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First Toucam Moon Mosaic (almost)


TopHouse
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Only had my laptop a few days and as everyone knows the weather has been bad to say the least. Anyway, we had a break in the clouds tonight and being desperate to have a go, and having read all the info I could digest, I thought I'd have a go at a moon mosaic, well, almost, I got some done but the cloud rolled in again, but I managed four sets, as I said this is my first go at moon with webcam, I'm actually a bit proud of it for a first go, I think there's a few things I need to tweak etc but... I'd be grateful for any feedback and please be critical as I want to learn. bear in mind the moon was rather low and I also still had a few currents in the tube as it was a fast & deperate set up.

post-18181-133877465668_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Blinky, as I said i was quite pleased taking the conditions into consideration, but for one I'd like to have seen more definition in the mares.

Also, it must be some trick of the brain, but whatever phase the moon is in, if you look at it in real life it always still looks round (if you know what if mean) but in photos with phases they have a tendency to look ovoid a lot of the time, I'm wondering if sometimes it's that the camera hasn't caught some of the subtler shading sometimes that makes it look round.

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Very nicely done, a great start...

Perhaps lower the gain ever so slightly looks a bit bright on the left, and give the resulting mosaic a small boost of contrast, there's some odd effects from thin cloud along the limb.

As for the ovalness I know what you mean...

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Couple of things that I'm unsure on though. For the above, each of my AVI's was 30 seconds, is that enough or should I really do more?

Secondly, those were captured as YUV, is that what I should be on or are 1420 or YUY2 better?

I flashed my toucam to SPC900 firmware, the thing is, the config software for SPC900 isn't that great in that although it provides sliders for shutter speeds etc it doesn't give any numerical figures, ie 25/sec or anything so it's a bitt guessimatic, I found WcCtrl though that looks interesting but not tested yet, it's here :-

http://www.burri-web.org/bm98/

So more playing on the way when the damn clouds disappears.

At this point I'd also like to give credit to Robin for his home written capture software, http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-astronomer/98474-new-webcam-capture-software.html IMHO it should be given it's own little section somewhere. hence ;-

http://stargazerslounge.com/suggestions/109741-members-download-area.html#post1487635

Edited by TopHouse
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I need to give planets another go... I'd probably go for 2000 I guess... I use 1000 for lunar mosaics. Sometimes going to 1500 or 2000 for more in close work. I struggle with storage... my lappy has only 40Gb spare, and each 1000 frame avi is 1Gb.

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Thanks Blinky, as I said i was quite pleased taking the conditions into consideration, but for one I'd like to have seen more definition in the mares.

Also, it must be some trick of the brain, but whatever phase the moon is in, if you look at it in real life it always still looks round (if you know what if mean) but in photos with phases they have a tendency to look ovoid a lot of the time, I'm wondering if sometimes it's that the camera hasn't caught some of the subtler shading sometimes that makes it look round.

That's a great start, there will be no stopping you now!

Regarding ovoid moons there are two likely reasons. First is that the photo-stitching software has not done a perfect job. You may not notice this at a casual glance, but I find that applications such as MS ICE and the Photomerge function in Photoshop quite often do not line things up perfectly. Second, if it has taken a while to acquire the images the phase or even libration will have changed resulting in a mosaic that is not geometrically correct. This is why I only collect about 600 frames per AVI when working on big mosaics.

Cheers

Nick

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@Nick, thanks for that info, hadn't thought of the change in libration etc during grabbing. I have also seen it when previously grabbing with a camcorder and using software to convert to avi for registax and it had changed aspect ratio on me. That took a lot of head scratching.

@Cyclone thanks for the comment.

For one I got a lot of enjoyment out of having a try at this and now know I want to do it more. I'm assuming the trend is to work your way up in numbers of panes to make your mosaics, ie you manage one at say 8 panes or so and you're happy with it, then you have a go at say 16 panes, getting more detail.

I also fancy having a go at some of those close up shots like Nicks craters at some point. I can't understand why so many dislike the moon so much, with just a simple webcam there's absolutely tons of stuff you can do.

I reckon moon imaging's the thing I'm going to be into for a while as when doing the mosaic I got as excited and had as much fun as the first time I got my scope!

Again a major thanks to john JGS001 for his mosaicing tutorial and that tip using imerge for keeping track of pane numbers/alignment is pure gold!

On the stitching software front, take a look at autopano giga, it's what i used on the above and it's a REALLY good bit of software.

Autopano Giga

Just need this damn cloud to clear now!

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