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First PixInsight Attempt - M42

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Well here is my first attempt at processing the ubiquitous M42 with my trial download of PixInsight.

I started the trial about a week ago and have been studying various online beginners tutorials on You Tube (thanks Mitch!). ๐Ÿ™‚

The data is from a few weeks ago (Nikon D5300, S/W ED72 on a Star Adventurer) but was very limited due to a short session (before Orion disappeared). This is about the best 30 minutes of an hour or so session of lights. Calibrated with darks and flats.

I realise that I have missed the star reduction and I need to practice this more, but I think that the HDR Multi-scale Transform has really brought out some detail of the nebula core. It is a pretty amazing tool!! But then I guess M42 does have High Dynamic Range so maybe it stands out more.

Maybe I have over saturated this but then I guess that is to taste. I'd be happy to hear any criticism or comment.

I have a number of gripes with the Pixinsight software as it is so non-intuitive. Having said that, it does have amazing capabilities if you can get to grips with it.

Time will tell, and I will process some more data on other targets over the next few weeks before deciding whether or not to purchase a license.

Cheers & clear skies!!



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With HDR Multiscale Transform (& also Local Histogram Equalisation) it's best to take a clone of the image beforehand & then use Pixelmath to combine the before & after images, so the result doesn't look over processed.

Pixinsight is a very versatile bit of kit...


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Excellent first result.ย 

The problem with hdrmt is that you lose colour in the bright core. For this target, I would combine a lesser stretched image with a more aggresdive stretched one.

You can also use a dimmed down lightness mask to control the effect of hdrmt. In curves transform bring the white point of the mask down to 40 - 50%.

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Good first effort. PixInsight can take a while to get to grips with even the basics but once you become familiar with it, it becomes a lot easier to use.

I'd recommend hitting your background with some noise reduction, particularly colour noise. TGVDenoise would be ideal on both RGB/K and chrominance. Extract a luminance copy of the image and apply it as an inverted mask to protect the brighter areas so noise reduction only works on the background. It should help reduce the speckle.

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Thanks for the feedback Wim, Ken and Ivor. All very valuable and I'll certainly take it on board with my next efforts to process this data.

Only having had the software for a week or so I was quite surprised by what it was able to achieve - despite the issues I have with the usability. I guess I'll get used to it. It is clear that I have only scratched the surface!

Another thing is that the image seemed to look much better on my monitor and phone before I posted it here. It certainly looks worse after I do the post - an issue I have had before. Hey ho!




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