Author Topic: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration  (Read 17179 times)

Offline pfile

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #15 on: 2017 May 20 14:12:19 »
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so what's the timeframe like for release of 1.8.5?

I still don't dare to anticipate a release date. It should happen during the first half of June. Version 1.8.5 is a very complex release, with very significant changes to the platform (as usual, much more and much deeper changes than what the user will see on the surface), many new tools, and many and very important improvements and new features.


OK, that's enough precision - was just wondering if it was "soon" or late in the year, or what.

rob

Offline bob_franke

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #16 on: 2017 May 20 16:58:35 »
Juan, you said...
This reference, which has been used in all of the examples shown above, is in our opinion truly representative of the deep space, and hence an unbiased, neutral white reference quite close to our documentary color philosophy.

Several years ago you said…
The concepts of "true color" and "natural color" are illusions in deep-sky astrophotography. Such things don't exist. The main reason is that a deep-sky image represents objects far beyond the capabilities of the human vision system.

So which is it, you seem to have change your mind.

Then you said in this announcement…
If you want to persist in making common conceptual mistakes, you will be able to use the G2V spectral type as a white reference—but PCC will allow you to select virtually any spectral type, along with several galaxy types, to calibrate the color of your images automatically and accurately in PixInsight.

I find this statement incredibly arrogant. Who are you to say that your color philosophy is better than anyone else's? Also, you are again stating that PCC provides "accurate" color, which you previously stated does not exist. At least one astrophysicist and many of the best astrophotographers on the planet accept the G2V and/or eXcalibrator methods. eXcalibrator's Linear Regression routine uses stars of multiple colors and gets the same result as the "white-star only" routines.

I am a PixInsight user and believe it is an exceptional and powerful program. But I find the arrogance of the developers and many in the user community to be astounding. The general consensus is that if you don't understand the math... that's your problem. What little help there is, is written at a level only a mathematician can understand. This is not the general astrophotography community.

It is unfortunate that the PixInsight developers are too lazy to write complete and easy to understand documentation. You should not be relying on others to write books and provide tutorials.

Regards,
Bob

Offline msmythers

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #17 on: 2017 May 20 21:22:05 »
Bob

I respect your opinion now respect mine, you come across sounding very mean to me. I suspect to your friends and family you are a very nice man though.

I bought PI almost 5 years ago with my eyes wide open as far as the documentation situation. I still purchased it and don't regret it. I understood when I bought it that the documentation would most likely always remain that way. I am still fine with that because I see great value in my purchase. The PixInsight team has a business model that seems to be working fine for them, you might do it different and I might do it different but it is their business. The users who write tutorials do it because they want to. I believe you write tutorials for others software also so are those developers lazy too?

Also when I purchase software I don't care if the developer 'sounds' arrogant, what their stated opinions are, I care does the software do the job I expect of it. I inspect the goods before purchasing and I decide. If the answer is yes then the developer can 'say' the moon is bright green it doesn't change the fact that the software does what I need it to do. If it doesn't I don't buy it and move on. It's very simple but I am very simple. 



Mike

Offline vicent_peris

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #18 on: 2017 May 21 00:09:46 »
Hello everybody,

Thank you very much for your comments. At a personal level, this tool represents an important milestone to me. I have been working on my own color theory for almost ten years from now. As you may know, my work for the ALHAMBRA survey was the key to develop this theory. This theory is based on these simple statements:

  • Color in astrophotography has a documentary goal.
  • The nature of the objects we are photographing is not limited to the human spectral sensitivity, so the latter is no the right choice to represent the scene.
  • Color representation is not relative to the human eye, but to the object, following always a documentary goal, thus establishing a direct link between the object's nature and its color display in the picture.
  • There isn't a unique valid color representation for a given picture, each one being relative to a different documentary goal.
  • A face-on spiral galaxy model should be a good white reference in most cases since it represents very well the vast majority of objects we depict in deep-sky photography. This is based on the fact that this galaxy type contains a good representation of all the different stellar populations.

As you know, we implemented points 1 to 4 in PixInsight through the ColorCalibration tool. But, up to now, it was not possible to demonstrate point 5 since in most cases you are not able to reference the color to a face-on spiral galaxy. My hypothesis was that a spectral model of an intermediate spiral galaxy could serve as a kind of "universal" white reference in astrophotography.
Up to now, PixInsight hadn't a solution to demonstrate this hypothesis. So I do think this new tool is an important milestone for PixInsight as well. Right now, you have all the freedom to choose your white balance in PixInsight: you can choose a source in your own picture, or you can choose an absolute reference.

This is the aesthetic point of view, which we feel contributes to the artistic development of the user community. It's never arrogant to establish you point of view. We simply don't like a sun-like star as white reference because we think it doesn't represent the nature of the photographed object. Moreover, we understand that we should give the user the freedom to choose his/her own white reference, so we included the G2V spectra, together with almost any kind of star spectral type to make your choice. In the future, we'll be adding more white reference models to the list.


Best regards,
Vicent.

Offline bob_franke

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #19 on: 2017 May 21 01:14:56 »
Vicent, I agree that a face-on spiral galaxy makes a nice white reference.

However, what if there is intervening galactic extinction? How do you show a galaxy with its intrinsic color and still correctly display the foreground stars?

I think it's better to show the foreground stars correctly and let the color of the galaxy include the extinction. I call this the café doctrine... that is Color As From Earth. Or probably more correctly, color from Earth orbit. :-)

Also, I am a bit fuzzy with your basic color theory. Can you give us a definition of a "documentary goal"?

Regards,
Bob

Offline msmythers

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #20 on: 2017 May 21 01:37:23 »
Bob

I would like to apologize for the mean comment and others. I was taught better then this by my parents.

I just finished watching the video of the car rampage in Times Square and that brings things like software issues back into perspective.

Again sorry Bob.


Mike

Offline vicent_peris

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #21 on: 2017 May 21 01:44:22 »
Hi Bob,

However, what if there is intervening galactic extinction? How do you show a galaxy with its intrinsic color and still correctly display the foreground stars?

I think it's better to show the foreground stars correctly and let the color of the galaxy include the extinction. I call this the café doctrine... that is Color As From Earth. Or probably more correctly, color from Earth orbit. :-)

We are applying the white point to the picture by measuring the star fluxes. From those fluxes, we calculate the RGB weights that would have an unreddened face-on spiral galaxy. This means that, if your spiral galaxy is reddened by galactic extinction, it will show up in the calibrated picture as a redder galaxy than the spiral galaxy model that we are applying as white reference.

Quote
Also, I am a bit fuzzy with your basic color theory. Can you give us a definition of a "documentary goal"?

Please, take a look at this document.

Best regarfds,
Vicent.

Offline Ignacio

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #22 on: 2017 May 21 08:27:30 »
Color calibration is always an engaging topic, that can easily bring out passionate views and opinions.
The way I see it (no pun intended), color is about spectral information within a certain bandwidth. So if one is able to piece together a procedure from detection to final reproduction (say, through a display), that reproduces accurately such information, then that is the ideal case. Now, in astrophotography we like to go beyond human vision capabilities so that frequent astrophysical phenomena is not left out (ie, H-alpha emissions). Then the question arises as how to remap such part of the spectrum into the visible range. One possible approach is to compress the spectral information around some middle point in the greens, so that all information is preserved (and could be recovered by an inverse transformation). This, again, is the ideal case.

In practice, we detect color through three components (typically RGB), that result from passing the signal through three different filters before hitting a detector. Such filters and detectors are not standardized among amateurs, and they add their own idiosyncrasies to color registration. In fact, the problem becomes infinite dimensional if different filter/detector profiles are to be taken into account (to match those used in photometric catalogs). On top of this, we like to filter out unwanted additive signals, such as LP and air-glow, and the question of spectral information becomes even more intractable.

What I really like about color calibration using photometric data from different spectral type stars, is that it deals with many of the these problems at the same time, if a rich enough model if fitted.

So, the question remains if a model with three scaling parameters is good enough to recover accurate color balance, given the infinite dimensional nature of the problem. I know for a fact this is not the case with DSLRs (whose filters have significant cross-talk), where at least a matrix transformation is required. But given the unstandardized nature of color filters transmittance, and detectors spectral QE profiles, I wonder... And now that we will have access to hundreds of data points via photometric catalogs, maybe is time to get more ambitious!

best,
Ignacio

Offline Niall Saunders

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #23 on: 2017 May 21 09:16:40 »
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1.8.5 will be the best, most powerful and most stable version of PixInsight ever

Not strictly true, Juan - the 'best' version, IMHO, was that original version of PixelInsight LE - it was the pebble that you dropped in the ocean that started the tsunami that we all now know and enjoy today as PixInsight.

Yet, somehow, you constantly seem to be able to amaze us!
Cheers,
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Offline vicent_peris

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #24 on: 2017 May 21 10:27:09 »
So, the question remains if a model with three scaling parameters is good enough to recover accurate color balance, given the infinite dimensional nature of the problem. I know for a fact this is not the case with DSLRs (whose filters have significant cross-talk), where at least a matrix transformation is required. But given the unstandardized nature of color filters transmittance, and detectors spectral QE profiles, I wonder... And now that we will have access to hundreds of data points via photometric catalogs, maybe is time to get more ambitious!

Hi,

This is a different problem. With this tool or any other that calibrates a white point in your picture, you multiply the RGB channels by a calculated ratio. This operation neutralizes the white reference, so you're sure that the white reference will be white in your picture. On the other hand, objects differing from that white point will have different colors on each image depending on several characteristics of the optical system and the acquisition conditions: the atmospheric extinction, the QE curve, or the filter transmission curve. This implies a higher order correction that, at this moment, cannot be done because we would need standard stars measured with RGB filters. As of today, all the photometric catalogs are built with photometric filters. So, there is still a long way to go in this field...

Anyway, the main issue is to have a solid white reference in your picture. Now, you have a complete solution in PixInsight since it let's you choose between a white reference relative to your picture (by using ColorlCalibration) or an absolute reference by using photometric models.

Our implementation has some very strong points:

- The calculated astrometry is extremely accurate thanks to the ImageSolver script by Andrés del Pozo. This is far superior to any other astrometry solution because it uses splines to correct geometrical distorsions. Far superior to WCS or any other solution using polynomials (I could show you some examples that are *impossible* to solve by using polynomials).

- The AperturePhotometry script I designed with Andrés is also very powerful and flexible, thus allowing us to implement a great variety of new tools based on photometry. In the next version you'll be able to use PSF photometry as well, that can be very powerful for crowded fields or in images with heavy optical aberrations.

- Trust me, the linear fit algorithm in PixInsight is magic. It is far better than a linear regression, and this tool woudn't work at all without a truly robust linear fitting. The Milky Way and the LMC cases are really difficult to calibrate. We really didn't expect any good result from these two images... And it worked! :)

Beyond this tool, Juan evolved the development platform, so now you can build new modules that use JavaScript scripts. This will be very important in the future. A direct benefit is that you'll be able to use scripts with non modal windows simply by developing the UI in C++.


Best regards,
Vicent.

Offline akulapanam

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #25 on: 2017 May 21 20:16:10 »
Thanks for adding this feature!  Color is one of the tougher areas of PixInsight to get good results in.  Will the new DynamicBackground tool be in 1.8.5 too?

Online Juan Conejero

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #26 on: 2017 May 22 00:28:24 »
Thanks for adding this feature!  Color is one of the tougher areas of PixInsight to get good results in.  Will the new DynamicBackground tool be in 1.8.5 too?

DynamicBackground, which will replace DBE with a much more advanced and flexible interactive background modeling tool, will be available during the 1.8.5 cycle. The new tool is already designed but partially implemented, so it still requires work and a lot of testing. I am not sure if I'll be able to include it in the initial 1.8.5 version. I won't include it if that means delaying the release too much; in such case, I'll try to release it as soon as possible as an update, hopefully during June/July.
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Offline copello

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #27 on: 2017 May 22 01:24:32 »
That is a great new feature and will attract even more people from the scientific community. Please continue
with the great work, even when some seems to come with strange and weird statements:

Quote
bob_franke: "It is unfortunate that the PixInsight developers are too lazy to write complete and easy to understand documentation. You should not be relying on others to write books and provide tutorials."

Please look around in the IT and scientific literature, why are there thousands of books on software such as: Maple, Mathematica, Matlab, ...., Photoshop, Corel Draw, ..., OS X, ... etc.
Are all those companies just to stupid to provide proper and easy to understand documentation. I am sorry, but your statement is pure non-sense.

Quote
bob_franke:"The general consensus is that if you don't understand the math... that's your problem. What little help there is, is written at a level only a mathematician can understand."

I personally enjoy the documentation and especially seeing some formulas for deeper understanding the algorithm used in the tool I am applying. I am frequently
prototyping something in JavaScript and the formulas help me guiding.

There is the beautiful statement of Lewin: "Nothing is more practical than a good theory."

Cheers
 Thomas

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #28 on: 2017 May 22 01:54:56 »
Hi Bob,

Quote
Several years ago you said…
The concepts of "true color" and "natural color" are illusions in deep-sky astrophotography. Such things don't exist. The main reason is that a deep-sky image represents objects far beyond the capabilities of the human vision system.

So which is it, you seem to have change your mind.

Not at all. I think exactly the same today: color is purely conventional in astrophotography. The best example of this is narrowband imaging, where one has to use an arbitrary color mapping convention or palette in order to represent different wavelengths outside the RGB band as an RGB image. As long as your rendition is consistent throughout the whole image, any palette is valid, although some palettes will allow you to represent the data better than others. The same is true for RGB data. For example, nothing stops you from exchanging the red and blue components if you have a good reason to do so, either from a purely aesthetic perspective, or for the sake of information representation in a particular case.

For conventional RGB color representations, where the R, G and B components are to be represented as red, green and blue colors respectively, any white reference is applicable for the same reason. This is why we provide a large set of selectable white references in PCC, including most spectral types and a number of galaxy types, among other options. However, the choice of a white reference may have a strong impact on the documentary value of the image in our opinion, and this is a very important point for us. We think that no spectral type—including G2V—is suitable as a white reference because, in general, no particular star is representative of the objects being shown in a deep sky image. On the contrary, the integrated light from a spiral galaxy may provide a combined source of all of the existing spectral types and deep-sky objects, which makes it an excellent neutral, unbiased white reference for RGB deep-sky data. An unbiased reference is essential to generate a rendition that can maximize information representation, which is a crucial goal for us. For this reason, the default white reference in PCC has been generated from the average fluxes of Sb, Sc and Sd galaxies, or what we call the average spiral galaxy reference.

Quote
Then you said in this announcement…
If you want to persist in making common conceptual mistakes, you will be able to use the G2V spectral type as a white reference—but PCC will allow you to select virtually any spectral type, along with several galaxy types, to calibrate the color of your images automatically and accurately in PixInsight.

I find this statement incredibly arrogant. Who are you to say that your color philosophy is better than anyone else's? Also, you are again stating that PCC provides "accurate" color, which you previously stated does not exist. At least one astrophysicist and many of the best astrophotographers on the planet accept the G2V and/or eXcalibrator methods. eXcalibrator's Linear Regression routine uses stars of multiple colors and gets the same result as the "white-star only" routines.

Sorry if that sounds arrogant to you, but it's just a concise description of what I think. If you prefer, I can prepend an IMHO token to say IMHO, using the G2V spectral type as a white reference for deep-sky images is a common conceptual mistake, or even polish it to say IMHO, using the G2V spectral type as a white reference for deep-sky images is not the best choice, but I am not a big fan of palliative formalisms. In part this is probably because my mother tongue is Spanish. We tend to say things more directly and less sweetened in Spanish. At any rate, my intention has not been to put myself above anybody.

As for the rest of your post, I prefer to not comment more on that.
Juan Conejero
PixInsight Development Team
http://pixinsight.com/

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Re: New in PixInsight 1.8.5: PhotometricColorCalibration
« Reply #29 on: 2017 May 22 02:09:46 »
Thank you, Thomas.

Quote
There is the beautiful statement of Lewin: "Nothing is more practical than a good theory."

A nice quote, and with many practical applications in PixInsight! ;)
Juan Conejero
PixInsight Development Team
http://pixinsight.com/