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For eclipse imagers: Anyone else perplexed by processing?

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#26 Mad MikeE

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:53 PM

Figured to put this separate from the above.

 

Is there a way to place some kind of base layer to get the blue back in the center of the image?



#27 SKYGZR

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:04 PM

While playing around in Bridge, noticed there was drop down to select the Google-NIK HDR efex PRO2 selection plugin...so figured
why not try that. Selecting all the images I wanted, the NIK software put them into / created a sharp object stack of
them all, then out putted them into an HDR composite.

 

One of the kinda cool things about it, it gives multiple pre-processed selections of the output to choose from & one is 
able to make some minor tweaks to before saving.

 

For those struggling, go out & find the NIK plug in download & install in your version of PS.

 

Probably not as effective as other procedures, yet one can get pretty good results per the following.

 

Attached File  CORONA_NIKHDR1.jpg   254.92KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  CORONA_NIKHDR2.jpg   217.02KB   1 downloads

 

 

 

 



#28 SKYGZR

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:07 PM

Here's a couple more

 

Attached File  CORONA_NIKHDR3.jpg   230.69KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  CORONA_NKIHDR4.jpg   229.94KB   1 downloads

 

There is always room to experiment with the results, yet am having fairly good success going this route.

 

 

 

 



#29 dghundt

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:52 PM

The Fitswork tutorial videos are general videos. I watched them, but you could probably just go to the specialized written eclipse tutorial alone. The kicker is being to create the LS-mask from your processed image. Use it further in Fitswork or take it alone to PS.

#30 SKYGZR

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 01:31 AM

Here's another...HDR @ pretty much the end of Totality...just B4 the Beads, & Ring. The NIK software "delivers"...

 

Attached File  CORONA_NKIHDR5.jpg   47.9KB   0 downloads


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#31 dghundt

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:09 AM

Anything special you did or didn't do with NIK?
How many exposures did you blend?
I have the suite but didn't think to try it. It seemed glow which had shared steps and low radial contrast was hard for photomatix, so I didn't bother with NIK.

Edited by dghundt, 03 September 2017 - 09:11 AM.


#32 dghundt

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:10 AM

Figured to put this separate from the above.

Is there a way to place some kind of base layer to get the blue back in the center of the image?


You'd put a long exposure at the bottom of your hdr stack.

#33 SKYGZR

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 02:04 PM

Anything special you did or didn't do with NIK?
How many exposures did you blend?
I have the suite but didn't think to try it. It seemed glow which had shared steps and low radial contrast was hard for photomatix, so I didn't bother with NIK.

Nothing special. Used Bridge to select what I wanted (varied from 7-12 images), used the drop down "Tools/Google/merge to HDR Eefx PRO2", which sends that command to PS6. (Best to have PS open as the filter loads faster that way.)

 

Checked the "Create Smart Object", then Merge Dialog. When that completes, a window opens with all the images in the Smart Object. There is a "Warning" in the upper right about EV Spacing, yet I just left that alone. Checked the Alignment box, Checked the Ghost Reduction box & left it @ 100% Strength, checked the Chromatic Aberration box & left the sliders @ 0%, then selected Create HDR.

 

When it's done, on the left under Preset Library, have ALL(28) selected. This gives 28 composite selections to choose from, while to the right, there are selections for Tone Compression, Tonality, Color that can be dropped down/opened, & sliders can be adjusted to preference before selecting OK, which saves the HDR image.


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#34 j4b2w

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:08 PM

I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm having fun at it.  This is not a great image, clear banding and goobers on my sensor, but it's my image and so I'm happy to have made the trip and attempt.  I used the radial blur method described by Jerry.  The second image is just one of the sequence with a bunch of screwing around with the subtract/multiply blending applied.  It's rather cartoonish, but still kinda cool to me in its own exaggerated silly way.

 

 

Attached Files


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#35 SKYGZR

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:56 PM

Here's a couple more, applying the Radial Blur step to HDR Efex output. They are each of the same output, yet processed

a bit differently.

 

Attached File  CORONA-HDR-BLUR.jpg   406.73KB   0 downloads

 

 



#36 SKYGZR

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:57 PM

Take #2

 

Attached File  CORONA_HDR-RADIALBLUR.jpg   490.1KB   1 downloads

 

 



#37 j4b2w

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:38 PM

Last attempt for a while.  I think I actually have to learn what I'm doing rather than random slider tweaking.  I think I've got reasonably good data and will try to tease out a better image in the future, though I may try to clone out the dust spots.  In this version, I've changed the white balance to make it closer to the color that everyone else is getting and added a composite of all of my blur/subtract/multiply files.  I do want to mention that this is a great community and I appreciate the help and encouragement that is so freely given, so thanks to everyone who is offering advice/help to we n00bs.

 

 

 

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#38 SKYGZR

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 06:54 PM

Got a bit carried away with some of the sliders in the previous postings, so decided to just keep it simple, let HDR Eefx decide the outcome. Left the settings/sliders alone this time. Did do the radial blur thing with the HDR files & came up with these results.

 

Attached File  CORONA-BEST_HDR-RADIAL-BLUR.jpg   453.36KB   0 downloads

 


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#39 SKYGZR

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 06:56 PM

This one has a longer exposure included to help draw out the Earthshine.

 

Attached File  CORONA-BEST_EARTHSHINE.jpg   326.18KB   0 downloads

 

 



#40 Jgoldader

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:38 PM

I did my first experimentation with shifting the images by a couple of pixels to better align solar features.
Unfortunately, I'm seeing "stepping" in the brightness, as you can see in the attached image, which was processed
with Photomatix. It's as if you can see the "edge" of the corona in each of the individual images.

Photoshop managed to lose the EXIF data when shifting, but I calculated the "exposure values" and fed
them to Photomatix. The differences in the 7 images was 2 in the exposure value parameter.

I can reduce the effect by blending, but too much of that and you lose the HDR.

The images were taken with a Celestron C5 with focal reducer, so there's vignetting near the edges, but the central
field, basically a circle with diameter near the vertical extent of the images, is pretty uniform; I took flats.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
-Jeff

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#41 dghundt

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:51 PM

The only way I found I could reduce this bright halo stepping was either the radial blur in Photoshop or the LS mask in Fitswork.
I prefer Fitswork as it does a better job saving canvas space if the sun is off center. My sun is a little off center (deliberately done for better or worse) to give Regulus a little room at 600mm focal length.

#42 SKYGZR

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:37 PM

This is a blend of the two above. Brighter layer over dimmer, adjusted opacity to about 50%

 

Think I left it as Normal

 

Attached File  CORONA-HDR-EARTHSHINE-BLEND.jpg   362.5KB   2 downloads

 

 



#43 dghundt

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:32 PM

Well, I'm having a little trouble reproducing this weekend results.

My take home thoughts.

Clarity and High Pass filters increase horizontal banding and inner corona flare.

The Fitswork Larsen-Sekanina  mask is pretty amazing.  I created a tiff from my initial image stack and then placed it back on top.

Can't seem to upload a low res jpeg....  Here's the link

 

https://davidsphotog...sky/i-Ssm96mx/A



#44 Jgoldader

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 07:40 AM

Bumping this thread with a possible answer for the "stepping" noted in my post.  I tried making an HDR composite using only the shorter exposures in my stack, and the stepping was greatly reduced.  I'm wondering if Photomatix is having trouble with handling large areas that are saturated or nearly saturated.  I'm thinking my strategery of having exposure lengths vary by a factor of 4 might not have been the best, and perhaps a factor of 3 might have been better.  Still very pleased with what I got, though.



#45 rainycityastro

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:37 PM

That stepping you see I think is caused by reflections in the optical train. I dont think it is possible to eliminate it completely. You can process it out but it is real data (although possibly imperfect)

 

Even the world's best solar imager (Druckmuller IMO) has some of it in his images. 



#46 Mad MikeE

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:36 AM

I did my first experimentation with shifting the images by a couple of pixels to better align solar features.
Unfortunately, I'm seeing "stepping" in the brightness, as you can see in the attached image, which was processed
with Photomatix. It's as if you can see the "edge" of the corona in each of the individual images.

Photoshop managed to lose the EXIF data when shifting, but I calculated the "exposure values" and fed
them to Photomatix. The differences in the 7 images was 2 in the exposure value parameter.

I can reduce the effect by blending, but too much of that and you lose the HDR.

The images were taken with a Celestron C5 with focal reducer, so there's vignetting near the edges, but the central
field, basically a circle with diameter near the vertical extent of the images, is pretty uniform; I took flats.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
-Jeff

All the below for those that have access to Photoshop:

 

Nik HDR (now free) got rid of the banding for me (forgot the settings but it was not hard)

 

Used the ideas from the Russell Preston tutorials Re: stacking and difference as noted below

 

If you have more than 1 image same exposure:

- Load all the same exposures in to PS as layers.

 

- Select them all and do the RP difference thing to align the brighter exposures on Regulus, etc.

 (Have not figured out how to align the ones w/o stars yet)

 

- Try putting them together as a smart object w/ a stack mode of 'mean' and that seems to remove ALOT of the noise.

I have not gotten to the point of putting them all together to see what that did to the details yet, but initial comparisons of b4/after look promising.

(Jerry L. - feel free to suggest a better way and make me look like the amateur that I am? smile.gif)
 

Note that the moon will show up as moved after you align on Regulus - have to work masking that out and replacing the center w/ either black or any earthshine photos you may have gotten (at least that is my plan...).
 

Also for everyone I fooled around w/ tint slider and got the blue back in the center of the image.

 

Hope this helps out the people who have not gotten this far smile.gif


Edited by Mad MikeE, 11 September 2017 - 07:47 AM.


#47 dghundt

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:15 PM

How are you using Nik? I threw my raw files from PS into Nik and it came out much worse than Photomatix. Photomatix works very well but it is hard to properly darken the very inner corona.
I have a composite image I'm pleased with but I do keep fiddling with it as my raws are pretty good.
I might play with Fred Espanek's techniques he described in an older article which Jerry also referenced.

#48 Jgoldader

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 08:47 AM

FWIW, I dropped a note to Photomatix support about the "stepping" issue in HDR eclipse processing, and pointed them to this forum.  They said they have a staffer who does astrophotography, and that they'd look into it.

 

My current best guesses are some camera-related issue, like nonlinearity (which shouldn't be all that hard to cope with) or some detail about how the HDR is built.  For the latter: I'd assumed the individual images were just scaled by exposure, dumped into a 16-bit file with masking, then the layers were collapsed.  But I'm starting to think it's a lot more subtle than that (hence all the many different settings in Photomatix).  If the software is designed primarily to deal with bright pointlike sources in mainly dark backgrounds (tiny windows in darkened cities for nighttime photography, say) it might have trouble with large, bright regions filling much or all of the frame.  For example, there might be some area averaging to match the images, and if you've got brightnesses changing rapidly across the area (like with the radial brightness gradient in the corona, or the streamers) that might fail.

 

Those of you who are using Photomatix--if you'd like to send nice letters to their support team, perhaps with an example image or two, those might help them solve the problem.  I got a very courteous reply to mine.  Who knows, perhaps they can make a "solar eclipse" setting optimized for our particular situation.



#49 Mad MikeE

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 08:59 AM

How are you using Nik? I threw my raw files from PS into Nik and it came out much worse than Photomatix. Photomatix works very well but it is hard to properly darken the very inner corona.
I have a composite image I'm pleased with but I do keep fiddling with it as my raws are pretty good.
I might play with Fred Espanek's techniques he described in an older article which Jerry also referenced.

Finally getting back to this.
1st - Can you remind me of what you used to get the images (Scope, etc and camera?)
Played around w/ some photos from SkyCamper and had to put the F ratio into the the raw files w/ exiftool, and then exposure wise, things lined up a lot better.
(Hint - do you get the Yellow triangle with a '!' during the initial merge dialogue (after Loading)? - share what it says here smile.gif)

 

Also for those that use Fitswork:
I got a mushy stack after just loading SC's raw images directly.
I exported the raw images to tifs in Photoshop and loaded those to FW and that looked ALOT better.

 

Exported the LS mask (1.3 degrees, left the other value alone) image to 16bit tif and reloaded into Pshop and tried Hard/Pin, etc light and got my most desired effect using soft light and about 50% opacity...

 

SkyCamper wanted a copy so left one in astrobin for awhile:
http://astrob.in/312825/0/

 

As I refine the workflow a bit more, will post what I've been doing in a few days.

 

Also ordered Aurora HDR for the PC - (60% off for pre-order and they will be still migrating features into it for a couple of months after Sept 28 release date).

May open up another (can of  worms smile.gif) route for  pics... smile.gif



#50 Mad MikeE

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 12:04 PM

Tried above one batch (15) of my AT65EDQ pics

(T3i switched to JPG from raw gaah.gifduring battery change,  but still high res (640x480 = would be crying alot))

Attached File  IMG_2355-70_finalNotSofull.jpg   49.89KB   1 downloads

 

Still some last tweaking and trying to refine the workflow but what I did (about 2.5 hours not including writing stuff down and backtracking a couple of times

 

Exporting TIFs from PSHOP and using them in Fitswork seems to give a better result.

NIK HDR pro gives a good starting image to apply the LSMask to (and it's free)

 

NIK Vivesa works basically same as camera raw but the 'control points' allowed me to bring the moon back to neutral and the right 'darkness' while simultaneously making the Prominence more like I remembered with another control point. (and it's free)
 

NIK Dfine2 allows tweaking of noise to reduce the graininess (and did I mention - ITS FREE grin.gif )
 

Some notes for below:

I did chop the center out of the LSMask since the radial blur does nothing good for the moon ohmy.gif )
Also cleaned up the Radial blur 'arcs' around stars in the LSmask before I applied it to the main image.

 

Biggest pain is having to down-covert the HDR from 32 -> 16 bit for FITSWork, etc.
May try that again tomorrow to see if I can fix that

 

Things to resolve:
See if I can 'slide' a layer of the blue from the edge to get rid of the 'Black Center'.

Slight yellow-green cast to corona to match what I remember...
Tone down the bright ring around the moon...

 

Current Workflow outline:
 

MikeE JPGS - mid cycle (2 of 3)

Add 6.5 for aperture to all JPGS w/ exiftool

Drag em all into Pshop and covert to 16bit TIFs and save those off.
Send the TIFs that are just sitting there waiting off to NIK HDR pro.
Fiddle a bunch till I get something I like (worked from default and tweeked)
Convert 32bit HDR to 16b/channel and save as new tif
EdgeGlow 4px/.52/smooth edges,
Gamma .8 exposure -.10 Detail 0,
Advanced everything 0
Convert to SmartObject and use Dfine2 to reduce graininess (50% Contrast/Color noise)
Flatten

OVER TO FITWORKs
Do a Batch Add of all the 16bit TIFs I made earlier to build base image and save off resulting 32bit Fits for future experimentation
Apply Larson-Sekanina Filter (1.5 pix radius, 1.31 degrees) and save that off just in case...

Save the resulting mask as a 16bit TIF.

Drag the filter in as a layer and cut out moon since that does not need enhancement.
Apply LSMask to HDR16 flattened above
Layer LsMask/RGB
Target HDR16
Softlight 40%
Toss Mask layer and convert to SmartObject
Adjust moon and prominence properties in Vivesa2
Moon -50% bright 40% structure, all else 0
Prom: 33% sat, 80% structure, 40% shadow adjust 31% Red
Dfine2 - 50% on both

 

SAVE!

Hope this helps and more as I keep tweaking :)

 


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