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AS!2 Tutorials and basic imaging walkthrough

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#1 anemec

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

Just got my ASI120MC (thanks Sam) and of course it has been cloudy or seeing conditions have been horrible (<3) every night since. But I did get it out two nights ago in those horrible seeing conditions and grabbed several 120-180 sec captures. I used Registax for aligning and stacking after it clouded up again. But found that everyone was recommending AS!2 as a better alternative. So I bought the mac version and downloaded it. It looks quite powerful, but also a bit technical (though not on the order of PixInsight technical). I have not used it yet.

So my first question is are there any good tutorials on using AS!2? Or could someone describe their basic process of bringing in images, aligning, stacking, using wavelets and exporting?

Which leads me to my second question/request. It seems a lot of people are stacking almost as soon as their avi's are captured to see what quality they might have. Which makes me believe that there is a pretty straightforward process most people are using. Could someone walk me through it?

I have been imaging DSO's for a few years, but this is my first go at using video capture. For instance here is what I did -

1. Iterative aligned scope (LX200 8")
2. Slewed to Jupiter
3. Pulled out my eyepiece, inserted 2x barlow and ASI120MC
4. Focused (does anyone use a bahtinov mask for super precise planetary focus?)
5. Set my settings in Firecapture to my satisfaction
6. Once happy with my focus and settings started recording 120 - 180 sec captures.
7. Saved the avi's into a specified folder
8. Clouds rolled in so I pulled the laptop inside after about an hour
9. Opened Registax and went through the tutorial here Paul Haese tutorial for importing, aligning and stacking images. Though the tutorial was not really applicable for Registax 6 so I downloaded the earlier version. (I use PixInsight or Nebulosity for my DSLR DSO image stacking)
10. Post processing in PixInsight and PS.

Things I did not do but think maybe I should:
1. Take darks
2. Take flats
3. Use AS!2

But to use AS!2 it seems you have to have already broken apart the avi into its respective images from each frame. Is that correct? If so, what program do you guys use to do that? Do you do that while you are imaging?

What else should I be doing which I'm not.

BTW I should have done this two years ago because it is as much fun as those DSO's and seems like a great way to spend those moonlit nights when I usually sulk around re-processing old images. :cool:

#2 MvZ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:38 PM

[...] but found that everyone was recommending AS!2 as a better alternative. So I bought the mac version and downloaded it. [...]

Before I pressed submit on my longer response, that I copy-pasted somewhere else for now, I noticed this line which makes me look rather surprised.

Ehh, you bought a mac version of AS!2?
Is there a mac version of AS!2?
Is there any version you can buy?
About what AS!2 are you talking about here??


#3 RedLionNJ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

[...]Ehh, you bought a mac version of AS!2?
Is there a mac version of AS!2?
Is there any version you can buy?


I had the same reaction reading those lines. Emil's AutoStakkert is intended for the Windows operating system and has always been totally free (but donations are welcomed because it IS a great piece of software).

Is there another product called AS!2 out there? Wouldn't THAT be a coincidence...

Grant

#4 anemec

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

Emil, thanks for replying. Apparently I purchased something called AstroStack instead.

If you search for "AS!2 stacking software" in google the first result gives you AstroStack.com.

My mistake. I will definitely download your software instead!
Should have just asked the "stupid" question - "What is AS!2?"

#5 MvZ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

Ah well, they will be happy with your purchase I'm sure ;)

To add to the confusion, there is also software called AviStack (and a version 2 for that matter). So there are three software packages with the same abbreviation. Except for the unique and awesome feature I added of course "!" AutoStakkert! was born later than AviStack or AstroStack, so I'm to blaim for the confusion.

AS!2 (ha, I'm still going to use this as often as I can) does not run under Mac without some kind of virtualization software. I don't own a Mac, so I can't test it out, but I'm told it should work. Similarly the software runs fine under Ubuntu linux (using vmware).

For best performance (and best support from me and others), I suggest using a Windows operation system if you have the option.

Let us know when you get things up and running, and we'll go from there.

#6 zAmbonii

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

I was thinking you need to do a better job of getting higher on the google list :). Thing is that searching on google ignores the ! though....even if you tell it to search verbatim, and even if you put it in quotes :/

You do have the #1 spot for castrator though!

#7 MvZ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:49 PM

You are right. I never really bothered with that. I just added some keywords that might help a bit.

Lol for castrator, finally, my goal has been achieved.

Googling for AutoStakkert!2 is not a problem though. But it is so inconvenient to type that out each time ;) I could also just go from AS!2.1 right onto AS!V or AS!X.... But to be honest I think I'm just stuck with AS!2 for now.

#8 anemec

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:26 PM

Well the good news is that I image with a PC and also run VMWare on my macs so I have things up and running. Am out imaging right now actually. Just taking a short break (hopefully) while the thin clouds go away (fingers crossed).






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