I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Questions and answers about processing in StarTools and how to accomplish certain tasks.

I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby rottielover » Wed May 31, 2017 1:47 am

So I started my journey of learning astrophotography about a month ago give or take. I have a next-door neighbor who has made some absolutely phenomenal images, and he's taken me under wing to teach me some how to's in this hobby.

One of the places we differ a little is processing. Being so new to the hobby, I'm limited to my Canon 70D and Kit lenses (an 18-55 and a 55-250) as I don't yet own any other equipment other than my ASUS ROG laptop. I purchased a copy of Backyard EOS which as helped me a great deal. I really like the idea of your software, but I'm having a really hard time learning it from youtube videos. I've been shown how to use Lightroom and Photoshop, and I get OKish results sometimes in those. My friend has Pixinsight, but that's a bit out of my price range right now.

I was hoping that someone could look at these two files and tell me what I'm doing wrong in the processing? The files are as follows:

Milky Way Widefield - This is shot with my 18-55 on about 24 mm from a darksite. I stacked it in DeepSkyStacker with lights, darks, flats and bias frames (I was taught how to do those by my friend). It's about an hour worth of exposures I did borrowing an iOptron tracker mount. It's a TIF file because I did not know about the FTS files until I read your forums. I still have all the RAW files so I'm going to go back and try re-stacking this in DSS with those settings later tonight.
Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5lgcj2k5iv4o1pg/restackedMilkyWay32r.TIF?dl=0

M81 / 82 Widefield? - This is shot with my 55-250 mm on about 250mm from same darksite a week later. I stacked it in DSS, lights, darks, flats, and bias frames. It's way less exposure time at around 13 min. due to clouds, dew, and other issues (that's a whole story in itself about some people who claimed to be "coon hunting" but it's out of season, I'll relay that story another time). Anyway, this one is wayyy tougher to get processed for me.
Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6yxvktttdnncxe/M81-2stackedmaybe.FTS?dl=0

I just can't seem to get results other than super blown out (I'm starting with the tutorial I found on youtube with AutoDev, Wipe, then Autodev again, but they both get super blown out and I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong cause it doesn't look like what happened with the file from youtube....

If anyone reading this is from near the St. Louis MO USA area, please contact me! Would love to get a live session!
rottielover
 
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby mstiles » Wed May 31, 2017 10:00 pm

Hey! i'm in southwest mo... not EXACTLY next door, but still :)

i'm new too, and i wouldn't have made it one more day if i hadn't found the User Notes on this forum ( ht Bill ).. i referred to them while i practiced/experimented on my data. it helped TREMENDOUSLY

anyway, i downloaded yours and gave it a whirl... (remember, i'm still in diapers here ) you and i share a focus issue, i used Magic to expand the cores a little, then Repair to warp/round them up some, and then used Repair again to redistribute the cores, to get rid of the donuts that some of them had.. you have good data, just could use a lot more of it :)

i'm sure Ivo will post something that will actually help you, i just like practicing.. so, thanks!

oh, i hope my attachment "sticks".. is this close to what you are getting? i think the star on/close to M82 was untouched, so you can see the difference that the Magic and Repair stuff made on the others
Attachments
M81-2stackedmaybe.jpg
M81-2stackedmaybe.jpg (112.41 KiB) Viewed 445 times
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby rottielover » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:10 am

Wow that's awesome. With Star Tools I'm not getting anything close to that.

Maybe I'm not supposed to be using auto Dev a second time or maybe I'm doing something out of order.

Histogram stretching obviously doesn't do a whole lot.

How are you achieving focus? I have been using Backyard EOS's focus module where you keep adjusting until you get the lowest number you can get. But otherwise I'm fairly "dumb" at knowing the WHY behind operations. I can follow along and click the same buttons as someone else, but not understanding the why and when to use processes is a bit frustrating. It's the same with other software for me though, Photoshop and Lightroom for example. Sure I can adjust sliders, but I would sure like to learn more about the why of each.


Hope that makes sense. If you are ever up near St Louis lemme know! My brothers used to live in Springfield and years ago I worked for a company in Rolla.
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby rottielover » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:48 am

sorry was posting from my phone earlier... I was talking about stretching in Lightroom and Photoshop.

I just spent some serious money on a Dew Heater setup, which is why I have to wait till the next paycheck to pickup software...


Now that I am back at my desktop I'm going to give it another go at processing and try to figure out what the heck it is I'm not doing right.
rottielover
 
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby mstiles » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:03 am

Great.. pay special special special attention to the 2nd autodev region of interest. Try try again... I've found that unless I can get it "just right", I might as well start over..
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby mstiles » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:05 am

Also, now is a good time to look at the User Notes posts.. a post for every function.. invaluable
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby rottielover » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:35 am

I read through the majority of the modules. Now I seem to get stuck in the same place. My background ends up with all these RGB pixels making it look pink, but I'm not sure how to correct that to get the background back to a grey or black looking color.

example workflow:

AutoDev
Crop
Bin
Wipe
AutoDev * this seems to be where my lack of knowledge and experience sets in.
Playing with Decon/Sharp/Contrast/HDR/Flux/Life
Color-

Stop tracking/Denoise
Playing with Layer/Magic/Heal/Repair/Synth




Key: {...} optional modules
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby mstiles » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:11 am

I was stuck at the same spot ( re: the next post down from this one )

On the 2nd autodev, the "region of interest " is key...

On your image, try making a small square on the middle of m81 that gets close to the center and also just a tad of the outside of the galaxy... then see what that shows..

Good? Great, now see if you can increase the ignore fine detail, and decrease the % (on the right) until it's about as dark as it'll get

Sucks? Cancel and do it again

(I sure hope I can't get sued for giving terrible instructions)
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby rottielover » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:14 am

AHHHHH, I much better! THANK YOUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong :(

Postby mstiles » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:47 am

:shock:
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