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My current processing ( knowledge of which is limited ) is stack, noise pollution and maybe some colour tweaking in APP, Starnett to separate target from stars, process both in PS then recombine. Results often pleasing ( to myself anyway ). Watching various YouTube bits and seeing people bang on about Pixinsight has me wondering....do I shell out and give it ago?? What are peoples opinions on it from those who have either currently use it or have tried to use it? 

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51 minutes ago, Bunglesastroimaging said:

My current processing ( knowledge of which is limited ) is stack, noise pollution and maybe some colour tweaking in APP, Starnett to separate target from stars, process both in PS then recombine. Results often pleasing ( to myself anyway ). Watching various YouTube bits and seeing people bang on about Pixinsight has me wondering....do I shell out and give it ago?? What are peoples opinions on it from those who have either currently use it or have tried to use it? 

Pixinsight has a very steep learning curve, but there is no better image processing software IMO. From calibration to final result, Pixinsight does it all, a lot of the processes are automatic too. You can load all of your lights, darks, bias and flats into WBPP and Pixinsight will churn out the calibrated and stacked lights. You can also do the same processes manually, which gives you more control over the calibration process. Noise reduction and background removal are great in Pixinsight, leaving you to process the non linear image in a way you see fit. I would recommend watching a lot of youtube videos and downloading the free 45 day trial, to see if it is for you.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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I am also a user of PixInsight and can highly recommend it. It has been continually developed by astrophotographers for astrophotographers.

Photoshop, which I also use professionally, is more of a general purpose image processing platform along with equivalents GIMP and Affinity Photo. Of course many people swear by PS and produce fantastic images so I do not knock it at all. I also have AstroPixelProcessor which is great but does very little post processing.

 

I have found it is best to take a professionally run course on PixInsight. MastersOfPixInsight is run by Warren Keller who wrote the book "Mastering PixInsight" and Dr Ron Brecher who also contributed to it. They are running reasonably priced online courses from beginner up to intermediate and beyond on that website. I paid for each course and picked up so much from them. They were live sessions over GoToMeeting that have been recorded for anybody purchasing the courses after the event to watch.

As Brian said the learning curve is steep but plateaus off soon, you then get more and more confident with it.

 

45 days is probably long enough to evaluate it but do your homework on it before hand.  

 

I am not affiliated in anyway to MastersOfPixInsight BTW.

Edited by TerryMcK
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I dived into PixInsight because a lot of others had ! , it has loads of tutorial videos and to date the software has been extremely robust. it does seem a little pricey when stacked (Pardon the pun )  up against DSS, APP, Startools etc, which i also have along with Affinity.

I thought to myself  I had spent soooo much on Hardware that what is another relatively minor outlay when you consider how important it is to achieve the final pleasing processed image. In truth i like all the packages above one way or another but i always seem to default back to PixInsight.

PS: I bought a couple of manuals which are very well written IMO, although I tend to use their accompanying PDF and the rapid search ability .

image.png

I guess the takeaway from this is the fact you have spent so much money and effort to capture the subs now you need the final tool and accompanying knowledge/Skills to get over the line. 

 

good luck  Gary

 

 

Edited by gpowers
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28 minutes ago, Bunglesastroimaging said:

Thanks for both your replies. I'll look into it. From watching YouTube users make it look quite straight forward and the processes they use seem to make sense. Also looks to generate some good images. 

Take a look at Adam Blocks youtube channel. He has a full video series on the WBPP. This will give you a great start into understanding Pixinsight processes. He has many other great videos as well.

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Gary has the most important comment in that you can spend the price of a small car on gear but the challenge is turning the output into an image that’s valuable to someone

 

I started with photoshop and still have a subscription but I barely use it now. I have used PI for a few years and the main advantage is that the programming behind the processes is always consistent and operates in a logical, repeatable  way. Of course you get to tweak and experiment which is why everyone goes off on one about there not being a user guide but out of the box you can be pretty close without too much intervention. 

 

I  have read most of the books and tutorials but the ones I go back to all of the time are warren Keller’s inside pixinsight and more recently the excellent work by Rogello Bernal Andrea, mastering Pixinsight, which does a great job at combining how you do something with why you do something. 
 

You can break PI down to maybe 6 core steps to get an image you will

enjoy before you might want to step into Alice’s wonderland and all the other groovy stuff you can do. (did I just say groovy?  Hells bells )

 

The very basics;

 

1) batch processing script to calibrate and register your subs after checking with the blink process for dodgy subs ( be ruthless)

2) image integration process as the batch processing script for integration is a bit pants only aimed at giving you an impression before doing more work 

3) photo metric calibration to neutralise the background and calibrate colours against say a galaxy or maybe our sun. This is based on plate solved solutions and star /galaxy colours 

4) curves (saturation) to give it a bit of pop

5) histogram transformation to stretch and go to non linear 

6) tweak curves again, maybe add a star mask or combine with a luminance mask  to stop blowing out stars or galaxy cores 

 

Done

 

 

 


david

 


 

 

Edited by David
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The latest version of PixInsight has been released https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?threads/pixinsight-1-8-8-8-released.16636/#post-100751

 

I was interested to see the WBPP has been updated to version 2.1 https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?threads/wbpp-v2-1-released.16638/ and has a great feature of loading all files in directory including sub directories. Now you can just point it at the top level and it automatically puts darks, lights, flats etc stored in their own sub directories into the right place within the script.

 

As ever with the new releases on Windows you need to uninstall the old version and then install the new. All settings you previously made are retained so there is no loss of configuration.

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17 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

The latest version of PixInsight has been released https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?threads/pixinsight-1-8-8-8-released.16636/#post-100751

 

I was interested to see the WBPP has been updated to version 2.1 https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?threads/wbpp-v2-1-released.16638/ and has a great feature of loading all files in directory including sub directories. Now you can just point it at the top level and it automatically puts darks, lights, flats etc stored in their own sub directories into the right place within the script.

 

As ever with the new releases on Windows you need to uninstall the old version and then install the new. All settings you previously made are retained so there is no loss of configuration.

Thanks for the info Terry. Just updated mine. Adam Block has just released 4 new videos dedicated to the WBPP 2.1 on youtube.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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2 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

As ever with the new releases on Windows you need to uninstall the old version and then install the new. All settings you previously made are retained so there is no loss of configuration.

Not quite Terry, the infuriating part for me is having to re-install all my custom scripts.

 

I have asked the question many times on the PI forum and never get an answer 🤬🥵🤬

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That’s a bummer John. It should be possible to have a local web server configured as a repo where you could store your scripts zipped up. Then add that repo to PI (normally http://localhost) and do an update. It should then reinstall the scripts again especially when doing a PI upgrade that requires uninstalling the old PI. That’s what I have had to do when I upgraded. The url for Hartmut Bornemann’s scripts was still in the repo list but the scripts had disappeared. Running an update found them, noticed they were not present and reinstalled them.

 

Failing a local web server you could even use the web space supplied by your ISP to store the scripts.

 

This article explains how to install IIS web server on windows 10 https://rdr-it.com/en/windows-10-install-an-iis-web-server/

 

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Just going through the IIS install on my version of Windows 10 which is 20H2 (OS Build 19042.867) and the installation of IIS is slightly different.

  • Right click the Start button
  • Click Settings
  • Click Programs and Features (under Related settings on the right hand side)
  • Click Turn Windows features on or off
  • Internet Information Services then appears in the click list.

image.thumb.png.0f288da09f4bd64077d6dadb0fd9b545.png

 

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BTW you do need a file in the webserver default directory called updates.xri otherwise you will get an error when you try to download the repo information. The PixInsight agent looks for that file to see what is in the repo. I am looking at that at the moment. It looks fairly easy to fix though.

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Hi Terry,

 

I store all of my scripts on our server as well as locally, but even if I tell the program to repopulate it doesn't, so I end up add the scripts all over again.

 

If this was just once then no problem, but I remember  a little while ago where I had to re-install 3 times in just a couple of weeks.

 

In the day and age, all that should be required is an update to the .exe file and adding info into the registry, its just one of my pet hates.

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That is a major oversight from the PI team especially as you have reported it on their forums. I must say I was trying to go through the documentation for updates.xri and it is not very well annotated. If I figure out how it works and whether it delivers the test script I have written I’ll post up details here.

I work in cyber security servers so should be able to knock something up 😉

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