Processing Tutorial in Pixinsight

A Basic Pixinsight Processing Tutorial to get you started

PixInsight is now my imaging processing application of choice, it is a powerful image processing software commonly used in astrophotography. Here’s a basic tutorial to get you started:

1: Import Your Image

Launch PixInsight and open your astrophotography image by going to “File” > “Open” and selecting your file.

2: Image Calibration

Calibration is essential to remove noise and correct imperfections. This involves dark, flat, and bias frame calibration:

1. Go to “Process” > “Image Calibration.”

2. Load your dark, flat, and bias frames using the appropriate tabs.

3.Configure the settings (e.g., subtract bias, divide flats) and click “Calibrate.”

3: Image Registration

Register your calibrated images to align them properly:

1. Go to “Process” > “StarAlignment.”

2. Load your calibrated light frames.

3. Configure the settings and click “Align.”

4: Image Integration

Now, combine your registered images to reduce noise and improve signal-to-noise ratio:

1. Go to “Process” > “ImageIntegration.”

2. Load your registered images.

3. Configure settings (e.g., rejection algorithm, combination method) and click “Integrate.”

5: Stretch the Image

Stretching increases the image’s contrast and reveals hidden details:

1. Go to “Process” > “ScreenTransferFunction.”

2. Adjust the lower and upper bounds to enhance the image’s contrast.

6: Apply Dynamic Background Extraction

Correct uneven background illumination:

1. Go to “Process” > “DynamicBackgroundExtraction.”

2. Sample areas of the image that represent the background. Click “Apply.”

7: Noise Reduction

Reduce noise in your image:

1. Go to “Process” > “NoiseReduction.”

2. Configure settings like the strength of noise reduction and the size of the noise reduction mask. Apply it.

8: Sharpening

Enhance details by applying sharpening:

1. Go to “Process” > “MultiscaleLinearTransform.”

2. Configure settings and apply the transformation, adjusting the layers to balance noise reduction and detail enhancement.

9: Colour Calibration (if applicable)

If you have colour data:

1. Go to “Process” > “ColorCalibration.”

2. Load your color reference image and apply the color calibration.

10: Final Adjustments

Make any final adjustments:

1. Adjust the color balance, saturation, and brightness as needed.

2. Use tools like the CurvesTransformation process to fine-tune the image.

11: Save Your Image

Finally, save your processed image in a suitable format (e.g., TIFF or JPEG) for sharing or further editing.

Remember, PixInsight offers a wide range of advanced tools and processes, so this tutorial covers the basics. As you gain experience, you can explore more advanced techniques to enhance your astrophotography images further.

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