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Automatic Lunar Mosaicing?

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#101 TorstenEdelmann

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 11:34 PM

Jon,

I'm sure Rolf will update the plugin version asap. I'll drop him a line...

Torsten



#102 Rolf

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 06:54 AM

Hi Len,

 

Rolf,

 

So since I downloaded the software, the weather is terrible!  :lol:

 

Len

 

Do you mean that, apart from steering the telescope and camera, my software can even change the weather? All I can say is that I didn't intend that when I wrote it.   :)

 

I wish you good luck!

 

All the best,

 Rolf


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#103 Rolf

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 04:43 AM

As promised today I produced a new release of MoonPanoramaMaker. You can find the details in this thread. I tested the software successfully with the latest FireCapture beta version (2.5Beta09).

 

If you have are any problems with the new version, please let me know.

 

All the best,

 Rolf


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#104 1CM69

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 03:05 PM

As promised today I produced a new release of MoonPanoramaMaker. You can find the details in this thread. I tested the software successfully with the latest FireCapture beta version (2.5Beta09).

 

If you have are any problems with the new version, please let me know.

 

All the best,

 Rolf

Hi Rolf,

I am trying to use your plugin for FC but as there seems to no longer be a beta version of FC 2.5, only a release v2.5.10, the plugin is not working.

MPM does not appear in the PreProcessing list in FC.

Are you in the process of producing an update?

 

Regards..,


Edited by 1CM69, 23 December 2016 - 03:06 PM.


#105 Rolf

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 03:48 PM

 

As promised today I produced a new release of MoonPanoramaMaker. You can find the details in this thread. I tested the software successfully with the latest FireCapture beta version (2.5Beta09).

 

If you have are any problems with the new version, please let me know.

 

All the best,

 Rolf

Hi Rolf,

I am trying to use your plugin for FC but as there seems to no longer be a beta version of FC 2.5, only a release v2.5.10, the plugin is not working.

MPM does not appear in the PreProcessing list in FC.

Are you in the process of producing an update?

 

Regards..,

 

 

Hi,

 

Thank you for telling me that the FireCapture interface seems to have changed again. As I wrote before, FC versioning is a complete enigma to me, and I don't have a clue why the MPM plugin does not work any more. I wrote an email to Torsten Edelmann to find out if I really have to produce a new release again. If he confirms that I will do my best to re-establish compatibility.

 

All the best,

 Rolf


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#106 1CM69

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 04:57 PM

 

 

As promised today I produced a new release of MoonPanoramaMaker. You can find the details in this thread. I tested the software successfully with the latest FireCapture beta version (2.5Beta09).
 
If you have are any problems with the new version, please let me know.
 
All the best,
 Rolf

Hi Rolf,
I am trying to use your plugin for FC but as there seems to no longer be a beta version of FC 2.5, only a release v2.5.10, the plugin is not working.
MPM does not appear in the PreProcessing list in FC.
Are you in the process of producing an update?
 
Regards..,

 

 
Hi,
 
Thank you for telling me that the FireCapture interface seems to have changed again. As I wrote before, FC versioning is a complete enigma to me, and I don't have a clue why the MPM plugin does not work any more. I wrote an email to Torsten Edelmann to find out if I really have to produce a new release again. If he confirms that I will do my best to re-establish compatibility.
 
All the best,
 Rolf

 

Hi Rolf,
 
thanks for the quick reply.
As far as I can see, the plugin version of FC is still showing as 1.1.
 
Right at the bottom of my FC ini file I have the line:
 

preFilter=de.wonderplanets.firecapture.preprocessing.NoPreProcessingFilter

I don't know if this relates to anything at all.

 

Regards..,



#107 TorstenEdelmann

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 03:01 AM

Please ignore this line from the .ini

 

Plugin version hasn't changed and is still v1.1 for the latest FC v2.5. The MoonPanoramaMaker plugin works for me when trying on a fresh FC installation. Make sure to create the plugin folder at the correct location.

 

FC 64-bit:   ...\FireCapture_v2.5_x64\plugins\x64\YouNameItFolder\MoonPanoramaMaker.jar

FC 32-bit:   ...\FireCapture_v2.5\plugins\x86\YouNameItFolder\MoonPanoramaMaker.jar

 

Merry X-Mas !

Torsten


Edited by TorstenEdelmann, 24 December 2016 - 03:03 AM.

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#108 Rolf

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 06:33 AM

Hi,

 

After Torsten had confirmed that there is no change in the plugin interface, and that MPM is still working on his computer, today I downloaded the new FC v2.5 64-bit as well. I copied the MoonPanoramaMaker folder into the 64-bit plugin directory (as Torsten described above).

 

When I started FC, in the preprocessing section there was an empty list. I suspect that this is what you got as well. If you click on the empty list entry, a window opens which tells you that the MoonPanormaMaker plubin is available. If you click on the MoonPanoramaMaker entry, the window closes. Now you see the MoonPanoramaMaker entry in the preprocessing list, and everything works as before. I tested the whole setup (PC, MPM plugin, MPM, Simulator), and it worked just fine.

 

I suspect that you were misled by the empty preprocessing list. Does the solution I described work for you?

 

All the best,

 Rolf


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#109 1CM69

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 06:35 AM

Hi Rolf & Torsten,

 

I have the plugin working correctly now, it was the 'YouNameItFolder' step that I was missing.

 

For some reason I assumed that the MPM jar file just had to be directly copied to the x64 folder of plugins in FC, I didn't realise that there needed to be a parent folder for the MPM jar file inside the x64 folder.

 

Thanks for your help.



#110 HxPI

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 11:29 AM

Hi Rolf & Torsten,

 

I have the plugin working correctly now, it was the 'YouNameItFolder' step that I was missing.

 

For some reason I assumed that the MPM jar file just had to be directly copied to the x64 folder of plugins in FC, I didn't realise that there needed to be a parent folder for the MPM jar file inside the x64 folder.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

You're not alone... I made that same mistake!


Edited by HxPI, 26 December 2016 - 11:31 AM.


#111 Rolf

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 03:16 AM

Hi,

 

Great that you got it working! I had a look at the user guide to find out if the instructions at this point are not clear enough. At the bottom of page 4 it says:

 

"In order to make both programs communicate with each other, the folder “MoonPanoramaMaker” (it only contains the single file “MoonPanoramaMaker.jar”) must be copied from MoonPanoramaMaker’s installation directory into FireCapture’s “plugins/x64” directory."

 

I explained this step in so much detail because I had anticipated this trap. I'm sorry that it happened anyway!   :(

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#112 calli

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:07 AM

Hi Rolf,

 

I was now finally able to test a bit more with my Telescope and got good results with the Firecapture Autoguiding. Then I loaded the newest version of FC and thought I give MPM a try.

 

I ignored the sentence in the guide "MoonPanoramaMaker assumes that the telescope is mounted equatorially." and did try on my Alt/Az NexStarSLT :-)

 

I did not know hat I did but I had it one time slewing after selecting a landmark, I stopped it because it was slewing the wrong direction or something.

 

Tried several more times but got no movement at all while using other ascom progs at the same time works, als FC could control the scope via POTH.

 

Error:

Exception in thread Thread-1:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "threading.pyc", line 810, in __bootstrap_inner
  File "telescope.pyc", line 167, in run
  File "<COMObject ASCOM.Celestron.Telescope>", line 3, in PulseGuide
com_error: (-2147352567, 'Ausnahmefehler aufgetreten.', (0, u'ASCOM.Celestron.Telescope', u'Method PulseGuide is not implemented in this driver.', None, 0, -2147220480), None)

 

Well, I guess the PulseGuide is not supported by the AltAz NexstarSLT (thats why usually (beside the method FC uses) autoguiding is not working here).

 

So is is a wishfull thinking it would anytime work with Alt/Az Mounts or just a lack of you having the equip to test it with such mounts?

 

Cheers,

Carsten



#113 Rolf

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:41 AM

Hi Carsten,

 

You were very optimistic, indeed! MPM does not work with AltAz mounts. It does all its internal computations in RA/DEC and issues goto instructions based on that coordiante system. So, even if PulseGuide were available in the driver, I could not imagine that MPM would do a reasonable job for an AltAz mount.

 

I don't think that MPM will be available for AltAz mounts anytime soon. If I had a lot mor time to invest into the project, the next substantial step for me would be to implement an "AutoAlign" mode. The idea is to drive the mount to the alignment point, capture a single frame in FireCapture and measure the offset as compared to the first alignment. This information could then be used to update the alignment error and to compute the drift rates. MPM could insert this operation every once in a while between video captures. In case of large alignment errors, re-alignments could be inserted more often. Otherwise, MPM could run for a longer time without re-alignment. In principle, this way a whole panorama could be captured automatically with uniform overlaps between tiles.

 

The only remaining need for user intervention would be re-focussing and exposure adjustments due to lighting differences between terminator and limb.

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#114 kbrue

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:55 AM

Hi Rolf,

 

how is it possible to download moonpanoramamaker V0.95 ?

 

I only found V0.93

 

Thanks for help

 

Best regards

 

Karl-Heinz



#115 calli

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:40 AM

Hi Carsten,

 

You were very optimistic, indeed! MPM does not work with AltAz mounts. It does all its internal computations in RA/DEC and issues goto instructions based on that coordiante system. So, even if PulseGuide were available in the driver, I could not imagine that MPM would do a reasonable job for an AltAz mount.

 

...

I had long time no occasion to play with it.

 

I still wonder why this limitation. I mean my Alt/Az Goto will also goto Ra/Dec coordinates. It will transfer that to the alt/az "coordinates". Somehow Firecapture is doing it also in its Autoguide mode. I feel the pulse mode is an old thing resembling the old guide systems where motors were driven by pulses or so.

 

Best,

Carsten



#116 Rolf

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:33 PM

Hi Karl-Heinz,

 

Hi Rolf,

 

how is it possible to download moonpanoramamaker V0.95 ?

 

I only found V0.93

 

Thanks for help

 

Best regards

 

Karl-Heinz

Although I completed development of version 0.9.5, I still did not test it yet on the real moon. Since very much code changed between 0.9.3 and 0.9.5, most notably the "auto alignment" feature, I would be surprised if everything worked flawlessly. Therefore, I still recommend using the latest stable version, which is 0.9.3. Sorry!

 

If you want to get an impression of the new features which will come with 0.9.5, you can have a look at the documentation on github.

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#117 Rolf

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:47 PM

Hi Carsten,

 

 

Hi Carsten,

 

You were very optimistic, indeed! MPM does not work with AltAz mounts. It does all its internal computations in RA/DEC and issues goto instructions based on that coordiante system. So, even if PulseGuide were available in the driver, I could not imagine that MPM would do a reasonable job for an AltAz mount.

 

...

I had long time no occasion to play with it.

 

I still wonder why this limitation. I mean my Alt/Az Goto will also goto Ra/Dec coordinates. It will transfer that to the alt/az "coordinates". Somehow Firecapture is doing it also in its Autoguide mode. I feel the pulse mode is an old thing resembling the old guide systems where motors were driven by pulses or so.

 

Best,

Carsten

 

 

First of all, I don't have an alt/az mount to test MoonPanoramaMaker with. I'm surprised already that the program seems to work without major issues with several equatorial mounts which I don't have access to.

 

As to the pulse guide instructions, I need them to correct for the motion of the moon among the stars during video acquisition. Just following the stars would not be accurate enough, and "lunar mode" mount settings in general don't take into account the moon's motion in declination. I would expect that an alt/az mount does not implement pulse guiding. If that's true, you cannot use MPM with such a mount.

 

Best wishes,

 Rolf



#118 kbrue

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:11 AM

Hi Rolf,

 

thank you for the prompt answer.

i read that documentation

and therefore i thougt

the new version is online.

 

So i am waiting.

 

best regards

 

Karl-Heinz



#119 Rolf

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 03:18 AM

Hi Karl-Heinz,

 

Hi Rolf,

 

thank you for the prompt answer.

i read that documentation

and therefore i thougt

the new version is online.

 

So i am waiting.

 

best regards

 

Karl-Heinz

the problem with Open Source à la Github is that everybody can see my "work in progress". Whenever I commit code changes, they are visible to everybody. That's okay as long as people don't expect the current code version to be operational. What might look strange to other people is that I even updated the entire documentation before the first test of the software at the telescope.

 

As soon as I'm confident that the new code version is stable, I will produce a new release. Of course at that time I will also post a note on this forum. So, please "stay tuned".

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#120 xiga

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:03 PM

Hi Rolf, when choosing the Focus Area would it be possible to slew to a nearby bright star (rather than a feature on the moon itself) and store the star location using the Enter button? That way we could focus on the star using a Bahtinov mask. 



#121 Rolf

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 07:32 AM

Hi Ciarán,

 

Hi Rolf, when choosing the Focus Area would it be possible to slew to a nearby bright star (rather than a feature on the moon itself) and store the star location using the Enter button? That way we could focus on the star using a Bahtinov mask. 

MPM does not require that the focus area position is actually contained in the lunar disk. So, in principle you could choose a nearby star instead. The problem, however, is that MPM assumes that the focus area takes part in the moon's movement among the stars. Therefore, when you revisit the focus area after some time, the mount would not slew to the star but to some "corrected" position. Of course, at that point you could manually move the telescope back to the star and register that position again as the focus area. But I don't think that this would be very comfortable.

 

In a future relase of MPM I could implement the option of using a star for focussing, so I would be interested to learn how many users would actually prefer this to using a selected area on the moon. I would fear that touching the telescope while mounting / demounting the Bahtinov mask could affect the mount alignment sligtly and result in less accurate pointing.

 

What do other people think?

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#122 xiga

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 06:51 PM

Hi Rolf

 

I do agree that there would be a slight risk of affecting the mount alignment by having to touch the scope (or heated dew shield in my case), however, i simply couldn't imagine focusing without the visual feedback of something like the B-mask with my C8. I just couldn't trust myself to eyeball it on a lunar feature alone, what with the constant shifting due to seeing (especially here in the UK). I know in my situation at least, i can usually put the mask on and off with very little friction, so hopefully this wouldn't be too much of an issue. 

Personally, i would hate to capture a load of videos only to realise later that the focus was just off a tad, whereas if i had the opportunity to use the B-mask then i would feel so much more comfortable that i had the focus spot-on. 

 

Just my 2 cents though.

 

Looking forward to using your program (hopefully soon, once the nights get a bit darker here, and if the weather co-operates of course!) 


Edited by xiga, 14 July 2017 - 06:52 PM.


#123 Rolf

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:54 AM

Hi Ciarán,

 

Of course it depends on the stability of your mount +  telescope if mounting/unmounting the mask would ruin the alignment. With my Vixen Sphinx SXD I certainly would not try it. One has to keep in mind that we are talking about a few arc seconds here. Adding the weight of the mask could shift the image already by that much, and I would not expect it to return to its original position after removing the mask.

 

At least I recommend doing a new alignment after focussing. If you use auto-alignment (with the upcoming software version), you have to interrupt the loop for re-focussing anyway, so a new alignment would be done afterwards anyway.

 

All the best,

 Rolf



#124 HxPI

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:06 AM

Looking forward to the update. I'm curious about the upcoming auto-align feature... is it image based similiar to terrain mapping or plate solving techniques? Is there any chance of also adding autofocus routine to the mix? Then automatic lunar mosaic would be fully automatic. Also, is there ANY possibility of creating a similiar app for solar mosaicing? My ES127 and Daystar Quark would thank you! Finally how useful would partial lunar mosaicing be, i.e. only capture a portion of the lunar disk depending on the feature of interest? Just dreamin' out loud grin.gif

 

Thanks for your effort and offering this great software for free. I think it would be worth purchasing. I love how software and hardware developers fill the various needs that arise and enable even better capabilities!

 

Ciao,

Mel


Edited by HxPI, 17 July 2017 - 07:20 AM.


#125 Rolf

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

Hi Mel,

 

Looking forward to the update. I'm curious about the upcoming auto-align feature... is it image based similiar to terrain mapping or plate solving techniques? Is there any chance of also adding autofocus routine to the mix? Then automatic lunar mosaic would be fully automatic. Also, is there ANY possibility of creating a similiar app for solar mosaicing? My ES127 and Daystar Quark would thank you! Finally how useful would partial lunar mosaicing be, i.e. only capture a portion of the lunar disk depending on the feature of interest? Just dreamin' out loud grin.gif

 

Thanks for your effort and offering this great software for free. I think it would be worth purchasing. I love how software and hardware developers fill the various needs that arise and enable even better capabilities!

 

Ciao,

Mel

The auto-align feature is based on still images taken with the USB camera. First, there is some image normalization (brightness, contrast, resolution reduction). Then I use the computer vision package OpenCV to identify features in the image. The descriptors of those features are matched with the reference frame (taken at auto-align startup) to measure the image shift for each individual feature detected. The shift should be identical for all features, so I use a clustering algorithm to find outliers caused by misidentifications. All this works well with "synthetic" moon pictures which I created from old images taken through my telescope, so I hope that it will work well on the real moon as well.

 

I don't need a complete "plate solving" here, because I know that the image is just shifted by some pixels in x and y. Therefore, this part is easy. It only gets difficult by the fact that I have to deal with a blurry moon image, rather than well-defined star images where plate solving techniques are used traditionally. Translating the x,y pixel shift values in RA,DE corrections is straightforward because I know the camera orientation, the telescope's focal length and the sensor's pixel size.

 

I don't know how to implement a good autofocus for moon images. As far as I know nobody has solved that problem yet. I discussed the issue with Torsten Edelman, the author of FireCapture. After some experiments he gave up on this topic as well. Perhaps I will do some more experiments later when there is no more work on MPM.

 

I don't think that a similar program would make sense for the sun. The point is that the sun is changing too quickly. At a reasonable resolution you notice a substantial change after some three minutes already. I don't see any possibility to record the video files quickly enough so that everything is finished within this short time.

 

Restricting the action of MPM on a section of the lunar disk is possible already now. Before starting the video acquisition loop, you only have to "mark all tiles processed", draw a rectangle with the mouse around the tiles you want to record, and "mark those tiles unprocessed". This way MPM will record only those tiles contained in the rectangle. Is that what you dream of?  smile.gif

 

I guess that you wonder why I'm waiting so long before doing the real tests on the moon. The reason is that after a surgery at the moment I cannot lift heavy weight, such as my telescope. I hope that in August one of my sons will help me setting up the telescope in the garden for the final tests.

 

All the best,

 Rolf

 

 


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