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IKO - M81 & M82 LRGB+Ha - Processing Competition


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

Following the wonderful entries from the first processing competition we are running another 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: 30th August 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 in early September via SGL

Thanks all and look forward to seeing your entries!

 

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Here's my entry. Processed in StarTools 1.8 Alpha.

Loaded in Compose using L + Synthetic L from RGB, RGB, Ha into NB accent. Dialled in relative exposure times. AutoDev, Crop edges, and Wipe with Narrowband setting. Re-do AutoDev with no ROI. Contrast at default, HDR at default, Wavelet Sharpen with default mask. Spatially Variant PSF Deconvolution using sample mode and sampling only the best ~40 stars with a roughly even spread across the image. Colour with Scientific style and saturation bumped up to 250%. Shrink stars with Tighten preset. Superstructure with Saturation preset and gamma set to 0.33. Add the Ha using the Narrowband Accent set to Galaxy preset. De-noise at defaults. Lastly, applied Fractal Flux using mask set on the galaxies and the Add Detail algorithm.

spacer.png

Edited by LuckieEddie
New version with toned down colour
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This was also processed with Startools 1.8 Alpha and AP 1.10.  Started with the ST Compose module using L + Synthetic L from RGB, RGB, Ha into NB accent. Then default work flow and then a lot of adjustment in AP with HSL and colour tools to try and achieve "conventional" galaxy colouring and lose the blue tone on the IFN.

I am still not a fan of IFN, to me it detracts from the galaxies and makes the processing, at least for me, too darn tricky. Still it's part of the skyscape  so I should stop moaning and learn to how to process it. Fantastic data, as always.

NewCompositev7APGW.thumb.jpg.21cdf67807b61b4b93a47f0e71b6e213.jpg

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1 hour ago, tomato said:

This was also processed with Startools 1.8 Alpha and AP 1.10.  Started with the ST Compose module using L + Synthetic L from RGB, RGB, Ha into NB accent. Then default work flow and then a lot of adjustment in AP with HSL and colour tools to try and achieve "conventional" galaxy colouring and lose the blue tone on the IFN.

I am still not a fan of IFN, to me it detracts from the galaxies and makes the processing, at least for me, too darn tricky. Still it's part of the skyscape  so I should stop moaning and learn to how to process it. Fantastic data, as always.

 

Nice process.

I know what you mean about the IFN sometimes. Where it's really faint and featureless, as around Stephan's Quintet, I think that struggling to bring it out comes at too high a cost in terms of other processing priorities. In this field, though, Arp's Loop and Holmberg IX really are part of the action and add value so, if the IFN is in there with structure to boot, I like it. I've had a play with this and thought the luminance data, in particular, were exceptional.

Olly

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Second attempt at this set. Really spent some time trying to tame the core, stars and IFN nicely while not going overboard.

Got a new monitor and calibrator recently. Does wonders for colour accuracy!

Hope you guys like it!

C&C more than welcome

 

Image45_DBE_DBE1.3.jpg

Edited by matt_baker
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I'll throw my hat in the ring here. 

Done entirely in Startools 1.8.506, processed as 3 separate images and all layered back together (as l couldn't get the right balance for all 3 elements of the image when processed as a single image). 

Looking at it now, it may be a little too purple, and I've probably overcooked it a bit with the IFN - I may fiddle around a bit again later. 

Basic run through: compose as L + synth. L, RGB and Ha to narrowband accent, set sliders accordingly. Binned 50% to better match fwhm to resolution, wipe using only some slight adjustments from the defaults, autodev using different ROIs for each replicate image to try to optimise the stretch for the element of interest.

Contrast and hdr modules with mostly default values, sharpening with default values, s.v. decon using 10 or so star samples and the deringing slider turned all the way up (because l really don't like the hard edge decon creates around brighter stars - this seems to soften the edge back out). Colour using the stars as a reference white point, bit of fiddling around with the filter and entropy modules, then NB accent module using galaxy preset, with some slight tweaks to make the Ha regions come forwards a bit more. Then denoise, and faffed around with layers and masks to compose all back together. Finally, flux module to add a bit of extra sharpening.

M81 & M82 combined with IFN Sharpened Final.jpg

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Here are my 2 images (one w/o, and one with ha). Ha was started out with an Arc-h sin stretch in Fits Liberator.

Base img. (tifs, not fully stretched) triplicated and masked as layers in. Photosh., to work separately on stars and DSOs, then further refinement for color, sharpness, and a star layer (RGB) to bring out star color, ha integrated into red (split channels), selective noise removal.

No.1 LhaRGB

IKO M81 M82 LhaRGB1 - Copy.png

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My take on this fantastic data! Took me quite a few tries to get something I was happy with, especially with the colour data, but settled on the below. I tried not to over-sharpen or make it 'pop' too much; I wanted to keep a natural looking process, despite the fact that the data can handle being pushed really far.

Ha was incorporated into the Red and Blue channels using this method.

Processed in Pixinsight and Lightroom.

 

Final_SGL3.thumb.jpg.b131826bf61bea08c5fd8fd7b438aa4a.jpg

Cheers

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@Grant  Pixinsight's Photometric Colour Calibration requires focal length and pixel size. Any chance of this being supplied? It would also be interesting to know the kit being used but you might have reason to withhold that information and it isn't necessary for the processing. Boy, I love the luminance!

:Dlly

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Here is my first version processed in PS and PI back and forth. As @ollypenrice also pointed out the lum data is great and virtually all the IFN signal was in the lum. Many choices to make, including colour saturation (more saturation seems to be in fashion so I saturated it a bit more than usual) and how much IFN to bring out is a main question. Right now I am rather pleased with this version, but I may think differently tomorrow.

Cheers, Göran

 

 

 

 

 

IKO M81M82 HaLRGB PS31sign.jpg

Edited by gorann
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54 minutes ago, gorann said:

Here is my first version processed in PS and PI back and forth. As @ollypenrice also pointed out the lum data is great and virtually all the IFN signal was in the lum. Many choices to make, including colour saturation (more saturation seems to be in fashion so I saturated it a bit more than usual) and how much IFN to bring out is a main question. Right now I am rather pleased with this version, but I may think differently tomorrow.

Cheers, Göran

 

Very good. I particularly like the Cigar and your resolution in the Ha filaments. Perhaps, like me, you saw no point in using the RGB as an extra source of lum?

Olly

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2 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Very good. I particularly like the Cigar and your resolution in the Ha filaments. Perhaps, like me, you saw no point in using the RGB as an extra source of lum?

Olly

I saw virtually no IFN sgnal in the RGB so I thought there was litte reason to add it to the lum. However, I usually do not add 100% lum but use the slider to see where I get the lowest noise (just eyeing it). In this case I added the lum as 80% luminosity. Not sure what others do. The low IFN signal in the RGB means that it is virtually colourless in the image. With my RASA and ASI2600MC I do pick up quite a bit of colour in the IFN.

Edited by gorann
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Here's my first go...... processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop.   Background extraction and neutralisation, Photometric colour calibration, HSVrepair, ArcSinh and Histogram stretches on RGB, Deconvolution and Histogram stretch on Lum, Histogram stretch on Ha -  all in PI,  LAB col and Soft light saturation increase in PS, Ha added to Red using Blend mode lighten in PS, Luminance layered on in 5 iterations in PS, Local Histogram equalisation in PI then LHE and non LHE images combined in PS to enhance (although not by very much) the IFN, MLT sharpening in Pi and a slight curve lift in PS ...... and a lot of toing and froing

Dave

 edited 18Aug  - improved detail on Holmberg

M81_M82_IKI_L_HaRGB_Final_17Aug21_HolmbergLum.thumb.jpg.b036098b0c57f393ea9770a51bb54a3f.jpg

 

Edited by Laurin Dave
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17 hours ago, gorann said:

I saw virtually no IFN sgnal in the RGB so I thought there was litte reason to add it to the lum. However, I usually do not add 100% lum but use the slider to see where I get the lowest noise (just eyeing it). In this case I added the lum as 80% luminosity. Not sure what others do. The low IFN signal in the RGB means that it is virtually colourless in the image. With my RASA and ASI2600MC I do pick up quite a bit of colour in the IFN.

I always try to get up to 100% luminance to avoid wasting its signal. It can be difficult but there's an iterative process in Ps whereby you add partial lum as a layer, slightly blur it, increase the saturation of the RGB, flatten and repeat several times, increasing the lum percentage as you go. On the last application of the luminance you should be able to get to 100% and, this time, you don't blur it.

I also felt that the L to RGB ratio in the data was not going to find IFN colour. In my own IFN shot from years ago I deliberately set out to find colour if possible and shot a far higher proportion of RGB. I don't think this matters: the IFN (and other low level signal) in this data is really exciting.

Olly

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Interesting to see the process and differences. I must try this sometime to get used to mono based lrgb, as I'm an osc user almost entirely. 

Might be of interest to some, Scott Rosens approach using long form PS editing (and images plus which is still available for free now) for ifn around m81/82

 

http://www.astronomersdoitinthedark.com/Bringing-Out-the-FaintStuff.php

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