June AP Processing Challenge

Every month a new challenge!
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June AP Processing Challenge

#1

Post by Graeme1858 »

Last call for submitting data for the June AP Processing Challenge.

Members can submit their data by loading it up to a open shared dropbox, Google drive, or other file sharing site. Then email a link to:

tssapchallenge@theskysearchers.com

The inaugural May challenge was entertaining and informative. The June challenge will be posted soon.

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June 2020 Astro Photography Processing Challenge

#2

Post by Graeme1858 »

June is upon us and it's time for the second monthly Astro Photography Processing Challenge.

The challenge data has this month has been submitted by Ian (Kanadalainen) and is a tif file that has been stacked and calibrated with darks, bias and flats. It's the Eastern Veil in Cygnus in Ha, with about an hour of exposure.

Ian's image was a first light image using his new Stellarvue 70t with a flattener/reducer. Taken May 30, 2020 in with a waxing moon in the west.

This is Ian's image:

https://theskysearchers.com/viewtopic.p ... 404#p90319

- manual focus (left my Bahtinov mask at home)
- manual framing
- unguided 24 x 120 sec
- 12nM Ha Astronomik filter
- Ioptron skyguider mount
- Canon 60D DSLR
- ISO 1600
- f4.9
- 20 darks, 20 bias, 20 flats using the t shirt method

The data can be downloaded from here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/76cwenm4y7xw0 ... 0.tif?dl=0

Feel free to download, process in whichever way you please and post your results back here with details of your processing method for everyone to admire, comment on and discuss.

If you don't have a go you might still have useful input to the discussion for us all to learn from.

If you have data to submit for a future challenge please upload to a cloud storage and email a download link to tssapchallenge@theskysearchers.com

Have fun!

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#3

Post by Kanadalainen »

Thanks Graeme! I'm excited to see how this turns out!
Ian

Scopes

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet :sprefac:
"Mark Mk. I" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic - modified a little with Nexus II iOS friendly link + Moonlite focuser
"Frosty" the XT10 - sold

Mounts - Ioptron skyguider pro, Skywatcher HEQ5 pro

DSLR stuff - Nikon D90, Canon 60D; Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2, Sigma 70-300mm f4

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Macs and PCs

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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#4

Post by Jockinireland »

Thanks for sharing the data ian.

Right, so this was a new one for me -Ha Data only and a target I've not done myself. So i really didn't have a clue what I was doing and made it up as I went along :?

This was done almost entirely in Photoshop CC

I started trying to use all the data and quickly found I was getting nowhere good. So, seeing most of the information was (unsurprisingly) in the red channel with green and blue really only adding noise, I pulled out the red channel and processed it in mono. First I did Image/Adjustment/equalise to see what we had. No gradient but a bit of horizontal banding which was resolved with Carbonis Actions (Horizontal banding Noise reduction)

I then did several iterations (4 of each I think) of levels and curves to get the brightness and contrast up. In a couple of the top layers I masked the background and worked only on the Nebula.

Next was a masked high pass sharpen routine to try to give a bit more structure in the neb. I then did 2x Carbonis "make stars smaller". Then I totally cheated I guess :oops: and used Carboni's "B&W => HA False Colour Black Space". Then noise reduction Using Carbonis Actions "Deep Space noise reduction". I looked at adding saturation but it didnt need it.

I then went into StarTools and used "Repair" to sort out some of the stars in the corners. (Someone more knowledgeable than I may be able to advise if these are trailing or maybe needs adjustment of the FR backfocus).

Then Back into PS for a final curves and saved down as JPEG (Why does StarTools make my jpegs so small?).

Leaving this;
ians veil_r4.jpg
I didnt crop it any because I quite like the space around it.

Ian, I think if you could get some RGB data to add in that would really beef up image.

Looking forward to seeing others efforts at this.
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
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#5

Post by Graeme1858 »

That's a fine first go David. Ha only is new to me as well! Pulling out the red channel only seems like the way to go.

I had a quick go in Gimp, curves and levels brings out the nebula nicely but Gimp struggles (or more likely the user struggles) to differentiate between the nebula and the levels of background noise to make the background darker. On opening the tif file there is a choice of two sRGB colour profiles, I tried V4 ICC, I'll have a go at Gimp built in and post up my attempt.

Your use of masks for Curves and Sharpening seems to be the way to go. Colour balancing is tricky with a colour map of a single colour channel on the image as a whole.

You say you masked the nebula and stretched the top layers. When you do that, do you create layers and just work on some of them? I tend to do everything just on the one layer! What's the advantage of layers?

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#6

Post by KingClinton »

I use layers with each new step.
So if I want to do levels, then I create a layer and do levels.
Now I can turn that layer off/on and see how the levels have effected the image, if I don't like it, then I can delete the layer and try again.
Once you are happy with your final image then flatten the image into a single layer for saving.
I typically have five or more layers while working on a image, sometimes more.
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#7

Post by Jockinireland »

Graeme1858 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:42 am
That's a fine first go David. Ha only is new to me as well! Pulling out the red channel only seems like the way to go.


Your use of masks for Curves and Sharpening seems to be the way to go. Colour balancing is tricky with a colour map of a single colour channel on the image as a whole.

You say you masked the nebula and stretched the top layers. When you do that, do you create layers and just work on some of them? I tend to do everything just on the one layer! What's the advantage of layers?

Regards

Graeme
Hi Graeme, thanks for that.

I am truly a beginner at this so probably not the best person to explain this but here goes!

There are several benefits from using layers;

First as Clinton says, by clicking the layer on/off you can easily assess the change and discard or keep. But if you layer each step you make you can step backwards through your entire workflow which really helps me to learn what works and what doesn't.

Then there is the ability to use adjustment layers, which are non destructive so you can go in and out, tweaking and adjusting as much as is needed.

Also, by adjusting the opacity of a layer you can reduce the overall effect of the layer. Say you've done a saturation routine and feel it's a bit much, just reduce the layer opacity a bit and that may work better.

Then there is masking, by making a layer and a mask you can adjust only a part of the image, which is really useful for our astro images. This was key to the high pass sharpen routine I used above. It's also key to star masking.

Each layer can then have different blend modes applied e.g the high pass sharpen routine uses the "overlay" blend mode. Blend modes are fundamental if you want to add a luminosity layer to an RGB image for example.

Have you seen this Gimp tutorial. It's quite good and really shows the power of layers and deals with some of the ideas I've mentioned above. I find him to be quite good at explaining the real basics (he has a photoshop tut too which really helped me). But he does get a bit confusing in this one. He provides his data so you can work through it with the video which I find is the best way to learn.



Good luck

David
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)
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#8

Post by Graeme1858 »

After a few goes at this in Gimp, here's one that is kind of ok!

Image

When first opened the tiff file I expected to see a red nebula but I was faced with a green nebula on a green background. Is this normal for Ha data? Tried working with copied layers. So I made a layer for Curves and Levels. Forgot to make another layer for Colour Balance so that's on the same layer! Made another layer and played with noise reduction but it was ineffective and I think the reason was because of the initial colour map conversion. Then I made another layer to play with saturation levels. This idea is from the Farsography Youtube video. (Which I will have to watch again, a couple of times, thanks David.) So I zoomed right in, selected select by colour, picked a green pixel and turned down the saturation. Then picked some nebula pixels in red and orange and turned up the saturation. finished with some yellow in the stars and turned them to white. Just thought, I could have used the de-speckle tool, but didn't.

The Ha only was certainly different and needs different processing methods! Comments please.

Thanks Ian.

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#9

Post by Kanadalainen »

This image was taken with the FR backfocus spacing out of whack. :) I have since fixed that problem. So yes some of the corner stars will not be round. Sorry!!

When I processed this I used Photoshop to get rid of gradients and set the blackpoint.


So, in photoshop -

Image-> Adjustments -> Levels
Click on the blackpoint dropper to set R, G, and B to 25-35 or so (space is rarely black).
Then to set the blackpoint click around the edges of the image in a "black" space... experiment around the raw image until you get something that looks almost right - to me, this was a reddish nebula with an even grey-black background.

Then you can start to adjust reds, and saturation, and fix vignetting, etc.

The blackpoint setting is a massive step because it can really determine the finished quality.

Then I saved that and went into Lightroom to calm down the reds, and used some sharpening with a healthy dose of luminescence to net out with some noise reduction.

The tounge-in-cheek explanation of my FR backspacing issuee is explained here:

https://www.astrobin.com/nhd8eh/C/?nc=user

And a great little step by step instruction for using the blackpoint fix (and other things) in PS:

http://www.astropix.com/html/j_digit/digtechs.html
Ian

Scopes

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet :sprefac:
"Mark Mk. I" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic - modified a little with Nexus II iOS friendly link + Moonlite focuser
"Frosty" the XT10 - sold

Mounts - Ioptron skyguider pro, Skywatcher HEQ5 pro

DSLR stuff - Nikon D90, Canon 60D; Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2, Sigma 70-300mm f4

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Macs and PCs

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#10

Post by Kanadalainen »

Graeme1858 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:27 pm
After a few goes at this in Gimp, here's one that is kind of ok!

When first opened the tiff file I expected to see a red nebula but I was faced with a green nebula on a green background. Is this normal for Ha data?
I have only used GIMP once, but it was to set blackpoint. I am surprised you saw a green nebula - my data is kind of washed out grey. :Think: :Think:
Last edited by Kanadalainen on Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ian

Scopes

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet :sprefac:
"Mark Mk. I" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic - modified a little with Nexus II iOS friendly link + Moonlite focuser
"Frosty" the XT10 - sold

Mounts - Ioptron skyguider pro, Skywatcher HEQ5 pro

DSLR stuff - Nikon D90, Canon 60D; Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2, Sigma 70-300mm f4

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Macs and PCs

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#11

Post by Kanadalainen »

Jockinireland wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:49 pm
Thanks for sharing the data ian.

Right, so this was a new one for me -Ha Data only and a target I've not done myself. So i really didn't have a clue what I was doing and made it up as I went along :?

This was done almost entirely in Photoshop CC

I started trying to use all the data and quickly found I was getting nowhere good. So, seeing most of the information was (unsurprisingly) in the red channel with green and blue really only adding noise, I pulled out the red channel and processed it in mono. First I did Image/Adjustment/equalise to see what we had. No gradient but a bit of horizontal banding which was resolved with Carbonis Actions (Horizontal banding Noise reduction)

I then did several iterations (4 of each I think) of levels and curves to get the brightness and contrast up. In a couple of the top layers I masked the background and worked only on the Nebula.

Next was a masked high pass sharpen routine to try to give a bit more structure in the neb. I then did 2x Carbonis "make stars smaller". Then I totally cheated I guess :oops: and used Carboni's "B&W => HA False Colour Black Space". Then noise reduction Using Carbonis Actions "Deep Space noise reduction". I looked at adding saturation but it didnt need it.

I then went into StarTools and used "Repair" to sort out some of the stars in the corners. (Someone more knowledgeable than I may be able to advise if these are trailing or maybe needs adjustment of the FR backfocus).

Then Back into PS for a final curves and saved down as JPEG (Why does StarTools make my jpegs so small?).

Leaving this;

Image

I didnt crop it any because I quite like the space around it.

Ian, I think if you could get some RGB data to add in that would really beef up image.

Looking forward to seeing others efforts at this.

Nice!
Ian

Scopes

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet :sprefac:
"Mark Mk. I" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic - modified a little with Nexus II iOS friendly link + Moonlite focuser
"Frosty" the XT10 - sold

Mounts - Ioptron skyguider pro, Skywatcher HEQ5 pro

DSLR stuff - Nikon D90, Canon 60D; Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2, Sigma 70-300mm f4

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Macs and PCs

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#12

Post by Kanadalainen »

Kanadalainen wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:25 pm
Graeme1858 wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:27 pm
After a few goes at this in Gimp, here's one that is kind of ok!

When first opened the tiff file I expected to see a red nebula but I was faced with a green nebula on a green background. Is this normal for Ha data?


Here is the data as I first saw it:
Stacked East veil.jpg
Ian

Scopes

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet :sprefac:
"Mark Mk. I" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic - modified a little with Nexus II iOS friendly link + Moonlite focuser
"Frosty" the XT10 - sold

Mounts - Ioptron skyguider pro, Skywatcher HEQ5 pro

DSLR stuff - Nikon D90, Canon 60D; Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2, Sigma 70-300mm f4

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Macs and PCs

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#13

Post by Graeme1858 »

Yes, that's what I got!

Have you had another go at processing your data since the June challenge started?

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#14

Post by Graeme1858 »

Here's a go using Startools:

Autodev
Bin 50%
Crop
Wipe
Contrast
Sharp
HDR
Life
Colour (Hubble)
Filter
Entrophy (VisualHa)
Flux (Detail)

The result looked a bit faint so I pulled it into Gimp and tweaked some more but I might have over done it!


Image


What do the Startools experts think?

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#15

Post by startoolsastro »

I had a quick look at the dataset, but sadly it appears it is more an "image" than a "dataset", as it seems to have already been processed (stretched at the very least, but judging by the coloring more has been done to this). :( The stretch, combined with the heavy walking noise makes it really hard to recover signal...
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#16

Post by Graeme1858 »

Hello Ivo

Thanks for having a look.

It's an Ha only capture, would that be the reason it looks already stretched? Also, what is a walking noise?

Regards

Graeme
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#17

Post by KathyNS »

Image15-1000px.jpg
This was a challenge to process, as short-exposure Ha from an OSC camera. There was close to no data in the G and B channels and even the R data was pretty dim and noisy. I decided to discard the G and B data, and processed only the R.

Using both TGVDenoise and ACDNR reduced the noise a bit, but eventually, I had to resort to Curving the background way down low to suppress what remained. I used Starnet++ and PixelMath to separate the stars from the nebula, processing them separately. I used Morphological Transform to reduce the star sizes. For the nebula, I used several iterations of curves to ehnance the contrast.

To re-build a colour image, I copied the edited monochrome image of the nebula and reduced the brightness of the copy to 40% of the original with PixelMath. I then used ChannelCombination with the red data for red and the 40% data for both green and blue. This reduced the saturation of the red in the colour image, leaving me with a colour starless image.

I then converted the monochrome image of the stars to RGB, and finally used PixelMath to recombine the stars with the nebula.

I finished it off with some more Curves to improve contrast and control the background, a shot of ACDNR noise reduction, and then a tweak with ATrous Wavelets.
Image
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Re: June AP Processing Challenge

#18

Post by Graeme1858 »

That's an excellent go at it Kathy. Not sure I can do all that in Gimp! But I might have another go at it.

Regards

Graeme
__________________________________________________
Celestron 9.25 f10 SCT, CGX mount.
Canon 600D, IDAS LPS-D1 Filter, Altair GPCAM2 290C. Coming soon: ZWO ASI294MC Pro.
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