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  #81  
Old 24-04-2015, 05:21 PM
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Lee, do you mean UX in general or just the GUI? I can understand that people don't like to learn what is effectively a new windowing system, but I can also appreciate that using a toolkit like Qt is the only sensible approach for building a complex cross platform GUI.

Quite a few of the Qt developers used to be based in Brisbane. Unfortunately, they got downsized after Nokia acquired Trolltech

Cheers,
Rick.
Mostly the GUI; not because of how it looks as such, but because of UX concerns. In my opinion, if you have to explain something to a user you've already lost, and I don't think there's much in the PI UI that's intuitive.

Take for instance the icons in the screenshot. Being a software developer, I like to think I know a bit about computers and I need the tooltips to tell what these things do. Again, I don't think there's anything intuitive about PI.

My other concerns are a bit more contentious and you might argue that PixInsight simply isn't meant to do this. My take on things are that most users don't care at all about how things are done, they just want them done. They don't want to read details about a myriad of algorithms (and they'll probably forget most of it as soon as they've read it anyway) to do what they consider to be basic tasks. They just want it to work so they can do what they need to go and get on with their lives. People don't have much spare time and the more they have to think about a UI, the less time they have for the things that are really important to them. I feel it's the responsibility of UX designers and application developers to abstract those details.

The flip side to that is by exposing all this detail you have as much input/control as possible, and you might argue that this is PI's niche.
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  #82  
Old 24-04-2015, 06:26 PM
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Mostly the GUI; not because of how it looks as such, but because of UX concerns. In my opinion, if you have to explain something to a user you've already lost, and I don't think there's much in the PI UI that's intuitive.

Take for instance the icons in the screenshot. Being a software developer, I like to think I know a bit about computers and I need the tooltips to tell what these things do. Again, I don't think there's anything intuitive about PI.
I agree that those icons are somewhat arbitrary. I don't know what you could pick that would be an intuitive icon for "make a process image" but you could probably come up with something better for global apply or dynamic preview.

I think a statement that there's nothing intuitive about PI is rather too strong. Perhaps some poetic licence there Most of the GUI is typical drag and drop, menus, scroll bars, etc. They are a little different from the native Windows or Mac versions but hardly difficult to pick up.

Anyway, I think we can agree that the UI is a bit funky. That's partly the price to be paid for cross platform support.

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My other concerns are a bit more contentious and you might argue that PixInsight simply isn't meant to do this. My take on things are that most users don't care at all about how things are done, they just want them done. They don't want to read details about a myriad of algorithms (and they'll probably forget most of it as soon as they've read it anyway) to do what they consider to be basic tasks. They just want it to work so they can do what they need to go and get on with their lives. People don't have much spare time and the more they have to think about a UI, the less time they have for the things that are really important to them. I feel it's the responsibility of UX designers and application developers to abstract those details.

The flip side to that is by exposing all this detail you have as much input/control as possible, and you might argue that this is PI's niche.
I'm happy with robust algorithms, often with references to the original academic papers they came from, with all the parameters visible and tweakable. I agree that's a niche and I think it's fine that PI doesn't appeal to everyone. There are other packages that are simpler and easier to pick up. CCDStack is a good example. I found it easy to learn and got reasonable results from it. I put more effort into learning PI but I get correspondingly better results. Not everybody wants to make that investment and that's cool...

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #83  
Old 24-04-2015, 06:32 PM
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Oh, and being able to write scripts is great if you're a proficient programmer although I wish they'd finish the Python bindings so I don't have to use JavaScript.
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  #84  
Old 24-04-2015, 07:07 PM
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I agree that those icons are somewhat arbitrary. I don't know what you could pick that would be an intuitive icon for "make a process image" but you could probably come up with something better for global apply or dynamic preview.
I'm not sure what I'd pick to represent that either, but maybe an icon's not the best choice at all for such a thing.

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I think a statement that there's nothing intuitive about PI is rather too strong. Perhaps some poetic licence there Most of the GUI is typical drag and drop, menus, scroll bars, etc. They are a little different from the native Windows or Mac versions but hardly difficult to pick up.
Ah yes, I'd fully agree with you there; there's a lot of "standard" controls used and that really does make it more intuitive than I give it credit for. I guess I have a more nuanced perspective.

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Anyway, I think we can agree that the UI is a bit funky. That's partly the price to be paid for cross platform support.
Spot on.

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I'm happy with robust algorithms, often with references to the original academic papers they came from, with all the parameters visible and tweakable. I agree that's a niche and I think it's fine that PI doesn't appeal to everyone. There are other packages that are simpler and easier to pick up. CCDStack is a good example. I found it easy to learn and got reasonable results from it. I put more effort into learning PI but I get correspondingly better results. Not everybody wants to make that investment and that's cool...

Cheers,
Rick.
And that's the thing, isn't it? How much do you really want to know, and is that complexity worth it to you? For some, yes, for others, no.

I don't want all the things I've said to be taken as PI bashing by the way. I think it's a great tool and it's the only one I use for image processing. I was just explaining my initial opposition to it, and I can definitely understand why some people stick to that.

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Oh, and being able to write scripts is great if you're a proficient programmer although I wish they'd finish the Python bindings so I don't have to use JavaScript.
haha. Sadly JS is all the rage these days and my 9-5 is almost pure JS. Not really a fan, but I just concentrate on the architectural side of things and try to forget about it.

I think I remember a while ago you posting a script to reduce/eliminate magenta halos from narrowband, which I'll probably have to dig up soon because I hope to start doing my first narrowband stuff soon!
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  #85  
Old 24-04-2015, 10:07 PM
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I think I remember a while ago you posting a script to reduce/eliminate magenta halos from narrowband, which I'll probably have to dig up soon because I hope to start doing my first narrowband stuff soon!
It's a script for creating masks that match a hue range. I use it quite a lot in my processing now, for RGB as well. I had some feedback from Juan and a few more ideas of my own that I should implement one of these days...

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #86  
Old 25-04-2015, 09:43 AM
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Too late for me, I have un-installed it as it was just too complicated in my opinion. Nothing intuitive about it. I'll go back to Photoshop and tools.
That's is a shame, only been using it for about 6 months, and must admit that it's hard going, but there are a lot of very good tutorials around. Now I'm getting a reasonable picture from it wouldn't I use anything else.
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  #87  
Old 27-04-2015, 01:03 PM
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On that point what are the best tutorials out there for PI?

I have not seen many of them but the few I have are extremely poor.
More interested in talking about the theory rather than the various simple steps you need to take to process the images like Adam Block or Tony Hallas videos do.

Someone who can communicate.

Greg.
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  #88  
Old 27-04-2015, 01:53 PM
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On that point what are the best tutorials out there for PI?

I have not seen many of them but the few I have are extremely poor.
More interested in talking about the theory rather than the various simple steps you need to take to process the images like Adam Block or Tony Hallas videos do.

Someone who can communicate.

Greg.
The original tutorials I used to learn were Harry's: http://www.harrysastroshed.com/
They are basic but I found them enough to get started.

Warren Keller has a set of IP4AP tutorials for sale: http://www.ip4ap.com/pixinsight.htm
The first 5 videos from part 1 are free to watch. By the time these came out I was already fairly proficient so I didn't find them that helpful but they would be fine for someone new to PI.

There's a bunch of useful stuff here, including videos and processing examples: http://pixinsight.com.ar/

Rogelio has a few interesting articles on his site: http://www.deepskycolors.com/tutorials.html

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #89  
Old 27-04-2015, 06:41 PM
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Thank you Rick for the links.

I have also found these quite useful when I was just starting using PI and needed clear descriptions of how to utilise PI in processing: http://lightvortexastronomy.blogspot...tutorials.html
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  #90  
Old 27-04-2015, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for the addition, Slawomir. There are probably several other sites that I missed. The PI site itself has some good tutorials as well although they tend to be more technical and for the advanced user.

There's also a fairly decent tutorial on deconvolution in PI here: http://mike-wiles.blogspot.com.au/20...nvolution.html

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #91  
Old 03-05-2015, 01:47 PM
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Thanks Rick and Slawomir. I have watched the first of Harry's tutorials and its quite good. A touch out of date now as PI has been updated and some of the controls seem to be a bit different.

Greg.



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The original tutorials I used to learn were Harry's: http://www.harrysastroshed.com/
They are basic but I found them enough to get started.

Warren Keller has a set of IP4AP tutorials for sale: http://www.ip4ap.com/pixinsight.htm
The first 5 videos from part 1 are free to watch. By the time these came out I was already fairly proficient so I didn't find them that helpful but they would be fine for someone new to PI.

There's a bunch of useful stuff here, including videos and processing examples: http://pixinsight.com.ar/

Rogelio has a few interesting articles on his site: http://www.deepskycolors.com/tutorials.html

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #92  
Old 03-05-2015, 04:59 PM
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Thanks Rick and Slawomir. I have watched the first of Harry's tutorials and its quite good. A touch out of date now as PI has been updated and some of the controls seem to be a bit different.

Greg.
The rapid development of PI is a blessing and a curse
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  #93  
Old 11-05-2015, 04:55 PM
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I found the PI interface good for me, I have coding knowledge so guess that helps. But I also like how the tool mechanics actually let you see the science behind it. Yes for many this is not of interest and there are other excellent point and click programs out there for that. I guess that is the grey boundary between Art and Science. Understanding the concepts is important and fun to me, for others it maybe to get the most pleasing picture. Initially when I started I just wanted results, but as I got more into this hobby I found it more fun to also understand the science/mechanics behind it. I guess that is why I like PI.
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  #94  
Old 14-06-2015, 10:09 AM
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I'm doing an introductory PI workshop on 11 July in Brisbane. Here's the blurb:

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PixInsight Introductory Workshop - Sat, 11 July - sponsored by AAQ.

PixInsight (http://pixinsight.com/) is an advanced platform for image processing designed specifically for astrophotography and other forms of technical imaging. It runs on Windows, OS X, Linux and FreeBSD. It is extremely powerful but has a fairly steep learning curve for new users.

Rick Stevenson has been using PixInsight for about four years and now rarely uses anything else for astronomical image processing. In the morning session (9:00am to lunchtime) he will demonstrate a basic, but complete, LRGB workflow from raw data to a finished image. Along the way we'll discuss DSLR workflow as well. In the afternoon (after lunch to 4:00pm) he will be available to help participants work with their own data, look at any problems and discuss more advanced techniques.

Bring a laptop with PI installed and some raw data if you can. Trial PI licenses can be requested at the PixInsight web site.

The workshop will be free and your money cheerfully refunded if not 100% satisfied. The number of participants will be limited to 12, with priority given to AAQ members.
If anybody from IIS is interested, send me a PM. Not sure how many positions will be left but if there's enough interest I'll try to do another one a bit later in the year.

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #95  
Old 14-06-2015, 09:55 PM
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The workshop is now full... I have offered to do one at NACAA in Sydney next Easter and I'll do another one in Brisbane later this year if there is sufficient demand.

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #96  
Old 14-06-2015, 10:21 PM
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That didn't take long!

DT
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  #97  
Old 15-06-2015, 05:39 AM
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That didn't take long!
No, it seems very popular
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Old 15-06-2015, 08:57 AM
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I'm sure you'll find takers in Melbourne if have time to come down, I have a great venue for you as well
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  #99  
Old 15-06-2015, 10:49 AM
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I'm sure you'll find takers in Melbourne if have time to come down, I have a great venue for you as well
Perhaps for a holiday later in the year, Andy.
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