PixInsight Weekend Workshop

By Vicent Peris
September 16 – 18 2016, Vienna, Austria

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 weekend workshop is designed for a small group of up to 25 people that will let to get a more personalized learning experience. The workshop will show basic and intermediate techniques, and a full processing example as well.

Workshop Sponsors

Dates and Venue

The workshop will take place at the Hotel & Palais Strudlhof in Vienna, Austria, from Friday September 16th to Sunday September 18th.

Contact Information

Hotel & Palais Strudlhof
Sotour Austria Hotelbetriebs GmbH
Pasteurgasse 1
1090 Wien
Phone: +43 (0) 1-319 2522-222

Rates and Registration

With a total duration of 18 hours, the registration price is 420 Euros.

Click the button below to register through PayPal.

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.

Most of the presented processing examples 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 August 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.

This workshop has been scaled in two different levels. The beginner session during Friday afternoon and Saturday morning will review the basics of the PixInsight environment and astronomical image processing. The intermediate session on Saturday afternoon will review more advanced techniques. The entire Sunday will be reserved for the full processing example.

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

Workflow Charts

Each participant will have 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.

Workshop Program

The workshop has been scaled in three levels:

1. Beginner Level — Friday afternoon and Saturday morning

Learning to Navigate the PixInsight Platform

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

LRGB Combination Techniques

We'll review the most basic image processing techniques for astrophotography. It's strongly recommended watching Vicent's videotutorials about color calibration and LRGB techniques.

Background Modeling (DBE)

Learn how to analyze the gradients in your images, and how to model them with the DBE (DynamicBackgroundExtraction) tool. A collection of examples will be reviewed, focusing on the specific needs of each image.

2. Intermediate level — Saturday afternoon

Dynamic Range Management

We'll focus on advanced dynamic range management techniques developed around the main dynamic range compression tool in PixInsight: HDRMultiscaleTransform.

Image Delinearization

Stretching is always a critical step in the processing workflow of any image. We'll review multiple techniques to stretch the data and how to get the most of all of them.

3. Start-to-Finish Example — Sunday

An example covering data set inspection and preprocessing, master light generation, and postprocessing. It will be based on data uploaded by workshop participants.

Workshop Agenda

Total workshop duration: 18 hours.

Note: Dinner and accomodations are not included in the workshop rates. Lunch on Saturday and Sunday are included.

Friday September 16th
15:00 – 17:00 Introduction to PixInsight's Graphical User Interface
17:00 – 17:15 Coffee break
17:15 – 19:00 LRGB techniques

Saturday September 17th
09:00 – 11:00 LRGB techniques
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 13:00 Gradient correction with DBE
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:00 Dynamic range management
16:00 – 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 – 18:00 Image delinearization
18:00 - ?? Dinner

Sunday September 18th
09:00 – 11:00 Full processing example
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 13:00 Full processing example
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:00 Full processing example
16:00 – 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 – 18:00 Full processing example

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 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

M81/M82 (LRGB) – Bob Rieger

NGC253 (LRGB) – Konstantin Buchhold

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.