Autopano Pro as an Astronomy Stacker
If you want to use Autopano Pro for stacking astro photo images, you need to know few thing to get good result :
- For taking pictures of deep sky objects (galaxies nebulae) you will need equatorial mount for telescopes with motorized electric drive, and special telescope-guide to correct guiding error of equatorial mount.
- Always make and process photos in RAW or 16 bit TIFF for better dynamic range.
- Rotating camera around focus axis will reduce periodic error. I mean that different frames of the same object must have different orientation for better result.
- For stack photos together, we need to use Linear type of blending.
There is a two cases of astro photo.
- Photos of deep sky,
- Photos of Sun, Moon and planets.
It's difficult to get this photo, because exposure time is not seconds but minutes. Because of that pictures can be taken in different time and in different places. So it's can be different too. For good result we need to stack all of them in one good picture.
|Open all RAW(16 bit TIFF) images.|
|Check all settings(check lens distortion)|
|Set Planar projection|
|Render this "panorama" in one stacked image, 16 bit Tiff.|
We can correct it in Photoshop (Image->Adjustments->Levels - set "black point") to get dark Sky.
| If you will use some Noise Reduction Software (like Neat Image) before the setting of black point and correcting levels on stacked image, you will get better and more cleat result. If you don't want to use noise reduction software you can use internal level correction in AutoPano Pro before render stacked image. You can reduce noise by increasing number of frames or increasing frame quality. For better frame quality you need a good clear and dark sky without city's "light pollution" - like the sky in mountains. Or try to use special filters, that cut light pollution spectrum. My sources is really very average, i've made it in place with strong city light pollution without any special filter.
Sources for training
Sun, Moon, planets
WARNING you need a special SUN filter to make a photos of the SUN. If you don' have it DON NOT ever turn your telescope or camera direct to the SUN. It will damage your eyes, you can become a BLIND and your equipment will be burned up.
|Rotate and crop image to make a right position of the Sun.|
|For better resolution on surface you can use special Wavelet Sharp filter in asto software like Registax. Left - not sharped, Rigt - sharped with Wavelet filter in Registax|
|Example of Registax Wavelet post processing. This program is FREE, you can get it from http://registax.astronomy.net/|
|Open all images. There is one tip - if images stacking incorrectly, just cut it for square proportions.|
|Check all settings: Detection, Optimization - the like in Sun stacking. Projection set to Planar.|
|Stacked image looks like that.|
|Crop it to square proportions, correct color (in Photoshop Image->Adjustments->AutoColor) and levels.|
|Increase surface resolution by Registax Wavelet filter. Left - not sharped, Right - wavelet sharped in Registax.|
All other planets processing is a similar, i don't have yet any source images for test this method on Jupiter or Saturn. For taking good pictures of far planets you'll need a really BIG telescope. If your telescope is small you can try to make a video of this planets and stack video frames in Registax.
Sorry for grammar mistakes and hello from Russia :)