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Monochrome Lunar Image Registration Software?

astrophotography imaging moon
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#1 Kugelblitz101

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 01:10 AM

Hello Cloudy Nights,

 

I'm currently trying to produce a lunar image using my monochrome camera and color filters. I was able to register and stack each channel individually using AutoStakkert!; however, registering the channels with each other proved to be much more difficult. I attempted to align the images using layers in Photoshop, but it simply failed to align the images properly. I also found a Python library called SimpleITK that seems to have the necessary capabilities, but it seems rather complicated and difficult to work with. Thus, I'm wondering if anyone knows of a (preferably free) software that I can use to register the channels with one another.

 

Thanks in advance and clear skies!



#2 james7ca

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 02:08 AM

Try the PlanetarySystemStacker or PlanetarySystemLRGBAligner from CN's Rolf.

 

Here is the thread for PlanetarySystemStacker:  https://www.cloudyni...r/#entry9058068

 

-- and, here is is for PlanetarySystemLRGBAligner:

 

  https://www.cloudyni...s/#entry8955136

 

Both are free downloads.


Edited by james7ca, 11 August 2020 - 02:13 AM.


#3 Kugelblitz101

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:24 PM

Try the PlanetarySystemStacker or PlanetarySystemLRGBAligner from CN's Rolf.

 

Here is the thread for PlanetarySystemStacker:  https://www.cloudyni...r/#entry9058068

 

-- and, here is is for PlanetarySystemLRGBAligner:

 

  https://www.cloudyni...s/#entry8955136

 

Both are free downloads.

Awesome I'll check them out! Thank you very much!



#4 Tom Glenn

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 05:11 PM

In particular, Rolf's LRGB aligner is the way to go here.  If you have stacks corresponding to each color channel produced in AS!3, the reason they won't perfectly align manually is that the image is composed of many alignment points (APs), numbering in hundreds or more, that are forced to align by AS!3 using pixel warping methods during the stacking.  Slight differences in distortion from turbulence across the frame will cause the APs to be stitched together slightly differently during stacking, even when the images were taken in rapid succession.  This is very noticeable on the Moon, because frames are larger.  Rolf's program was designed to align RGB and mono images to produce LRGB, but it works equally well with whatever you decide to define as your"RGB" and "mono" images.  You can save the registered images without merging them together.  I would independently register R to G and B to G, save all the files, and then use those for your RGB composite.  You will have to balance the colors of the final product, however, as it will likely not look right straight away. 


Edited by Tom Glenn, 11 August 2020 - 05:11 PM.

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#5 Kugelblitz101

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 07:41 PM

In particular, Rolf's LRGB aligner is the way to go here.  If you have stacks corresponding to each color channel produced in AS!3, the reason they won't perfectly align manually is that the image is composed of many alignment points (APs), numbering in hundreds or more, that are forced to align by AS!3 using pixel warping methods during the stacking.  Slight differences in distortion from turbulence across the frame will cause the APs to be stitched together slightly differently during stacking, even when the images were taken in rapid succession.  This is very noticeable on the Moon, because frames are larger.  Rolf's program was designed to align RGB and mono images to produce LRGB, but it works equally well with whatever you decide to define as your"RGB" and "mono" images.  You can save the registered images without merging them together.  I would independently register R to G and B to G, save all the files, and then use those for your RGB composite.  You will have to balance the colors of the final product, however, as it will likely not look right straight away. 

Thank you very much for the explanation and info! I also took a look at your APOD and Flickr page and your images are absolutely incredible!!! bow.gif  The detail you're able to achieve is unparalleled by anything else I've ever seen! I'm pretty new to Lunar Imaging, so are there any tutorials, software, processing techniques, etc. that you would recommend?



#6 Tom Glenn

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 01:30 AM

Thank you very much for the explanation and info! I also took a look at your APOD and Flickr page and your images are absolutely incredible!!! bow.gif  The detail you're able to achieve is unparalleled by anything else I've ever seen! I'm pretty new to Lunar Imaging, so are there any tutorials, software, processing techniques, etc. that you would recommend?

Sorry I missed this response before.  Thanks for the compliments about my work, although I would be quick to say that I wouldn't call anything unparalleled, as there are many excellent lunar imagers out there, some of whom post here, and many who don't. 

 

Regarding tutorials, there is nothing specific I can offer, other than to say read and study as much as possible, and constantly work on refining your workflow and comparing to the work of others that use similar equipment.  Although a substantial amount of information can be found on the web, most tutorials only offer basic advice, and it's up to you the individual to experiment and find out what works best.  Over the last several years I've accumulated dozens of terabytes of data and hundreds of hours of imaging and processing, and this has led to a comfort level with imaging the Moon that wouldn't be possible by other methods (such as only reading theory, etc).  So, I would encourage you to start somewhere, and you can post results and ask questions for feedback.  For software, however, the answer is a bit easier.  Everyone uses AS!3 for stacking, and that is with good reason, as it is currently the best.  Notably, however, Rolf's stacking program shows great promise for the Moon, and I have used it myself with great results, but I would say it is still in the intermediate stages of development (with all due respect to Rolf's work).  Sharpening is somewhat variable, but wavelets in Registax remain a good option, and are free.  Deconvolution in AstraImage is also something I have used with great success.  Recently, I have been experimenting with PixInsight, and the Multi-Scale Linear transform works very well on the Moon.  So there are many options.  Final editing is usually done in Photoshop, and significant nonlinear curves are required if you are going to produce a natural looking result from a linear raw image.  




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