Cartes du Ciel tutorial?
Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:54 PM
In any event, I wonder if anyone has knowledge of some good tutorials for making customized star charts with CDC? I can do it, and they do the trick, but I'd love to make nicer charts that didn't require me "fixing" them up with a pencil after I print them. What I mean by fixing them up is adding labels, drawing the extent of the DSO, etc. I'd love to make charts that looked like PSA or other professional looking atlases.
Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:21 PM
Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:39 AM
I found TheSkyX (Serious Astronomer or Professional) flexible enough for creating hand polished star charts. TheSkyX has an elaborate system to create overlays, mark regions of the sky and to control labeling of objects to a more detailed degree than any other software I know. It takes some time to learn all of this, however. Such a degree of control doesn't come for free. It's like a complicated machinery, many handles, buttons and indicators.
If you want high quality star charts, you should select a software that allows for vector graphics export in formats like SVG, EMF or WMF - given that you have software to load and edit the exported charts. When required, I use my own software and export a chart as WMF. Then it is easy to add texts and arrows or highlight something using Powerpoint. A cheap older version of CorelDraw can also be used for this purpose. The advantage of vector graphics over raster graphics is only important for printing in larger formats (posters!). For a presentation with a projector, vector graphics accuracy is nor required.
Another (more affordable than TheSkyX) software that allows custom labels, texts and arrows on the charts is Skymap Pro by Chris Marriot. While the software is not developed any further, it has all what an observer needs. While it is not modern, it's design and feature set do not stamp it deprecated - IMO.
Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:30 AM
Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:06 AM
The programme also displays DSO objects to scale, so I don't quite understand the question about showing the extent of DSO.
I guess that Paul thought about nebula outlines. I know that CdC shows some for important objects.
I'm not actively using CdC any more, but when I did I never was happy with the cluttered appearance of charts with high object density. Turn on several catalogs and there are multiple "instances" of the same object - with multiple labels. Annoying!
Can CdC be used to add custom graphics to the charts? Draw an arrow, the star hopping steps to NGC xyz, add some text, highlight an "area of interest" (TheSky terminology)? For simple charts this is not necessary. But the question was what to do if the output of the program does not match what you need. Think of any type of "tuned chart" for any type of public presentation (on a club's website or in their magazine, for instance).
Use case for CdC: in the chart you show, please highlight the Summer Triangle, using only CdC and no additional software. Is this possible?
Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:49 AM
You do not need other software to add, change or move labels; CdC does that just fine. The programme also displays DSO objects to scale, so I don't quite understand the question about showing the extent of DSO.
But you can't MAKE labels, which is one of the things he is talking about...
Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:32 PM
Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:52 AM
Here's how I did mine, all of these settings are found in the 'Setup' menu:
Go to Observatory, click on the Horizon tab and then check the 'Fill with horizon color' and 'Show objects below the horizon' boxes.
Go to Charts, Coordinates and on the Object Filter tab make sure the 'Filter Stars' and 'Automatic' boxes are checked, then set the 'Naked Eye Reference' to 6 or 7.
Go to Display and on the first tab (Display) set Deep Sky to 'Line Mode' and Star display to 'Photographic'.
In the Colour tab set the horizon color to whatever you prefer.
In the Sky Colour tab there is a large filled rectangle labelled 'Fixed Sky Colour'. Click in the rectangle and set the sky color to white.
Finally in the Labels tab select the labels you want to display, but remember more choices quickly crowd the chart. For this chart I only selected 'Solar System' and 'Constellation Name'.
After you have applied all of your adjustments go to the chart and set the view to Zenith, this should automatically orient the chart with North on the top and East on the left. Chose whatever grid overlay you want, set the FOV to 180 for a whole-sky chart, then zoom out just a bit so you get the filled horizon around the outside of the chart. If everything works correctly you'll have something similar to the one above. Notice that with the DSO display set to line mode you can make out Barnard's Loop in Orion and just to the right of it is a small outline of the Witch Head nebula. I've also got the Milky Way display turned on but you could eliminate that, and you can play with the settings until you get the chart just the way you want it.