Adam Block's new WBPP Tutorial Series

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Adam Block's new WBPP Tutorial Series

#1

Post by STEVE333 »

I've just finished watching the 9-Part YouTube tutorial by Adam Block on how to use the new PixInsight WBPP script. I was quite interested in this because I have been struggling for a few months now and have not been able to do an acceptable job of calibrating data taken with my new ASI1600MM Pro camera (CMOS). I've been applying the same calibration approach I've always used for my DSLR data, but, it just hasn't been producing good results.

A link to Adam's tutorials on WBPP is below.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... JGoJz7tlxF

In my opinion Adam is quite "wordy" and technical, but, he really knows what he is talking about. He tackles the problem a piece at a time to try to make it easier to absorb. Of particular interest to me is the fact that he not only addresses the calibration of CCD data but also addresses the unique challenges of calibrating CMOS data. Along the way he also includes one Part (Part 8) to help the user to "visualize" how the Bias, Flats, Darks and Lights are combined to produce the final calibrated data, and, how the CMOS data and calibration differs from the traditional approach. Being very visual this was a big help for me.

The total tutorial time for all 9 Parts is 3 hours and 15 minutes. I watched the entire 9-Part series and am glad I did. Part-9 (the final part - about 15 min) specifically addresses the WBPP settings for CMOS users which I am about to try. I feel much better now that I understand why "Flat Darks" are needed and why I won't be using Bias frames any more. It all makes logical sense now which always makes me feel better.

All 9 Parts are available free which is very generous of Adam to say the least.

Hope this is helpful for you.

Cheers,

Steve
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#2

Post by STEVE333 »

I'm not sure what happened to my original post. I was trying to explain how much I appreciated Adam's tutorial including the problems and solutions that were specific to CMOS sensors. Somehow it seems that CMOS sometimes got changed back to CCD in the text, and, some other text was inserted. I must have somehow messed it up. My apologies.

I can tell you that today I applied the information from Adam's 9-Part tutorial to a recalibration of my ASI1600MM Pro data (CMOS) and got excellent results. I had been fighting dark regions around the edges of the calibrated frames when using my old calibration approach. Using Adam's approach the dark regions are gone and only the normal artifacts caused by dithering remain along the frame edges!! I believe I now know how to calibrate ASI1600MM Pro data!! :dance:

Armed with this new ability to properly calibrate the camera data I can hardly wait for the first chance to do real NB imaging in early June when the Tulip Nebula will come into view!!

Cheers - Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
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#3

Post by JayTee »

The glossary has problems with certain abbreviations. We don't yet know why. I have disabled CMOS in the glossary so your text shows correctly.

JT
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#4

Post by STEVE333 »

JayTee wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:07 am
The glossary has problems with certain abbreviations. We don't yet know why. I have disabled CMOS in the glossary so your text shows correctly.

JT
Thanks JT - I thought I was "losing it". You never know at 78 and counting...

Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
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#5

Post by STEVE333 »

The two images below show a side-by-side comparison of stacked Oiii frames of data with and without calibration. The stacked image on the left used frames without any calibration. The image on the right used frames calibrated following Adam's approach using only Dark frames and Flat-Dark frames for calibration with no Bias frames being used.

ImageCal_NoCal Comparison by STEPHEN KING, on Flickr

The Dark frames removed the strong amp glow evident in the corners of the image while the Flat-Darks removed the more subtle diagonal streaks on the right side of the image as well as "flattening" the overall background. The improvement with calibration is easy to see.

Thanks for looking and thanks again to Adam.

Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
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#6

Post by UlteriorModem »

Thanks for posting this. I will have to take a look at it!
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#7

Post by STEVE333 »

UlteriorModem wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 5:22 pm
Thanks for posting this. I will have to take a look at it!
You're welcome Tom. It really helped me.
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
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Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
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#8

Post by XCalRocketMan »

It took awhile for me to realize that I should never use BIAS frames with my ASI1600mm. And, starting on the next project I'll be taking (and using) dark flats. Lots of good info in this series.
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#9

Post by Mac »

That's great Steve, I am just beginning my journey with the 1600MM and I've got no hair to pull out.

Bias frames should not be used with CMOS sensors, I learned that early on with the 533 and the ZWO Facebook group.

For the time being I will probably shooting luminance frames with the 1600 and combine with the 533, doing HaRGB :D I don't want to skimp on cheap filters and waste money, so I'll move along slowly. My customers are opening their businesses and swiping their customers cards and that's how I make $$, so things are improving.

The one Chroma Oxygen filter was $700+ yikes...

Thanks for sharing Steve
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#10

Post by Graeme1858 »

Thanks for the link Steve. I don't use PI but I'll certainly be interested in the theory.

I've not used Dark Flats yet but been meaning to give them a go.

Does the no Bias Frames frames for CMOS apply to my DSLR sensor?

Regards

Graeme
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#11

Post by Mac »

Adam Block does a great job and he is easy to listen to.

I am creating my master darks and flat frame library at various exposures. I've seen the term ADU mentioned when creating flats and I do not know where in PixInsight I can attain that info. Using an iPad to produce white screen and a t-shirt method.

Here is one of my flats and the Histogram information my software is providing. Does this look sufficient?
Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 9.28.26 AM.png
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
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#12

Post by Mac »

I've always taken my darks at night and thought that if I took them in the dark observatory with the scope lens covered of course and at the same temperature as lights, there shouldn't be a problem.

My scope also has a 55 gallon black plastic garbage bag that I put on it between sessions to keep some of the dirt and dust off the scope, otherwise I bring the scope in the house along with the camera.

One of the frames was much brighter than the rest which I deduced came from my partner opening the door to the obs. She didn't know I was imaging and thought I was in there. I am getting some light leaking in from somewhere but the good news is there is no amp glow, even during a 10 minute exposure.

I will go back to taking the darks at night until I determine where this light is coming from.
Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 11.02.34 AM.png
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
Mount : AVX EQ | Software : KStars - EKOS - Stellar OS | Cameras : ZWO ASI533MC Nikon D7500 ZWO ASI120MM-mini
CPU : iMac 27" - iPad Pro - Ubuntu/Debian Raspberry PI3/4 | Misc : Thousand Oaks dew controller - DewNot straps - Optolong L-enhance - Orion .8 reducer - ZWO EAF
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#13

Post by STEVE333 »

Mac wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:30 pm
Adam Block does a great job and he is easy to listen to.

I am creating my master darks and flat frame library at various exposures. I've seen the term ADU mentioned when creating flats and I do not know where in PixInsight I can attain that info. Using an iPad to produce white screen and a t-shirt method.

Here is one of my flats and the Histogram information my software is providing. Does this look sufficient?
Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 9.28.26 AM.png

First, ADU stands for Analog-to-Digital Unit which is the digital measure of the amount of signal in a pixel. When I was using a DSLR, rather than measuring the ADU value I looked at the RAW image with the HistogramTransformation (HT) process like you do. In order to "calibrate" the HT display I would:
1) Look at a RAW image that was saturated to establish the Full Well position on the HT display.
2) Look at a Flat to determine the fraction of Full Well on the HT display.
3) Adjust the Flat exposure to move the RGB channels close to the 50% value while making sure none of the channels are saturated.

This was the only way I could reliably determine the level of the RGB channels. For the DSLR images all three channels (RGB) show up on the HT graph at the same time.

Hope this makes sense.

Graeme1858 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:05 am
Thanks for the link Steve. I don't use PI but I'll certainly be interested in the theory.

I've not used Dark Flats yet but been meaning to give them a go.

Does the no Bias Frames frames for CMOS apply to my DSLR sensor?

Regards

Graeme
I believe some DSLRs are CMOS and some are still CCD. If you determine that your DSLR uses a CMOS sensor, then, the "No Bias Frames" approach would apply.

Thanks for the responses.

Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
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#14

Post by Mac »

STEVE333 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:37 pm

First, ADU stands for Analog-to-Digital Unit which is the digital measure of the amount of signal in a pixel. When I was using a DSLR, rather than measuring the ADU value I looked at the RAW image with the HistogramTransformation (HT) process like you do. In order to "calibrate" the HT display I would:
1) Look at a RAW image that was saturated to establish the Full Well position on the HT display.
2) Look at a Flat to determine the fraction of Full Well on the HT display.
3) Adjust the Flat exposure to move the RGB channels close to the 50% value while making sure none of the channels are saturated.

This was the only way I could reliably determine the level of the RGB channels. For the DSLR images all three channels (RGB) show up on the HT graph at the same time.

Hope this makes sense.
Steve
Yes, it makes sense.

Looking at both Dark and Flats above, they are stretched automatically by the FITS preview window.

What ~exposure times are you using for your flats?

Mine are at .020 and I've seen mention of flats should be in the 1 second time frame.

Thanks for your replies Steve, much appreciated.
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
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#15

Post by STEVE333 »

Mac wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 4:27 pm
STEVE333 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:37 pm

First, ADU stands for Analog-to-Digital Unit which is the digital measure of the amount of signal in a pixel. When I was using a DSLR, rather than measuring the ADU value I looked at the RAW image with the HistogramTransformation (HT) process like you do. In order to "calibrate" the HT display I would:
1) Look at a RAW image that was saturated to establish the Full Well position on the HT display.
2) Look at a Flat to determine the fraction of Full Well on the HT display.
3) Adjust the Flat exposure to move the RGB channels close to the 50% value while making sure none of the channels are saturated.

This was the only way I could reliably determine the level of the RGB channels. For the DSLR images all three channels (RGB) show up on the HT graph at the same time.

Hope this makes sense.
Steve
Yes, it makes sense.

Looking at both Dark and Flats above, they are stretched automatically by the FITS preview window.

What ~exposure times are you using for your flats?

Mine are at .020 and I've seen mention of flats should be in the 1 second time frame.

Thanks for your replies Steve, much appreciated.
I use my light panel at a very low brightness along with two layers of muslin cloth to reduce the brightness. Even with all that my Flats exposures are around 1 sec. I aim for longer flats to allow any rapid fluctuations in the brightness of the light panel to average out.

Glad to help. Others have helped me and I just hope I can pass some help along.

Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
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#16

Post by Mac »

Steve, When you get a chance could you use the Statistic process in PI on one of your flats to see how it compares to mine?


I am not sure how you determine the Full Well value in HistogramTransformation. Time to Google that one.


Here is one of my flats and the Statistics for one sub
Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 12.51.10 PM.png
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
Mount : AVX EQ | Software : KStars - EKOS - Stellar OS | Cameras : ZWO ASI533MC Nikon D7500 ZWO ASI120MM-mini
CPU : iMac 27" - iPad Pro - Ubuntu/Debian Raspberry PI3/4 | Misc : Thousand Oaks dew controller - DewNot straps - Optolong L-enhance - Orion .8 reducer - ZWO EAF
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#17

Post by Mac »

STEVE333 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 4:50 pm


I use my light panel at a very low brightness along with two layers of muslin cloth to reduce the brightness. Even with all that my Flats exposures are around 1 sec. I aim for longer flats to allow any rapid fluctuations in the brightness of the light panel to average out.

Glad to help. Others have helped me and I just hope I can pass some help along.

Steve

My iPad is at maximum through two folds of a white cotton t-shirt and nowhere near 1 sec. My mistake I believe is looking at a stretched image.

I will try again tonight when things cool down as it's close to 90 degrees and sunny, the Obs is also hot and can't get my camera below -15c.


Thanks again
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
Mount : AVX EQ | Software : KStars - EKOS - Stellar OS | Cameras : ZWO ASI533MC Nikon D7500 ZWO ASI120MM-mini
CPU : iMac 27" - iPad Pro - Ubuntu/Debian Raspberry PI3/4 | Misc : Thousand Oaks dew controller - DewNot straps - Optolong L-enhance - Orion .8 reducer - ZWO EAF
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#18

Post by STEVE333 »

Mac wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 4:56 pm
My iPad is at maximum through two folds of a white cotton t-shirt and nowhere near 1 sec. My mistake I believe is looking at a stretched image.

I will try again tonight when things cool down as it's close to 90 degrees and sunny, the Obs is also hot and can't get my camera below -15c.

Thanks again
One other thing I do to get the Flats exposure time up. For my camera (ASI1600MM Pro) many users have suggested aiming for a mean ADU of 12000. I aim for 32000 (about 50% of the max ADU of 65000). That increased my exposure by a factor of 32000/12000 or about 2.7 which helped while still getting good flats correction.

If you can turn the brightness down on your iPad that will help too.

Good luck,

Steve
Steve King: Light Pollution (Bortle 5)
Telescope + Mount + Guiding: W.O. Star71-ii or ES ED102 CF + iOptron CEM40 EC + Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider
Camera: ASI 1600MM Pro + EFW Filter Wheel + ZWO 7nm Ha & Sii + Chroma 3nm Oiii + ZWO LRGB Filters
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#19

Post by Mac »

STEVE333 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:00 pm


One other thing I do to get the Flats exposure time up. For my camera (ASI1600MM Pro) many users have suggested aiming for a mean ADU of 12000. I aim for 32000 (about 50% of the max ADU of 65000). That increased my exposure by a factor of 32000/12000 or about 2.7 which helped while still getting good flats correction.

If you can turn the brightness down on your iPad that will help too.

Good luck,

Steve

Yeah, I originally had the brightness much further down but I was looking at the stretched histogram.

Thanks
Mac

Scopes : Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO - Celestron 6" SCT - Orion 50mm
Mount : AVX EQ | Software : KStars - EKOS - Stellar OS | Cameras : ZWO ASI533MC Nikon D7500 ZWO ASI120MM-mini
CPU : iMac 27" - iPad Pro - Ubuntu/Debian Raspberry PI3/4 | Misc : Thousand Oaks dew controller - DewNot straps - Optolong L-enhance - Orion .8 reducer - ZWO EAF
Image Processing : PixInsight - LightRoom - Photoshop - macOS - Windows 10

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