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NoiseXTerminator - addon for PixInsight


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Posted (edited)

I've been trying out a new tool for PixInsight which is "NoiseXTerminator" produced by Russell Crowman (link below).

https://www.rc-astro.com/resources/NoiseXTerminator/index.php

For the past year or so, I have been using the free EZ Denoise script offered by Dark Archon for noise reduction during the linear stage of my process flow. The tool works well, but it does take a long time to run. Enter NoiseXTerminator. This tool can be used in either the linear stage or the non-linear stage and is so easy to use, gives you great results, and is extremely fast! Here is a screenshot of the tool. Yes, that's all it is! You choose the amount of noise reduction you want followed by the detail and selection for linear/non-linear image.

NoiseXTerminator.PNG.c3ad92f1df3c8c1677f325e31a91e9a7.PNG

 

Below are some example crops from my Whale and Hockey Stick galaxies showing the before (right) and after (left) results from using this tool with default settings. As you can see, the noise reduction is superb and furthermore, what used to take about 5 minutes with EZ Denoise to run on my machine only took 10 seconds to perform with this tool. Because the tool is so quicky, you can spend a bit of time finding the right settings for your image.

The tool is currently available for a 30-day free trial period before purchase is required. I'm not being paid for this post (haha), I just thought it would be good to share with those who haven't heard of it yet.

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Denoise_3.thumb.PNG.f1f8322da91141cc18e47c34ef9af05d.PNG

Edited by Richard_
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To my mind the key issue in NR is not how you blur pixels but where and by how much.  To my eye your noise reduced images do look noise reduced, meaning they've been given too much for my taste, but only by a bit. Clearly the background is much improved. Even once we look away from the background to the fainter nebulosity in the original, we see that it has no need of NR and has suffered from its application. This is why I like Photoshop and layers; I can NR a bottom layer and then use a variety of selection tools to pick out the bits which need a lot, a little and none and use the eraser at various opacities to grade the application accordingly.

Olly

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That's a fair point Olly. Remember that I applied NR using the default values which is 0.90 so you can certainly drop this value if you want less noise reduction and to see some gentle noise leftover. 

In pixinsight you can create masks in a variety of ways, such as extracting the luminance channel, using a range selection or even by wavelet layers. This will let you target specific regions for noise reduction :)

In my example, as you can probably guess I ran the tool without any masking just to see what would happen. I guess it would make sense for me to have included the same images with lower NR applied (eg 0.70, 0.50, 0.30) so that you can see the gradual change in NR. 

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6 minutes ago, Richard_ said:

That's a fair point Olly. Remember that I applied NR using the default values which is 0.90 so you can certainly drop this value if you want less noise reduction and to see some gentle noise leftover. 

In pixinsight you can create masks in a variety of ways, such as extracting the luminance channel, using a range selection or even by wavelet layers. This will let you target specific regions for noise reduction :)

In my example, as you can probably guess I ran the tool without any masking just to see what would happen. I guess it would make sense for me to have included the same images with lower NR applied (eg 0.70, 0.50, 0.30) so that you can see the gradual change in NR. 

And there we have the crux of the Pixinsight-Photoshop debate. Masking versus layers and selection. Give me layers and selection any day, but that's quite possibly because I know how to get what I want out of them. I wonder how much the movement away from Photoshop stems from their changed business model, making rental compulsory.  Pixinsight did try this on at one stage but I suspect that their legal advisers reminded them that their initial contracts promised free updates for life. For what it's worth I have both Ps CS3 and the cloud rental version and know of nothing I need for AP that isn't there in both. My main reason for having the rental is to have Lightroom, which I don't use for AP.

Olly

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Unfortunately I don't know enough about photoshop or how the layers work so I can't say anything about that. 

With regards to NoiseXTerminator, I believe the creator is working on releasing a plugin for Photoshop in the near future. I'm assuming it will also come with a 30 day free trial like the Pixinsight version so if you were curious you could always compare the output between that and whatever method you use today (unless of course you're happy with the speed, ease of use and quality of end results with the method you're currently using). 

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Posted (edited)

Certainly looks quite powerful. Maybe like an AP version of Topaz NR that can produce quite a lot of artefacts since its intelligence is trained on earthly objects, while Noel says he trained his Noise Xterminator on astro images. Likely it is smart enough to reduce noise where it is needed, so not much on bright areas. In that case  Olly @ollypenrice we PS users may not have to do much layer work if it is intelligent enough. I will cetrainly test it when a PS version is available and astrodarkness is back here.

Just out of quriosity, the examples you show are colour images (as seen from the colour noise) but there is virtually no colour to be seen in the galaxies. What camera did you use? Are these single subs?

Edited by gorann
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19 hours ago, gorann said:

Certainly looks quite powerful. Maybe like an AP version of Topaz NR that can produce quite a lot of artefacts since its intelligence is trained on earthly objects, while Noel says he trained his Noise Xterminator on astro images. Likely it is smart enough to reduce noise where it is needed, so not much on bright areas. In that case  Olly @ollypenrice we PS users may not have to do much layer work if it is intelligent enough. I will cetrainly test it when a PS version is available and astrodarkness is back here.

Just out of quriosity, the examples you show are colour images (as seen from the colour noise) but there is virtually no colour to be seen in the galaxies. What camera did you use? Are these single subs?

Hi Gorann, 

The images are from a master light from my ASI533MC Pro camera. The images in this thread only received a background extraction, photometric colour calibration and preview screen transfer function. 

Below is a thread which contains the final processed image before I discovered NoiseXTerminator. As you can, see there is colour, it just needs some processing to bring it out!

 

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Posted (edited)
On 13/05/2022 at 18:44, Richard_ said:

Unfortunately I don't know enough about photoshop or how the layers work so I can't say anything about that. 

With regards to NoiseXTerminator, I believe the creator is working on releasing a plugin for Photoshop in the near future. I'm assuming it will also come with a 30 day free trial like the Pixinsight version so if you were curious you could always compare the output between that and whatever method you use today (unless of course you're happy with the speed, ease of use and quality of end results with the method you're currently using). 

I had a very quick play with noise xterminator free trial for photoshop and I'm quite impressed indeed, I like the softer look to my images. I should of gone back in ps and done a high pass filter but to sharpen it a bit. I haven't played xwuth the sliders in NX so just left at 70 nr and 10 detail so can be changed to increase sharpness. 

I quickly tested against de noise and astronomy tools deep space no reduction. 

This is only my old crudely stretched dslr data on the NA nebula from last year as it was the noisiest I had to offer it. 

Double click images to zoom in higher to check the NR on both. 

Cheers 

Lee 

Noise-red-comparison-NX-v-DN.png

Noise-Red-comparison-NX-v-AT.png

Edited by AstroNebulee
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