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Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

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Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Valery » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:51 am

Hi all,

In continuation of yesterday’s conversation (discussion) about the unsuitability / suitability of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes for photographing the sun in ultraviolet light, I would like to draw particular attention to the fact that often, many of our colleagues think in vain that such telescopes are not ideal or even practically unsuitable for photographing the sun with high resolution, also because it seems to them that in places where they are observing, the inappropriate atmosphere and such large telescopes are useless and will not give the results that they can give at ideal conditions. Quite often this is completely wrong and even with a bad atmosphere, with the right approach to restoring images destroyed by the atmosphere, it is quite possible to achieve very good or even excellent results.

Here I took the liberty of publishing of a stacked raw image sent to me by our friend Alfred Tan (Singapore) to process it and restore the information in it (destroyed by atmosphere seeing). You can see Alfred's raw image and the result of it's restoration.

The restored image tells us that even such heavily destroyed image can be restored to the level when we can estimate it as really good image. And if only this image contained a more impressive and more dramatic landscape of a sun surface, then we could even say: “Wow! This is a great photograph! Well done!”

Of course, some of you do believe that I do have a really excellent seeing conditions at my observatory location. This is a false belief. My observatory is located in a 4km from the center of the 400000 city, which is located at the 50m above sea level and surrounded by a windy hot steppe area. Poor conditions by any means.

I took image (taken by Alfred) as an independent case. Alfred described his present atmosphere conditions and estimated them as poor. His telescope is large enough - 11" SCT. And here you see how such a telescope can performs in such conditions with a low cost imaging equipment.


Conclution: hey, guys, all is not so hopeless with atmosphere and using larger telescopes in less than ideal conditions! Do not reasoning long and tedious about the bad atmosphere, that it is impossible to effectively use large telescopes in such conditions etc. Instead, just do it! Do not let these prejudices stop you. On the contrary, discard these prejudices and begin to move in that direction. Those who invest enough faith, their strength, patience, ingenuity, perseverance, time and a certain amount of money in achieving results will certainly succeed.
Go ahead!

BTW. Images are right clickable for a full resolution.



CS,


Valery
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94920-1500f.jpg
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94920 FIN-3.png
94920 FIN-3.png (1.4 MiB) Viewed 447 times
Last edited by Valery on Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Montana » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:32 am

This is great Valery, however how do you stack your images? I have taken some lovely videos through the C11 and my eye can see all the detail but once I stack in ASK3 the image is a complete blur and nothing can be salvaged from the stack. I gave up and posted single frames at one point as they were infinitely better than a stack of even 1%. I fall down at the first hurdle and yet I know I can see the detail.

It is alright to say we can all do it but it becomes terribly frustrating after while when we are all stumbling in the dark. We need help, please share the method, then if we could all do it we would all be off to the shops and bankrupt buying all the kit ;)
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Valery » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:51 am

Montana wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:32 am
This is great Valery, however how do you stack your images? I have taken some lovely videos through the C11 and my eye can see all the detail but once I stack in ASK3 the image is a complete blur and nothing can be salvaged from the stack. I gave up and posted single frames at one point as they were infinitely better than a stack of even 1%. I fall down at the first hurdle and yet I know I can see the detail.

It is alright to say we can all do it but it becomes terribly frustrating after while when we are all stumbling in the dark. We need help, please share the method, then if we could all do it we would all be off to the shops and bankrupt buying all the kit ;)
Alexandra
Alexandra, better if you will describe how do you stack your images with print screens samples of the AS3 settings etc. Then it is much easier to judge if you doing something wrong.

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Last edited by Valery on Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by MAURITS » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:29 pm

Very nice explanation Valery.
Regards,
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:37 pm

Game on! I am going to try and process this myself and describe my steps. That was the purpose of my Training File folder I created a whole back. Trying to replicate the works of Rembrandt teach us many valuable lessons.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by marktownley » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:23 pm

Can you describe the post processing you did Valery to get from the original to final image please
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Montana » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:24 pm

Just the usual Valery
ASK3 settings.PNG
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:03 pm

I agree with Alexandra, the ‘usual’ is pretty standard. My only difference is I choose, ‘CROPPED’ and ‘IMPROVED TRACKING”. I’ve done lots of variations and I frankly don’t see much difference in AP SIZE or even 10/20/50/75 percent of images.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:03 pm

I agree with Alexandra, the ‘usual’ is pretty standard. My only difference is I choose, ‘CROPPED’ and ‘IMPROVED TRACKING”. I’ve done lots of variations and I frankly don’t see much difference in AP SIZE or even 10/20/50/75 percent of images.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Carbon60 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:15 pm

Being able to use my 250mm RCT with full size ERF more than a handful of times a year would be helpful, Valery. Your 'tricks of the trade' would be a very welcome addition to the toolbox.

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:51 pm

So I just downloaded Alfred's large image (I hope that was OK) and ran it through IMPPG. I was not able to get any kind of usable image anywhere near suitable for the next stage of processing...say in GIMP. I tried every combination of settings including some bizarre extremes.

Maybe I should not have attempted with the image in this thread, but my results...stank.

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Valery » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:12 am

Starry Jack wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:51 pm
So I just downloaded Alfred's large image (I hope that was OK) and ran it through IMPPG. I was not able to get any kind of usable image anywhere near suitable for the next stage of processing...say in GIMP. I tried every combination of settings including some bizarre extremes.

Maybe I should not have attempted with the image in this thread, but my results...stank.

Jack
Jack,

You got the result, which you should have been getting. This image is placed here in a JPEG format only as an example of how much it was blurred by the seeing. For deep post processing, you need, of course, to use the original format with 16 bit data representation.


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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:20 am

That’s what I suspected. Dang. If he wants to post it I will host it.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Valery » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:24 am

Montana wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:24 pm
Just the usual Valery
Alexandra,

A few advices:

1. Cropped and improved tracking should be check in.

2. AP size not smaller than 56 - for such a movie quality. The worser the image quality, the larger the AP value should be choosed.

3. Before to place the AP greed see how good is the best image (it is automatically choosed and showed). If even the best frame image is poor, then likely no good results.
If during the imaging you see delicate details on the screen, then use short enough exposure time to freeze the seeing and get these details at least on some % of frames.

Hope this helps.


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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by yltansg » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:44 am

Starry Jack wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:20 am
That’s what I suspected. Dang. If he wants to post it I will host it.
I have uploaded it to a shared folder in dropbox
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8iup2u7pba1x ... mMYAa?dl=0

Cheers.

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:28 am

Alfred you good person you!

Ok...I got your file and put it into IMPPG. I had to use VERY high SIGMAs (maybe that's part of the secret) and these settings:
2019-10-17_21-17-21.jpg
2019-10-17_21-17-21.jpg (264.72 KiB) Viewed 653 times

Then I brought it into GIMP for some more processing and ended up with this:
94920 1500f Alfred to Val to imppg to gimp.jpg
94920 1500f Alfred to Val to imppg to gimp.jpg (512.44 KiB) Viewed 653 times
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by yltansg » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:06 am

Good attempt, Starry. Thanks for sharing your process and settings.

I am always fascinated by the details that can be picked up with this configuration of my C11, even when the Sun is a blank disk.

Alfred

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by pedro » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:47 am

Here are my results

Used the original tif image
IMPPG with sigma 3 (150 iterations)
Final processing Photoshop
Less aggressive processing
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94920 1500f_IMPPG_gray.jpg
94920 1500f_IMPPG_gray.jpg (272.78 KiB) Viewed 556 times
94920 1500f_IMPPG_color.jpg
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by MalVeauX » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:18 pm

Just looking at the stacked RAW, I knew it would process up to a workable image. Seeing conditions were clearly pretty good to me just seeing the RAW. When I see fairly smooth, high contrast edges on spicules, seeing is pretty much good. So processing this took very little effort, but that's because again, the seeing was good.

I think I too favor a little more softer processing.

IMPPG, high iterations, sigma 2.5ish, unsharp mask around 2.5
PSCS5.1: Topaz Denoise, High Pass 11 pixels (60% opacity), Unsharp mask (4pixels, 20%; 60% opacity), Levels/Color
BW.jpg
BW.jpg (262.12 KiB) Viewed 536 times
Color.jpg
Color.jpg (352.97 KiB) Viewed 536 times
Invert_BW.jpg
Invert_BW.jpg (292.31 KiB) Viewed 536 times
Invert_Color.jpg
Invert_Color.jpg (414.1 KiB) Viewed 536 times
Very best,

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:22 pm

This is an outstanding thread. I am carefully looking at each attempt and learning. Great job to Marty and Pedro and of course Val and Alfred. I will try again taking some of the new techniques.
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Valery » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:02 pm

MalVeauX wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:18 pm
Just looking at the stacked RAW, I knew it would process up to a workable image. Seeing conditions were clearly pretty good to me just seeing the RAW. When I see fairly smooth, high contrast edges on spicules, seeing is pretty much good. So processing this took very little effort, but that's because again, the seeing was good.
No, Marty! Not even close to a good seeing. What does it mean - good seeing, see in the attachment. And every one can make this image WOW within a few steps in just unsharp masking in PS.

The image in question (Alfred's one) has been taken at really poor condition, may be when the seeing somewhat improved. And no wonder that you prefer to stop at a smooth and low resolution threshold. It is difficult to move any further with average processing technique.

Compare what you can extract from a good seeing image and poor seeing image. The scales are about equal.


Valery
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__2017 09 07  UT107-19 C11 Q-0,2 Proc.png
__2017 09 07 UT107-19 C11 Q-0,2 Proc.png (1.37 MiB) Viewed 497 times
__2017 09 07  UT107-19 C11 Q-0,2.png
__2017 09 07 UT107-19 C11 Q-0,2.png (3.67 MiB) Viewed 503 times
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:50 pm

Val,
Your sunspot image is indeed amazing, but I think we'd love to see your workflow to get it. Recognizing that every optical train merits slightly different treatment, I'd love to see how you went from the Raw Image to Stacking to LR Decon (if you do) to PS/GIMP. Just a comment about using the unsharp mask feature in PS just has too many open questions.

-What shape should the image be when it gets to the unsharp step?
-Do you use layers in PS like Marty is fond of? or do you process the main image itself?
-What is your full workflow?
-What settings in (including screen grabs like we are attempting) would be an amazing tutorial.

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Astrophil » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:00 pm

Very informative, Valery. Every tip and tidbit of information is appreciated. I too took the liberty of processing Albert's raw image as well as yours. These were both processed to bring out details and not to be aesthetically pleasing. The comparison hopefully shows how seeing may affect high res imaging. The scale and quality of the images were different so the processing numbers differed greatly and would be meaningless to post as a reference. My main objective while adjusting the settings was to maximize the visibility of the small squiggly hairlike features rather than an overall view.

Beautiful captures by the way.

Phil
Albert_seeing_not_so_good.jpg
Albert_seeing_not_so_good.jpg (526.83 KiB) Viewed 478 times
Valery_seeing_good.jpg
Valery_seeing_good.jpg (486.64 KiB) Viewed 478 times

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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Starry Jack » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:42 am

Nice work, Phil.
To make sure, asking for workflow is for a commonly available file such as what Alfred provided. Then the numbers and workflow are relevant. I would love for Valerie to post his raw sunspot file then his obviously lovely processing

Regarding the Alfred file, I love the softer-then-mine approach of both Pedro and Marty, but I may actually like yours best! Mind if you share how you did it?

Btw I tried unsharp masking on Alfred’s file and did not do it to much good effect. So I’m always looking for those ah-hah lightbulb moments in my brain. 😌
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Re: Importance of the image restoration in the solar imaging.

Post by Rusted » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:47 am

I had absolutely no idea of the sheer power of imppg until now.
I could never get it to do anything useful until today. Not just by fiddling with the controls.
How, on earth, are beginners supposed to know what to do?
Taken in combination, the number of possibilities for the settings must be almost infinite!

Is there a "family" of settings which provide a useful base for making more rapid progress?
That might be far more useful to the majority of forum members.
Rather than vague generalisations about producing these specific "masterpieces."

We happily share details of our successful mods and equipment choices.
Why not show the same generosity in successful, initial, settings for processing software?
There may be countless solar masterpieces hiding undiscovered on member's hard drives.
We just need to know how to drag them screaming and kicking into reality.

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