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Image Processing

 

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IMAGE PROCESSING

THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

AutoStakkert!

INTRODUCTION

The first task is of course to capture an image: as explained in the AstroIntro page (link in side column) we use what is essentially a video camera to capture a short video consisting of a number of individual frames…anything from a few thousand up to around 100,000 – “yes” 100K frames!!!:)

Usually we play the video (we record our’s as 8bit avi’s which can be played in Windows Media Player) & look at the video fairly carefully…it is not hard to see the relative quality of any videos you might have captured on any single night by doing this: in fact if you take notes as you are imaging you can usually see which captures/videos are the better ones – the image is clear & steady as opposed to blurry & jerky etc. (we record our comments re each video/avi on the laptop in “Notepad” while we are actually imaging, so we already know the better ones by the time we pack up for the night)

We prefer to use the freeware program “AutoStakkert” known as “AS!2” written by (& constantly upgraded) Emil Kraikaamp: this is the first step in processing once we have decided which avi’s are the best & those that we are going to process. AutoStakkert!2 can be downloaded from http://www.astrokraai.nl/software/latest.php Unzip it and create a shortcut to AutoStakkert.exe on your Desktop

The example shown in the following sequence was a capture taken with the ASI224MC colour camera: as explained elsewhere colour videos are quicker to process but if you are using a mono camera, recording each channel (red, green & blue) the basic approach is the same except we must combine these 3 channels to get the colour result. (rgb)

I will add an additional explanation for using the mono cameras where necessary in time…& also those differences in processing where we have deliberately captured a mono image, such as those using iR (infra-red) filters…

METHOD

  • First we open AS!2 & the 2 windows of this software program will appear as per below…
    Then we open the folder that contains the avi’s on our computer & click on any one avi we have chosen…
    Holding the left mouse button down we “drag” this high-lit file into the AS!2 left-hand window & release the mouse button – this action is known as “dragging & dropping” a file into any specific program. ;)

The image of the planet will appear in the right-hand window of AS!2 along with some text details: you can see I have under-lined a text that says “frame#1/50682” – this reveals that the image you see is the first frame in the avi & that there are 50,682 frames in total!

We also see above the “frame#” 2 numbers (all the red under-lines are done by me for the purpose of the tute!)  “480” & “320” have also been underlined in red – this is the “Image Size” of the frame incorporating a certain amount of background (black naturally) sky we have chosen as part of our processing parameters. This can be adjusted by using the “Width” and “Height” adjustment sliders to the left of these two numbers

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AS-6

 

 

Registax

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