Username:

Password:

Altair AstroDIO DehumidifiersAtik CamerasModern AstronomyDavid HindsNe3 Filters

Author Topic: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow  (Read 2280 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ewan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« on: 22:58:31, 14 August, 2015 »
I got asked by Neil what my workflow was when doing Solar imaging using the Daystar Quark Chromosphere so thought I would do a new topic for anyone else interested.
I am explaining my process but your may work as well, it also seems a little simplistic but it's for the benefit of others that have not done as much imaging or use alternative software, sorry for that.

Getting Ready :-

Clean my 2" 0.5 FR, DMK ccd sensor window & 2" UV/IR filter, screw it all together & get it on the Quark so no more dust gets to it, important for me.
Plug the Quark in & leave while setting up, make sure (for me) tuner is on 1 turn CCW.

After pointing the scope North'ish I go through the hand controller inputs like you have to, make sure everything is correct & no align points.
Just pointing out that you don't need to be super accurate with Solar imaging with your mount, make sure it's on Solar Tracking though.

Once Quark is on, IC Capture is running & I have an image, do a rough focus, fairly bright.
While watching the ICCapture image window on the laptop I slew the solar limb to the left side of the image box, about 5mm from going 'out of the box', now I slew up/down to make sure ccd is aligned, if the disc slews at a slight angle, loosen & rotate the Quark imaging train in the scope & re test the slew, if it goes up & down & retains the same gap up/down the left hand side I am good to go.

If not re adjust until it is, very important for mosaic's.

Once that is set up I then check the disc or browse SolarHam online to see what's available on the disc.
I do try & do the mosaic run first but more on that later.

I centre a sunspot in my capture fov, zoom to 200%, drop Gamma to 15, Exposure to 217 (or other) & adjust the Gain up, what you want is the chromosphere detail very dark but no flare area's too bright, this makes the image extremely contrasty & excellent for getting good focus.

Now adjust focus in/out, I stop on the out then go back in slowly already noting previously by feel where the 'good' focus was approximately, once there I lock the focus on the scope tube BUT only gently.
Un Zoom the image to 100%, re set Gain to it's lowest if you don't need it.
Now I don't use the histogram anymore as I now know how my Quark likes to operate & behaves but you should use it to be honest.

Acquiring the images :-

Select your desired frame rate, my max is 60fps, make sure data capture is UNCOMPRESSED, Y800 is mine.
Select your Exposure setting & Gamma just so you have nearly filled your histogram indicator view but not quite, now rack it back a little, 90-95% is good.

Re centre target & capture 1000 - 2000 frames, once saved go to your next target & repeat.
Once you have completed your captures make sure to take a FLAT frame video, DO NOT adjust any Exposure, Gamma or Gain settings.

Flat frame capture :-

Just slew to the solar centre, try to find a pretty blank evenly lit area, de focus the scope & capture 200 - 300 frames, that's all you need, once done goto your capture folder, make a new folder & select all of that sessions data & drag / drop into the new folder.

This avoids any confusion later especially with the flat frame involved.

Now may I suggest you do try some really low Gamma shots as well, go for Gamma of 35 - 40 & an Exposure setting that shows a capture image which has a lot of contrast, then do the above steps again.
I have yet to achieve the same results through post processing with a high Gamma & a low Gamma, low just seems to give more detail I find but your mileage may vary.

Stacking :-

I will assume you use AS!2 to stack your images as it is really the best there is that I have found so far.
Open AS!2, open your FLAT frame capture first, Click Image Calibration & select Create Master Frame, select the same folder where this flat capture was from & give it a name....Flat is good  ;)

Once done Open your first solar capture from the same folder, once loaded make sure your settings are as follows.

SURFACE is selected
Improved Tracking is ticked
Improved Tracking ON
Noise Robust on 3 (2 is also good just have a fiddle)
Frame Percentage To Stack = 10%
HQ Refine is ticked

Then select Analyse, once done set your AP Size to 20, Min Bright 0 then click Place AP Grid then Stack.

Post Processing :-

I use IMPPG to do almost all the processing apart from some tweaks in PS, it's an excellent sharpening tool & I recommend you search & download it.

It takes a while to find the correct settings that you are happy with but feel free to try these settings :-

Lucy Richardson Deconvolution Sigma 0.9868
Iterations 300
Prevent Ringing Unticked

Unsharp Masking
Sigma 26.5757
Amount 2.2760

You will know what they mean when you see the program running but have a play with all the adjustments, watch out for clipping the image though using the Tone Curve.

Once you have an image you are happy with save it out for further processing in PS (or not).

Photoshop :-

In PS I first re size the image to 96 in the Resolution box, Width 800 (these are good for me, yours may differ)
I then use a mix of Unsharp Mask, Focus Magic & the High Pass filter on the image, going easy though as after all the detail wants to appear to be soft in texture not all 'pointy', you know what I mean hopefully.

You can also invert the image (also available in IMPPG), colour & add text then save it out.
When saving the image out don't make it too big, if you post a huge image it will only accentuate the bad points not the good.

A few notes :-

If doing mosaic's when looking for a good Exposure / Gamma setting make sure you set this up on the CENTRE of the solar disc, if not what you may find is the captures look fine on screen at the top, bottom & limbs but as you near the middle the image will just overexpose & be way too bright then you start all over again.

If you have a small hard drive or not a lot of room use Compressed format, I did when I first started & they looked fine, no one even questioned the quality  ;) (use uncompressed if possible though)

Use 1 or 2 AP Points in AS!2 for prominences or you may find your stacked image looks more Tetris than Solar  :D

Grab a lot of captures & use different Exposures & Gamma, you don't want to set up all that hard earned gear, shoot 5 captures go indoors & find they are all bad  :(, fill that drive up & you are almost guaranteed a good final image & you have more chance of imaging with good seeing.

Maybe grab your mosaic first, this way if the clouds do turn up afterwards you still have a whole disc to choose some single images from & not just a couple of single shots.

Play safe, use your filters wisely & never ever look through a telescope at the sun without the proper precautions.

I appreciate it is a long explanation but beginner's could do with a detailed account of how you can go about grabbing some solar captures as well as seasoned imagers.

I hope this helps some of you but don't forget this is how it works for me & not everyone's set up is the same.
Have fun, stay safe.

Ewan
Altair 80 Super ED Triplet, C8 SCT, AZ-EQ6 GT with EQMod, CG5-GT, Altair 10×60 Finder Guider
Atik 460EX, Atik 314L+ mono, DMK21AU618, Canon 600D
Baader RGB & NB filters
Quark Chromosphere

Offline Nomis Elfactem

  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12932
    • The View From A Room
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #1 on: 23:25:16, 14 August, 2015 »
 :clap: :thumbup: :clap: :thumbup:
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Online chris.bailey

  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 9522
  • If at last you do succeed, don't try again
    • Rosemount Observatory
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #2 on: 08:25:52, 15 August, 2015 »
Yep, very good Ewan and pretty much what I do other than -

* I use Firecapture to do the grabs as it has an inbuilt flat frame feature. Just slew to a plain area of the sun fairly central, defocus by a tad and hit the Flat Frame button. FC then takes a few frames and creates a flat that is then used visually and for captures. It does save trying to match flat frames captured as an .avi to the actual captures. If you change anything, just re-do the flat. FC also has an overlay feature where the last capture can be ghosted on the screen - very useful for mosaics.

* I set my exposure on the histogram to about 85%, 80% when doing timed capture runs as the sun can brighten as it climbs and lead to white clipping.

* I capture 500 frames and stack 50% of them. For prom animations I will drop that to 250 or even 150 if they are fast moving.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline Ewan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #3 on: 13:40:47, 15 August, 2015 »
Glad it was ok, I was worried there was quite a bit to read but I wanted 'Joe Bloggs' to be able to reapeat this if they wanted to.
Handy Ghost feature in Firecapture I must admit, maybe one day IC will have it, getting the overlap on mosaic's is 2nd nature to me now, once I missed the overlap by 4 pixels, potty mouth made it's appearance then I can tell you  :D
Altair 80 Super ED Triplet, C8 SCT, AZ-EQ6 GT with EQMod, CG5-GT, Altair 10×60 Finder Guider
Atik 460EX, Atik 314L+ mono, DMK21AU618, Canon 600D
Baader RGB & NB filters
Quark Chromosphere

Offline ngwillym

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
    • Haven Observatory
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #4 on: 14:59:40, 15 August, 2015 »
Ewan,

 :urock: :big_clap: :thumbup:

very much appreciated - now all I need is some sunshine some well focussed video and a lot of patience.

thanks very, very much.

Possible STICKY?

Neil

Neil G
50.8920° N, 1.4530° W
Scopes: Celestron C11 Fastar, Opticstar 127mm Apo, Celestron SLT 102, Celestron Travelscope 70
Mounts: Skywatcher EQ8, Skywatcher EQ5+Synscan, Celestron SLT 102
Cameras: QHY5L-IIM, DFK21AU, AVS DSO-1, Watec 120n, Sony A100/A580
Eyepieces: Quark Chromosphere, Parks Gold, Lumicon GEG

Offline psjshep

  • Phil, who still has a job
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 10039
  • Dark nights are back again....
    • Some astro Pics
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #5 on: 01:10:50, 16 May, 2016 »
:clap: - Thanks.... for someone just looking at this...

Quick Q... I have tried AP but at version 2.6.6... nice piece of software & clearer due to your explanation....  are you still using this?

Regards,

Phil
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Web Images

Offline Nomis Elfactem

  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12932
    • The View From A Room
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #6 on: 01:23:45, 17 May, 2016 »
I can't answer your question Phil but a couple more builds on the OP...

I totally agree about knocking the Gamma... I do all of my surface images at 60% as whilst technically it's possible to decrease gamma in post-processing I too have never got it to be as good as doing on-board the camera.  I keep it at 100% for proms, as you run the risk of losing that fine detail if gamma is decreased.

Finally, if you are using a DMK camera (not the 618 chip version) then set the gain to 325 as that gives the best SNR !

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline psjshep

  • Phil, who still has a job
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 10039
  • Dark nights are back again....
    • Some astro Pics
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #7 on: 08:50:10, 17 May, 2016 »
 :thumbup:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Web Images

Online chris.bailey

  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 9522
  • If at last you do succeed, don't try again
    • Rosemount Observatory
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #8 on: 09:34:44, 17 May, 2016 »
The Gamma thing is one I have seen conflicting views on. 100 is linear. Anything else applies a compression or expansion curve so data is lost somewhere in the luminance distribution as similar values are normalised. My raw images using the Lunt are pretty contrasty and I have always captured at a Gamma of 90 or 100 for surface but 110 or 120 for proms (as a preference to increasing gain). I do find dropping the Gamma to ~40 useful for focusing due to the contrast boost it gives. With the Quark, RAW images look very flat and need a pretty dramatic contrast curve in post processing to get the contrast back BUT in theory if you are doing deconvolution this is better applied to linear data.

Perhaps time for a test next time the clouds part.
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline Nomis Elfactem

  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12932
    • The View From A Room
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #9 on: 21:36:58, 17 May, 2016 »
Yeap, I've heard conflicting stuff too... I spent quite a while talking to Pete Lawrence about it years ago when I went to his solar imaging workshop... he sits his at 70 so I figured if it's good enough for him it's good enough for me.  I've obviously also tried lots of different settings over the year and have settled on 60-70 now too.  Just never seem to be able to get the contrast if set higher.

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline ChrisLX200

  • Poster God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2281
  • Macclesfield UK
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #10 on: 19:36:49, 24 May, 2016 »
Plug the Quark in & leave while setting up, make sure (for me) tuner is on 1 turn CCW.

You mean one turn or one click? I assume one click... there's only one turn in total on mine ;-) I suppose I should try and callibrate what the tuning adjuster actually does, but moving it one click, waiting for the Quark to stabilise, taking an image, moving to the next position... it's going to take a looong time!

ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline psjshep

  • Phil, who still has a job
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 10039
  • Dark nights are back again....
    • Some astro Pics
Re: My Daystar Quark Imaging Workflow
« Reply #11 on: 22:14:16, 24 May, 2016 »
Yeah, "click" Chris.... not "turn"

I too get impatient some times... but remembering the pace of life "Sun viewing" reminds me of that Caramel advert.... with the sexy rabbit  (I know, I know..  a cartoon rabbit should NOT be sexy) "Hey Mr. Rabbit.... take it easy" - just wait for it to settle during suppin' a beer :laugh:

Phil
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Web Images

 

ukbuysellRemote Imaging from AustraliaSharpSkyblank APTUKAI on Facebook
Powered by SMF 2.0.13 | SMF © 2006, Simple Machines LLC
DarkBreak by DzinerStudio. Theme modified by The UKAI Team

Page created in 0.344 seconds with 34 queries.
TinyPortal © 2005-2012