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IKO M16 - Processing Competition


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We've just released the first set of data from the Ikarus Observatory project here.

To celebrate, we are running a processing competition to see who can get the most from this data and create the 'best' image! The winner will receive £150 of First Light Optics gift vouchers and two runners up will receive £50 of gift vouchers.

Details below:

  • Closing date: 4th September 2020 @ 22:00
  • Please post your entries into this thread
  • Please only use the data we've released - don't blend it with other data or add to it with other sources
  • Use what ever processing software and techniques you like, potential bonus points for sharing your workflow and techniques with others - that way, we all get to learn as well 🙂
  • Multiple entries are allowed but, please refrain form posting multiple attempts that are very similar - better to update an earlier attempt if it's just an incremental improvement but, it would be interesting to see totally different attempts using different narrowband blends etc...
  • If you win or are a runner up, we would really like to use your creation in future marketing materials, on our website etc.. so by entering the competition, you are giving us permission to use your image in this way.
  • Judging will be done by a small team of judges from the FLO team - It's completely subjective  but will be based on what image(s) we think do the best job of extracting the most from the data released and, look the 'prettiest' :D
  • We will announce the winners by the 11th September 2020 via SGL

Thanks all and look forward to seeing your attempts 🙂

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Thank you to all the team at FLO for funding this incredible project, the data is an absolute treat to work with. Here is my first stab at it, configured as HaSHO. Processed in PixInsight and fin

This is my process in Photoshop.  Mostly levels and curves, selective colour, and selective high pass filter.   Plus a Crop which I flipped and orientated to what I feel is the right way up. 

Great to see the variety of images posted, here's my effort. I've gone for a fairly traditional Hubble palette leaving in a few green hints.  I also wanted to give a bit of emphasis to the bright

Posted Images

Thank you to all the team at FLO for funding this incredible project, the data is an absolute treat to work with.

Here is my first stab at it, configured as HaSHO. Processed in PixInsight and finished up in Adobe Lightroom.

M16_final.thumb.jpg.6dd4e286766ff90850f981e138bd69d7.jpg

Happy to answer any questions about my workflow, just message me :)

Cheers

EDIT: Inspired by Adam's fantastic Starless version, I decided to create one myself! I hope this falls under 'sufficiently different' in order to count as an alternative entry :)

M16_final_s.thumb.jpg.57605b70b8e67df28f8149b061976037.jpg

Edited by Spongey
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Here is my preliminary effort using a Green / Gold palette

121554482_SHOAffinityDDPMEHSSCVBCYFlip.thumb.jpg.23b757b4d24bf53abf3fbe201c1c30e7.jpg

Flipping between AstroArt 7 and Affinity Photo.

Think I may have to bite the bullet and fork out for PI. Unfortunately my trial has long since ended so will have to get the full license come what may.

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Here's another one.. Process summay....  deconvolution on Ha in Pixinsight, non decon Ha, Oiii and Sii stretched in Pi and then combined as SHO in Photoshop using the colourise function in Hue/Saturation..   much fiddling with PS selective colour and lab colour .. stretched deconvoluted Ha applied in layers as luminance..  a bit of HDRM and DarkStructureEnhance script in Pi and a final polish in PS..  A lovely set of data so well done and many thanks  to all involved in setting this system up.  I particularly like the 3 stars in the middle "Pillar of Creation"..   the Optolong filters look good too.

Dave

edit updated 24 Aug..  image replaced as similar to original 

IKI_M16_SHO_Final_24Aug20_V2.thumb.png.471d40f30f43c7295c9118e3a8e3990d.png

 

 

 

Edited by Laurin Dave
improved version
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Here is my attempt, processed entirely in StarTools version 1.6.

I followed the default workflow as detailed on the LHS menu buttons, except there was no gradient removal applied, (WIPE tool not used). The data in that respect is way better than any I have generated myself, no surprise there given the equipment spec and location.

The HST palette was applied, using this specific channel mix in the colour matrix command:

SHO 50%SII +50%Ha, 50%Ha + 50%OIII, 100% OIII

 

M16STv2.jpg

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Thank you for sharing this data! Staying in a Bortle 3 zone and cloudy every night so far- so this has given me a nice opportunity to do some processing.

This has all been done in Pixinsight. Workflow:

Register Images

Masked Stretch on all 3 images- and then backed off a bit in curves as the signal was a little strong! (...a new one for me!)

Ha seemed sweet, but there was a bit of noise in the other 2, so did a luminance mask on them and used the Multiscale tool to noise reduce at Pixel Scale 1, 2 and 4.

Then ready for combining in PixelMath. I've got the following formulae for PixelMath:

Red=Ha* Red hydrogen+ Sii* RedSulphur+ Oiii* RedOxygen

Green= Sii*GreenSulphur + Oiii*GreenOxygen + Ha*GreenHydrogen

Blue= Oiii*BlueOxygen + Sii*BlueSulphur + Ha*BlueHydrogen

I thought I'd go for something a bit more naturalistic, away from SHO, so my values are:

RedSulphur=0.75,

RedOxygen=-0.75,

RedHydrogen=0.75,

GreenSulphur=0.4,

GreenOxygen=0.2,

GreenHydrogen=0.0,

BlueSulphur=0,

BlueOxygen=1.0,

BlueHydrogen=0.0

The idea is Sii and Ha both feed into Red, but Sii has a green component too so that it's distinguished from the Ha. Oiii is then Blue with a hint of green and a heavy extraction from the red so it doesn't get drowned out. I can (and sometimes do) play with these values for hours. You can make it really lurid by playing with negative values- but I felt it wasn't what was called for here.

I then tweaked the saturation up a little and went after sharpness with a bias tweak using the multiscale tool again but at levels 4 and 8.

EDIT: Stars reduced; bit more saturation.

693747399_IKIM16Naturalisticv2.thumb.jpg.ea55e9d542215314b4342b6d463a125a.jpg

Edited by Whistlin Bob
Fix text on phone; can't leave it alone
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Ok- I probably need to stop playing with this now. But I'm away on my hols, with a scope and some imaging gear, and the weather just isn't playing, so what can I do? 

I thought it might be interesting to make the blue/green tones dominate and then colour Oxygen in the centre red to contrast with them. I used the same formulae for Pixelmath but with these values:

RedSulphur=0, RedOxygen=1.25, RedHydrogen=0

GreenSulphur=1.5, GreenOxygen=-1.5, GreenHydrogen=0

BlueSulphur=0, BlueOxygen=-1.5, BlueHydrogen=1.5

So, it's sort of an OSH palette, which worked Ok for the gases but the stars looked awful. I spent some time trying to desaturate them, or mix in more natural colours, but got nowhere, so I gave up and starnet'ed it. I do like Starnet- and it works a lot better on this than my Newtonian data. I obviously realise this isn't the normal approach to narrowband colours, hopefully it doesn't hurt too many people's eyes!

 

2100OSH.thumb.jpg.fb69d162e62d6a2393141bb777e40750.jpg

Edited by Whistlin Bob
Tweak to colours, remove star artefacts
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What fabulous data, thanks so much for the opportunity.

Processed in StarTools 1.7.417 according to Ivo's ( @jager945 ) work flow, and then 'adjusted' in Photopaint.

NewComposite3.thumb.jpg.a7d880a2e6159928cd23aa4cf7fc1ccd.jpg

Edited by almcl
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This is my process in Photoshop.  Mostly levels and curves, selective colour, and selective high pass filter.  

Plus a Crop which I flipped and orientated to what I feel is the right way up. 

Lovely data to work with.

Carole 

 

SHO.png

SHO crop.png

Edited by carastro
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Hi everyone

What happened to all the stars?! Now I'm most likely disqualified but anyway...

Here's my go using StarTools' -rather nice- primary and secondary PSF modules. Hubble SHO with Ha at around 60%.

Thanks for looking and here's wishing clear skies to all.

m16a.thumb.jpg.acc5b1dedf8f302888a97fb9188ef0d9.jpg

 

 

Edited by alacant
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So here's my effort for what it is worth.  I am not hugely good at PixInsight yet but did the initial channel combination, photometric colour calibration and background removal there before saving it as a TIFF and dumping it into Topaz DeNoise.  I like DeNoise for astro work - it has excellent noise reduction capabilities which of course it should given what it is for however it also has excellent sharpening algorithms too  and is easy to tweak to get the desired results.

From there I then move over to DxO PhotoLabs 3.  PL3 has a couple of nice tools; it's smart lighting and ClearView Plus options are excellent for really bringing detail out without over doing things plus its colour wheel is brilliant for destroying green.  I have a general tweak of contract etc before bumping everything across to Lightroom.  Again, whilst both DxO and LR are RAW editors their tools work in subtly different ways.  Again for astro work I really like the Dehaze tool and I can make very localised adjustments using the Tone Curve tools.  Again I tend to have a fiddle with the highlights and shadow sliders and generally faff about getting to a look I like.

Finally I then dump everything across to Photoshop and have a play with the Astronomy Tools plug-ins, have another tweak of levels, hue, contrast etc and then I also had a play with a technique very much from the old school - dodging and burning.  Just a subtle going over to have very fine and very localised control over the contrast of the main features of the nebula just to give it some more depth.

Yeah sure there are way better image processors than I however I have enjoyed working with such lovely data and I quite like the end result :) 

psStage.jpg

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Hi everyone, this is my first post so I hope it's not presumptuous to enter the competition. I joined SGL recently and was inspired by the recent IKO data processing demo so I thought I would give it a go.

All processed in PixInsight, the workflow and final result are very similar to the demo from David Wills. The only things I did differently were: 

After RGB combine -> extract luminence -> deconvolution. After LRGB recombine, local histogram equalization for a bit more contrast and exponential transformation to bring out some of the dimmer structures.

Cheers

Neal

1320779678_M16-IKO.thumb.jpg.768527cbff308a7e8696a9e49b4f4a25.jpg

Edited by Carbon Star
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Multiple entries are allowed but, please refrain form posting multiple attempts that are very similar - better to update an earlier attempt if it's just an incremental improvement but, it would be interesting to see totally different attempts using different narrowband blends etc...

According to the above rule I'd also like to offer a slightly different palette.  

This is as follows:

Red channel:  Ha 100% with Sii blended as screen 30%

Green Channel: Oiii

Blue channel: Oiii 100% with Ha 30% blended as screen.

I have seen this palette used before where it was called "Natural Palette" and wanted to try it out:

Full frame and then cropped, flipped and rotated:

Carole 

RGB Pham.png

RGB CROP.png

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It's fantastic to get the opportunity to practice with some 'real' data, and to see what to aspire to.

Processed in Startools 1.6, HST SHO with 50% Ha, and some tweaking to Gimp to whiten the stars and add contrast.

1661688886_HSOHST2.thumb.jpg.b50bd9b1e6eb58574747fb008036d43e.jpg

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Here's my version of the very good data provided. I used the Hubble palatte but didn't go for the usual blue/gold look. I rather liked the more colourful version with the green Ha data still fairly strong.

Processed in PI except for some unsharp masking and final image tweaking in PS3.

After combining the 3 channels, I extracted the lum component and did HDR on it to reduce the brightness of the core of the nebula, then recombined it with lum at 40%. I then inverted the image and applied SNCR to remove the magenta stars followed by one instance of morphological transformation to reduce the star sizes as I felt they detracted from the nebulosity due to the sheer number of them. A little subtle noise reduction to reduce the small amount of colour noise, rebalanced the colour channels using the histogram, boosted saturation in Curves and applied a small curve to brighten the background a little.

Then checked it in PS3, applied unsharp mask, as I can't do that yet in PI, checked black point and reduced the final png in size.

It was much easier to process than my usually rather noisy data - please can I come and play with the new setup? The weather in Wales is horrible at the moment. Thank you for everyone for providing the data. I don't expect to be able to image M16 from home as it's so low and behind houses most of the time.

 

M16S2HaO3_final.png

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Superb data, thanks for sharing. With this i stretched each stack individually in PS and then combined adding the S11 to red, Ha to green and O111 to blue.

I did some selective sharpening and contrast enhancement to the areas of interest. Then in to PI and starnet to create a starless version. Back in to PS and added in a less stretched version in blend mode lighten. 

 

Final.thumb.png.293ba94016e25d1955c8375acf18ac7f.png

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Just a minor one. Is it me or is the data a mirror image of M16? Not that it matters.

Every picture I've seen in the past has the hook and the pillars of creation the other way around.

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