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M51 Processing help....?

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

Great idea.

This is exactly the sort of thing that I was hoping for here. I would love to see the steps that an experienced processor would take with some of my data.

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Sorry... I must have missed that... but it would certainly seem that you and I are both at about the same stage! :(

I will update your thread though as someone on there has mentioned posting large files up to a maxsize of 50Mb - I use dropbox which has no specific single file upload restriction other than the size of the box itself - They give you 2Gb FOC to start and if other's you invite also decide to setup a dropbox account, you get an extra 250Mb... :)

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I have signed up to DB, and posted one of my files (M101) that I created last night. I am going to have a play this evening to see what sort of mess I can make of it in PS :(:)

I think that I am getting the data (but, as usual, need a lot more). I have a list of techniques, but I struggle in stringing the right ones together. maybe we need a "nursery" in here for teaching noobs like me some baby-steps:D

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What a great idea! :(

(I'm trying to download your 145Mb as I type, but a) my bandwidth is cr*p and ;) my attempts will probably be the blind leading the blind :))

Right click and "Save Link As" or "Save As".

I'll load a better version up....I had an issue where DSS was cutting the star's centres out.

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Hi Andy - thanks for giving me access to your dropbox. I've had a 'quick' play in PI and come up with the attached. There's still a bit of red in the b/g but not too bad. Only process in PS was slight levels adjustment and smart sharpen. Looking forward to getting my own shots soon - hope they're as good as yours! I'm sure it could be improved by doing the whole stack in PI, and as it looks like dropbox d/l all your files in the background I may do that!




Edited by dlp
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BEAUTIFUL images. Wow, I've been looking at M51 and haven't managed anything as nice as these :) Well done:)

I'd like to second AndyUK's suggestion for a processing webinar. It shouldn't be too hard to arrange, should it? Just need an expert processor to process a stacked .TIFF image whilst screencasting over www.join.me and Skype voice chat for fifteen minutes or so.

Heck, I'd offer to do it if it weren't for the fact that my own skills are probably below average at this moment in time :(

Congratulations Andy, that's lovely M51 data and I bet you're feeling really pleased! The SynGuider's working out great for you too, I see ;)



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(Hi Anna - Hopefully you'll be sorted shortly :()

Cheers Mike - I am pretty happy with the final outcome although I seriously wish I could have a groundhog day and spend a few months playing about with CS5... and/or learn to use PI. Seeing some of the reworks though, whilst providing a goal to aspire to, is also showing up the huge gulf in my lack of knowledge, but as John said, practice, practice and more practice (if only I wasn't so impatient!)

However I wasn't impressed with that first result at all - In fact I was pretty depressed... 5.5 hrs data, excellent seeming subs, went to bed at 0630, couldn't sleep in anticipation of what the result might be and then.... That :)

I did manage to get an additional 2 hrs on the Christmas tree nebula that night too, and they came out MUCH better (now that I can collimate :(), but I really wanted to get a good image of the whirlpool as I'd shown my wife examples of what I was going to image, and she controls my available astro budget :)! The Gods must have been seriously smiling on me on Saturday/Sunday night though as the battery worked all night, the dew stayed away and I didn't tread on any rogue "dog mines" ;).

(I just wish I could get a few hours on M42 or the little horsey... :()

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Right I have processed your M51 without the Darks/Dark Flats, hope you like it, I have also got the whole actions recorded which, i'll upload to you later on.

I'll work on the second batch tomorrow.. w/ the dark flats.






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Wow... Yet more excellent reworks - Thanks Nadeem...!

You've pulled out a lot of detail and that colour that I was missing too... and I certainly wouldn't have been as brave as you making a crop THAT big :)... and those are without darks and flat darks? From memory, the raw 600s frames have some quite nasty noise embedded in them and yet these don't show any signs of them - I sense there's going to be one of those "using special tool" actions in here somewhere... :(!

Thanks ever so much for all your effort and also recording the actions - Now that I'm beginning to build up a few reasonable data stacks, I can go back over them and practice the new techniques some more...

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I started from all the raw files and ran through my whole process, albeit a slightly truncated version of my normal processing routine. Here is the result, hope you like it. I will post the full-sized ones in your drop-box folder you sent me.



Edited by antimorris
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Thanks Anna - These are stunning too...! :)

I find it amazing (and somewhat encouraging) to see that there are so many different ways of processing the same image which all result in something so beautiful.

When I took the first (test) sub, there was literally nothing visible in the viewfinder or on the liveview screen... and now there's all these subtly different views of something which I'd never seen before through a telescope from 31 million light years away... (How cool is that?!:()

Thanks everyone... (And Wednesday night's looking as though it might also be a goer ;))

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Looking at it on the forum I could have upped the red a bit, although I do prefer Whirlpool a bit more blue than red, I can definitely pull out alot more red in the arms ... I will work on it again tomorrow once I am more awake :) Maybe I will get a clear night sometime soon and finish my M51, I only have part of my luminance data thanks to weeks of clouds

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Yo Andy !

I've just uploaded the vid onto my dropbox & sent you an invite, the vid is in .mp4 something like vlc player should play it or latest version of winmedia player with the .mp4 codec loaded.. 20 mins to go.

Just Remember to skip the video to 4:50, as I managed to record some of the software demo video..


Edited by Deneb
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Thanks Nadeem - It's just finished downloading...

Sadly I have a work trip to leave for shortly, but I'll try it out this evening from my hotel and see how close I get...

Cheers again and all the best :)

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Just had another tweak of your image Andy and upped the saturation a little to give it more colour.

In reply to your earlier post about processing being the same routine. I think there are some processes which are fairly routine such as levels and curves, but it really depends what you are processing and which bits need to be accentuated.

Anyway here it the slightly more coloured version.



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Well... This is the result of my reworks - Are these any better... or should there still really be more colour in them?

I would say the first one looks beautiful and a million times better than the first one in the first post.

Well done :)

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Ok did one more run through. I brought out some more of the red in the arms, softened the whole thing up a bit and did a different crop. I definitely think its better than my post last night, but everyone's personal preference is different with astroimages ...

Edit: I added the tiff to download and hopefully a better quality jpg

Andy - If you want my processing steps, shoot me an email and I will write it up for ya



Edited by antimorris
added tiff
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