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Sunspot
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Kokatha man]
      #5061153 - 02/07/12 09:35 PM

Personally I think a program like Ninox is always beneficial with any stacking program. One reason why I'm so adamant about using bmp's for my capture.

Paul


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DesertRat
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Sunspot]
      #5061211 - 02/07/12 10:07 PM

I've always like the quality estimation in Ninox. In fact Anthony was one of the main drivers in getting better quality estimators into Registax. Autostakkert has always been good in quality estimation and now that Emil has added an edge estimator as well its hard not to keep Autostakkert at the ready.

For reasons somewhat mysterious, sometimes one program will excel with a certain dataset whereas another one will the next day. Indeed some datasets will provide a better stack with single point alignment, just another mystery - but one can think of reasons that might be.

Glenn


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Kokatha man
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: DesertRat]
      #5061277 - 02/07/12 10:47 PM

Quote:

I've always like the quality estimation in Ninox. In fact Anthony was one of the main drivers in getting better quality estimators into Registax. Autostakkert has always been good in quality estimation and now that Emil has added an edge estimator as well its hard not to keep Autostakkert at the ready.

For reasons somewhat mysterious, sometimes one program will excel with a certain dataset whereas another one will the next day. Indeed some datasets will provide a better stack with single point alignment, just another mystery - but one can think of reasons that might be.

Glenn




Obviously without trialling it yet I can't give any personal "druthers" but it's certainly worth "giving a whirl" as I will today sometime: those comments of yours here Glenn are why I'm allways a bit reserved about any claims of immense superiority of one program over another most of the time (especially when dealing with such established and developed ones like Reggie or Ninox) - a lot of subjective hype can blur our initial appraisals, and as you say, different captures can respond differently and skew one's comparisons momentarily.

I think some of the latter comments myself and Brad etc have made about WinJUPOS after I posted the tute are included here - it's definitely not for inferior recordings, and certain data capture parameters and types of W/J procedures respond much better than others as well...

But I am eager to trial Autostakkert, and speed sure is something I could appreciate in processing if the outcomes are similar.....


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Asimov
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Kokatha man]
      #5061580 - 02/08/12 05:47 AM

Hi guys. I'm finding that AS2 is better than Registax at aligning data in seeing of 6/10 & below. I've done a few stacks now & done the comparisons & that's what I'm finding anyhow. I'm not finding much of a difference between the two in above 6/10.

As far as speed goes, I'm still finding Registax slightly quicker, but then I'm doing BIG Debayered OSC AVI's - Hell of a difference from mono RGB data.


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MvZ
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Asimov]
      #5061692 - 02/08/12 08:07 AM

I don't think Ninox is worth applying tbh, but most of the time it shouldn't hurt either.

Unless you are going to use MAP alignment in AS!2, use a gradient quality estimator, and work on a pretty decent and consistent recording (and especially for larger targets > 20")

Ninox registers the image quality globally, so it will give a quality number to each entire frame. Which is usually fine for really small targets. The edge quality estimator in AS!2 also works globall, which mean that each AP is going to use the exact same offset of frames.

When working in gradient mode in AS!2 (and also in Registax 6 and AviStack 2), for each AP a separate quality estimator will be used. This means that AP-1 at the top left of the screen will likely have a whole different set of frames to stack than AP-100 at the bottom right of the screen.

Especially for bigger targets it could be bad if you already pre-selected the best 50% of the frames, as they might be the best overall frames, but not necessarily the best for the top left or bottom right location! The bigger the target, the less strict you should pre-select.

Glenn, the edge quality estimator has been there since version 1 actually. Not much has changed in the quality estimation algorithms.

I have not found a recording where SAP gave better results than MAP, for me it has always been at least equally good. Under really steady conditions, MAP might give hardly any improvement though, but that is in the nature of really steady seeing. If MAP produces worse results, it's a good indication the AP points should probably be bigger, and or placed at different locations: for example, a diagonal line - like a zoomed in ring of Saturn - is NOT a steady point to place an AP. It can track well in both X and Y, but there will be a lot of blurring in the direction of the diagonal line. To make sure that blurring in the diagonal direction won't happen, you should place the AP such that there are features that 'block' that diagonal movement: make sure the other side of the ring is within the FOV, or relocate the AP to include a perpendicular feature like the edge of the planet, or the black space at the tips of the rings. ).


Darryl, you are absolutely right. Just try it out, and try to understand how the program works. If it works well for you, excellent, if it doesn't, try again (yes, you ould get get stuck in an infinite loop this way haha). But I think it will work fine.

John, AS!2 can also handle undebayered recordings, and it will actually be MUCH faster and should also be sharper (as it doesn't use any per frame linear interpolation mechanisms which tries to guess missing pixels, it basically uses a type of drizzling which fills in the missing pixels on the fly). At the moment buffering the entire RGB frames is not supported, and it won't be supported anytime soon, so it will have to read from your hard disk more, making it slower.


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Kokatha man
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: MvZ]
      #5061713 - 02/08/12 08:34 AM

Interesting comments Emil: strangely, I'm finding Ninox isn't handling my Mars capture so far at all well and I've put that down to the peculiar type of seeing myself and another AA'er here in South Australia have noticed a lot so far this apparition.....MAP just isn't producing acceptable results in R6 using Gradient2 and I've had to resort to C of G alignments - I'm still Ninoxing but loading all the bmp's into R6 because regardless of MAP or C of G Registax is determining quite different quality selections, and am really only using Ninox to speed the R6 process up by virtue of the cropping & centring functions.

Contrary to one of your comments above, I haven't had any problems using Ninox with the larger targets in recent time, such as Saturn at present and Jupiter a month or so ago.....it's little Mars that is troubling Ninox...and the seeing between Mars and Saturn shoots has been pretty much the same so that doesn't seem to be a differentiating factor for those 2 at least...

But I'm about to give AS a go in a few minutes, and the points you've already made plus those in your last post about SAP & MAP, and particularly AP's in general are good to know beforehand - will report back when I think I have something to comment further about..!


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MvZ
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Kokatha man]
      #5061769 - 02/08/12 09:20 AM

In my comments I didn't actually take into account how well the quality estimator of Ninox works.

I have found that for larger targets a gradient quality estimator works well (and Ninox uses a gradient quality estimator, althought it's not quite the same as is used in AS!2). For smaller and brighter targets a gradient quality estimator might not work that well, image distortions can sometimes be seen as 'extra detail', I have seen this happen in particular on Venus and Mars recordings. But that is where the Edge quality estimator could be used, for bright targets edge sharpness is much more robust to those seeing distortions as it only looks at the sharpest transitions from each direction, and you can't get much sharper transitions than going form the dark background to a well-defined planet.


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Kokatha man
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: MvZ]
      #5062761 - 02/08/12 06:41 PM

Hmmmmm...Well, image distorting is a major element of the weird seeing effects we've been experiencing here, and AS edge alignment might prove beneficial thereon (I haven't done those trials yet - sleep (or lack of it!) got the better of me last night...)

But don't forget that Ninox does offer several other command line switches/function variations such as altering the number of downsampled images it takes it's particular form of Gradient2 quality estimation from and "-dbf=planet" which is for discarding badly-formed frames (both of which have no impact with the particular problem I've encountered of late alas! )

Also there's the morphing switches/commands.....hmmm, maybe they are actually "anti-morphing" controls and these are my next stage of inclusion in the Ninox-regulated processing comparisons which should be stacked up against AutoStakkert!'s performance in various modes - time to get to work but I have to confess that pre-processing as well as processing with my current regimens makes for a super-workload (why I haven't tried the morph switches in Ninox to date - Registaxing for the morphing sample, then Ninoxing, then final Registaxing!) so I hope I find some genuine satisfaction/advantages in your program Emil: a pity wavelet sharpening isn't part of your software, but if it really does run very fast then that's a real bonus.....as you commented earlier, one can go on a merry-go-round with all this trialling and analysing - but then again you programmers most probably think that's a wondrous pastime..!


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Sunspot
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: MvZ]
      #5063661 - 02/09/12 11:33 AM

Emil,

I'm getting a much better handle on the personality of the program. One part that continues to frustrate me is the lack of file management. I would love to give the final stacked image my own naming convention and place them where they work best for me. Not a complaint, but a suggestion. Otherwise...onward and upward.

Paul


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Asimov
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Sunspot]
      #5063676 - 02/09/12 11:41 AM

As Paul said for me as well however I'm already used to that & so I plan ahead a bit & place the original capture in it's own folder rather than have 20 odd captures in one folder. Works for me anyway.

Great program!!


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swalker
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Asimov]
      #5063763 - 02/09/12 12:31 PM

Just an aside, consider donating a little something to Emil if you like AutoStakkert! 2; It is a labor of love by Emil, but a little reward for a job well done goes a long way in encouraging additional features and tweaks.

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DesertRat
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: swalker]
      #5063801 - 02/09/12 01:04 PM

I'll second Seans motion. The amount of work involved in such an undertaking should be rewarded by the imaging community.

Glenn


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Sunspot
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: DesertRat]
      #5063836 - 02/09/12 01:26 PM

Ditto! Then I won't feel so bad about making suggestions...

Of course, that works both ways...I'd figure on seeing an article about the software in S&T after the final release comes out... (hint).

Paul


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MvZ
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Sunspot]
      #5064465 - 02/09/12 08:40 PM

Thanks for the kind words. Of course donations are appreciated, but remember that you don't HAVE to donate. You can use the software or make suggestions either way

Whether or not I do something with those suggestions depends on 1) my mood, 2) if I'm convinced it makes sense, 3) how time consuming it will be to implement.

-- 2.0.0.46 is online. List of changes: ---

- Changed name of Coarse Alignment to Image Stabilization, which makes a bit more sense.
- Added option to manually set coarse alignment window location in surface mode. You should set it around a feature that stays in the FOV at all times. The default location works 95% of the time, but sometimes AS!2 surface alignment loses track because there is nothing interesting to see in the center of the screen.
- AS!2 is now aware of OS limitations on amount of memory available per process. There should be no more lockups caused by out of memory on 32-bit OS.
- Fixed caption of frame number at bottom left, it didnt update properly in batch processing.
- Fixed caption of frame view in batch processing.
- Fixed unable to press Cancel button in batch processing.
- Added some extra lines at the back of the quality graph at 0, 25, 75 and 100% to increase readability of this graph.
- Tiffs are now saved uncompressed (instead of LZW). Should increase compatibility with processing software.
- Added support for 8-bit single channel bmp files.
- Fixed surface alignment bug causing a more or less random lock up during buffering or image alignment.
- Should be more stable now, especially for surface recordings containing poor frames.
- Automatically turn off bad frames with horizontal or vertical shifting artifacts.
- Speed increase for surface alignment (approximately 30-50% faster).
- Introduced two Surface options: Expand will try to make the very biggest image stack possible, the edges will contain less frames (this was the default option). 100% will crop the image such that each pixel will contain the same amount of data (the edges should be fine).
- Batch processing for surface recordings. When more than one surface recording was opened, when processing, for each frame all APs are replaced by a set of automatically placed APs (in a grid, just like when you press the grid button).


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Sunspot
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: MvZ]
      #5064507 - 02/09/12 09:09 PM

You HAVE been busy! Now it's time to try the newest beta and have some fun!

Paul


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Sunspot
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: MvZ]
      #5064557 - 02/09/12 09:52 PM Attachment (74 downloads)

Well, your results may vary, but I'm quickly becoming a believer! I've attached my latest comparison the first image using the older beta. This is the same image I used in my "unbiased comparison" thread. The image on the right is using Emil's latest release, as well as the experience I've gained by using the program and from Emil himself. I'm not saying the processing is identical, the latest adds more experience. But, if this is any indication for the evolution of Autostakkert...I'm really impressed! Still hoping for more flexible file management, but can't kick about the results.

Two questions:

I had dynamic background checked, noise robust 3 and hand selected 13 APs with the 50 box. I'm not sure (and this may be mentioned elsewhere) what dynamic background does and if it is necessary or not.

I had normalized stack 75% checked and not sure what that (or sharpened images box) does. What's your take on that.

Anyway, pretty exciting advance!

Paul


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Hillbrad
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Sunspot]
      #5064580 - 02/09/12 10:01 PM

Wow Paul that's a great improvement. Looks similar to my gains from Autosakkert 1 to 2. I will be trying out the new beta version this week as well. Thanks Emil for such a great tool.

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Freddy WILLEMS
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Hillbrad]
      #5064652 - 02/09/12 10:55 PM

Great stuff Emil, I'm trying it now and sometime I have some kind of 'seems artifacts' is this because of bad seeing or stacking ?
I have this on Jupiter, 15 alignment point set inside the planet, not the edges..
What are the best settings to avoid stacking lines on Jupiter? I only put the alignment boxes on the NEB and SEB no edges.

Somebody else have this with Jupiter ?


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MvZ
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: Freddy WILLEMS]
      #5065749 - 02/10/12 03:53 PM

I didn't change anything in the alignment routines, so I'm guessing most of the increase in image quality that Paul is seeing (ha, seeing), comes from a difference in the placement and size of the alignment points (so make sure to play around with that a bit, after a while you'll get the hang of it).

For planets you should pretty much always keep the dynamic background setting checked. It is used to automaticaly determine the brightness of the black space, which is a critical step for keeping the planet steady in AS!2 (so the image stabilization is not thrown off by a noisy background with perhaps even a changing brightness when you are processing daytime recordings).

The normalize stack option uses an automaticaly calculated guess of the background, and stretches the image stack in such a way that the maximum brightness is always at 75%. I found this to be very helpful when you are imaging under varying transparancy or during dusk or dawn to keep all the R, G and B channels with a similar brightness both at the dark and bright extremes. I also often play around with different capturing settings, and when I use the normalize stack option each stack comes out with a similar brightness. This makes it much easier to make animations.

Freddy, can you show me an example? AS!2 is virtually seem free if you cover the entire planet with APs (place your APs on Jupiter like in the second post of this thread)


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Sunspot
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Re: AutoStakkert! 2 new [Re: MvZ]
      #5066054 - 02/10/12 07:21 PM

Emil, \

I agree that the improvement mostly comes from a better placement of APs. Part of learning the program. Sure is fun to work with good data.

Paul


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