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No joy with my streching efforts

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#1 bmwbiker

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:59 PM

I'm pretty pleased with my mount alignment, backyard EOS and trial and error learning with DSS. But I'm only getting fair, at best, stretching results using Fitswork. I know more integration time will help. But I don't think I getting as much as I could out of my current stacks. Photoshop appears to the generally preferred post processing tool. Look like I can access CS5 <$100 or CS6 ~$150 via online download. I'm don't think I ready to commit to the adobe CC fee model.

Is CS5 sufficient, or does CS6 introduce a significant step up for AP processing? Is there something else (in this price range) that I should be considering. Or am I simply not putting enough trail and error effort into Fitsworks

#2 Raginar

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:09 PM

Try star tools. It's 60 bucks. Or, get Pixinsight for 200. I'd skip photoshop after their move to a subscription model.

#3 Ron (Lubbock)

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:11 PM

I do all my stretching in Deep Sky Stacker and IRIS, free programs. I don't think you need to spend more money just to get better stretching! Some of the other processing steps are better done in PS or PixInsight, but I haven't had to buy either one so far.

If you could share one of your FITS files or stacks, I'm sure the members here would be happy to do some stretching and share the results.

#4 TimN

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:15 PM

I suggest that you look at an astrophotography program to do your processing. I have tried 2 - PixInsight (PI) and StarTools (ST). They both have free trial periods and if you buy either, they are much cheaper than PS. Each one handles processing in a different way. Pick the one that is beast for you.

#5 bmwbiker

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:49 AM

Startools looked promising, I tried to test drive it but it hangs every time I try to wipe. I got a 2 core (4 thread) 64-bit machine with only (sic) 6MB of of memory.

PS: This does look like a memory limitation if I run 32 bit mode I get a graceful out of memory message, which I can at least work around with aggressive cropping.

#6 TimN

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:16 AM

That machine and memory should be fine. I've run it on less memory. Try "bin" before you try wipe and you should be ok. You can always post to their forum. Ivo - the guy who wrote it - is very good and will answer any questions promptly.

#7 Footbag

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:28 AM

Photoshop CS2 is now available for download without a charge. Give that a try before paying for anything.

#8 bmwbiker

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:46 PM

Thanks Adam I will give CS2 a try.

Note on my original post:
Further investigation suggests that sources of highly discounted "OEM" versions of CS5/CS6 are suspect and could be outright scams.

#9 CounterWeight

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:49 PM

"If it seems too good to be true"...

#10 Ranger Tim

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:40 PM

I own Photoshop CS3 and have been using it for years. I prefer to do astro processing on StarTools, a dedicated astro program. You will find any one of the dedicated programs to be superior to PS in terms of features and astro specific needs, eg. noise reduction, gradient reduction, preventing clipping of the black and white data, wavelet sharpening, etc. I still use photoshop for sizing and some sharpening, maybe a bit of saturation work, but it is really not necessary.

The big names in astro processing are:
Images Plus
Pixinsight
StarTools
and there's a couple of others that I can't remember...

I agree with the other Tim, binning will improve your noise reduction and will enhance the ease of processing in StarTools. Try it again and view the YouTube help videos. It is a free demo after all!

#11 CounterWeight

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

Tim, you forgot MaxImDL, expensive (and not just a little) but IMO the premier package out there. I went to it some time ago after trying several others out there and haven't looked back since. Though StarTools looks promising and folks seem to like PixInsight and in some ways depends on what they are imaging with... FitsLiberator ... Nebulosity...

#12 Raginar

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 05:06 PM

I had the opposite experience with Maxim over PI. I really like PI and it seems intuitive now. I never figured out post-processing in Maxim for some reason...

#13 Ranger Tim

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:51 PM

I have never used the premium programs like Maxim or Images Plus, partially because they are not Mac native and mainly because I can't afford them. We are really lucky that we have so many choices now as compared to just a few years ago. I guess the real message is to try them out and see which makes a difference for you. I know that StarTools and Nebulosity have trial versions that are full blown except for the save function. Do the others feature a demo as well?

#14 bmwbiker

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:21 AM

Okay, I had some success with CS2. The image is better than what I started with and shows some reasonable detail. I was however fighting a horizontal grain in the image as soon I stretched it.

About 2 hours of 90 second subs (I think) plus darks and bias frames. T2i at 1600 ISO through a budget skyglow filter.
(Maybe a lower ISO without the filter would have worked better?)

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#15 Raginar

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:19 AM

A little dynamic range compression, color calibration tied to background neutralization and you'll be good to go :). Stars are pretty round!

#16 shawnhar

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:43 PM

Nice!

#17 Madratter

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:57 PM

Looks good.

#18 Ranger Tim

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:44 PM

Some joy after all!






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