Combined Weekend and Intensive PixInsight Workshops

By Vicent Peris
5 – 10 June 2015, Tucson, Arizona, USA

This workshop will give amateur and professional astrophotographers alike a chance to work with Vicent Peris, a member of the PixInsight Development Team, and learn directly from him the techniques and tools he has developed on the PixInsight Platform.

This combined workshop will offer the user a more flexible opportunity to learn image processing. On the weekend an introductory workshop to PixInsight and the basic image processing techniques will be offered for up to 40 people. Following this workshop, a 3-day intensive workshop will review more advanced techniques in a fully personalized learning experience for up to 12 people.

Workshop Dates and Venue

The workshops will take place at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, USA, from June 5 to 10.

Contact Information

Tanque Verde Ranch
14301 East Speedway
Tucson, Arizona 85748
Phone: +1 800-234-3833
Email address:

Workshop Lodging

If you want to stay at Tanque Verde Rach, you should fill this form and send it to Christina DeSilva (cdesilva(at)tvgr(dot)com). In the below PDF documents you have additional information on meals and other activities at Tanque Verde Ranch:

Rates and Registration

Weekend Workshop — Friday to Sunday

With a total duration of 18 hours, the registration price is 300 Euros. Click the button below to register through PayPal.

Full Workshop — Friday to Wednesday, including weekend and three-day intensive

With a total duration of 39 hours, the registration price is 800 Euros.

ATTENTION: You don't need to register to the weekend workshop if you want to register for the intensive one.

Click the button below to register through PayPal.

This workshop is now SOLD OUT. Thank you so much, and see you in Tucson!.

Workshop Sponsors

Workshop Methodology

This workshop has been designed with a special focus on the active participation of the attendees. Each registered participant will be provided with a personal account on PixInsight's Endor file server, where he or she will be able to upload raw data that will be worked out during the workshop. In this way the participants will have the opportunity to apply and understand the concepts and techniques described in the context of their particular imaging conditions.

The full processing example will be based on the uploaded data, so it is strongly recommended to upload full data sets. The participants will be able to upload their data until May 15th. Participants should accept the use of their data exclusively in the workshop by the other attendees. Selection of the most appropriate data sets for the workshop is up to the teacher.

Attendees should bring their own laptop computers. A valid commercial or trial PixInsight license will be necessary.

Two Workshops in a Single Event

The idea behind the organization of this event is versatility. The weekend workshop should work for all the people looking for an introduction to PixInsight and an in-depth review of the basic image processing techniques.

People looking for a more extensive learning experience can register into the full workshop. The weekend workshop will give the required knowledge basis to keep learning during the following three days.

What to Expect from the Weekend Workshop

This workshop will introduce you to the PixInsight platform and the basic image processing techniques applied to astrophotography. You'll get benefit of this workshop even if you have very little experience in PixInsight because we'll start from scratch on the software usage on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps the weekend program seems very basic for this workshop, but we'll do an in-depth review of the LRGB and dynamic range compression techniques at a slow pace. They are the most widely used techniques in astrophotography and therefore it's of extreme importance to understand them including the minor details. We'll talk about image linearity and delinearization techniques. And we'll work with some important tools in PixInsight under different scenarios, like DBE, BackgroundNeutralization, ColorCalibration or HDRMT. We'll also review the basic masking techniques as well as some basic narrowband information.

On Sunday we'll work together on a full processing example, starting from the image inspection and preprocessing stages to the processed image.

What to Expect from the Intensive Workshop

After the weekend, people staying in the intensive workshop will have the required knowledge to follow more advanced techniques. In these three days we'll learn additional techniques for narrowband imaging as well as a more complex full example.

The most interesting part of this workshop is when everyone works with his/her own images. This way, people learn how to apply the recently learnt techniques to their own photos. Vicent will guide everyone in the particular processing steps to achieve an optimal result. At the end of each image processing session all the results as well as possible alternative processing steps are discussed with the whole group.

Workshop Documentation

USB Thumb Drive

A thumb drive with all the images, projects and process icons will be provided to all the participants.

Workflow Charts

Each participant will be given a full set of PixInsight workflow charts describing the techniques reviewed during the weekend. Covering the main concepts in a visual style, these charts will help you to carry out your own work at home.

Participants of the intensive workshop will have additional workflow charts describing the techniques reviewed from Monday to Wednesday.

Intensive PixInsight Manual

Each person attending the intensive workshop will be provided with a workshop manual. This manual will have detailed articles on start to finish examples. The manual is delivered as a PDF document.

Workshop Program — Weekend

Learning to Navigate the PixInsight Platform

An introduction to the PixInsight platform and its graphical user interface.

LRGB Composition Techniques

We'll review the most basic image processing techniques for astrophotography. It's strongly recommended that participants watch Vicent's videotutorials about color calibration and LRGB techniques prior to attending the workshop.

Dynamic Range Management Techniques

PixInsight has a highly automated workflow for the dynamic range management of the image. We'll review the use of HDRComposition and HDRMultiscaleTransform tools as well as basic masking techniques for local contrast enhancement.

The Hubble's Palette

Building a Hubble's palette composite in PixInsight is extremely easy. We'll review an effective workflow composed of only four steps that gives a good tonal representation in these narrowband images.

Start-to-Finish Processing Example

Based on users' data sets, the teacher will build an start to finish example. This example begins with all the image inspection an preprocessing steps and goes through all the processing steps to the finished image.

Workshop Program — Intensive

HaLRGB Composition Techniques

A review of the effective methods designed by Vicent Peris to enhance line emission objects in your broadband images.

Start-to-Finish Example — M31

Data provided by Adrien Richardson (click on the image to see a full-size version. This example will cover mainly these topics:

  • Multiple exposure set management in the BatchPreprocessing script.
  • HDR image assembling with HDRComposition. LRGB with high dynamic range L component and low dynamic range RGB components.
  • H-alpha enhancement in linear images.
  • Sharpening and masking techniques.

Workshop Agenda

Friday June 5th
15:00 — 17:00 PixInsight's graphical user interface
17:00 — 17:15 Coffee break
17:15 — 19:00 LRGB composition techniques
Saturday June 6th
09:00 — 11:00 LRGB composition techniques
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 Dynamic range management
13:00 — 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 — 16:00 Dynamic range management
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 The Hubble's palette
Sunday June 7th
09:00 — 11:00 Start-to-finish example
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 Start-to-finish example
13:00 — 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 — 16:00 Start-to-finish example
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 Start-to-finish example
Monday June 8th
09:00 — 11:00 Work on your own images
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 Work on your own images
13:00 — 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 — 16:00 Work on your own images
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 Work on your own images
Tuesday June 9th
09:00 — 11:00 HaLRGB composition techniques
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 HaLRGB composition techniques
13:00 — 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 — 16:00 Work on your own images
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 Work on your own images
Wednesday June 10th
09:00 — 11:00 Start-to-finish example — M31
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 Start-to-finish example — M31
13:00 — 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 — 16:00 Work on your own images
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 Work on your own images

What We Learned at Other Workshops

These are some examples of what Vicent taught in previous workshops.

Dynamic Range Compression

An example of dynamic range management with DSLR data of M42 by José Luis Lamadrid and Vicent Peris.

H-alpha Emission Enhancement in Non-linear Images

We also reviewed techniques to enhance emission-line objects in non-linear images. This is an HaRGB image with IC4628 data by Velimir Popov.

SHO Composition Techniques

These techniques allow you to maximize the tone representation of the Hubble's palette in a few quick and easy steps.

Sample Images Processed by Students of Previous Intensive Workshops

Click on the images for full-size versions.

Messier 17 (SHO) — Colin Cooper

Comet Lovejoy (RGB) — Jeff Haynes

NGC 2403 (RGB) — Steven Crider

Helix Nebula (HaLRGB) — Mark De Regt

About Vicent Peris

With more than a 15-year career as an astrophotographer, Vicent Peris (Valencia, Spain, 1980) has been working for the last 7 years at the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia (OAUV). He is now leading the world-renowned astrophotographic programs at Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA) with the 3.5 meter and 1.23 meter Zeiss telescopes, the latter in collaboration with the Documentary School of Astrophotography (DSA), applying innovative image processing techniques and software tools. This is the first astrophotography project in the world with access to the observational time of professional telescopes.

You can see some of the published images of the Calar Alto project on the Gallery section of PixInsight's website, as well as some of Vicent's articles about his image processing techniques on the Processing Examples section.

His works have been published and awarded by some of the most reputed publications worldwide, such as APOD, Scientific American, National Geographic, Bad Astronomy Blog, and Sterne und Weltraum.

Vicent is also the official astrophotographer of the ALHAMBRA Survey, a deep cosmological survey conducted by an international scientific collaboration, acquired from Calar Alto Observatory using the 3.5 meter Zeiss telescope. This survey is the first in the world to use a new instrumental technique known as photometric redshifts, in which low-resolution spectra for each object in an image are obtained by using a large, 23 narrow-filter set covering the 3500 – 9500 angstrom light band. You can see some image samples at Vicent's website.

Vicent has also successful experience in forensics and is currently working as an image processing specialist for the Spanish National Police department since two years.

For more information about Vicent's works, please download his portfolio.