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M51 Processing help....?


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I don't know where I'm going wrong with this processing game - I'd like to say that with last night being the first decent one for ages I'd forgotten everything, but that would be lying as I really haven't grasped it in the first place...

After getting some more subs for NGC2264 (still working on that one), I thought I'd have a go at M51 with the modded 40D / MN190 / CLS clip filter. I took 33x600s subs @ ISO800 and then stacked them in DSS, together with 20 flats/flat darks/darks and output them to an embedded .tif

I then used levels and curves to stretch it in CS5, a dab of noise ninja, various "Noels tools" and managed to perform a high pass filter all on my own (:(), but fiddle as I might, I couldn't get this looking like other images of M51.

With 5.5hrs I was rather hoping I might get something better / more colourful than this... I'm sure it's me, but I seem to be stuck :( - Any suggestions? I've attached my attempt (I know that this version has a magenta cast, but that was the only way I seemed to be able to get any colour at all into it :)) and also a jpg of the DSS output (just in case it's my use of DSS that's wonky...)

EDIT: After everyone's assistance on this thread, here's also my final rework attempt... for now ;). (Also jpg of DSS output referred to above removed...)

post-18819-133877537868_thumb.jpg

post-18819-133877540464_thumb.jpg

Edited by AndyUK
Final rework attached
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Hi Andy, working with your JPEG from DSS is less that ideal but I have had a quick process of it and in terns of colour, there are certainly the right colours in there as I hope the following shows so I would suggest that DSS has done a reasonable job of the stacking:-

post-13675-133877537931_thumb.jpg

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There's lots of data in this, I would say it is your processing technique not DSS. Just the brightness of the nebula is too bright.

Any chance of a link to the original stacked file as a tiff rather than a jpeg, would love to have a go at this one.

Carole

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Cheers all - After Steve's rework I wondered if maybe I'd just tried to overstretch it too far so I've been playing with other versions to try and "hold back" the area between the spiral arms. It certainly has helped (and helped with the colour), but I still feel there's more I can get out of this...

... As you've noted, Carole. And I've seen other M51 images posted with (potentially) less data, yet far better images, so obviously my processing is simply rubbish :)

Carole - I've posted the DSS .tif output file (embedded) on my dropbox - If you can pm me your email address, I'll invite you to access/download it... I'd be very interested to see what you can get out of it, although I'm sure it will simply show what a massive hole there is in my processing abilities... ;).

Coudwatcher - I knew you probably wouldn't be able to resist, and I knew if anyone could "colourize" these you would! It certainly gives me something to aim for as you've proved that it really is there (somewhere :()

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Hi Nadeem - I've already uploaded the DSS output (subs/flats/flat darks and darks), so I'll email you into that one, but if you'd prefer a stack without the darks I can run another stack off (or, if you'd prefer, I'll upload all the files separately - It might take a while to upload them though... :)).

All the best

Andy

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Hi Andy, Your re-process looks a lot better, and I've also sent you my PM so I can access your stacked tiff file in dropbox. Can I have the one with all the calibration files please (there was talk about you leaving out the darks in an earlier post).

Thanks

Carole

Edited by carastro
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Cheers all - I think I over stretched the first ones, in addition to which I wasn't using curves properly... and then totally overprocessed them trying to get it back. :)

With these reworks I only used levels, curves, a highband filter a quick pass with Noise Ninja and then applied an "increase star colour" with Noels tools... and that was it ;)

I'm going to be very interested to see what Carole and Nadeem can make of it though, and what additional processes they incorporate. What I want to try and develop (if possible) is a default "processing workflow" which I can annotate and follow each time - Would I be right in thinking that, generally speaking, there might be 3 different types of workflow (Galaxy, Nebulae and clusters) or is there really only one?

Carole / Nadeem - The .tif DSS output file is there complete (subs, darks, flats, flat darks) and I'm also currently uploading the RAW subs, flats and flat darks - It's taking AGES, but hopefully they'll all be there in the morning... :(. Thanks again :(

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Hi Andy,

I got your stacked Tiff file and had a go at it. This is the result I hope you like it. I'll PM you the processes that I did, some from things I have learnt and some I just experiemented with.

I also cropped it for a closer view.

there was some good data in there, I just hope I can capture the same on my next try.

Carole

post-18809-133877538512_thumb.jpg

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Cheers Carole - That's really nice... Thank you!!!

You've achieved there the sort of image that I was originally trying to get - I KNEW In had loads of data as I could see it on the subs as it came in, but I though when I first posted this thread that I might have too much (ie overexposed), even though the histogram looked okay...

Capturing the data with the MN190 is easy - I don't think it really needs me at all (I'm more of a hinderence than a help!) :(

Zak - You are WAY too kind..! This post-processing game is leaving me completely befuddled (:)), but thank you VERY much for the compliment. (Maybe I can move the processing skills marker in my sig to 1?)

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Cheers Carole - That's really nice...

Zak - You are WAY too kind..! This post-processing game is leaving me completely befuddled (:)), but thank you VERY much for the compliment. (Maybe I can move the processing skills marker in my sig to 1?)

Hey...at least you are into real integers....I am still stuck at the square root of -1 :(;):BangHead:

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Nice bit of data Andy, and you're reprocess is certainly better. Only thing to do with processing... apart from pulling all your hair out :)... is practice, practice and practice some more. Best tip I got for PP, don't try and do it all in a single adjustment... several iterations work better, and keep it gentle.

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Cheers John - From all the info I've found, it would also seem that there's many ways to get the same result (and there's no one specific way which is any better than any other)... Now that I know I've got all the bits of kit working together to capture the data all I need now is some clear skies to capture it. Then I can lock myself in my own little world with my laptop.

(Has anyone on the forum considered maybe seeing if it's feasible running webinars on different processing software?)

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