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Old 22-04-2010, 03:29 PM
astrospotter (Mark)
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astrospotter is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
Posts: 146
The low-budget approach to labeling charts

I was asked about the labels and I think it was for the SMC chart and other charts I setup to do deep south. There is a mix of labeling but if you are talking about hand-labeling then here is the real cheap way to do it that is as low budget as it gets (free). Some of my charts I may have just taken screen shots from MegaStar but many of them I added labels that looked like the megastar font OR just added them to real pictures.

An IceInSpace guy by the handle of 'Burt' did a 'most of lmc' photo that I labeled all myself as well called 'SouthernSky_LMCbenhc1_withAnnotati on.jpg' and you see his name in lower right for credit. I don't know who that was but thanks. My payback is the labels.

I have loved for years IrfanView ( for all sorts of low-budget fast fixup, crop, adjustments of normal and astro photos.

first load up some image (perhaps the smc). If you want to convert it to grayscale, set it to be 'negative' that is all first done using the 'Image' pulldown menu. For contrast, brightness, rgb adjust and so on other selections then in the 'Image' pulldown menu use 'Color Corrections'

At some point you then want labels. Find something to label and draw a little box where you want text using mouse. Next select 'Edit' pulldown menu and 'Insert Text Into Selection'. Here you type some text and select right, center, or left and of click 'choose font' which is yet another pop-up where you can select size and color of the font, generally black, white for these field charts then do 'ok' go get back to insert text pop-up still on the screen. On this menu you can put a check in 'transparent' or select a background for the font. I generally select opposite background of the font but often use 'transparent' if I don't want to destroy details that the text will be on top of.

The only trick is the size of the font you may have to play with because if you draw a box that is too small to hold the text the text gets really cropped off. Solution is then 'Edit' then Undo and then try again with 'Edit' Insert text into selection.

This can take hours for a big chart like a lot of my LMC and SMC ones (There are a ton of LMC charts mostly done one object at a time.

I really was out of control and all those charts took literally 2 months of many, many nights. But I got um now and they also helped me loads to be able to observe so many things in such a very short 5-night trip.
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