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Hi guys! I've imaged M42 recently and would like to get some help with processing it, as I don't really manage to get anything 'more' out of it.

These are 2 images I've got from it:
M42_2.thumb.jpg.ef3ee5edce0cb7fce31b8a7be6a5515b.jpg

M42_3.thumb.jpg.0bd1c5c000fca1f4f5559fe1300fb4e9.jpg

 

I just feel like there's much more that can be done with it, but whatever I'm trying I just seem to ruin it.

Here is the stacked image(uploaded in xisf/tiff/fits format):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Eb0BI_F0AaVdh0cZieYmQIbuX_Me0MU/view

Unfortunately I imaged it without the camera cooling as I'm currently having issues with that, and I didn't had the chance to take flats, so there is some dust on the camera sensor as shown in the pictures.

I've tried working with pixinsight, but I'm not sure where else to go with this and would love to get some advices :)

About the equipment I've used:
Skywatcher 200p(f/5) with EQ5 and ZWO ASI071MC pro(without cooling). Thanks for the help!

Edited by msacco
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I'm afriad I can't do too much as I grabbed your RAR file but it wouldn't open. Just using the above image I dropped it down a notch in brightness so there was a core and removed a bit of the green but this is crude ...

M42_2.thumb.jpg.ef3ee5edce0cb7fce31b8a7be6a5515b.jpg

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Probably overdone it but this is just 10 min using Photoshop.

 

 

test.jpg

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4 hours ago, JSeaman said:

I'm afriad I can't do too much as I grabbed your RAR file but it wouldn't open. Just using the above image I dropped it down a notch in brightness so there was a core and removed a bit of the green but this is crude ...

M42_2.thumb.jpg.ef3ee5edce0cb7fce31b8a7be6a5515b.jpg

Any reason you didn't manage to download it?

1 hour ago, wornish said:

Probably overdone it but this is just 10 min using Photoshop.

 

 

test.jpg

Wow this is interesting....Yes I think it's a bit overdone and looks kinda "paintish" to me, but that's still really amazing, would you mind sharing with me a bit about it?

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It downloaded but I couldn't open the RAR file, got 7zip on it and worked, try this one ...

Edit.jpg

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19 hours ago, msacco said:

Hi guys! I've imaged M42 recently and would like to get some help with processing it, as I don't really manage to get anything 'more' out of it.

These are 2 images I've got from it:
M42_2.thumb.jpg.ef3ee5edce0cb7fce31b8a7be6a5515b.jpg

M42_3.thumb.jpg.0bd1c5c000fca1f4f5559fe1300fb4e9.jpg

 

I just feel like there's much more that can be done with it, but whatever I'm trying I just seem to ruin it.

Here is the stacked image(uploaded in xisf/tiff/fits format):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Eb0BI_F0AaVdh0cZieYmQIbuX_Me0MU/view

Unfortunately I imaged it without the camera cooling as I'm currently having issues with that, and I didn't had the chance to take flats, so there is some dust on the camera sensor as shown in the pictures.

I've tried working with pixinsight, but I'm not sure where else to go with this and would love to get some advices :)

About the equipment I've used:
Skywatcher 200p(f/5) with EQ5 and ZWO ASI071MC pro(without cooling). Thanks for the help!

IMPO you should stick with the second image . Your first image you over clipped the BP  according to the histogram . I messed with it in PS and only could see a slight difference or improvement depending on taste using curves but only to the slightest amount that really doesn't make since to change .  The only improvement could be in the trap section and you can do that but taking shorter exposures to expose the center stars better then doing a copy/paste by selection then feathering 1 or 2 pixels then copy and paste into this second image .  other than that is multiple short exposures stacked with your other exposures then editing to your likeness . 

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Thank you for sharing your stacked data - when the weather doesn't allow for collecting new data, it's fun to do some processing.  I've played around in Photoshop with your stacked image and come up with this - I hope you like it - I'm still very much a novice at this.

Graeme

M42_STACK.png

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Thanks for the data, had a quick go at processing it there now.

 

M42_STACK-lpc-cbg-Stmed.jpg

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6 hours ago, JSeaman said:

It downloaded but I couldn't open the RAR file, got 7zip on it and worked, try this one ...

Edit.jpg

2 hours ago, GraemeH said:

Thank you for sharing your stacked data - when the weather doesn't allow for collecting new data, it's fun to do some processing.  I've played around in Photoshop with your stacked image and come up with this - I hope you like it - I'm still very much a novice at this.

Graeme

M42_STACK.png

 

3 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Thanks for the data, had a quick go at processing it there now.

 

M42_STACK-lpc-cbg-Stmed.jpg

Thanks a lot for the help guys, that's a really nice outcome! I like the fact that the core of the nebula isn't burned like in my image.

If you could share a bit about the process you've done it would be plenty useful, thanks :)

 

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Just now, msacco said:

 

Thanks a lot for the help guys, that's a really nice outcome! I like the fact that the core of the nebula isn't burned like in my image.

If you could share a bit about the process you've done it would be plenty useful, thanks :)

 

No problem.  I spent about 15 mins doing this.  I did three stretches of the image, layered them, and used layer masks to let through the centre to control the trapezium.

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Just now, tooth_dr said:

No problem.  I spent about 15 mins doing this.  I did three stretches of the image, layered them, and used layer masks to let through the centre to control the trapezium.

I believe you used photoshop for this? I've never actually used any software before I started doing AP, so I'm only using pixinsight at the moment.

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Also if I can add, I wouldnt bother stacking my lights if I dont have flats, flats are pretty much crucial.  You had a lot of vignetting that was very difficult to remove.

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Just now, msacco said:

I believe you used photoshop for this? I've never actually used any software before I started doing AP, so I'm only using pixinsight at the moment.

Sorry I have literally ZERO knowledge of PI.

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1 minute ago, tooth_dr said:

Also if I can add, I wouldnt bother stacking my lights if I dont have flats, flats are pretty much crucial.  You had a lot of vignetting that was very difficult to remove.

I had dust on the camera sensor, but I don't think flats should help with vignetting? Unfortunately due to a few technical issues I couldn't take flats, so this is what I ended up with. I'll probably image that once more when I'll get all my issues sorted out, and maybe even from an actual dark bortle 3 site instead of bortle 5.

Just now, tooth_dr said:

Sorry I have literally ZERO knowledge of PI.

I believe I'd want to also learn how to use photoshop well, so this is still really useful :)

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Just now, msacco said:

I had dust on the camera sensor, but I don't think flats should help with vignetting? Unfortunately due to a few technical issues I couldn't take flats, so this is what I ended up with. I'll probably image that once more when I'll get all my issues sorted out, and maybe even from an actual dark bortle 3 site instead of bortle 5.

I believe I'd want to also learn how to use photoshop well, so this is still really useful :)

Flats are crucial in evening out illumination of the sensor - includes dust and vignetting! Trust me it will make processing a lot easier for you 

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5 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Flats are crucial in evening out illumination of the sensor - includes dust and vignetting! Trust me it will make processing a lot easier for you 

Hopefully I won't have any issues next time :)

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I followed a similar workflow to @tooth_dr but with only 2 different stretches layered. I'll try to summarise as best I can, but I can't actually remember every step.

Convert to 16 bit using Exposure and Gamma

Use levels on the individual colour channels to line up the histogram peaks (your blue channel seemed to be clipped at the bottom end) 

Stretch with curves as far as possible without losing the trapezium

Make a copy, then stretch one of them further to bring out more of the nebula

Put the less stretched version as a layer on top, and use the more stretched version (gaussian blurred by 5 pixels) as a mask

Convert to Lab colour space and stretch the a and b channels to boost the colour

Convert back to RGB and recheck the histogram, using levels again to line up the peaks

Try to deal with the vignetting using Astro Flat Pro plugin

Clean the dust spots using Content Aware Spot Healing Brush

2 cycles of star reduction using Noel's actions

2 cycles of space noise reduction using Noel's actions

I'm sure I've missed some steps, but this is an idea of what I did. 

Graeme

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Mine was simply curves and levels in photoshop then a dash of shadows/highlights to tweak. You can also play with vibrance/saturation to boost colours.

 

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3 hours ago, GraemeH said:

I followed a similar workflow to @tooth_dr but with only 2 different stretches layered. I'll try to summarise as best I can, but I can't actually remember every step.

Convert to 16 bit using Exposure and Gamma

Use levels on the individual colour channels to line up the histogram peaks (your blue channel seemed to be clipped at the bottom end) 

Stretch with curves as far as possible without losing the trapezium

Make a copy, then stretch one of them further to bring out more of the nebula

Put the less stretched version as a layer on top, and use the more stretched version (gaussian blurred by 5 pixels) as a mask

Convert to Lab colour space and stretch the a and b channels to boost the colour

Convert back to RGB and recheck the histogram, using levels again to line up the peaks

Try to deal with the vignetting using Astro Flat Pro plugin

Clean the dust spots using Content Aware Spot Healing Brush

2 cycles of star reduction using Noel's actions

2 cycles of space noise reduction using Noel's actions

I'm sure I've missed some steps, but this is an idea of what I did. 

Graeme

 

3 hours ago, JSeaman said:

Mine was simply curves and levels in photoshop then a dash of shadows/highlights to tweak. You can also play with vibrance/saturation to boost colours.

 

Thanks for the very detailed answer! I'll try getting comfortable with photoshop as well :)

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Late to the party, but here's my result with PixInsight

  • DBE to remove vignetting
  • Background Neutralisation
  • Photometric Colour Calibration (G2V star as white reference)
  • Arcsinh stretch in two stages
  • Curves transformation
  • LHE on a copy
  • Blending the original and the copy
  • crop and resample to 50%

blend_clone.thumb.jpg.e60c879b0489260ca6c028fb82303776.jpg

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

The core is definitely not burnt out, but I kept it quite bright to get a more natural look (whatever that is).

Because of the dust bunnies, I didn't push the dust in the background to its limit.

Edited by wimvb
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13 hours ago, wimvb said:

Late to the party, but here's my result with PixInsight

  • DBE to remove vignetting
  • Background Neutralisation
  • Photometric Colour Calibration (G2V star as white reference)
  • Arcsinh stretch in two stages
  • Curves transformation
  • LHE on a copy
  • Blending the original and the copy
  • crop and resample to 50%

blend_clone.thumb.jpg.e60c879b0489260ca6c028fb82303776.jpg

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

The core is definitely not burnt out, but I kept it quite bright to get a more natural look (whatever that is).

Because of the dust bunnies, I didn't push the dust in the background to its limit.

Thanks for the comment, really appreciate that! :)

I really like the result and I think that's the most beautiful result I've seen of this(no offense to anyone else!). Thanks for the explanation!

Can you please elaborate a bit more on the following steps:

 

  • LHE on a copy
  • Blending the original and the copy
  • crop and resample to 50%

I'm not really sure about what each of these means.

This is the result I end up with BTW:
72167261_10220356437245740_5162705192650539008_o.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_oc=AQliOCMEMfl7uOoxF1X6D8cOAz32FmCHHboi9Z1aoPmoCGDjF_gmHFoXiomRRDz-d20&_nc_ht=scontent.fhfa1-1.fna&oh=e5ce2dc66ed3bf0ba0fdc94465a25d77&oe=5E2071B5

It's a little burned, but I'm rather fine with the result.

Edited by msacco

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5 hours ago, msacco said:

Can you please elaborate a bit more on the following steps:

 

  • LHE on a copy
  • Blending the original and the copy
  • crop and resample to 50%

I'm not really sure about what each of these means.

LHE: local histogram equalisation, is a process in the Intensity Transformations menu. I used it with Kernel Radius 240, and amount 0.35.

Blending images: Use PixelMath:

 (Original + Copy)/2

Crop: Dynamic Crop under the Geometry menu, so is Resample (set to 50%)

You should also revisit your DBE step. There is still some vignetting in your image, and a dark ring around the main nebula. I used DBE with Division as the correction method, and only about 12 sample points: one in each corner, one somewhat inwards from each corner. Finally a few samples along the edges. Tolerance was 3 or 5 and sample size 25.

Edited by wimvb

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45 minutes ago, wimvb said:

 (Original + Copy)/2

...you could just write this as

    original + copy

...if you check the rescale box.

 

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2 hours ago, AKB said:

...you could just write this as

    original + copy

...if you check the rescale box.

 

Yes, but why simplify things? 😋

mean(original, copy) also works. It seems we need more proverbial felines to skin.

Edited by wimvb
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12 hours ago, wimvb said:

LHE: local histogram equalisation, is a process in the Intensity Transformations menu. I used it with Kernel Radius 240, and amount 0.35.

Blending images: Use PixelMath:

 (Original + Copy)/2

Crop: Dynamic Crop under the Geometry menu, so is Resample (set to 50%)

You should also revisit your DBE step. There is still some vignetting in your image, and a dark ring around the main nebula. I used DBE with Division as the correction method, and only about 12 sample points: one in each corner, one somewhat inwards from each corner. Finally a few samples along the edges. Tolerance was 3 or 5 and sample size 25.

Thanks! I'll look further into it, that's always awesome to learn more.
In case it's somehow still possible, I'm actually fairly sure it was you who did that before, but do you think it's possible to send the process container? It's very very useful to see how everything is done up to the very specific details so I'll be able to further learn from it.

If it's no longer possible then there's no need to, thanks a lot anyway! :)

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