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Topics - RBA

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When I start PixInsight, the default value for Quality in the RT-Preview window is "Smooth" - another value I find changing every time to "Maximum". Can this be saved from session to session, or a setting be created to define which quality the user wants by default? What is the advantage of having the default as smooth anyway? (legitimately curious, not a rhetorical question)

Last, what about the possibility of zooming in and out in the RT Preview window? I'd get rid of the image auto-fit as one resizes the RT-Preview window, and add a scaling parameter somewhere.


8 years in the making. The book goes to print in September, but since I self-publish, we're starting to take pre-orders now. This helps us knowing how many books to print for the first batch. Thanks to all who have suggested or even asked me over all these years to get this done!  Paper copy and ebook (plus a couple of videos + some actual data to process).

The link to learn more about the book, preorder it, etc:

The blurb:

Mastering PixInsight does much more than covering PixInsight from A to Z. In addition to including the most complete PixInsight Reference Guide on the planet to date, the book takes an intimate look at RBA's huge private repository of countless personal processing tips, "tricks", methods and know-how accrued over more than ten years.

This is the book where RBA gives everything he's got, and more.

The book has stuff for everyone, from those who enjoy quick and uncomplicated (but effective) image processing sessions to those who address astroimage processing as if their lives depended on it - well, almost :smiley:

The cover (subject to change):

It's being a monumental work but I'm very excited about how it's shaping. I'm working on it this morning in fact!


General / How are floating Qt windows created in PixInsight?
« on: 2018 October 18 17:25:29 »
OBS ( is a software that can capture/stream your display. When using their current version (I haven't used earlier versions btw), OBS does NOT capture the floating windows created by PixInsight (this is when instructing OBS to capture the whole display, not just a window). OBS does capture everything else: PixInsight's workspace, menus, docked windows, even the tooltips when hovering over an object that has a tooltip in a floating window! Just not the actual floating window.

I've left a question on the OBS forum, as this is clearly their bug, but I am also curious as to how those windows are created in PixInsight, since it might help them figure it out. Thanks!

PS: I tried disabling all GUI effects in case it was related, but that didn't help.



I'll be giving two PixInsight workshops this coming month of February, in Sunnyvale, California. Here are the links for more details and registration:

Beginner and Intermediate Levels
February 12, 2017

February 19, 2017

If you wish to attend both workshops, contact me directly ( for a discounted price.



I'll be giving two PixInsight workshops this coming month of September, in Sunnyvale, California. Here are the links for more details and registration:

Beginner and Intermediate Levels:


If you wish to attend both workshops, contact me directly ( for a discounted price.


Wish List / Save As XISF
« on: 2015 February 23 01:34:39 »
I can't save an image as a XISF file. "Save As" simply does not offer me that option. This is with an image generated by PixInsight (ImageIntegration, if it matters).

Am I missing something?


This coming March 1st, 2015 I will be giving a 3-hours Beginner/Intermediate hands-on PixInsight processing workshop in Sunnyvale, California (exact location TBA to registered attendees). Price is 75 US$

Please visit the following page for detailed information (topics to be covered, etc) and to register if you'd like to attend:

Seating is limited and we may run out of seats rather quickly. This will be the only Beginner/Intermediate workshop I plan on doing this year (other than possibly at major events), but I do plan to do a more Advanced workshop later in the year.

Any questions, ask.

PS: As I was about to post this message, I noticed some of the pinned messages are about workshops that already happened. Just saying, in case they haven't been unpinned because of neglect  ;)

General / Keyboard shortcut on Mac equivalent to Ctrl-F12 on PC
« on: 2014 September 13 18:38:09 »
Could someone tell me what's the keyboard shortcut on Mac equivalent to Ctrl-F12 on PC? That's the one to disable SFT.

Searching I've found conflicting information (Ctrl+Opt+S, Ctrl+S, ...)

Thanks in advance!

Wish List / More than one Statistics window
« on: 2014 April 05 08:14:41 »
As the subject says... Being able to launch more than one Statistics window - each one operated independently. The Track view is cool and all, but not the same.

Also applicable perhaps to other processes....

PCL and PJSR Development / PCL links broken
« on: 2014 February 19 03:21:03 »
The links in to download the PCL do not work.

Bug Reports / Unusuall "hang" after exiting BPP
« on: 2014 January 27 00:31:57 »
After running BatchPreprocessing, almost every single time, when I exit the script, PixInsight sits there 100% unresponsive for a good 1-2 minutes.

This is with the latest 1.8 updates under Win7x64.

No error message, as again, the software just becomes unresponsive for a while, then it works again "as usual", but it's certainly not normal and a bit annoying.

Bug Reports / Big problem with GradientMergeMosaic
« on: 2012 October 16 05:34:31 »
With a 16GB RAM PC I ran GradientMergeMosaic on a large 16 frames mosaic... It took well over 20 hours.

That's OK.

The results had a few small issues, but that's OK.

I then saved the 64float TIFF image. Ok...

Closed PixInsight, opened it again, opened the TIFF image, and it's ALL ZEROS.

Opening the TIFF file I get a rescaling message, not sure if that's related or if it happens regularly:

Reading image:
Reading TIFF: 64-bit floating point, 3 channel(s), 15327x14994 pixels, chunky: 100%
Rescaling sample values to [0.00000000e+000,1.00000000e+000]: 100%

Have I lost all the data? Is there a bug when saving 64float TIFF files perhaps?
I'm not very keen on the idea of starting another 20-hours GradientMergeMosaic process.

General / PixInsight Magazine
« on: 2012 May 03 17:31:07 »
Been over a year since the 1st issue. Wondering what are the plans for coming up with #2...

General / StarAlignment "Out of Memory"
« on: 2012 March 06 12:08:34 »
Machine: Win7x64 and just 6GB RAM...

I'm building a 54 frames mosaic. I've managed to build a reference frame (StarAlign'ing all 54 frames one by one - not a job for the impatient, I assure you that!), and I'm ready to produce the individual 54 sub-frames that will later be thrown at GradientMergeMosaic.

However, when building the structure map of the reference frame, it stops at 12% with an "Out of Memory". Unfortunately, I'm not working with my main 18GB RAM computer (which is in the US) and this machine "only" has 6GB of RAM.

The reference frame is a 32 bit mono image, 32,063 x 15,034 pixels in size.

Is there anything I can do to circumvent this limitation? Processing time is not a problem, so I don't mind if the process starts using the disk, as long as it can finish the job (but don't ask me to use a virtual disk because of not too good past experiences). Other than that, is there anything I can do that doesn't involve throwing to the garbage the RAM I have here and buy bigger memory modules? I'd be rather disappointed if I have to put this project on hold because of memory limitations. Not to mention what could happen to my health if I spent the money on more RAM and then it wasn't enough either (kind of asking how much RAM would be needed).

PS: I managed to build the reference frame by building TWO subframes, then putting them together - because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to build the reference frame with PixInsight alone, as I was running into the 12% Structure Map "Out of Memory" error after I had put together just 2/3 of the whole frame.

Thanks in advance,

General / Error with StarAlignment
« on: 2011 December 23 20:10:37 »
"Error: Singular matrix in 2-D surface spline generator"

This was generated during a "Register/Union - Mosaic" process, with all default parameters, except RANSAC increased to 6 and Registration model set to "2-D Surface Splines". Here's the output of the process:

StarAlignment: Processing view: R1_LRGB
R3_LRGB_mosaic: Restricting star matching to 2 preview(s).
R1_LRGB: Restricting star matching to 2 preview(s).
Structure map: 100%
Detecting stars: 100%
10742 stars found.
Structure map: 100%
Detecting stars: 100%
6860 stars found.
Computing intersection ...
R1  : { 3365,   30, 7331, 2668}  5978 stars
R2  : {    2,    4, 3968, 2641}  6854 stars
?21 : 0°
Matching stars ...
* Reference image: Limiting to 2000 brightest stars.
* Target image: Limiting to 2000 brightest stars.
1193 putative star pair matches.
Performing RANSAC ...
948 star pair matches in 55 RANSAC iterations.
Summary of model properties:
Inliers     : 0.795
Overlapping : 1.000
Regularity  : 0.957
Quality     : 0.861
Root mean square error:
?RMS  :  1.839 px
Average RMS error deviation:
?RMS  :  0.725 px
Peak errors:
?xmax :  3.919 px
?ymax :  5.865 px
Transformation matrix:
     +1.0013     +0.0035  -3369.2576
     -0.0102     +1.0036     +7.8844
     -0.0000     +0.0000     +1.0000
scale    : 0.999
rotation :     -0.43°
dx       :  -3369.26 px
dy       :     +7.88 px
*** Error: Singular matrix in 2-D surface spline generator
<* failed *>

R3_LRGB_mosaic is the result of already stitching 3 panes, with R1_LRGB being the last one in a 2x2 mosaic.
They'd go like this if successful:


That's why you see each image has two previews defined. The process was successful once I changed the Registration model to the default  "Projective Transformation" option.

Mainly out of curiosity, can the above error be explained in somewhat mundane terms?

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