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JonCarleton

Who's Using What for Post-Processing

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I am a Linux user and have been using Siril and GIMP for my post processing.  The reasons are, I don't know the difference, am comfortable with using GIMP (many years now) and Siril, because it was free and worked better than other free software that would run on my systems.  I am not horribly displeased with my choices and results, but I recognize that there are some more capable systems out there.  I have also seen some results that seem a bit over-processed to my untrained eye.

So...what are YOU using, hmm?  And why?  What do you like?  What don't you like?  Though I am myself a dyed-in-wool Unix user, my intent is not to limit this thread to Unix/Linux software (and I will admit to having tried the Windows  version of RegiStax and a few others in a Linux/Windows emulator, but they ran slow, crashed on occasion and smelled funny). So, bring up Windows software as well, that is expected.

I'll start:  I like GIMP, but I have ages of time behind it and see no reason to abandon that bit of processing UNLESS there is a stacker that does a lot of the same work as well or better with less effort.  Siril, not so much.  It does what it does really efficiently, but has limits.  If you have a dataset that falls into one of its favorite niches, then I suspect its stacking is as good as most other stackers.  If you have any special needs, desires or dreams, as I said, not so much.  I have only used a few other stackers, and only briefly, so I plead insanity for the purposes of my Siril evaluation....but it is free, and does what it does reasonably well.

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Posted (edited)

Astro Pixel Processor for:

  • Calibration (darks, flats, bias, bad-pixel map)
  • Stacking
  • Light pollution removal
  • RGB compositing (I shoot narrowband or RGB)
  • Initial stretching

Starnet++ for star removal

Photoshop for:

  • Localized contrast enhancement
  • Cropping, rotating
  • Final color adjustments
  • Denoise (Topaz DeNoise AI)
  • Sharpening
  • Re-compositing starless and star layer

I used Siril until I got APP. No comparison in ease of learning and ease of use; I think I'm getting much better results out of APP with far less fooling around. Light pollution removal all by itself is worth the candle.

Note that APP and Starnet++ run on Linux.

Edited by rickwayne

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I use Siril via scripts mainly as it’s a lot easier and gives good results though have used via sirilic too  ,Startools for processing , reasonably priced easy to understand does a very good job available in various iterations Linux , mac , Windows, Android , free to try for as long as you like no time limit.

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Posted (edited)

I use Astroart for stacking, and Photoshop CS3 for post-processing, it does everything I need except for registration which I do with Registar. 

A lot of software came out after I had been using PS for a number of years, but I don't see the point in learning new software unless I can't get PS to do something, and that one something is star removal.   

I have Straton and Annie's actions for this, but neither of them seem to do a clean job and the nebulosity seems to have loads of dots left where the small stars used to be.  I have tried installing Starnet but it won't install on my PC, so might try installing it on my imaging laptop.   It's possible I need a later version of my CS3 as there does seem to be an on-line tutorial which might do the job better in PS.  But before I shell out, I'd need to try it out and see if it works any better. 

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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For Linux, for my money, PixInsight is the only real tool out there which can do end-to-end processing. Pricey, but worth its weight in gold, and the Linux support is outstanding (it's their primary platform).

GIMP is a good tool for basic post work like adding signatures, and as mentioned above Siril and APP can run on Linux but I've not had good experiences with APP.

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+1 for AstroArt it does 99% of what you you need to do.

Highly recommenced.

 

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Posted (edited)

Siril, StarTools, DarkTable under Ubuntu.

Relief when my pi trial finally expired;)

Cheers

Edited by alacant

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Thanks for that.  I have a feeling this topic needs to be revisited periodically as software changes.

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DeepSky Stacker for  stacking, the rest with Photoshop or at a push, GIMP.

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I use DSS for deep sky and a combination of PIPP and Registax for Lunar finished off with Affinity photo..

Alan

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I use Pixinsight. Couldn't get to grips with Star Tools or APT. I've also tried GIMP and a very old copy of Photoshop (running on a virtual XP box using VMWare).

 I especially like that Pixinsight is a processing rather than re-touching tool. It's even possible to create your own GUI elements & processing scripts with javascript, though TBH I'm still learning the ropes with the main bit of the software & it's most common workflow processes. Love the SubFrameSelector, PixelMath & Statistics features...

I've also used PIPP & Registax for moon pics.

Cheers
Ivor

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You know, I believe I am finding the differences in mix of software as interesting as the primary choices.  Lots of ways to fry a potato.

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I use DSS, and Photoshop CC for deep sky, I also have a copy of the old Pixinsight LE and use the DBE tool if i am struggling with a background.  If i have several narrowband images of a target I align them with Picture Window which is now free and very good.

For planetary I use PIPP, AS!2, AS!3 and Registax

Martin

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APP for stacking then Affinity Photo for tweeks.

Peter

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Posted (edited)

PixInsight for dso. It’s available for ms windows, mac os and linux. It has all you need built in, and is imo, not more dificult than any other software.

Edited by wimvb

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A shout out here for using Deep Sky Stacker and then StarTools for processing. 👍

Cheers,
Steve

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I've just got into imaging so was hoping this thread could provide concensus, but I guess there are too many options. 

I'm happy to use Linux or Windows.

I've played around on using Deep Sky Stacker and that seems like it'll stack the images fine (and for free) but haven't found a fully featured free post-processing option that people strongly recommend. I'm not against paying but probably want to be in a position to really make use of the trial so I can make a more informed choice.

As I capture more data I'll have a play, but incase anyone else is looking, star tools have a decent summary of the software available at https://www.startools.org/links--tutorials/free-image-stacking-solutions

 

 

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NINA for DSO capture, Astropixelprocessor for DSO stacking and LP removal.

Firecapture for planets/lunar, but currently playing with Toupsky,  Registax for wavelets.

Photoshop for tweaking DSO/planets/lunar

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Anyone using ASTAP for stacking?  I installed it to take a look.  Good feature set, but the UI isn't exactly self-explanatory.  I'm wondering now if it worth the time to explore.  I mean, I'd have to read instructions and stuff just to get a start. :D

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Although startools is not free it has unlimited usage time (but you cannot save). It has more to it than meets the eye. I usually use pixinsight but always run my image through startools first.

 

8 minutes ago, JonCarleton said:

Anyone using ASTAP for stacking?

I too looked as have it installed for NINA. Got a bit lost and as you say its not the easiest to understand and I struggled to find any helpful info/videos.

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I found some ASTAP videos on Youtube. From a cursory examination, I'd say that while it does stacking that would be acceptable for astrophotography, its primary focus is as an annotation and research tool.  It has loads of features for identifying comets, asteroids and other objects and allows one to ignore the whole image stacking and stack single moving objects (such as a comet), relegating the stars, galaxies and such to star trails.

If I have it right, its primary stacking method is to plate solve each image, rather than seeking pixel patterns.  Apparently, it then uses pixel patterns for the target in the images and combines the plate solve coordinates with the target coordinates for its selective stacking.  Very cool, and useful for research, but not particularly optimal for artwork.

I may keep it in the toolbox for its annotation abilities, but I don't think its a good fit for artful attempts.

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I use StarTools, DSS, Irfanview, painshoppro, affinity, gimp in that order

My own perception is don't judge anything by it's price or assume inferiority or conversely superiority by it's price.

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8 hours ago, JonCarleton said:

Anyone using ASTAP for stacking?  I installed it to take a look.  Good feature set, but the UI isn't exactly self-explanatory.  I'm wondering now if it worth the time to explore.  I mean, I'd have to read instructions and stuff just to get a start. :D

I'm a great fan of ASTAP, but I don't use it for image processing at all.

It is a fantastic plate solver, annotator and asteroid finder.  It is also very good for manual editing of the FITS header, which I have to do to display my images in Cartes du Ciel.

I think of it as a Swiss army knife for astrophotography.

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31 minutes ago, don4l said:

editing of the FITS header, which I have to do to display my images in Cartes du Ciel.

Just interested in your comment...

I use plate solving and just open the wcs.fit image in CdC to display it....

What editing do you have to do??

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5 hours ago, Merlin66 said:

Just interested in your comment...

I use plate solving and just open the wcs.fit image in CdC to display it....

What editing do you have to do??

 

ASTAP, Astronomy.net and Elbrus all prefer to work on simple calibrated images.  When I try to display these in CdC I have to play with the display settings in (Settings -> Pictures -> Background) to get the image to display properly.   So, I produce "stretched" images in CCDStack.  These will display very nicely in CdC, but CCDStack strips most of the FITS header.  To replace the fits information, I open the solved image in ASTAP and copy the header info from the FITS window.  I then open the stretched image, and use Ctrl V to paste the header into the stretched image.

All images then display properly with the CdC image settings at "default".   This also allows me to put colour images into CdC.

 

 

 

CcDColour.jpg

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