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Help with getting back into PixInsight

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#1 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 03:26 PM

I'm just getting back into astrophotography after several years off and was just starting up the learning curve when I got away from it.  Now I'm back and have a lot of confusing notes from "the old days."  Hoping I can get some current information relevant to my equipment -- Canon R5 mirrorless body and 100-500 lens.  I have a decent-enough tracker and just getting my first set of subs (M31, 60 seconds, f/5.6, ISO 6400).  I have 600 Lights over over 2 nights and weather may hold up for about 200 more.  I have 325 Darks, 60 Flats and 170 Biases.  So now I need to make sense of my old notes for pre-processing.

 

I was using BPP for calibrating but have all sorts of confusing and conflicting information about how to handle Darks and Biases.  Any help with current recommendations for a basic, simple workflow would be appreciated! 

 

I have an ASIAIR on order and may get an astro camera in the near future (ASI2600MC PRO looks very tempting) but I'm curious how far I can go with what I have. 



#2 daveco2

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 03:58 PM

I used a modified Canon R before going to the asi2600 Mono, both on an Air Pro.  The new Air Pro app, ver 2.0, is incredible.  

 

I've had problems with  the stacking and calibrating utility in Pixinsight, so I now rely on Astro Pixel Processor for stacking and calibrating Flats, Dark Flats, Darks, and Bias.  It's all automatic and never fails.  Others have the same positive experience.

Air Pro will do these automatically, but of course, you need to supply a light panel (or appropriated daylight) for the flats. 

 

For further processing, there are some good free videos on the web.

 

https://www.youtube....EKKPw/playlists

https://www.youtube....2JpdoEag&t=596s

https://www.youtube....HFC8r67WWLtPby6



#3 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 04:35 PM

Thanks -- will check them out! 

 

Forgot to mention, I have a Mac, so can't use AstroPixel.  Is there some Mac equivalent?  I have the new M1 Pro laptop -- powerful, with lots of HD space, and a RAID external HD for storage after initial processing.

 

Maybe I just wait till the ASIAIR arrives, but that could be a while, with a lot of backorders ahead of me.



#4 DeepSky Di

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 04:42 PM

Hi and welcome back to astrophotography.

 

After starting with AstroPixelProcessor, I decided it was time to get into PixInsight, but for the most part I continue to stack with APP. I know how to do it, it handles mosaics well and I didn't want to move to PI to improve stacking. There are other alternatives - Siril is free and Affinity is low cost and has a lot of newly added astro specific functionality.

 

Since you have PI, you may not want to get distracted with other software. Here are the PI resources I used / am using

 

Adam Block's fasttrack course - https://www.adambloc...ning-beginners 

Adam Block's free WBPP series - https://www.youtube....8hCgqwkrxsk7CDn

Lukomatico's "let's learn Pixinsight" - https://www.youtube....-dVZbhsnD9DRvaz

PixInsight's own new YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/@PixInsight

View into Space's alphabetical guide to PI processes - https://www.youtube....oAlGKoQ_pNE77hc

 

The Lukomatico videos start from images that have already been stacked elsewhere and I found that following the first couple suddenly made other PI tutorials accessible. 



#5 DeepSky Di

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 04:44 PM

Thanks -- will check them out! 

 

Forgot to mention, I have a Mac, so can't use AstroPixel.  Is there some Mac equivalent?  I have the new M1 Pro laptop -- powerful, with lots of HD space, and a RAID external HD for storage after initial processing.

 

Maybe I just wait till the ASIAIR arrives, but that could be a while, with a lot of backorders ahead of me.

Obligate Mac user here also. AstroPixelProcessor runs fine on a Mac and sings on an M1. And I also have one each ASIAIR Pro and ASIAIR Plus, however to date I don't stack with them.



#6 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 04:58 PM

OK -- my big choking point with PI was always the preprocessing to get a decent Master Light.  I'll check out APP -- many thanks!!

 

I'm looking forward to finding a workable pathway through the underbrush here.  We have decent dim skies at the house and a couple of sites just off both ends of the deck suitable for building piers for N and S skies.  Nothing fancy but workable and convenient.  The tracker head would be easy to put up as needed and PA with the ASIAIR sounds so easy! 



#7 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 05:58 PM

I just downloaded the latest version of AstroPixelProcessor for a trial (new user) -- 1.083.2.  I'm on Mac OS Monterey (12.6) with a MacBook Pro M1 Pro.  When I try to open the software it says it can't be checked for malicious software and needs to be updated by the developer.

 

Posted this on their forum.



#8 DeepSky Di

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 06:38 PM

I just downloaded the latest version of AstroPixelProcessor for a trial (new user) -- 1.083.2.  I'm on Mac OS Monterey (12.6) with a MacBook Pro M1 Pro.  When I try to open the software it says it can't be checked for malicious software and needs to be updated by the developer.

 

Posted this on their forum.

That's a Mac OS thing. Right click on the file and select Open - it should then give you the option to run the app. After that you can double click as usual.



#9 DeepSky Di

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 06:40 PM

Also this is the Charles Bracken quick start guide: https://digitalstars...ck-start-guide/



#10 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 06:44 PM

Finally found it -- in this case it was stranger than with other apps.  Finally it said it wouldn't open but gave me the option to open it anyway.  It did.  Now it's saying it can't find my license code.

 

I'll give it a while and try again.  I was already frustrated with it because I found a tutorial about how to use it that started out clear as mud, with a small low-res screen and a British accent that is extremely difficult for me to understand. 

 

Is there a written tutorial somewhere?  One that starts at the beginning?

 

Just saw the post immediately above -- will have a look at it -- thanks!


Edited by Diane Miller, 27 November 2022 - 06:45 PM.


#11 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 07:00 PM

OH -- SO MANY THANKS -- and thanks to Charles Bracken!!  An actual TUTORIAL -- in WRITING!!  That starts at the beginning!



#12 DeepSky Di

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 07:53 PM

I'll give it a while and try again.  I was already frustrated with it because I found a tutorial about how to use it that started out clear as mud, with a small low-res screen and a British accent that is extremely difficult for me to understand. 

 Well, there's always the handy CC button as well as the speed control :-)



#13 daveco2

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 10:50 PM

OK -- my big choking point with PI was always the preprocessing to get a decent Master Light.  I'll check out APP -- many thanks!!

 

I'm looking forward to finding a workable pathway through the underbrush here.  We have decent dim skies at the house and a couple of sites just off both ends of the deck suitable for building piers for N and S skies.  Nothing fancy but workable and convenient.  The tracker head would be easy to put up as needed and PA with the ASIAIR sounds so easy! 

I was able to use APP for preprocessing immediately after watching this short video.  Start at time 3:15.  The whole process is automatic, but there are a few tricks at setup which are fully explained.

 

https://www.youtube....FhsMWob&index=2



#14 Diane Miller

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 11:01 PM

Thanks -- will check it out.  After a very strange and unusual set of messages to get this past the armed guards on the next-to-newest Mac OS, still waiting on a reply as to why they can't activate my serial #.  Not feeling good about this right now. 



#15 DeepSky Di

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Posted 28 November 2022 - 06:38 PM

Thanks -- will check it out.  After a very strange and unusual set of messages to get this past the armed guards on the next-to-newest Mac OS, still waiting on a reply as to why they can't activate my serial #.  Not feeling good about this right now. 

Maybe something to do with entering the user name rather than email address?



#16 Diane Miller

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Posted 28 November 2022 - 07:14 PM

Got it fixed.  I think I had entered a "user name" when I was making the purchase, but this dialog wanted my actual name.  Have it running now and about to try some captures.




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