View Full Version here: : PixInsight
04-06-2012, 11:01 PM
Just want to know what your thoughts are on this program. I have download a trail ver and I have only used it for flats, because it works so well. It seems to be quite full on program to use. I'm seriously thinking of getting a commercial license. With the unfortunate sky conditions I have, CS5 is not cutting it for me.
04-06-2012, 11:19 PM
get harry pages videos - watch them they are gold
05-06-2012, 12:21 AM
PixInsight is king.
It looks daunting, but, you just need to load images and experiment.
05-06-2012, 09:22 AM
It is an incredibly powerful program, and is, in itself proof of extra-terrestrial life forms.
No human could have come up with that User Interface.
05-06-2012, 12:54 PM
Tried it just recently (I like the gradient removal capability). Alas, to me, the user interface is just diabolical!! :shrug: Definitely not intuitive. Makes my feeble brain hurt!!
I think I'll stick with CCDStack 2 and PS CS5 + plugins.
05-06-2012, 01:20 PM
It is truly inhuman, but worth sticking with.
05-06-2012, 02:52 PM
If you can get past the unusual user interface, limited formal documentation (but some great tutorials) and steep learning curve, PI contains many great tools for astronomical image processing.
I have tried CCDStack and Maxim for processing as well and much prefer PI (although I still use CCDStack for visually checking subs and doing quick & dirty integrations while in the field.)
05-06-2012, 03:46 PM
I personally love the interface. But, then, I loved NewTek's LightWave interfaces (from version 5.0-onwards).
05-06-2012, 07:09 PM
Thanks all for your thoughts. David ill check out Harry's page, I think ill need the help I can get haha. I'm going to continue the 45 days and really get to know the program interface, and boy there's just so many setting.
When I have a look at some of the great captures on the forum, most of the time it been with the help of this software. Now just need some of those beautiful nights :D
05-06-2012, 09:23 PM
I do like PI. Definitely "different" to use. I'm certainly only scratching the surface of what it can do. There are lots of tutorials and processing workflows out there, just takes a while to work your way through them and get your head around it all. I think one of it's biggest problems is the alternative terminology vs other programs.
05-06-2012, 09:44 PM
Definatly the best program i have used ,jst follow H instructions and experiment
There are a few tools in PI alone that make it worth the money, even if you don't do all your processing in there. Takes a while to come to grips, but capable to truely impressive results. Not the fastest way to get a final image, but very hard to beat the output if done well.
08-06-2012, 08:05 AM
You need to drop any preconceived ideas about interfaces. Think of it as a toolbox of linear and non-linear implements. Select the correct tool for the job.
08-06-2012, 09:22 AM
i don't understand why everyone keeps complaining about the interface...:shrug: maybe it's because i'm a linux man ;)
anyway, i've only had the trial for a week or so, but i'm in love with this software. Night and day compared with the results from my previous workflow, as shown. (And it runs natively under Linux!)
(Taken in Feb with ambient temps in the mid 20s)
08-06-2012, 09:27 AM
has required me to upgrade my computer though. Gone from a dual core Athlon X2 245 to a six-core Phenom X6 1075T. 4GB of extra RAM also on the way
08-06-2012, 05:31 PM
Yep great program, coughed up the money for it. The STF tool is godly for a quick "view" of the image.
The program is well programmed and makes use of all 8 cores and a large chunk of my 16gb of RAM. First program that has legitimately been able to max all cores!
The user interface is different, yet very powerful. The ability to drag tools to other tools (STF to Histogram for instance) or quickly save the config to a work area is very handy.
I tried using Photoshop and got average results. Switched to PI and got amazing results considering the data.
With a 45 day trial, its worth taking a look at.
Just the non-linear stretch function alone ("Histogram Transform") makes me smile every time I use it. Exquisite, reproducible control.
You guys are making my decision more difficult.
Can't decide between AA5 and PI.
I will need to upgrade my PC tho if I get PI :(
I think that newbie guy here (Mike Sidinona?) gets half decent pics with astroart.....:P
Must be pretty decent too....
Yes that is one of the reasons I had a serious look at AA v5. It is supposed to be pretty good, it will also control DSLR's and CCD's and will guide too. Apparently also works ok on ageing PC's.
Bah, why does it have to be so hard to choose? :lol:
08-06-2012, 09:20 PM
PixInsight for the mosaic modules is worth the price of entry alone.
13-06-2012, 01:26 PM
But imagine what he could do if he switched to PI. He might get decent pics instead of half decent ones.
Seriously though, this is a great program. They give you a 45 day free trial because they know you'll probably buy it long before the trial period is up.
Once you've had a bit of practice with the interface you'll find it easy, natural and very powerful. In fact, it's the Photoshop interface that will start to look strange and clunky after a bit of experience with PI. These days I acquire the image in Maxim, then use PI for everything else. I never have to go to Photoshop.
24-06-2012, 07:53 AM
A good read,I'm currently looking at all options for APP programs.I've just bought a new computer-it is third geni7 with 6 GB RAM (can get it up to 8) with a 2 GB dedicated Nvidea graphics card-would this be enough grunt to make this PI work?
Obviously running windows7,seems like other OS are better for PI.
24-06-2012, 08:06 AM
Have tried it but keep getting "out of memory" errors. I'm using a laptop with 32-bit XP with 2GB of RAM. After reading the recommended specs, I will struggle with my laptop so will stick with PS for all my processing needs.
24-06-2012, 08:49 AM
Your new computer would be fine for PI, but it's documentation leaves a lot to be desired.
I have no problems with Win 7.
24-06-2012, 09:28 AM
Its great PI is an alternative to Photoshop. But I found the complex interface a putoff. Even after watching a tutorial on using it for mosaics it still did not seem to do as advertised.
I am sure it does with a lot of mucking around. I managed to get a 4 panel luminance mosaic to work after a lot of back and forth on tutorials etc. I could've gotten the same result from Photoshop CS4 in 2 minutes. Its a bit like driving a car with no car body and you can see everything doing its thing versus a slick well put together and matured piece of software in Photoshop.
Dynamic Background Extraction tool is the best thing about it. But that's not foolproof either and I can get a better result in Photoshop and every time. It requires a lot of user input to get a result.
But there is nothing PI can do you can't achieve in Photoshop which is also a big learning curve but an easier one. Also there are more users of Photoshop so its easier to get advice, 3rd party plug ins and tutorials on how to do things.
In a way you have a choice. You are unlikely to want to learn 2 ways of doing the same thing and will end up using one or the other.
They are too different from each other. Knowledge of Photoshop does not help you that much with PI.
Its like the writer of PI is one of these brilliant guys who sits in a room all day with a computer and does not interact with people much!
It shows in the lack of user friendliness. If it were a car it'd be a Porche but with no steering wheel, dash board or bonnet! And definitely no cup holders.
PI is a lot cheaper so that is a plus.
Horses for courses really.
27-06-2012, 06:24 AM
Meh, GIMP gets the same sort of unfair comments. If you had used PI and never used PS, you'd think PS's interface was unintuitive. Human nature making you think that because you'd never used it before. It's just that most people have used PS first, so they think it's the standard by which all others must comply.
Granted, PS excels in the documentation, but it's user-base is so much massively more than PI, there are heaps more resources. And they have more dough/resources.
Give PI a chance, and you'll be rewarded as you would learning any other powerful software purpose-written for it's intended use.
One caveat is Win32 systems are no longer supported. They do work, but there are memory issues, particularly with integration. There are workarounds, but it's time you jumped into 64 bit anyway. Even MS isn't supporting 32 bit much more.
12-07-2012, 10:35 AM
In the past i used mainly ImagePlus, AstroArt and Photoshop for astronomical image processing.
I managed to get my pictures with these SW versions done.
However its a nightmare to learn 3 programs
because none of them can do the complete processing of astrophotos.
Especially Photoshop, which is not designed for astronomers and has NO
native astronomical functions built in.
So, i installed PI, learned it and now i have removed Photoshop and ImagePlus
from my computer.
PixInsight is the only COMPLETE software for astronomical image processing i know so far
after using/trying (Imageplus, Maxim, PS,CS, Astroart, CCDsoft, CCDStack etc...).
It does calibration and integration with much better results than Imageplus
and Astroart. Photoshop is unusable for good calibration and integration.
Deconvolution and Dynamic Background Extraction in PixInsight delivers much better
results than in Astroart and Photoshop does not have a native Dynamic Background Extraction.
Gradient Xterminator in PS can not compete with DBE in PI.
In addition the histogram and curves handling in PixInsight can be detailed with zooming the window
and zoom in on 16 bit level, in comparison the Photoshop histogram and curves handling is ridicolous.
Starmasks and object masks can be easy generated, manipulated and used in PixInsight.
All kind of blending modes (and much more complex) which are available
in PS can be done with the function PixelMath in PixInsight if really needed.
Automatic image registration with images from different cameras can be
done easily. We register and combine our QHY8 RGBs and STK11K Luminance
automatically together with PixInsight.
Pushing the images with HDR functions, Wavelets, Noise reduction, Color Calibration and many more functions which
are designed for astronomers are in PIxInsight.
And finally automatic annotation of the image with Names and Magnitude from the Messier, NGC, PGC, SDSS,
VdB etc. catalogues runs in seconds and is not available in any other SW.
There are much more other functions for astronomical processing in PixInsight
which makes it a complete Tool for the whole astro image processing workflow.
I also changed my image processing attitude. With PS in the past i did a lot of mask painting,
and manual correction until the image looked like i thought it should look like.
With PixInsight i use the data of the image for pushing an made more real details visible than before.
Means also astronomical image "painting" is gone since i use PixInsight for the whole image "processing"
12-07-2012, 10:46 AM
I'd have to agree with you Gerald, PI is simply the most powerful tool out there, but if you haven't grown up in the command-line/get-your-hands-dirty era then it takes some un-learning before it all clicks.
It takes time to master, but is well worth it. I've been using Photoshop professionally since it was released, was an Adobe train-the-trainer for a few years, and I can get better results in PI these days.
Photoshop is a great tool, but PI is worth the investment in time. I don't think it is a case of the writers not understanding how to make a friendly interface, it is more the case that by making it easier for beginners, you end up complicating, compromising and slowing the workflow down for experienced users. The interface in Photoshop and other programs like 3DS Max etc. can end up getting in the way once you get past a certain level. (There is an interesting book on this kind of argument by Neal Stephenson, much nicer to read on paper, but can be read online here: http://artlung.com/smorgasborg/C_R_Y_P_T_O_N_O_M_I_C_O_N.shtml Jump straight to "Morlocks and Eloi at the Keyboard" if you don't want to read the whole thing. If that is two much to read, then just the last paragraph of that chapter, before "Metaphor Shear")
It would be interesting to post some raw data up and have people process it in their weapon of choice, post the results and their processes. We could all learn a lot from something like that.
12-07-2012, 07:31 PM
Now that would be a most interesting exercise if someone had a calibrated image with no processing other than dark and bias subtracted for processing. Settle theargument once and for all.
20-07-2012, 01:18 PM
I did that a while ago in the deep space forum. I put a an unedited tiff of M42. I think you even had a go Allan.
Speaking from someone that had no PS or PI experience before I bought PI, I have to say, if you follow Harry's tutorials you can get some pretty decent images even if you have no idea what your doing.
20-07-2012, 01:26 PM
I downloaded the play data (LRGB) from Harry's site (i think? or was it the PI website...) and got some nice results from it!
It is however a big learning curve. Worse than using Maxim DL for the first time.
21-07-2012, 04:22 PM
Yes! Does someone have image like this? Would love to see software shootout!!
22-07-2012, 03:43 AM
There is a page for downloading calibrated images for processing tests.
There are already processed examples on this page.
Melotte 15 or M63 would be a nice target?
22-07-2012, 07:42 AM
Great for macros too. I use it pretty much for everything.
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