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Photoshop or Pixinsight?


MikeP
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Pixinsight seems to have created a favourable impression on here. As an imaging noobie I'm interested in advice on whether I should learn to use Photoshop or Pixinsight for image processing. I really don't want to waste time and effort learning to use one if the other would be better in the long run.

Downloading a trial version of Pixinsight doesn't help because I don't know how to process images - yet!

Complexity of the software is unlikely to be a problem but I am red-green colour blind and my eyes are not as sharp as they used to be. Also please ignore cost - time is more precious to me at present.

Over to you.

Mike

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Not the answer you are looking for but I would have to say both programs used together would be the best way.

To get the most out of Photoshop you would have to add several plugins and actions sets increasing the already dear cost of the software. Pix-Insight has some very powerful tools which are designed from the ground up for astro image processing.

The layer tools in Photoshop are extremely useful at applying changes to an image that can be controlled from 0-100% opacity.

One useful feature in Pix-Insight for you Mike would be it's colour calibration tool which may help with your colour blindness :D

Regards

Kevin

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I have to agree with Nick, I started using Photoshop donkeys years ago and as soon as I started digital astro I bought Maxim on the advice of a recognised expert. With Maxim for pre-processing and PS for post processing there is no need for anything else. In my view not even any of the plug-ins apart from Neat Image which will have a significant impact on your conventional photography. I am deliriously happy in my blinkers, I won't even look at any other software.

As far as colour blindness goes I imagine most programs will give you the ability to actually measure what colours you are getting, PS certainly does, so you will never have to guess

Dennis

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I think Photoshop is pretty much essential.

I have not used Pixinsight, but reading about it today has made me think about getting it.

It seems to have some great functions that would take a lot of work to mimic in Photoshop.

But even if I did get Pixinsight, I would still be using Photoshop along side of it.

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I have to agree with Nick, I started using Photoshop donkeys years ago and as soon as I started digital astro I bought Maxim on the advice of a recognised expert. With Maxim for pre-processing and PS for post processing there is no need for anything else. In my view not even any of the plug-ins apart from Neat Image which will have a significant impact on your conventional photography. I am deliriously happy in my blinkers, I won't even look at any other software.

As far as colour blindness goes I imagine most programs will give you the ability to actually measure what colours you are getting, PS certainly does, so you will never have to guess

Dennis

You may not use plugins and actions Dennis but most people new to photoshop would find them a godsend. Ultimately understanding the full workings of photoshop and having more finer control of what you are doing by applying your own processes would be the best, but not every one has the time to go into it at that depth.

Regards

Kevin

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Interesting. So far the only votes for Pixinsight have been qualified just for certain functions, which seems odd when it was designed specifically for astrophotography. I'll wait to see what other comments are made.

Colour blindness is difficult to describe. My concern is that I'll produce rubbish images which looks OK to my eyes. Will either product be able to tell me if an image is too blue or too red or whatever?

Something that would let me open a similar image, compare it with mine and draw attention to colour differences would be extremely helpful.

Mike

PS The incidence of colour blindness in males is quite high, so there is a market there for someone who can develop something that helps.

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The thing with Pixinsight is that its made for astro processing.

When people say its used for certain functions, dont take that to be a bad thing.

These functions that pixinsight can 'simply' do, would take a lot more manual work to achieve in photoshop. So pixinsight can can do a hell of a lot of stuff using its dedicated functions, rather than having to do it in all 'by hand'.

Once again though I dont actually have this software, so someone may correct me here :D

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I use photoshop for my post processing, and Maxim for image capture, calibration and stacking.

In photoshop, the plugins I use are Neatimage and Gradient Xterminator, neither of which are expensive.

I also have Noels' tools, and when I first started processing, used them a lot but now not so much, although there are a couple of things I tend to regularly use them for.

Cheers

Rob

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Interesting. So far the only votes for Pixinsight have been qualified just for certain functions, which seems odd when it was designed specifically for astrophotography. I'll wait to see what other comments are made.

Colour blindness is difficult to describe. My concern is that I'll produce rubbish images which looks OK to my eyes. Will either product be able to tell me if an image is too blue or too red or whatever?

Something that would let me open a similar image, compare it with mine and draw attention to colour differences would be extremely helpful.

Mike

PS The incidence of colour blindness in males is quite high, so there is a market there for someone who can develop something that helps.

Mike,

I think it will be difficult to get a balanced answer as not many people here have used the full version of PixInsight very much. I can't give an opinion on whether PixInsight is better than Photoshop as I have never used Photoshop for astro images. Equally it would be rather silly of me to suggest Photoshop was better if I'd never used PixInsight:icon_scratch:. You can't really compare PixInsight LE either as it's a very much a cut down version.

The thing is with a lot of software is people get used to what works for them and generally get to know an application so well it'll do what they want it to. The best thing to do is try it for yourself and see what works for you and what fits in with how much you are willing to spend. It may be, as some have suggested, that a combination is the best option - I know that doesn't help you much.

Sam

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Hi Mike

I am a Pixinsight user and fan and do not use photoshop very often :)

I am not here to knock photoshop as obviously many people create great work with it,

I think because people have used it for a while they become used to it, but from the outside some of the advanced uses are not easy to learn ( I have tried )

Personality the proposed complexity of pixinsight is overstated and peter ( Below) managed to get some results in only a few minutes

with the aid of some of my tutorials:D

People have used photoshop for processing as there was not any real competition till now and perhaps should try other things as if we did not try any thing new we would all still be using film.:D

People have stated the power items in pixinsight ( DBE and hdr wavelets etc ) as they are easy to illustrate they are different and show

There are many tools in pixinsight to many to list , but I would say you can do everything in pixinsight that you can in photoshop and some things you cannot do in photoshop.( not easily anyway)

The only thing in photoshop that is not in pixinsight is layers and this will soon be added.

Perhaps you could look at some of my tutorials to give a feel of what Pixinsight can do

www.harrysastroshed.com

If you are completely new to imaging your learning curve will be large and whatever you decide have fun as this is what hobbies are for:icon_salut:

Oh I just remembered the histogram shows rgb individualy and you can see if there is a problem with the colour balance

Regards Harry Page

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Hi Mike

The only thing in photoshop that is not in pixinsight is layers and this will soon be added.

Oh I just remembered the histogram shows rgb individualy and you can see if there is a problem with the colour balance

Regards Harry Page

Hello Harry.

I'll be interested in seeing a demo of pixinsight when it can work in layers.

Not being able to use layers isn't a minor problem.

It rules out a whole raft of really essential techniques as you progress with processing.

Does it get around it any other way?

For example, if I wanted to drop RGB stars from an RGB image onto a narrowband image, how would this be approached?

I'm not knocking it as I'm not in a position to as I've never used it, and you seem to make it work fine for you :D

Cheers

Rob

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This reminds me of the old 'Cubase or Logic' argument that used to happen in music circles. I think by and large that what you start off with and get used to is what you stick with, in my case that was Cubase and Photoshop.

Tony..

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Hi Rob

I add HA ( I have only done Ha) by using pixel maths to add my ha to the lum and red channel and then use the LRGB tool to add them together.

The Lrgb tool allows you to select channel strenths therefore fine tunning the output.

To improve things further and I have managed to get Juan ( Mr pixinsight ) to put a narrowband mixing tool on the agenda, hopefully with a real time preview and then we will cooking with gas:headbang:

Obviousley Layers is of use or pixinsight would not be adding it but you do not need to use it as often

Regards harry

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Rob,

It kind of does layers as you can make a clone of an image to do a particular operation on that clone then recombine it with the first image using pixel maths in any particular way you want, you can use any of the predefined mathmatical operations or dream up you own, you can also control how much the operation impacts the original image and any other mathmatical formula you can think of. You could use a clone as a mask to change how a operation impacts as well. The best way to see is to download the trial and have a play.

Sam

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Pixinsight So far...

Love the workspace, instances, decovolution, noise reduction , hdr wavelets, DBE, histogram manipulation, dynamic cropping.... cloning...

I am tending to use Pixinight to work with the stacked images from DSS and soemtimes take the image into photoshop for a final teak... I find "repairs" easier in PS and also tweaks to saturation etc...

I havent started to tweak settigns in the various tools in pixinsight as I havent read up on any of them yet so I am just blindly clicking things (nothing new there then) and seeing what they do ... roll back is simple and cloning lets you apply various different settigns to the same image...

Still trawling through my HDD's looking for old "unprocessed" stacks to play with in pixinsight...

As Sam Said download a demo have a play and see what you think...

Peter...

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Thanks Harry.

I had a quick look at some of your tutorials, and it certainly looks like a powerful processing platform.

Very good tutorials by the way :D

Once I've gone through the phase of Registaring eveything I can get my hands on (just bought it yesterday and its great), I''ll download the demo and have a play.

Lets face it, the more tools that you have at your disposal, the better!

Peter, sounds like you're having fun :)

Cheers

Rob

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