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Annoucement : Astro Live Stacker software


deufrai
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Hi everyone

I am a proud member of a team working on a multi-platform live stacking solution : ALS (Astro Live Stacker => https://als-app.org)

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It runs fine on PC (GNU/Linux and Windows 7 to 10), OSX and RaspBerry.

Current stable version is very basic : Polling a folder to detect new images (any FITS or DSLR RAW) then align + stack (Mean or Sum) + autostrech + levels + RGB balance.

ALS also has a built-in webserver so your pals at the astroclub can see the results, provided everyone is on the same network.

We are working hard on new features like Dark subtraction + Hot pixel removal and are providing nightly builds for you guys to try it out. Check out https://als-app.org/nightlies/

Handling image capture directly inside ALS using INDI protocol is on our roadmap too. check out our Github repo to know more about it

If you could give it a try and help us make ALS a fun & easy way to see and share all those wonders above our heads, that would be much appreciated !

Clear skies to all !

-- 

Fred

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41 minutes ago, R26 oldtimer said:

That's interesting. Would you consider an android app?

Hi

In a not too distant future, the integrated webserver will expose a full-fledged web application, so you can control ALS from any device that is able to run a web browser. But ALS core will still have to run on a computer / rpi.

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Straight into a missing bit for me - doesn't do FITS - Tiff,JPG,PNG only 😞

Properties should have a blob that says you cant change properties until after you have stopped Monitor etc - yes its greyed out but still needs to be hightlighted IMO

Doesn't create missing Work folders

Nothing to say min 25 images - if you change to lower figure it just resets back to 25 - Really min 25 images - way too high IMO especially when using a  DSLR

Not being negative but thats the items found in just a few minutes - perhaps I will try on a later version.

 

Edited by stash_old
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12 minutes ago, stash_old said:

 

Hi ! :)

12 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Straight into a missing bit for me - doesn't do FITS - Tiff,JPG,PNG only 😞

You mean : saving results as FITS format ? Sure, why not

13 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Properties should have a blob that says you cant change properties until after you have stopped Monitor etc - yes its greyed out but still needs to be hightlighted IMO

Excellent point : thanks. See https://github.com/gehelem/als/issues/114

13 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Doesn't create missing Work folders

This is done on purpose : It would be too easy to make wrong assumptions about where everyone would agree to have ALS create its work folder, I guess. But we are all ears if we manage to reach reasonable consensus

15 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Nothing to say min 25 images - if you change to lower figure it just resets back to 25 - Really min 25 images - way too high IMO especially when using a  DSLR

This threshold is not about image count. This is used during frame alignment : When ALS finds matches (common points) between new frame and reference frame, it rejects its findings if matches count is lower than this threshold. This is used to guarantee alignment quality and is, as you may have seen, user definable

17 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Not being negative but thats the items found in just a few minutes - perhaps I will try on a later version.

Negative, maybe not. A bit harsh, surely. But what can we expect from a Brit talking to a Froggie ;)  ? No biggie at all.

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For test (simulation - cloudy times) purposes would it be possible to allow a folder of already saved images to be stacked, either at maximum rate, or perhaps a specified rate e.g. one every 30 seconds? I found with the Windows 10 version I could feed a capture folder with one fits file at a time and watch the ALS actions, but couldn’t do so on my RPi4 which is obviously very busy when ALS is executing (presumably because all cpus/threads are active with ALS in the present version).
 

I normally control my RPi4 for capture guiding etc. from my laptop running VNC viewer over the RPi4 (Astroberry) wifi hotspot. I suppose I could use something like SyncThing on both machines to copy over captured images and then run ALS on the laptop which would have spare processing capacity. Am I missing any obvious alternative?

Thanks

 

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Hi again @Avocette :)

12 minutes ago, Avocette said:

would it be possible to allow a folder of already saved images to be stacked,

This has been asked by many, so I guess it is a real need. And couldn't cost too much to implement

11 minutes ago, Avocette said:

I suppose I could use something like SyncThing on both machines to copy over captured images and then run ALS on the laptop which would have spare processing capacity. Am I missing any obvious alternative?

You could share a folder on your windows machine and have your RPI write captured images to that.

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5 hours ago, deufrai said:

Hi ! :)

You mean : saving results as FITS format ? Sure, why not

Excellent point : thanks. See https://github.com/gehelem/als/issues/114

This is done on purpose : It would be too easy to make wrong assumptions about where everyone would agree to have ALS create its work folder, I guess. But we are all ears if we manage to reach reasonable consensus

This threshold is not about image count. This is used during frame alignment : When ALS finds matches (common points) between new frame and reference frame, it rejects its findings if matches count is lower than this threshold. This is used to guarantee alignment quality and is, as you may have seen, user definable

Negative, maybe not. A bit harsh, surely. But what can we expect from a Brit talking to a Froggie ;)  ? No biggie at all.

I am Not a "Brit" 🙂  but I do live in the UK -    so dont be so quick to make assumptions 🙂

Not that it counts for much but as I say I will look at it again at a later version - always good to have another tool in the box!

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8 hours ago, stash_old said:

Not that it counts for much

It does. 

there's always something useful to take from users' advice. Thanks for the time you spent testing and reporting

Clear skies !
 

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Another biggy - no support for DSLR (canon and other ) RAW format files(CR2/CR3 etc)  that I could see !

If you know Astrotoaster it works well but needs bringing up todate so if same features could be added ,such as list of files being stacked with option to omit and restack etc  - thats where IMO it should look like in terms of features 🙂

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13 minutes ago, stash_old said:

 

Hi

13 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Another biggy - no support for DSLR (canon and other ) RAW format files(CR2/CR3 etc)  that I could see !

As stated on ALS website : https://als-app.org/ : ALS is meant to support quite recent camera RAW files. Complete list is here : https://www.libraw.org/supported-cameras.

And yes, sorry, CR3 files are not yet supported. See : https://github.com/gehelem/als/issues/95

So it seems you just found a bug, which is a good thing. Would you be kind enough to provide the following information so we can investigate and solve the issue :

- Operating system's name and version

- what version of ALS you got that bug with : Version is displayed in the about box. *in case of a nightly build : current version will always display v0.7-dev. If you remember what nightly build you got, it's good for us*

- an image file that reproduces the issue

20 minutes ago, stash_old said:

such as list of files being stacked with option to omit and restack etc

Could you please elaborate on this ? I'm having a hard time to understand. Sorry, English is not my first language

 

Thanks again for your time :)

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2 hours ago, deufrai said:

Hi

As stated on ALS website : https://als-app.org/ : ALS is meant to support quite recent camera RAW files. Complete list is here : https://www.libraw.org/supported-cameras.

And yes, sorry, CR3 files are not yet supported. See : https://github.com/gehelem/als/issues/95

So it seems you just found a bug, which is a good thing. Would you be kind enough to provide the following information so we can investigate and solve the issue :

- Operating system's name and version

- what version of ALS you got that bug with : Version is displayed in the about box. *in case of a nightly build : current version will always display v0.7-dev. If you remember what nightly build you got, it's good for us*

- an image file that reproduces the issue

Could you please elaborate on this ? I'm having a hard time to understand. Sorry, English is not my first language

 

Thanks again for your time :)

No sure if the CR2 is a bug as I could not find a way to list files currently being stacked - may have just missed it 🙂

As for the feature to select only certain files in a folder and be able to deselect a file to restack see attached screen prints.

Nightly build ALS nighlty build 2020-05-08-77e1b4e02

als-1.png

als-2.png

als-3.png

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Hi again

So we went from

4 hours ago, stash_old said:

Another biggy - no support for DSLR (canon and other ) RAW format files(CR2/CR3 etc)  that I could see !

to

2 hours ago, stash_old said:

No sure if the CR2 is a bug as I could not find a way to list files currently being stacked - may have just missed it

:)

Would you mind confirming if CR2 are actually correctly read by ALS on your system (which I assume is win10) ?

 

Regarding the feature you are referring to, indeed, that would be nice, when and if ALS is made to handle already-populated folders. You are welcome to file an issue on our issue tracker for that matter.

Thanks again for your time & efforts

--

Fred

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31 minutes ago, deufrai said:

Hi again

So we went from

to

:)

Would you mind confirming if CR2 are actually correctly read by ALS on your system (which I assume is win10) ?

 

Regarding the feature you are referring to, indeed, that would be nice, when and if ALS is made to handle already-populated folders. You are welcome to file an issue on our issue tracker for that matter.

Thanks again for your time & efforts

--

Fred

yes becuase its confusing ALS only picks up new files in the monitored folder - so if I forget to start ALS it wont do anything with the existing files it just says running. If I delete the files and add them back in while ALS is up and running then it springs into action. IMO not a good work flow as it should process files already in the monitored folder or have a list of ones it has already processed from the monitored folder. Sorry thats my comments on its work flow.

So CR2 files are processed SO LONG as they are added after ALS is started and running the monitoring process.

FITS on the other its does not like and gives an error for the FITS files I use - ok in CCDCIEL,ASTAP etc etc

Please see attached screen prints which I hope will help you understand whats happening. The Astrotoaster program screen print is there to show the same files being processed ok!

here is a link to 1 of the FITS file for your team to test.  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iIdVWzHPn_EXZGiOu9PdaHdCNm6q-qz9    32mb file

 

And yes its Win 10 being used for ALS but the FITS files were from INDI(RPI) via CCDCIEL(Win10) !

alsa-1.png

alsa-2.png

alsa-3.png

Edited by stash_old
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2 hours ago, stash_old said:

yes becuase its confusing ALS only picks up new files in the monitored folder

Hi again,

How can it be confusing ?The very first line describing ALS features on the website states as follow :

"ALS polls a folder on your machine and aligns + stacks any new picture saved into that folder."

If this is not clear enough, I'll think of a better way to phrase it.

Regarding the issue on the FITs file you provided, this will be fixed by tomorrow. We determine file types by their name extension, and '.fts' is obviously handled incorrectly. Thanks for pointing it out

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1 hour ago, deufrai said:

How can it be confusing ?The very first line describing ALS features on the website states as follow :

"ALS polls a folder on your machine and aligns + stacks any new picture saved into that folder."

OK I didn't read the line 😞

 

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.fts file extension handling is now fixed

But @stash_old, don't be mad. ALS still cannot process your good M31 frames.

Your FITS file does not contain the header describing the CFA pattern used by your camera. And ALS still does not provide the user with the ability to specify one. See : https://github.com/gehelem/als/issues/113

Thanks for helping us with your tests and reports

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From a fellow open-source Python EAA tool developer I fully applaud your efforts! I see we have gone down different lines with the main libraries we are using (I'm using scikit-image and Kivy for instance), but if there are any ways we can help each other out algorithmically then let's do so.

I would absolutely love to see open-source Python-based platform-independent capture tools that can be used (but unfortunately lack the low-level skills to produce them myself). Maybe a topic for another thread?

Martin

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