job on guiding once its set up.

T.

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