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Messages - miska

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Announcements / Re: PixInsight 1.8.6 Ripley Released
« on: 2018 December 17 00:11:37 »
It takes more than one hour for the activation server to respond, so all my licenses expire before I can use them  >:(
I followed the instructions, and un-installed the old version before installing the new one, so right now, I don't have a working Pixinsight.
Trying to download the older version, but the server times out.
Happy times.

Edit: Just as I posted this, the server responded, and provided me with the license, that worked. Everything is in order now.

General / Eclipse image processing
« on: 2017 August 29 15:14:17 »
Hi !

I am surprised to not see here more threads about eclipse image processing. So here we go...

I took some bracketted images of the eclipse (using a Sony alpha 7RII + Canon 500mm f/4, on a EQ5 mount). I have a large number of bracketted shots, ranging from ~1/4000s to ~3s that I would like to combine into a "super HDR" image.

I tried with Lightroom, but it didn't work. So I thought I'd give PI a shot. I have used PI for my DSOs but processing the eclipse-series seems very different, and I don't know how to start / what the best workflow is.
So how would you proceed with the image combination, and then processing ?

On the individual frames, I already see what I want to show in the final image: red protuberances, coronal structures reaching far away from the sun, earthshine on the lunar disk... So the data seems ok. Now how to make all those features into a single image ?

To make things easier, for the moment, I don't necessarily need to increase SNR by adding several frames with the same exposure (although, it would be cool if it could be done somehow as part of the image combination process).

So how do I start ?
Feel free to share some of your eclipse shots (including how you processed them) if you wish...

General / Re: BPP optimization
« on: 2016 November 20 04:20:18 »
Thanks, I will start like you suggest, trying to tweak the Integration process.

Any other tips and tricks to take BPP to the next level ?

General / Re: BPP optimization
« on: 2016 November 18 23:37:20 »
Or perhaps a tutorial on how to optimize BPP ? Most I have seen are more how to get it going, rather than how to get the best out of it ?
Of course, I could go into its individual bricks, but I'd rather start by tweaking in BPP if possible...

General / BPP optimization
« on: 2016 November 10 04:02:09 »
Until now, I have been running BPP pretty much using the default settings for all the steps. I have been happy with the results, but now have a challenging object (very faint Halpha emission), that I would like to get out of my image.
So I'd like to optimize a bit the stacking process.
What steps should I do and begin with ? What do you think are the most important parameters to optimize ? I think I need mostly to tackle image integration.

The data I have is Canon 6D DSLR images, with and without a clip-in Halpha filter.

Thoughts and ideas ?

Bug Reports / Re: BPP forgets file lists with new instance
« on: 2016 July 30 10:25:07 »
Aha, Thanks !

Bug Reports / BPP forgets file lists with new instance
« on: 2016 July 29 13:43:34 »
I think something has changed in the behavior of BPP. It used to be that you could enter all the files (light, flats, darks,...), reference  files and so on into the GUI. Once ready, you could pull the triangle onto the desktop, to save this BPP instance with all it's values, ready to process. I could then prepare all my BPPs, and then launch them at another time.

When I do this now, re-opening the instance has lost all the files to be processed (lights, flats, darks and biases), but the reference and output directories are still there.
Is this a bug ?

MacOs X, 10.9.5, PI, BPP version 1.42.

Thanks !

Thank you for your answer. I want to use a machine at work (really powerful), but I am not root, and therefore I asked the question.

It was not clear to me that the application would run directly without using the installer, albeit with limitations. I thought that perhaps it needs to install libraries somewhere specific, or that it would need to write settings and paths to a place it doesn't have access to.

So, in principle, it is perfectly fine the way it is. My suggestion would be to just add a little sentence in the install script, once it notices that it is not run by root, that says that I can still use the the application, but with limitations. That would clarify the situation.

How do you install PI without root access ?

Thanks !

General / Re: Opinion and Suggestion: What PI Needs . . .
« on: 2016 May 26 14:00:08 »
This thread is very interesting....
Clearly there is a wish for more automation from some people. I think BPP is a wonderful example of what automation can be. I makes assumptions which may not always be optimal, but allows to get a decent result without much tinkering. You want better ? You can tweak. You want even better, don't use BPP, and use the "bricks" that make BPP.
I bet you, that BPP is one of the most used routines in PI. I think that fact tells a lot about how people want to use PI.

Right now, to me, PI has a lot of those "bricks", but few "meta-routines" like BPP, which make processing much faster, with "pretty good" results (without tweaking). Is it a black box ? If you want, you can know what goes inside. So no, it's not a black box in my opinion. It is a meta-routine. Nothing opaque in there. IF there was no documentation and the routines could not be read to know how they work, then it would be a black box.

Since some of the routines take quite a while to run, it could be nice to have the system automatically generate several "variants". Yes, it would take even longer, but you could go for a coffee, come back, and have (for example) 5 different images calculated, with 5 levels of noise reduction, and choose the one you like best.
But an even better solution would be a "meta-routine": first evaluate the noise level (there are routines for this in PI), evaluate (for example) the noisiest wavelet layers, do some other analysis, and then apply the noise reduction that has found to be "best" for this noise level. Yes, this takes time to test and calibrate, but once it is done, it could be quite efficient. Of course, some people like more noise reduction, some people less - but at least it would be a starting point. The routines are there, but effort should be made to automate - using the existing tools.

It is also clear now that the PI team has no interest in automation, and that this burden will fall on the users. I feel this is disappointing.

General / Re: Opinion and Suggestion: What PI Needs . . .
« on: 2016 May 18 13:56:18 »
Oh, don't get me wrong. I do like some of the tools in PI, I wouldn't have paid a LOT of money for PI without that.

But when I compare for example how it is difficult to test some parameters in noise reduction (even if I can limit those tests to previews) to how easy it is to apply a noise reduction with a mask in LR. Well, it's no contest. So yes, for sure the LR noise reduction is for cave-men (although...), there must be a way to make it more user friendly.

I have now found "my" workflow, and I can work:
- DBE, and background neutralization
- Histogram transform
- HDR-wavelet thingy
- Some noise reduction (wavelets, or another form).
- TIF, to get me out of here for the fine retouching :-)

But thanks guys for the suggestions !

> I think there are basically three points you don't understand:

What I don't understand, is the frankly condescending attitudes of some high up PI staff, and this is not limited to this comment in this thread.
If I didn't "understand" that PI is not a hallmark of software usability, I apologize. It must be that my abilities to understand this kind of thing is limited.

This thread is about opinions on how to make PI better. I gave my suggestions. If they are not shared by anybody, fine. But dismissing them as lack of understanding is just showing a lack of listening skills...



General / Re: Opinion and Suggestion: What PI Needs . . .
« on: 2016 May 17 13:17:24 »
I feel that PI is a very nice collection of tools, but:

- There is little done to help making a workflow. Although BPP is a step in that direction. It is a bit like Photoshop. A LOT of tools that do similar things, but differently. I prefer lightroom (LR), which guides you more, with perhaps fewer tools but better integrated into a workflow, getting you from the raw data to the final product.

- The Documentation, when it is present at all, is more like a technical manual. It doesn't help much in really using a tool for a particular case. A LOT of experimentation is necessary to get a tool to give a sensible result.

- A lot of the tools are unnecessarily complex and non interactive. It is like folows: set  a parameter - try - set parameter - try again - repeat 10 times. I would much prefer more live previews and sliders. Compare the noise reduction algorithm in LR with a few sliders where you see immediately what happens to the various noise reduction algorithms in PI. Although the PI ones are probably much "better" than the LR ones, it takes forever to get it right. More sliders and interactive previews please !

- I feel that PI, right now, is a tool for those who want to spend hours and hours optimizing each picture. I would prefer (but perhaps I'm the only one ?) to spend  (much ?) less time and get the image 80% or 90% right. Instead of spending a LOT of time, and getting it 100% right. So I'd like to have more tools that work "almost" with the default settings, and need much less tweaking. I am sure this is possible, but it needs a big investment from the software team, in testing various cases on different images, to come up with good default values, or automatize some parameter optimizations.

- I would LOVE presets and "assistants". Something that analyzes my images and figures out the right parameters (or almost the right ones) for my image.

- Performance is not very good in terms of computation time. PI takes a LOT of ressources, and I don't have the impression they are optimally used. This is perhaps not true, it's just a feeling. Certainly BPP is MUCH slower than DSS for example, for the same set of images.

So in summary: I would like the PI team to direct their attention to usability and automation, and possibly performance improvements.
Not really interested in completely new algorithms to replace existing ones, or telescope / observatory control software.

Just my 0.02 Euros worth...

This is really interesting. Since I am using a DSLR, I have always wanted to see how my BPP processed images would look like, if I could preserve the original WB associated with a raw file (for example, use the "Daylight" setting).
The BPP processed file would probably still need tweaking (esp if there is light pollution) but that might be easier than to start from scratch (although color calibration & background neutralization usually work quite well).


I use BPP and it works great. However, in one particular case, I think there should be an extra warning, or it should not even start.
I use Canon 6D files. It is well known that Canon has a fixed bias value in their raw data.

My problem: IF you don't input some bias files in BPP, but still use flats, then you basically get garbage out. Very blotchy images, with big rings around the center. Completely unusable.

So my suggestion:
- When BPP detects that it is using Canon data, and bias files are not given, just generate a constant bias over the whole image with the appropriate (Canon) value.
- If that is not possible, put a big warning that No Bias + Flats + Canon RAW --> Disaster.

It took me a while to figure this one out. Of course, one should always use all the calibration frames, but I thought that bias is not such a big deal...

General / Re: Quick and dirty BPP in the field
« on: 2016 March 17 05:30:22 »
One very cool thing that I found, is that once the picture is plate solved and saved as fits, I can import it into Cartes du ciel, and overlay it with the sky map. Very graphical way to see where I am...

Now, I'm trying to:
- Overlay into CdC the isophotes of faint nebulae (it should be somehow possible, but don't know how), in addition to my picture.
- Figure out if I can easilly calculate by how much my pointing is off (in RA and DEC), and how to give these offset to my AZ-EQ6 mount hand controller (I don't think I can say "move X deg in RA and Y degrees in DEC").

I am still trying to avoid using a computer in the field continuously (like with EQmod). I just want an occasional use of the laptop, to check everything is fine.

But those are not PI questions anymore :-)

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