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Recombinant Processing

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#1 mmalik

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:16 AM

Most of us are used to using more than one program to process astro photos. Lately I have been dabbling in going a step further and trying multiple processing programs and dynamically switching among them to produce desired and at times not so desired results. Here I am referring to core programs like PixInsight, ImagesPlus, Photoshop, etc. and not just using minor utilities like HLVG, Carboni’s actions, etc. While we are on the subject, I would like to suggest that we coin the term “Recombinant Processing” for such methods which most of us may have already tried and/or could be thinking about and discuss merit of such an approach.


We all know each program has its core efficiencies and/or deficiencies that can be mitigated with such an approach. For example, I find HDR of PixInsight, HDR Pre-Stretch of ImagesPlus, and Levels, Curves & final touchup capabilities of Photoshop quit intriguing.


Then there are file compatibility issues, e.g., FIT format is not universal and varies from program to program and is NOT seamlessly transferable; one would need to explicitly tell which program FIT might have been created in before sharing [I am already starting to face this dilemma as I share practice FITs]. I have been using more established file format TIFF, especially 16 bit TIFF for program transitions and has seemed to work well for me.


So let’s have a discussion around such recombinant processing and its place in astrophotography. To kick off this discussion following are some recombinant processing approaches I have tried and their outcomes. This effort is NOT to knock any program out in favor of another, but is about finding optimal means of combining their capabilities for common good, finding strong traits of each program, avoiding duplicative processing tasks, finding logical transition points among programs, optimizing hops among programs, finding ways to convey the meaning when sharing FITs (i.e., which program it was created in), etc. Please feel free to post your results as you outline your recombinant techniques. Regards

Note: SAME image data was used for both scenarios.

First recombinant processing example and the result:

ImagesPlus:
1. SKIPPED---(OCNR) RAW File Processing & Calibration in ImagesPlus
1a. (ICNR) RAW File Conversion in ImagesPlus
2. Align TSR/Combine/Crop in ImagesPlus
3. Digital Development in ImagesPlus
4. Multi Point Flatten Background-Planar in ImagesPlus
5. Multiresolution Smooth/Sharpen in ImagesPlus
Saved as 16 bit TIFF for processing in PixInsight

PixInsight:
6. HDR Multiscale Transform [IMPORTANT]
7. ACDNR (Noise Reduction)
Saved as 16 bit TIFF for processing in ImagesPlus/Photoshop

ImagesPlus/Photoshop:
8. Geometric Transform/Scale [0.5] (ImagesPlus)
9. Smoothing & Noise Reduction (ImagesPlus)
10. ProDigital ‘Deep Space NR’ and HLVG (Photoshop)
11. Saturation (Block: 1 pass) and Noise Reduction (Photoshop)
12. Star Size & Halo Reduction, and Saturation (ImagesPlus)
13. Levels, Curves, Contrast, Brightness and Vibrance (Photoshop)
Saved as JPG for posting

Processing instructions here...

ImagesPlus CR_COMBINEFILESAVG.FIT for practice here...

Posted Image

Second recombinant processing example and the result:

PixInsight:
0. DSLR_RAW Format Preferences (ONE/FIRST time setting) [Linear data]
1. SKIPPED---Calibration [Linear data]
2. Batch Debayer [Linear data]
3. Alignment (Registration), Integration and Crop [Linear data]
4. DBE (Gradient Removal) [Linear data]
5. Background Neutralization [Linear data]
6. Color Calibration [Linear data]
7. SCNR (Noise Reduction) [Linear data]
8. SKIPPED---ATrous Wavelet Transform (Noise Reduction) [Linear data]

---Linear/NON-Linear demark---

9. Histogram Transformation
10.HDR Multiscale Transform [IMPORTANT]
11.SKIPPED---Local Histogram Equalization (Contrast) [Optional]
12.ACDNR (Noise Reduction)
13.SKIPPED---Curves Transformation (Saturation)
Saved as 16-bit unsigned TIFF for processing in ImagesPlus/Photoshop

ImagesPlus/Photoshop:
14. Geometric Transform/Scale [0.5] (ImagesPlus)
15. Smoothing & Noise Reduction (ImagesPlus)
16. ProDigital ‘Deep Space NR’ and HLVG (Photoshop)
17. Saturation (Block: 1 pass) and Noise Reduction (Photoshop)
18. Star Size & Halo Reduction, and Saturation (ImagesPlus)
19. Levels, Curves, Contrast, Brightness, and Vibrance (Photoshop)
Saved as JPG for posting

PixInsight CR_integration.fit for practice here...

Posted Image

#2 mmalik

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:21 PM

Of the two recombinant approaches, following seems to work better for me for most DSOs. Note: I have moved geometric transform further down the list. Thx

ImagesPlus:
1. RAW File Processing/Calibration
2. Align TSR/Combine/Crop
3. Digital Development
4. Multi Point Flatten Background-Planar
5. Multiresolution Smooth/Sharpen
Save as 16 bit TIFF for processing in PixInsight

PixInsight:
6. HDR Multiscale Transform
7. ACDNR (Noise Reduction)
Save as 16 bit TIFF for processing in ImagesPlus/Photoshop

ImagesPlus/Photoshop:
8. Smoothing & Noise Reduction (ImagesPlus)
9. ProDigital (Carboni) ‘Deep Space NR’ and HLVG (Photoshop)
10. Saturation (Block: 1 pass) and Noise Reduction (Photoshop)
11. Levels and Curves (Photoshop)
12. Geometric Transform/Scale [0.5] (ImagesPlus)
13. Star Size & Halo Reduction, and Saturation (ImagesPlus)
14. Contrast, Brightness, Vibrance, and Color Balance (Photoshop)
Save as JPG for posting


Processing instructions here...

#3 pfile

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:31 PM

is this anything like "Agile Imaging"?

why buy 3 tools when you can accomplish everything in a single tool? not everyone has several hundred dollars to throw at software for practically no reason.

#4 CounterWeight

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:09 PM

Mike - I find MaxImDL pro does everything I need pretty well, mainly just mentioning the program here is all I wanted to do. That and Paint Shop Pro for any final tweaking.






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