SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

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SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

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Hi,

I am struggling to eliminate a strange "filter" effect during video capture using SharpCap 3.2.
It appears to be overlaid on the real image as if a millimeter, or two, behind thin, rippled but clear, obscuring glass or plastic.

It occurs with two cameras: ZWO120MC and Neximage5.
It occurs on two different computers. A laptop and a PC. Both W10 i7.
It occurs on four different refractor telescopes.
It seems worst on my modified 6" f/8 PST + D-ERF H-alpha scope.

The solar image itself appears to be focused onto a ground glass screen. Is this normal?
Which is then overlaid with this rippled glass "effects" filter. Definitely not normal!

A depth perspective effect occurs when the image is moving across the field of view in the SharpCap active window.
I occurs with RGB24, RAW and MONO. It occurs from maximum frame size to least. 1290x960 right down to 320x320.

The problem is that the ripple effect is carried over with the captured video.
The moment I open Registax I can see it is sitting there overlaying my video.
Everything I do in Registax acts on the "ripple" too. Producing ugly artifacts as if heavily sharpened.

I can't seem to get any other imaging software to work with these two cameras:
CAMERA won't work in W10 despite following online advice disabling privacy etc..
I downloaded ASICAP from ZWO but after a very brief showing gave up the ghost. OBS 64 bit doesn't work on either camera.

A contact suggests it is a debayering problem but I haven't found any debayering controls on SharpCap.


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by marktownley »

Weird! No idea what is going on. Don't use Sharpcap, I prefer Firecapture.


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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

Hi Mark,

Thanks. Weird indeed!

I feared I might have toasted the ZWO 120-MC camera but if that were possible then my eyes would be damaged too.

I am presently uploading a short, captured solar video to YouTube.
Where I move the 6" H-alpha telescope, via the slow motion drives, in several directions.
Just to show the obscuring, rippled mask effect lying in front of the real image.
The similarity to real solar features in H-a is irritating!

I have eliminated mains power supplies causing interference.
By unplugging them both during video capture. It must be something to do with SharpCap. But what?

I can't get on with FireCapture. Too opaque for my last, ageing brain cell to cope with. ;)


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

Here's the YT video:

https://youtu.be/hHIlU7H2RA0

I suggest full screen for best/worst effect.

Note how the real solar image is moved around behind the fixed rippled mask.
The effect is more subtle on the YT video. More obvious on the laptop screen. Both bad!
The mask does NOT rotate with the camera. Which suggests the camera is innocent.


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by bart1805 »

Is not that the famous grid pattern seen in a lot of cameras when using high gain and a very short exposure time?
What is the effect of using slightly bigger AP's in AS?


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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

bart1805 wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:42 pm Is not that the famous grid pattern seen in a lot of cameras when using high gain and a very short exposure time?
What is the effect of using slightly bigger AP's in AS?
Hello Bart and thank you for your interesting response.

I'm afraid I don't recognise the terms AP's and AS...?

A contact has suggested dirty protective IR windows on the camera sensors.
The sense of perspective when the image is moving relative to the fixed, ripple "mask" would suggest that diagnosis.
I usually just brush the glass with a clean and dry camel hair brush after using a bulb blower if I get dust bunnies.
If there was a build up of dried condensation on the cover glass then shouldn't it rotate with the camera body?


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by bart1805 »

Sorry. AS is Autostakkert and AP stands for alignment points.
What you could do is just lay the camera on your desk when connected tot the computer. Aim at a light. Increase gain and decrease exposure time. If I do so there is a grid visible with the asi178mm.


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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

bart1805 wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:39 pm Sorry. AS is Autostakkert and AP stands for alignment points.
What you could do is just lay the camera on your desk when connected tot the computer. Aim at a light. Increase gain and decrease exposure time. If I do so there is a grid visible with the asi178mm.
Ahah! Thank you Bart. I guessed the AS but AP escaped me.

I had a good look at the sensor cover plates yesterday using a powerful magnifying glass and even Macro photography.
Only a few tiny specks of dust. No streaks nor signs of a film of dried dew or greasy fingerprints.

I shall experiment further with your suggestion regarding gain and exposure.

It suddenly occurs to me that I recently bought an external Samsung SSD with USB3 cable for imaging.
Before that I was using the smaller onboard SSD in my laptop.
The ZWO 120MC-S produces so many frames, so quickly, that the laptop's 250GB SSD never had enough storage.
I even saw 120fps sometimes instead of the Neximage5's 5fps on USB2.

We may well have discovered the answer to the recent arrival of the "rippled mask" problem!
I probably need to find a gain setting which slows the exposure times to avoid what is probably a blurred "cloth" pattern.

I tried FireCapture yesterday but it kept crashing with a "Connect or Exit" notice.
Which is a total bore after wasting ages manually increasing the font and text size to be legible on my 4K laptop screen.
I needed a microscope just to read the tiny instructions on how to make the changes!
That was the first time I'd seen FireCapture as it was meant to be. :oops:


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by PDB »

Hello,

don't think this is the same as the "cross-hatches" seen with the ASI178 & 183. (These will change if you zoom-in or zool-out).
If FireCapture does not find the camera, there must be something wrong with the camera installation. For the ASI 120 there have been different drivers in the past. (Now everythinng is integrated in one driver) So might be that an old driver with a new FireCapture & Asi devkit does not work. I supposse you installed the camerar drivers?

In SharpCap there are 2 ways of connecting to the cam. As normal ZWO cam or in direct show mode. How do you acces the cams?

Paul


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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

PDB wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:59 am Hello,

don't think this is the same as the "cross-hatches" seen with the ASI178 & 183. (These will change if you zoom-in or zoom-out).
If FireCapture does not find the camera, there must be something wrong with the camera installation. For the ASI 120 there have been different drivers in the past. (Now everything is integrated in one driver) So might be that an old driver with a new FireCapture & Asi devkit does not work. I suppose you installed the camera drivers?

In SharpCap there are 2 ways of connecting to the cam. As normal ZWO cam or in direct show mode. How do you access the cams?

Paul
Hi Paul and thanks. I hope I understand all your points. I'm relatively new to imaging so excuse my ignorance. I am often clutching at straws.

First, I will take a look at FireCapture again using a normal HD screen resolution to see if that helps.
I can then eliminate SharpCap, or not, as the direct source of my "rippled mask" effect.

I discovered early on that if I sharpened my saved Registax still images from the ZWO in PhotoFiltre they would immediately break down into a "tartan" pattern. I am guessing this is a debayering problem. So I just avoid sharpening and use contrast and gamma to bring out the hidden Solar detail instead. I always use RGB24 in SharpCap to avoid seeing the pattern effect during capture with RAW settings.

I downloaded the driver[s] from the WO website. I still have to click on the ZWO 120 in the "Camera option list" in SharpCap each time I open the software.

FireCapture recognised the camera and named it on-screen but kept dropping it as fast as I could hit "Re-connect."
This was the first time I'd seen the FireCap screen legibly so I may have missed a compulsory setting.
The Icons are very confusing to a completely new user like me.


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by PDB »

Just one more question: the 120 is it a 120MC or 120MC-S (usb2 vs usb3)
The USB2 (older) models deviated a bit from USB standards (something with buffer sizes, made it very fast even on USB2). On W7 this was not an issue, but from user reports I read this sometimes cause problems on W10 due to stricter implementation of usb protocol.

What you see in Registax may well be the bayer pattern, but must say i have no experience with color cams (except for an old Philips TOUCAM)

Regards,

Paul


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Re: SharpCap overlaying a rippled filter effect?

Post by Rusted »

Hi Paul,

Definitely a USB3.

It came with a flat USB3 cable [blue USB plug] and the instructions said to use USB3 ports.

I bought the colour version to be able to use it for other purposes than astro imaging.


http://fullerscopes.blogspot.dk/

H-alpha: Baader 160mm D-ERF, iStar 150/10 H-alpha objective, 2" Baader 35nm H-a, 2" Beloptik KG3,
Lunt 60MT etalon, Lunt B1200S2 BF, Assorted T-S GPCs or 2x "Shorty" Barlow, ZWO ASI174.
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