Milwaukee Astronomical Society

 

MAS Processing and Processing Files

 

General Processing

This section relates to Planetary, Solar and Lunar processing, and not deep sky processing. Once you acquire a planetary image in a technique often referred to as "lucky imaging" the processing of that image tends to go in the following order: Pre-processing and de-bayer > Registering and sorting quality frames > Stacking the ideal % of frames > Sharpening > Post-Processing > Publishing

We will cover the first few steps of this routing. Post-processing is unique to your preferences, and generally focuses on sizing the image, updating color and contrast settings to preference. There are a number of paid tools out there, but GIMP is a free alternative. Remember, if you used a refractor and diagonal to capture your image, you will need to adjust orientation to show what the object looked like in the sky vs. through a mirror, so this is another common post-processing step. If you are new to planetary imaging, it's recommended to watch these video tutorials first: http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

Pre-processing: Before you start to process your planetary, lunar or solar images, if you have a color camera, you will want to either debayer the images in AS3!, or another program like PIPP, first. Get the latest version of PIPP here: https://sites.google.com/site/astropipp/

Stacking: Prior to deciding to run your image through Registax wavelets, make sure you have updated AutoStakkert to at least v3.1.4 (or later) and stack as many frames as the quality graph indicates would be useful. Get the latest software here: https://www.autostakkert.com/wp/download/ This could be between 5-30%. If unsure, you can enter multiple percentages, and AS!3 will repeat processing multiple times for each percent stack. Before proceeding to stack, for planetary and solar, it's recommended to check the Sharpened box and blend RAW for at least 30-50%, depending on how many of your frames are above the 50% bar - then apply a name that indicates the % you picked so you can revisit with less aggressive (lower percent) or higher percentage. It is not recommended to use drizzle for planetary, lunar and solar processing. View a stacking video here for more info (AS!3 is now , and in summary, a few tips are included below:

  • Choose a frame size that gives you about 50 alignment points when you place the AP grid. You'll need to adjust the sensitivity to cover your object and avoid background.
  • Quality estimator at laplace, noise robust 6, local (AP)
  • Try stacking 10%, 25%, 33% and 50% of frames and see which one is best
  • Tick the sharpened box for solar, lunar and planetary. Experiment between 30-60% blend of RAW and note your percent in the custom text section.
  • Usually you'll want drizzle turned off.

Sharpening: Once you have your stacks, then we take the image into further sharpening as desired. Registax has a number of tools such as RGB Balance, for correcting colour cast, RGB Alignment. The most common recommended use of Registax 6, is mostly for a feature called Wavelets, which is part of the sharpening process after taking the image through AS!3. Essential starting point settings for sharpening are included below. A video on using Registax 6 wavelets is here. Make sure you download the latest version of Registax 6, here: http://www.astronomie.be/registax/download.html

Registax Wavelets templates: The following Registax wavelets sharpening settings are recommended by MAS members as a starting point. These settings may need to be lowered, if you have used sharpening in AS3! first:

 

Processing Files

 

Lee Keith - Planetary

Despite the names of these files, these are not planetary specific.

Jupiter Aggressive.rwv Registax wavelets settings -- Aggressive
Jupiter Settings.rwv Registax wavelets settings -- Medium
Sylvian Weiller Planetary.rwv Registax wavelets settings -- Light

 

Paul Borchardt - Planetary

jupiter one.rwv Registax wavelets setting - less aggressive
jupiter two.rwv Registax wavelets setting - medium
jupiter three.rwv Registax wavelets setting - light
Mars one.rwv Registax wavelets setting - less aggressive
Mars two.rwv Registax wavelets setting - medium
Mars three.rwv Registax wavelets setting - light
Saturn one.rwv Registax wavelets setting - less aggressive
Saturn two.rwv Registax wavelets setting - medium
Saturn three.rwv Registax wavelets setting - light

 

Paul Borchardt - Solar

SolarScheme_01.rwv Solar Scheme 1
SolarScheme_02.rwv Solar Scheme 2
SolarScheme_03.rwv Solar Scheme 3
SolarScheme_04.rwv Solar Scheme 4
SolarScheme_05.rwv Solar Scheme 5
SolarScheme_06.rwv Solar Scheme 6