AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Jockinireland
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AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#1

Post by Jockinireland »

This month we have a challenge we have never had before - a 4 Panel Mosaic of the Cygnus Loop from @bobharmony . Bobs post with his various iterations can be found here viewtopic.php?f=66&t=21317

The data was captured with Bobs C6N and D5300 so it will solve, for PCC, at 750mm focal length and 3.9micron pixel size.

Bob stacked his data twice, once with DSS and once with ASTAP. even with a quick STF stretch in PI there is clearly a difference so it will be interesting to hear if people find a difference in processing the two sets.

The data is availabe as FITs and also as 16b Tiff - folders are clearly labelled so you can find the set you want. Download from here https://1drv.ms/u/s!Alj6NhuYfZtW7lzPXsy ... 7?e=nZmB5A

For anyone who is unsure of how to work a mosaic, drop aline here indicating what software you use and I'm sure someone will help.

So Download what files you want and process in your software(s) of choice then post in this thread. The purpose of the APP Challenge is to share techniques so we can all learn and grow in our abilities so please describe your process steps and any special tricks you used to get your result. If you have been finding something difficult to do with this data - tell us and hopefully someone will be able to help.

Please consider submitting some data of your own for future challenges. Just send me PM and I'll take it from there.

Enjoy the challenge.

David
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#2

Post by Jockinireland »

Folks,

It appears i corrupted the file for ASTAP P1 FIT somehow - not sure how but apologies!

I have replaced it with a clean file now.

On my first quick look at the files I think that the DSS stacks are probably better.
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
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Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#3

Post by carastro »

Hmmm a Mosaic, that will be fun.

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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#4

Post by bobharmony »

Just to add a little information (or add to the confusion), here is the original post I did on the subject.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=20404

The panels consist of 25 2 minute subs at ISO 200 calibrated with darks, flats, and dark flats. The panels are laid out 2x2 with the Witches Broom in panels 3 and 4, and the Eastern Veil in panels 1 and 2. Plate solving show the FL as 758. The camera rotation was a few degrees off of optimum, so some rotation is required for stitching. Both MS ICE and the ASTAP image stitcher handled that without any special intervention on my part.

Please post any questions and I will do my best to answer. This was my first attempt at a mosaic, so I am by no means an expert on the subject.

Bob
Hardware: Celestron C6-N w/ Advanced GTmount, Baader MK iii CC, Orion ST-80, Canon 60D (unmodded), Nikon D5300 (modded), Orion SSAG
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#5

Post by Graeme1858 »

Here's my first go at it. Thanks for the Data Bob, didn't realise the veil was in such a rich star field! I suppose it would be in Cygnus!

Veil_P1_9_6_ABE_stitch-final-s.jpg

I opened each Fit file in PI turn and did the same process to each:

AutomaticBackgroundExtractor
BackgroundNeutralisation
ScreenTransferFunction
HistogramTransformation
SCNR at 0.5 Green (1.0 produced a magenta cast)

Then saved each one as a png.

Stitched the four panels in ICE (not available for download anymore! (well not from MS anyway!))

Opened the stitched file back into PI and fired up the CurvesTransformation.

Pulled an S curve and increased saturation.

Quite pleased but I would have liked to see more definition in the Eastern Veil face.

I best go and have another go!

Thanks for sorting David.

Regards

Graeme
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by Jockinireland »

Thats come out really well Graeme. No seams visible and good control of the starfield.

I made my mosaic in PI and its looking good. But PI then saves it as 64 bit files so the mosaic is nearly 2 GB!! Which of course means that next steps take, FOREVER! But hopefully I'll have something to post tomorrow
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#7

Post by bobharmony »

Very nice job of blending the panels, Graeme. I think I oversaturated a bit and had trouble keeping everything even.

It's too bad MS decided to drop ICE, it seems like a good tool for astro mosaics and is pretty easy to use. I didn't get my download from MS either, but I don't remember where I pulled it from back in April.

Bob
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by Jockinireland »

Good morning all!

So here is my attempt with this data - thanks @bobharmony
BHVM.jpg
I also did a version which is a little less .... exuberant!
BHVM_soft.jpg
I used the DSS FITS files

I first tried to build the mosaic in APP but it did not come out well at all. So I then built it in PI.

I cropped and removed gradients on the individual files - I got a better result with ABE than DBE this time.
Built mosaic following the first process in https://www.lightvortexastronomy.com/tu ... osaic.html
It did a pretty good job I think.

for the full mosaic
Crop
PCC
Deconv
EZ Denoise
Remove stars with StarXterminator

Starless
HT
CT
LHE

Stars
HT
CT

Recombined starless and stars using Pixelmath - stars added at 60%

This gave the softer of the two images above

I then used @STEVE333 's method to "make it pop" for the first version above.

Took them into PS for final background balance with levels and save as jpg
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#9

Post by bobharmony »

Nice job, David. I am a fan of the more "exuberant" version - no surprise there. You guys are inspiring me to take another crack at this myself. More to come!

Bob
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by Graeme1858 »

I too am a fan of the exuberant version! You have brought the reds out well.

Mine probably needs SCNR raising to 0.6 or 0.7! I did a TGVDenoise too that I forgot to mention!

Regards

Graeme
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#11

Post by han.k »

My try. All processing was done in ASTAP. Main focus was to get the background equal. The nebula are a little faint. Image stitching looks good but there is some distortion due to the optics which is not compensated.

The image stitching was done with 2x2 binned images because there is more then enough resolution and to speed up. The final mosaic 5138x3334 was binned x2 an other time to get below 5 mbytes. A final colour correction as (1) was applied on the result to get the sky background greyisch.

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author of ASTAP
v5 2021-09-07, 4x2970L_stacked.jpg
astap mosaic1.png
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by Jockinireland »

That is really great @han.k . The stars are fantastic. I did not know that ASTAP could do all of that.

I have just noticed the "author of ASTAP" below your name. I use ASTAP on every imaging session for platesolving so would just like to say thanks for that. The first time I tried platesolving I did it with ASTAP and my jaw just dropped. I could not fathom how a program could look at one sky image and in three seconds compare it to a star database and tell me where it was. It was like magic! I was so astonished I brought my daughter and wife to the computer to show them. 😂

I am now intrigued by what else ASTAP can do. Do you have any tutorials or guides on the process you used above?

Rgds

David
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by bobharmony »

Thanks, Han, for the detailed presentation of the knobs you tweaked for this. Like David, my introduction to ASTAP was platesolving. I have recently started using it for stacking, and more recently have tried some of the image processing tools.

You noticed the wonky stars - I haven't got the spacing quite right on the coma corrector-camera sensor yet. Tuning that should help out with the issue. Second, more time on target will be a good thing. I was shut out of imaging in July and August and only wound up with 50 minutes per panel in September. Next attempt will garner more imaging time, I hope!

Great job on dealing with the data and a fine result!

Bob
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by han.k »

Hello David & Bob,

I have made a few tutorials on youtube. I haven't made a video about creating a mosaic. Something for the future.

The intention of the program is to be self explaining and easy to use. There are more advanced program around which can do more and probably can achieve more. I did process your images as an exercise since it was a some time ago I worked on mosaics. It also helps with developing new ideas and improvements.

Star colours is something I find important. This is often neglected and i hope is one of the strong points of ASTAP.

Other things ASTAP can do is photometry, annotation of images and simple live stacking.

Yes the solver is a success. It does a lot complicated things but you can make it fast if you have worked out a thorough solve strategy and avoid unnecessary activities of the computer.

Han
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#15

Post by Graeme1858 »

So I had another go!

I pulled the stitched PNG file back into PI and made a star mask. I upped the colour and saturation curves with the stars masked and did the opposite with the mask inverted. The star mask doesn't protect the larger stars so they retain their colour which is nice.

Veil_P1_9_6_ABE_stitch-02-s.png

I flipped the image to match everyone else's! Posted as a PNG rather than a JPG this time. Pickering's triangle and the alien face are now more prominent!

Click the image.

Regards

Graeme
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

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Post by Jockinireland »

Graeme1858 wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 9:06 pm So I had another go!

I pulled the stitched PNG file back into PI and made a star mask. I upped the colour and saturation curves with the stars masked and did the opposite with the mask inverted. The star mask doesn't protect the larger stars so they retain their colour which is nice.


Image


I flipped the image to match everyone else's! Posted as a PNG rather than a JPG this time. Pickering's triangle and the alien face are now more prominent!

Click the image.

Regards

Graeme
Yeah, I think thats a real improvement. the stars much better controlled and the nebula showing much better. Nice colours too.
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#17

Post by bobharmony »

As threatened, I had another go at the data using some of the info Han supplied in his post (and the ASTAP Help files).

I started with the ASTAP stacks and ran a horizontal gradient reduction on each of them using the defaults in Pixel Math tab 1. I then stitched the two Eastern Veil panels using the "Equalize background" feature on the "Stack Method" tab and cropped the result to as large a rectangle as I could manage. Question - why does ASTAP create such a large black area around the the panels in the result? It creates a file large enough that it can sometimes challenge my PC to process it completely.

Next I stitched the two panels making up the Western Veil following the same settings as above. Finally I combined the two stitched sub-assemblies using the same settings once again.

After cropping, I loaded the resulting .fts file into StarTools for development and tuning. I binned 50% to bring the size down to something my machine could handle and cropped it slightly down to 4975x3219. A quick AutoDev to see what was there and Wipe reducing the gradient % to 12. A final AutoDev bumping the "Ignore Fine Detail" slider to 3.0 and defining an ROI around some of the nebulosity in Pickerings Triangle. Then standard setting for HDR and Deconvolution. The Color module was used to Cap Green 100%. The Shrink module to tame the stars a bit and the SuperStructure module with the Isolate settings, then turned tracking off for noise reduction.

At some point I rotated everything 180 degrees to make it match the "North is up(ish)" orientation.

Image was loaded into PhotoShop to produce a regulation size image and here it is.
ASTAP P1-4 stack GR ST.jpg
My background is lighter than most - I do this to retain as much of the faint nebulosity as possible, not sure how well that actually works.

Thanks to everyone who took a crack at this and showed me some other interpretations of the data. It has been an educational experience for me.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Bob
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#18

Post by Graeme1858 »

That's a fine reprocess Bob.

The star colours in the clicked image really stand out.

The ROI processing around Pickering's Triangle has added depth.

The ASTAP stitch is invisible.

Regards

Graeme
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#19

Post by Jockinireland »

I like your most recent process @bobharmony . The nebula stands out more and the filaments are sharper. I think the lighter background is better.
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge (Guided with a cheapo 50mm guidescope and a ZWO ASI 120mm mini)
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
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Re: AP processing Challenge 27 Bobharmony Veil Mosaic

#20

Post by Sky »

Here's my rendition ... completed 100% using Photoshop, except for the use of Microsoft ICE for the mosaic.

After assembling the mosaic ...

- 3 iterations of Curves applied with background adjustments using Levels between Curves
- At this point enough stars were revealed to use this image for the final image background.
- Copy made and the stars were removed leaving only the nebula for processing.
- Defects in the starless image were removed using Fill with Content Aware option.
- Additional Curves applied and Color Balance using Levels.
- At this point the background was very noisy, so a complete Synthetic Background Replacement was applied.
- The star and starless (Nebula) images were combined using Blend with Lighten option.
- Residual noise in the nebulosity removed using the selective "Strong Noise" tool from the NIK Collection for Photoshop.
- Instead of trimming the image to remove the black bands resulting from the mosaic operation ... Fill with the Content Aware option was used to fill in the black bands with random stars (background) from adjacent areas. Cheating? ... Maybe!

Thanks, Bob for sharing your raw data on the Veil Nebula. This was indeed a challenge to process.
Viel_Nebula.jpg
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