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Help processing Western Veil

Astrophotography
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#1 gatehealing

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 11:59 PM

I like the red and greenish-blues in the western veil nebula but am struggling to pull them out without getting blurry features or what I think is over saturating the color and it looking fake. I’m using pixinsight.

I’ve been able to use some tools to shrink the many, many stars, but I am not having much luck figuring out how to get rid of a bunch of them so the nebula itself is more of the focal point. I know the stars are there, but I’d like the nebula itself to look colorful but natural, and the amount of stars to look, well, fake to the degree that I’ve removed them.

Any suggestions? I’m cross-eyed from reading and experimenting.

Thx!
Jon


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#2 Ibuprofen200mg

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:07 AM

You could give processing the nebula and stars separately a try. Try using Starnet++ to remove the stars and work on the nebula by itself, then go back and blend the stars back in to taste. I don't use PI so I can't help with the workflow there, but Starnet++ has worked well for me in tandem with other programs when I needed to reduce background star impact. I'm sure someone else can link you to a tutorial using PI+Starnet.


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#3 gatehealing

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:09 AM

You could give processing the nebula and stars separately a try. Try using Starnet++ to remove the stars and work on the nebula by itself, then go back and blend the stars back in to taste. I don't use PI so I can't help with the workflow there, but Starnet++ has worked well for me in tandem with other programs when I needed to reduce background star impact. I'm sure someone else can link you to a tutorial using PI+Starnet.

Thx! I saw that starnet++ in another post but could not get it to work…possibly bc I’m on a Mac?


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#4 rollomonk

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:27 AM

Thx! I saw that starnet++ in another post but could not get it to work…possibly bc I’m on a Mac?
 

I use StarNet++ on a mac inside of Pixinsight.... works great. From what I understand, it doesn't work on the new Apple Silicon macs though. 



#5 gatehealing

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 02:11 AM

I use StarNet++ on a mac inside of Pixinsight.... works great. From what I understand, it doesn't work on the new Apple Silicon macs though.

There’s a reason not to buy one we just yet. Ok on a 2019 model currently. I’ll hope a good tutorial video will turn up.


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#6 terry59

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 06:21 AM

In narrowband the veils are usually shot with Ha and OIII only and using HOO for processing. That eliminates the green you seek though. If you can make a raw, untouched master light available I can take a look


Edited by terry59, 02 December 2021 - 06:38 AM.


#7 Tim J Fowler

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 06:54 AM

Starnett++ has to be fed 16 bit TIF files to work. Maybe that's it?



#8 Ibuprofen200mg

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 09:06 AM

I use StarNet++ on a mac inside of Pixinsight.... works great. From what I understand, it doesn't work on the new Apple Silicon macs though. 

There is a workaround for this thankfully where you can run it outside of Pixinsight in the terminal. It's worked great for me on my M1 macbook. 

 

Good Youtube video explaining the process:https://www.youtube....hMbq0w9Y&t=215s

 

Like Tim said you need to feed it 16 bit .tif files, and there are separate scripts for RGB and Mono so be careful. 



#9 BQ Octantis

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 10:20 AM

I run Starnet++ all the time on my Intel MacBook Pro.

 

You have to download the Mac OS version.

 

https://sourceforge....net/files/v1.1/

 

It runs from the command line (Terminal).

 

BQ



#10 gatehealing

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 03:17 PM

Cool. I'll look at the video for using the terminal to run it. Will also look at the sourceforge thing . . . I see starnet in PI, but not starnet++.

 

I am using an OSC . . . I do was using an L-Pro filter as an experiment since I had a full moon--I had forgotten about that little detail . . .

In terms of the color, I actually like the greenish-blue color for now. Having it offset by the red color is nice.

 

Here is the master light in xisf and in tiff format:

xisf file: https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

tiff file: https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing



#11 terry59

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for those. Unfortunately it is no longer linear. Can you make the linear one available?

 

Edit: Some tools are best used on linear data

 

Here is my version. I quite agree on the stars  dominating the nebula rolleyes.gif

get.jpg?insecure

 

 



Cool. I'll look at the video for using the terminal to run it. Will also look at the sourceforge thing . . . I see starnet in PI, but not starnet++.

 

I am using an OSC . . . I do was using an L-Pro filter as an experiment since I had a full moon--I had forgotten about that little detail . . .

In terms of the color, I actually like the greenish-blue color for now. Having it offset by the red color is nice.

 

Here is the master light in xisf and in tiff format:

xisf file: https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

tiff file: https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing


Edited by terry59, 02 December 2021 - 05:11 PM.


#12 ntph

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 06:59 PM

As far as I know, PI's StarNet is the same process, and it works fine on Macs. You do have to have some mono and rgb files in PI's library--can't remember the details but I am sure you'll find them easily enough if it doesn't work right off the bat. StarNet in PI often leaves a lot of yucky artefacts, so I find it difficult to process the starless image the way I would like. Yucky is a very scientific term.... To process say nebulae the way I would like without blowing up the stars, I find I need to do star reduction. The way I prefer to deal with star reduction is either to use the EZ script and choose Adam Block method, but this is closing the barn door after the horse has gone.  What I think I like better is to do this:

 

I used what I am going to call an inverted  "pfile" mask (nonlinear L- nonlinear StarNet starless images) (so nonlinear) on my linear image and stretched to where I could see the brighter stars and some nebulosity showing in a real-time preview and applied the stretch. Then removing the mask, I stretched again to a "working" level (decent brightness and colour, background around 0.14)

 

I can't figure out how to point you to the post where I wrote this (pacman challenge discussion thread, #163). Basically you have to start with a clone of your linear image. Stretch it however you like then extract the L. Use the same stretched clone to create a starless image, then use Pixelmath to subtract the starless image from the L and you are left with a great star mask. Try the processing workflow described above and see how it works for you. I find you can tame the number and brightness of the stars quite well this way. I am sure there are better ways, but so far it works for me.  pfile is the username for a very active contributor to the PI Forum posts--in one of his threads he suggested this technique of creating a star mask, so that's what I call it.  This technique produces similar results to a MaskedStretch, but I think it works more selectively on just the stars. A bit of work, but I almost always want to have a starless image for other mask generation purposes, so really pretty much just part of the workflow.



#13 Ibuprofen200mg

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 01:03 AM

Original image stretched:

veil.jpg

 

 

 



#14 Ibuprofen200mg

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 01:07 AM

Starnet++ star reduction:

veil_reduced.jpg

 

There are other items to address in this image but I only did a quick pass on the stars as a general example. This could be much more refined. 



#15 BQ Octantis

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 09:20 AM

Yep. Stars pretty much make or break a nebula. But you have to manage your stars based on the final image size. Zooming way out requires—and can tolerate—a much stronger reduction:

 

(Click for full size @ 34%.)

gallery_273658_12412_191907.jpg

 

I use Photoshop to combine the starnetted image with the original with a layer stack:

 

Layer 3: Starnetted, Lighten, 100% opacity

Layer 2: Starnetted, Screen, 60% opacity

Layer 1: Starnetted, Lighten, 10% opacity

Background: Original

 

This order minimizes the artifacts that need to be managed to just the brighter stars.

 

BQ



#16 gatehealing

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 06:39 PM

Thanks for those. Unfortunately it is no longer linear. Can you make the linear one available?

I'll see if I can get that done today or tomorrow. THanks!

Yours look amazing!

Jon



#17 gatehealing

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 06:41 PM

Starnet++ star reduction:

attachicon.gifveil_reduced.jpg

 

There are other items to address in this image but I only did a quick pass on the stars as a general example. This could be much more refined. 

Yes! I need to remove stars like that. I'll get the haze looking stuff reduced later (or I already do since I'm farther along in the processing now, but will go back and try to figure otu starnet++)



#18 gatehealing

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 06:43 PM

Yep. Stars pretty much make or break a nebula. But you have to manage your stars based on the final image size. Zooming way out requires—and can tolerate—a much stronger reduction:

 

(Click for full size @ 34%.)

gallery_273658_12412_191907.jpg

 

I use Photoshop to combine the starnetted image with the original with a layer stack:

 

Layer 3: Starnetted, Lighten, 100% opacity

Layer 2: Starnetted, Screen, 60% opacity

Layer 1: Starnetted, Lighten, 10% opacity

Background: Original

 

This order minimizes the artifacts that need to be managed to just the brighter stars.

 

BQ

Oh wow! THIS is what I am looking to get. I really need to figure out this starnet++ thing.

 

J
 



#19 BQ Octantis

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 10:08 PM

Oh wow! THIS is what I am looking to get. I really need to figure out this starnet++ thing.

Not to over-toot your horn, but this is what you got. It's the best Veil wide-field I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to process.

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 03 December 2021 - 10:08 PM.


#20 gatehealing

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 12:04 AM

Not to over-toot your horn, but this is what you got. It's the best Veil wide-field I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to process.

 

BQ

Thanks! Great skies up here in mountains . . . nice equipment helps. Boy this processing business is a steeeeeeep learning curve! But my brain cells enjoy the workout!

 

J
 



#21 BQ Octantis

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 07:36 AM

What software are you using for processing?

 

Running Starnet++ in MacOS is easy, even if you're not comfortable with the command line in Terminal. The hardest part is saving your image as a 16-bit TIFF and coming up with a naming convention for the Starnet++ script.

 

  1. Download Starnet++ for MacOS.
  2. If it didn't automatically de-archive, double click on the StarNet_MacOS.zip file to de-archive it.
  3. Put the StarNet_MacOS folder on the Desktop.
  4. Open the run_rgb_starnet.sh file.
  5. Change "rgb_test5.tif" to "starnet.tif".
  6. Change "rgb_test5_s.tif" to "starnet_s.tif".
  7. Save the file and close it.
  8. Save a 16-bit TIF version of the image whose stars you want to remove.
  9. Rename the TIF file to "starnet.tif" and drop it in the StarNet_MacOS folder.
  10. Open Terminal and type the following two commands (followed by <return>)

cd ~Desktop/StarNet_MacOS/

 

./run_rgb_starnet.sh

 

Starnet++ will report progress until it's done. Once it's done, it will write the output to a file called "starnet_s.tif" in the StarNet_MacOS folder.

 

The next time you want to run it, open Terminal and use the up arrow (or down arrow) to scroll to the commands. By keeping the same naming convention, you'll only have to manually type the commands once.

 

BQ



#22 BQ Octantis

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 10:30 AM

Here's what I could get easily at 100% scale:

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

BQ



#23 gatehealing

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 10:42 AM

Here's what I could get easily at 100% scale:

get.jpg?insecure

BQ

Really looking forward to the next level of proficiency in processing! Thanks!

I’m using pixinsight to process. Have the Keller book, but I learn much better via observation of application and experientially (if I’m sitting beside somebody watching, then doing with live their coaching) so the book and YouTube are helpful but an in-person class would be even better! Either that or a Vulcan mind-meld.

J


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#24 gatehealing

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 06:18 PM

There is a workaround for this thankfully where you can run it outside of Pixinsight in the terminal. It's worked great for me on my M1 macbook. 

 

Good Youtube video explaining the process:https://www.youtube....hMbq0w9Y&t=215s

 

Like Tim said you need to feed it 16 bit .tif files, and there are separate scripts for RGB and Mono so be careful. 

Ok, so I do have Pixinsight on my mac, but can only find Starnet, but not Starnet++. In Mask Generation > Starnet, it asks for RGB and Grayscale Weights files but I am unclear on how to get those. Am I not looking in the right place for Starnet++?
 



#25 ntph

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 02:28 PM

OK--here's a link to how to get it all running:

 

https://www.galactic...om/post/starnet

 

Should help you out. waytogo.gif




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