Jocular: a tool for astronomical observing with a camera

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Yeah CV2 does that, here's some sample code below. I'm just going to debayer and split my files as they come in then copy them to a watched folder at this point but if that could be embedded in the program even better!

```#!/usr/bin/env python3

'''
Fetch RGGB data from FITS file, convert it to an RGB numpy
array, with and without interpolation, and store it as
uint16 PNG. This code serves as an example.

Variant "no interpolation" based on Osmo Systems' picamraw.

Requires Python >= 3.5

Markus Wildi, 2019

'''

import cv2
from astropy.io import fits

import numpy as np
from enum import Enum

# source: adapted from Osmo Systems' picamraw (https://github.com/osmosystems/picamraw).

class BayerOrder(Enum):
''' There are four supported arrangements of the R, G, G, and B pixels:
RGGB:
RG
GB
GBRG:
GB
RG
BGGR:
BG
GR
GRBG:
GR
BG
'''

RGGB = 'RGGB'
GBRG = 'GBRG'
BGGR = 'BGGR'
GRBG = 'GRBG'

R_CHANNEL_INDEX, G_CHANNEL_INDEX, B_CHANNEL_INDEX = [0, 1, 2]

BAYER_ORDER_TO_RGB_CHANNEL_COORDINATES = {
# (ry, rx), (gy, gx), (Gy, Gx), (by, bx)
BayerOrder.RGGB: ((0, 0), (1, 0), (0, 1), (1, 1)),
BayerOrder.GBRG: ((1, 0), (0, 0), (1, 1), (0, 1)),
BayerOrder.BGGR: ((1, 1), (0, 1), (1, 0), (0, 0)),
BayerOrder.GRBG: ((0, 1), (1, 1), (0, 0), (1, 0)),
}

def _guard_attribute_is_a_multiple_of(attribute_name, attribute_value, multiple):
if not attribute_value % multiple == 0:
raise ValueError(
'Incoming data is the wrong shape: {attribute_name} ({attribute_value}) is not a multiple of {multiple}'
.format(**locals())
)

bggr = fits.getdata('4sec.fits')
#
# variant without interpolation
#
_guard_attribute_is_a_multiple_of('width', bggr.shape[0], 2)
_guard_attribute_is_a_multiple_of('height', bggr.shape[1], 2)

rgb_no_int = np.zeros((int(bggr.shape[0]/2), int(bggr.shape[1]/2), 3))

((ry, rx), (gy, gx), (Gy, Gx), (by, bx)) = BAYER_ORDER_TO_RGB_CHANNEL_COORDINATES[BayerOrder.RGGB]

rgb_no_int[:, :, R_CHANNEL_INDEX] = bggr[ry::2, rx::2]
rgb_no_int[:, :, G_CHANNEL_INDEX] = (bggr[gy::2, gx::2] + bggr[Gy::2, Gx::2])/2.
rgb_no_int[:, :, B_CHANNEL_INDEX] = bggr[by::2, bx::2]
cv2.imwrite( '4sec_no_int.png', rgb_no_int.astype(np.uint16))
#
# variant with interpolation
#
rgb = cv2.cvtColor(bggr, cv2.COLOR_BAYER_BG2RGB)

cv2.imwrite('4sec_int.png', rgb) ```
Edited by GordTulloch

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• Created

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I'm not using cv2 but instead this https://github.com/colour-science/colour-demosaicing/blob/master/colour_demosaicing/examples/examples_bayer.ipynb and it seems to be working fine within Jocular (not yet part of the release though). The tricky part is knowing that the incoming FITs is indeed in need of debayering... there is some inconsistency in the use of FITs header info to signal this 😉

Also considering supporting Canon/Nikon raw format but that will take a little longer. My reluctance is that handling large pixel-count sensors is pretty sluggish for compute-intensive things like live LAB colour, but I have a few ideas on that front that I want to try out.

cheers

Martin

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Dunno Martin I'd upvote INDI support before RAW format - any plans for that? Would make supporting lots of different cameras easy and give you mount control as well!

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5 hours ago, Martin Meredith said:

I'm not using cv2 but instead this https://github.com/colour-science/colour-demosaicing/blob/master/colour_demosaicing/examples/examples_bayer.ipynb and it seems to be working fine within Jocular (not yet part of the release though). The tricky part is knowing that the incoming FITs is indeed in need of debayering... there is some inconsistency in the use of FITs header info to signal this 😉

Oh, good find, thats pretty easy to work with!  Would it not just be BAYERPAT needs to be set to something intelligent?

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• 3 months later...

Hi Martin et al, Just wondering if you could clarify something for me.

My shiny new Ultrastar arrived the other day, I have yet to set it up and put it to use (bloomin' storms...)  however I noticed that the instructions refer to installing Starlight live when wanting to use the Ultra for "live viewing"

How does this differ from you software? Is yours better? or do they do different things?

Edited by Steve Loy
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Hi Steve

Starlight Live (SLL; formerly Lodestar Live) is a separate application (developed by Paul Shears of SGL) that can be used to do EEVA-like things with the SX range of cameras. SLL is excellent for EEVA and is how I got into this game in 2014, being very easy to use (and because it worked on a Mac!). I would recommend you start out with SLL with your Ultrastar, actually.

I developed Jocular because I wanted further capabilities to support my EEVA sessions, but was very much inspired by the simplicity of SLL. Jocular extends the capabilities of SLL in the following ways: automatic management & reloading of previous captures; observation planning; gradient-removal and noise reduction; greater set of stretch functions and histogram-free image manipulation; complete control of the stack; object and session logging; automatically applied calibration library; auto-flats; annotated snapshots; live LRGB and L-Ha combination; local platesolving and very deep annotation (this is in the latest version). On top of that it is open source and 100% platform-neutral, so anyone can join in on GitHub and take it forward.

SLL and Jocular can work together, and that is how I started and how many prolific users still use Jocular. SLL is used for capture and is configured to save FITs automatically to a 'watched' folder that Jocular then automatically loads from.

I added native support for the Lodestar and the SX filter wheel in the last version and that is the way I use it now (ie without SLL). There are some issues that we are trying to sort out getting the SX cameras supported natively on Windows (it will work, just a question of the details). My intention is to support the Ultrastar natively too (this part is easy and is being held up because of the Windows issue).

If you or anyone does want to try out Jocular, please wait for a couple of days (no more) because I'll be releasing v0.4 and the installation procedure has been greatly simplified 🙂: users just need to ensure they have Python and then do a 'pip install jocular'.

cheers

Martin

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3 hours ago, Martin Meredith said:

please wait for a couple of days (no more) because I'll be releasing v0.4

Oooh... super-exciting news!  I was just checking to see if there had been any updates in my absence.

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9 hours ago, Martin Meredith said:

If you or anyone does want to try out Jocular, please wait for a couple of days (no more) because I'll be releasing v0.4 and the installation procedure has been greatly simplified 🙂: users just need to ensure they have Python and then do a 'pip install jocular'.

I'm treating myself top a new laptop soon, so I'll try to install Jocular again - it does look very nice to use.

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Also in the process of figuring out a new laptop. I’m dithering about specs though as I’ll need it to run the software to control all the functions of the scope and obsey  remotely as well as deal with the live stacking.

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Martin,

Will you be releasing it here or on github as could not find it on there or am i being stupid??? in searching for it sorry for the dumb question  (this is in the latest version). On top of that it is open source and 100% platform-neutral, so anyone can join in on GitHub and take it forward.

Andy

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30 minutes ago, RobertI said:

it does look very nice to use.

It certainly is!

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40 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Martin,

Will you be releasing it here or on github as could not find it on there or am i being stupid??? in searching for it sorry for the dumb question  (this is in the latest version). On top of that it is open source and 100% platform-neutral, so anyone can join in on GitHub and take it forward.

Andy

Hi Andy

It is already on GitHub but maybe Google hasn't picked it up yet. I'll advertise the link when I've completed the next update (this weekend).

Martin

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Just now, Martin Meredith said:

Hi Andy

It is already on GitHub but maybe Google hasn't picked it up yet. I'll advertise the link when I've completed the next update (this weekend).

Martin

Martin

Many thanks

Andy

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42 minutes ago, AKB said:

It certainly is!

Thanks Tony!

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Jocular v0.4 is now available.

The main change is support for deep browsing/annotation of your captures. Installation is also greatly simplified 🙂

You can find details here: https://transpy.eu.pythonanywhere.com/jocular/index.html

Please let me know of any issues.

Martin

Edited by Martin Meredith
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On 19/03/2021 at 09:05, Martin Meredith said:

I added native support for the Lodestar and the SX filter wheel in the last version and that is the way I use it now (ie without SLL). There are some issues that we are trying to sort out getting the SX cameras supported natively on Windows (it will work, just a question of the details). My intention is to support the Ultrastar natively too (this part is easy and is being held up because of the Windows issue).

Great to know I'll be able to use my Lodestar with Jocular without need for SLL (which is still a great tool in its own right!)

2 hours ago, Martin Meredith said:

You can find details here: https://transpy.eu.pythonanywhere.com/jocular

You've done so much work on this Martin, lots of amazing  features by the look of it, very exciting, I'll have a read through the comprehensive manual to acquaint myself with its feature set.

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Flawless installation procedure!  Can't wait to try it.

Is this fully compatible with the previous data folders?  ie. can I simply direct it towards my existing data folder (with watch list, masters, ...) ?

Tony

Edited by AKB
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36 minutes ago, AKB said:

Flawless installation procedure!  Can't wait to try it.

Is this fully compatible with the previous data folders?  ie. can I simply direct it towards my existing data folder (with watch list, masters, ...) ?

Tony

Yes, it ought to. The first time you start it up you need to tell it where your data folder is

(Its a long story why this is a command line option and not configured within the program itself, but it has to do with the ugly filebrowser component that was available in the toolkit I'm using...)

Debayering didn't make it into this version as I got carried away with annotation, but I can look into it again. The issue as I recall was being able to detect automatically whether a FITs needed to be debayered (and how) or not, but I could transfer that responsibility to the user...

Now the code is under proper version control I will be able to release updates much more frequently so I will see if this is something that can be done soonish.

cheers

Martin

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1 hour ago, RobertI said:

Great to know I'll be able to use my Lodestar with Jocular without need for SLL (which is still a great tool in its own right!)

You've done so much work on this Martin, lots of amazing  features by the look of it, very exciting, I'll have a read through the comprehensive manual to acquaint myself with its feature set.

Thanks Rob. If you're using Windows then you'll probably run into the same issues with native capture that others are having. As I'm trying to keep the code 100% platform-neutral (internally too ie no 'if Windows do this else do that'), I'm using a library for handling USB that is meant to work with OSX, Windows and Linux, but I'm having difficulties with the Windows side -- something related to permissions. As I don't have access to a Windows machine myself it is hard to work out what is going on. Annoyingly, for the 1 hour I did have access to a Windows machine it was working, so there is an existence proof, but it has proved hard to replicate!

If native capture turns out to be hard to get working, I have a plan B, which is actually turning rapidly into plan A. I've recently acquired a RPi running Astroberry and I want to be able to talk to it from Jocular, but I am determined to remain platform-neutral. The possibility I'm considering is writing a simple(?!) server running on the Pi that converts ALPACA-styled requests coming from Jocular into INDI. This then should also work on Windows using the ALPACA-ASCOM bridge. I don't intend to go the whole hog though: I'd just support a simple subset of commands for the main camera, filterwheel and mount. How difficult could that possibly be?!

Martin

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39 minutes ago, Martin Meredith said:

I take it that I can run that command at any time?

41 minutes ago, Martin Meredith said:

Debayering didn't make it into this version as I got carried away with annotation, but I can look into it again.

That would be great.  I know that you had identified some possible libraries. Along these lines, can I make a suggestion, motivated by some feedback I’ve received when using Jocular for Zoom observing sessions for the local Astro club?  The folks there are really wowed by what Jocular can do, but always a bit sad when they discover that it won’t really work for their larger cameras... the trend today being for many small pixels.  So...

...if one debayer option was “super-pixel” (using the matrix of four RGGB pixels to produce just one with no processing other than averaging G) then even, say, a 24 Mpixel camera would be readily usable, since this is effectively 2x2 binning. (My current use of a mono Atik 460-EX with 6 Mpixels shows that it works well with that many pixels.). My particular interest is in using this for a ZWO ASI-294MC which has a modest 11 Mpixels.

...just a thought.   Thanks for your consideration!

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Yes, you can use that command at any time. What it does is update a file called .jocular in your home directory which simply contains the path to the data directory. BTW If you still want separate paths for the watched folder I could sort something out now that I have the mechanism in place.

I'll give the debayering/super-pixel some more thought. It is all quite new to me but yes, I have some libraries that seem to do the job. I just need to sort out the user-interaction part, to keep things simple. As you might remember we looked at the FITs headers and there was no clear/consistent convention as to whether a FITs needed debayering, and if so, with what matrix. One way would be for the user to insist on debayering everything and specify the matrix. I believe this is what other software requires.

Martin

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10 minutes ago, Martin Meredith said:

One way would be for the user to insist on debayering everything and specify the matrix.

Don’t see anything wrong with that approach.  Bullet proof, which is more than can be said for FITS headers from sundry capture software.  It’s not as though you change your camera that often.  Would be stored on a per-image basis?

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Martin,

I'm seeing an unexpected border around my images... something that hasan't been there before?

Edit:  I've just seen the "Frame size around image" option, and wondered if that's anything to do with it...?

Edited by AKB
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Looks like something I added to mitigate artefacts in star extraction is not quite working as intended for your subs. Give me a while and I'll switch off the new processing...

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I've just played with the option "Frame size around image", setting it to 5, and it went away.

Set it back to 15 and it's still not there...!

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