Combined Online / In-Person
Intensive PixInsight Workshop

By Vicent Peris
13 – 16 March 2017, 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 is the first combined online / in-person workshop. It has been designed to reduce the travel costs for attendees. The basic techniques are learnt online while the more advanced part is learnt in-person in Vienna. The online part of the workshop will be based on live sessions for small, 4-people groups, and video tutorials—to be released in January—with their associated PixInsight projects. This way, people will have their time to study the basic techniques at home before coming to the in-person workshop. The in-person workshop will be the usual intensive workshop with more advanced techniques and time to work with the attendees' images. This workshop will offer a fully personalized learning experience for up to 12 people.

Workshop Dates and Venue

The workshop will take place at a seminar room in Mariahilfer Strasse 54, Vienna, Austria, from March 13 to 16. The workshop will take place just after the CEDIC meeting in Linz, offering the interested people a chance to attend both events in a single trip.

Rates and Registration

The registration price is 900 Euros. Click the button below to register.

Workshop Sponsors

Workshop Methodology

This workshop is splitted in two parts:

Online Workshop

The first part will be based on online teaching resources. During February we'll organize six, two-hour online teaching sessions. Each two hour session will be a meeting of four students through TeamViewer, so you'll need to install this software in your computer.

In the first online session, we'll learn to navigate the user interface. After this session, students will learn the basic LRGB workflow through a small collection of video tutorials that are going to be released in January. Along with the video tutorials, you'll have a downloadable associated PixInsight project to let you practice with the workflow described in the video tutorials.

Two weeks after the first online session, students will meet again for a second time through TeamViewer to discuss the LRGB workflow in a questions and answers session.

With this methodology, students will have the time to practice the basic techniques at home before coming to the in-person workshop.

In-Person Workshop

After the online sessions, the in-person workshop will take place in Vienna. We'll go straight to the start-to-finish in the first day since the basic techniques were already learnt online. 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.

Registered users should bring their own laptops with their own data sets to be able to work at the in-person workshop.

Workshop Documentation

Workflow Charts

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

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 — Online

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.

Workshop Program — In-Person

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.

HaLRGB Composition Techniques

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

RGB data set — M51

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

  • Data set inspection with Blink and SubframeSelector.
  • Preprocessing with the BatchPreprocessing script.
  • RGB composition.
  • Gradient correction.
  • Dynamic range compression.
  • Contrast enhancement and masking techniques.
  • Denoising techniques.

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:

  • Data set inspection with Blink and SubframeSelector.
  • 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.
  • Denoising and masking techniques.

DSLR data set — Widefield Milky Way

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

  • DSLR data preprocessing.
  • Image integration optimization.
  • Contrast enhancement through lightness masks.
  • Large-scale noise reduction.

Workshop Agenda - Online

On-line sessions will be organized in 4-people groups. TeamViewer is required to be installed in your computer since we'll be sharing the teacher's computer desktop. The online part of this workshop will have two sessions:

  • First two-hour online session: Learning to navigate the PixInsight platform.
  • Second two-hour online session: Questions and answers about the LRGB workflow.

Workshop Agenda - In-Person

Monday March 13th
09:00 — 11:00 Start-to-finish example
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 Start-to-finish example
13:00 — 14:00 Lunch
14:00 — 16:00 Start-to-finish example
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 Start-to-finish example
Tuesday March 14th
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 — 14:00 Lunch
14:00 — 16:00 Work on your own images
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 Work on your own images
Wednesday March 15th
09:00 — 11:00 Dynamic range management techniques
11:00 — 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 — 13:00 The Hubble's palette
13:00 — 14:00 Lunch
14:00 — 16:00 HaLRGB composition techniques
16:00 — 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 — 18:00 HaLRGB composition techniques
Thursday March 16th
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 — 14:00 Lunch
14:00 — 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 Nonlinear Images

We also reviewed techniques to enhance emissionline objects in nonlinear 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

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.