Controlling stars

Questions and answers about processing in StarTools and how to accomplish certain tasks.
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almcl
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:15 pm
Location: Shropshire. UK

Controlling stars

Post by almcl »

Starting this thread in response to a comment by Jeff in the Special Techniques thread.

Jeff wondered if there is a simpler workflow to keep the stars under control while teasing out the nebulosity, that perhaps didn't involve Starnet++?

I have had a go at the posted jpeg in that thread (1st image here) and put my effort below. Not sure how much of an improvement it is?

If it's of any use to anyone I'll explain the steps which basically involve creating two differently stretched files, one with just stars and one with just the nebula and combining them in the layer module.

All the processing was in StarTools. It was quite a 'quick 'n dirty' process and a much better result could be achieved starting from the original stacked but otherwise unaltered image and taking a bit more care over masks &c.

Original:
The original jpeg
The original jpeg
Starless+starmask_Bode_sGalaxy.jpg (525.76 KiB) Viewed 796 times
Reprocess:
The reprocess
The reprocess
Bode_sGalaxy reprocess2.jpg (324.39 KiB) Viewed 796 times
Skywatcher 190MN, ASI 2600 or astro modded Canon 700d, guided by OAG, ASI120, PHD2
jlh
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2023 1:06 pm

Re: Controlling stars

Post by jlh »

Hi,
Thanks for moving my question about separate processing techniques for stars here. If it would help here is a link to the linear FITS file for this image: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jtelib ... sp=sharing
(As mentioned before, this is not great data).
Jeff
almcl
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:15 pm
Location: Shropshire. UK

Re: Controlling stars

Post by almcl »

Thanks for sharing your original data, Jeff.

I have had a very quick play, using the technique I outlined in our PM exchange.

I seem to have lost a lot of detail and the colour has come out differently, perhaps as a result of a rather too quick use of Wipe, but see what you think?
A blend of two processes
A blend of two processes
Bode_sGalaxy blended.jpg (253.73 KiB) Viewed 756 times
Skywatcher 190MN, ASI 2600 or astro modded Canon 700d, guided by OAG, ASI120, PHD2
LuckyEddie
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:31 pm

Re: Controlling stars

Post by LuckyEddie »

almcl wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 12:40 pm If it's of any use to anyone I'll explain the steps...
Yes please!
almcl
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:15 pm
Location: Shropshire. UK

Re: Controlling stars

Post by almcl »

OK, here we go.

It centres on the technique originally described here:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=244

by Ivo for separating the stars from DSOs. This is also referenced in Guy's list of Special techniques

Starting with the original stacked image, Optidev, Crop and then wipe.

After this apply a very gentle stretch in Optidev, perhaps putting the RoI on a star. Follow the usual processing steps, as a minimum perhaps [Contrast > SVdecon > Color > Shrink > Superstr] to produce an image of nicely coloured small stars and then turn off tracking and apply the 'Using the Heal module to process stars independently' special technique to generate a stars only image. Save the 'stars only' image.

Now reload the original stacked file, (StarTools will remember the crop setting from before, so the images will align properly) and this time process it to bring out the nebula/DSO, not worrying too much about star bloat. When happy, turn off tracking and again use the special technique but this time save the starless image.

Work on this starless image to remove any remaining artefacts - the isolate preset in Superstructure in conjunction with a good mask and 40 pixels worth of mask fuzz can be helpful although less than 100% strength is often enough - and the reject option in Filter with circular masks round any errant glows can be used against star halos. Once the DSO is sitting on a satisfactory background, launch the layer module and open the previously saved 'stars only' image. Use a layer mode of Brighten or Add to combine the two layers. Blend amount can be adjusted to taste if necessary.

This works better on large well defined objects such as galaxies but can result in loss of detail such as smaller background galaxies. PGC 28757/Holmberg IX has practically disappeared in the rendition of Jeff's image above, for example. More careful masking during the Superstructure/Isolate part might have saved it. Getting a suitable mask on supernova remnants or reflection nebulae can also be tricky.
Skywatcher 190MN, ASI 2600 or astro modded Canon 700d, guided by OAG, ASI120, PHD2
LuckyEddie
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:31 pm

Re: Controlling stars

Post by LuckyEddie »

Thanks almcl. I'll have a play with that on some of my old data.
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