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(@kelvin-hennessy)
White Dwarf Customer
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
November 30, 2020 04:11  

Can someone please explain to me (or point me in the direction of a good tutorial video) of how the black-white level sliders and the reset button are supposed to work.  Despite using APP for a long time now I have never come close to working out how they are supposed to function.  It is so easy to end up too dark or too bright with seemingly no way to undo a bad move.   

 

Thanks.


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(@wvreeven)
Black Hole Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 484
November 30, 2020 11:35  

@kelvin-hennessy Have you clicked the red question mark button? It basically explains how those sliders work.

 

Wouter


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(@kelvin-hennessy)
White Dwarf Customer
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
November 30, 2020 22:32  

Wouter yes I have done in the past  (though I must say the black question mark on the red background is extremely hard to see - unless I look up close my ageing eyes even with glasses cant make out the question mark.  This needs improvement as in the past I would keep forgetting where the help button was - a bigger white question mark on a black background would be a significant improvements).

The help file says " ... but you can easily fine tune the value using the zoom function of the slider."    The problem is that the sliders and the numbers either side of them are absurdly difficult to use - possibly one of the worst examples of bad user interface on any software I have ever encountered.  Why does the slider spring back to the centre (oh - sometimes it randomly doesnt just to confuse things further) ?  That's just plain stupid in my opinion.  Then when you try to "unslide" what you did usually it goes too far the other way.  Then you are stuffed because the reset button only works on the gamma not the black and white "sliders".  Its at that stage I used to reload the image from scratch or in times of frustration I would just restart the software.     I've only just worked out through experimentation that un-ticking and re-ticking DDP resets the image but I still cant make sense of the B & W level sliders.


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(@kelvin-hennessy)
White Dwarf Customer
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
November 30, 2020 22:43  

I think it would help if this section got a complete re-write from a non-developer.  It was clearly very hastily written due to the spelling, grammar and spacing problems.

 

Zoom in/out buttons 5 sliders, (B, W, ST, BA & CON) act on the whole data range. To be able to adjust the sliders with high precision you can zoom-in (or zoom-out) on the data range. For 8 bits data this is probably not needed, but for 16bits data it becomes usefull, since we have 65536 values from 0 to 65535. In the case of 32bits Float data, it becomes a must to be able to do this. Using the zoom-in function enables you to adjust the sliders position with a precision of 1/1,000,000. Each zoom step, zooms-in/out with a a factor of 2^4 = 16 and there are 4 steps at the most. Zooming stops if the visible range of the slider is 16 steps. So this means for 32 bits data, that you can zoom in 4 times with a factor of 16 (16^4 = 65536), that's a factor of 65536. This enables you to adjust the sliders with high precision in case of 32bits data like light frame integrations/stacks. The zoombuttons are the buttons to the left and right side of the 5 sliders and will have numbers of 1 to 4. By default the zooming is at step 2. So that's zoomed in with a factor of 16. If you click on the right side button, you will zoom-in. Clickin on the left side button will zoom-out.If you click on the number 1, you will be totally zoomed-out. If you click on 4, you will be zoomed-in as far as you can.

 

More and more I am seeing references like "I still stack / calibrate / register / mosaic in APP but do the image development in PixInsight'.   I can't help but wonder if it's because of difficulties in using the development section in APP that people are doing this.  It's certainly my reason for buying PI.

 


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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2909
November 30, 2020 22:49  

Regarding your last point, Mabula is aware that that part needs quite a bit of improvement. It's still just 1 man making all of it and the new features like comet stacking etc. take up his time. We do hope to have more help for him in the near future in this regard so things like the UI can be focussed on at the same time.


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(@kelvin-hennessy)
White Dwarf Customer
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
November 30, 2020 23:07  

Thanks Vincent - it will be a shame if Mabula loses too many customers to alternate software like PI and Startools (that are rapidly becoming user-friendly with an increasing number of books / videos etc to help people start and improve)  because he is focussing on the high-tech part of the software like comet-stacking which is a very niche-aspect of the software he's been working on for several months.

As someone who has successfully run an I.T. business for 30 years single handedly my advice would be for Mabula to take a step back and focus on some of the little annoyances that irritate customers.   

Customer retention is everything !

(Oh and I strongly recommend trying to get your user community to somehow help Mabula - maybe in the area of documentation, more instructional videos etc.  If I had the time I would certainly stick my hand up to assist)


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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2909
November 30, 2020 23:18  

Thanks for the constructive criticism Kelvin, I agree on many points and I'm sure Mabula does as well. APP is doing very well though and is picking up all over the world (which is very fun to see). But we do need to improve on these bits and want to do this likely for the next version after this release. Bigger overhauls will be later, but are also planned.

Regarding his time, the comet stacking was just an example btw, you can see more of the changes here; https://www.astropixelprocessor.com/community/postid/11854/

And regarding help from the community, well he at least has me and Wouter now. 🙂 We both were customers at first as well. So as he's growing, the help he gets is expanding as well.


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(@kelvin-hennessy)
White Dwarf Customer
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
December 1, 2020 00:02  

You are welcome Vincent.   Good to see APP's sales continue to improve - its been a good year for astro with so many people having lots of spare time and in some cases (like Australia)  more money to spend due to COVID-19 and government hand-outs

If Mabula needs testers for the latest beta version I'd be willing to help.

I've got a lot of processing to do in the next couple of weeks as I gradually piece together a dual-camera 5-pane wide Witches-Head to Cone Nebula panorama I've been working on all year.

(here's a sample with no MBB which I probably wont be using as I'll most likely be cropping and only using the middle part of each pane)

Orion TwinCam

 


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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2909
December 1, 2020 00:38  
Posted by: @kelvin-hennessy

You are welcome Vincent.   Good to see APP's sales continue to improve - its been a good year for astro with so many people having lots of spare time and in some cases (like Australia)  more money to spend due to COVID-19 and government hand-outs

Ah yes I've seen others talk about that as well. It's a weird situation for sure, many indeed are taking up hobbies they either never did or were only thinking of doing. Or they aren't spending on holidays, etc. I wouldn't have expected that when all this started, but it makes a lot of sense. Working remotely is also a bit more accepted now, which I see as a bit of silver linings for 2020, trying to stay positive right. 😉

If Mabula needs testers for the latest beta version I'd be willing to help.

Thanks for that, we do release beta versions for everyone as 1.083 is a beta release atm.

I've got a lot of processing to do in the next couple of weeks as I gradually piece together a dual-camera 5-pane wide Witches-Head to Cone Nebula panorama I've been working on all year.

(here's a sample with no MBB which I probably wont be using as I'll most likely be cropping and only using the middle part of each pane)

Orion TwinCam

Ah great stuff! Working all year on an object (out of a few) is something I like doing as well, just trying to maximize the amount of data, which can be a challenge anyway. I would probably still advice to use LNC and MBB, it may be a bit slower, but maybe you change your mind a bit in the future..

Good luck,

Vincent


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(@kelvin-hennessy)
White Dwarf Customer
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 19
December 1, 2020 01:40  
Posted by: @vincent-mod
Posted by: @kelvin-hennessy

You are welcome Vincent.   Good to see APP's sales continue to improve - its been a good year for astro with so many people having lots of spare time and in some cases (like Australia)  more money to spend due to COVID-19 and government hand-outs

Ah yes I've seen others talk about that as well. It's a weird situation for sure, many indeed are taking up hobbies they either never did or were only thinking of doing. Or they aren't spending on holidays, etc. I wouldn't have expected that when all this started, but it makes a lot of sense. Working remotely is also a bit more accepted now, which I see as a bit of silver linings for 2020, trying to stay positive right. 😉

 

I collect old computers  (mostly early IBMs and Apples) - the interest in them and therefore prices has skyrocketed this year.  I also had an old car I was restoring and likewise it has shot up in value too  (so I sold it while the price was up).    And yes I set up a lot of businesses with work-from-home solutions early in the year.  Many are going to continue doing it (interstate and even inter-country) as they realise the many benefits of doing so.

 

 

If Mabula needs testers for the latest beta version I'd be willing to help.

Thanks for that, we do release beta versions for everyone as 1.083 is a beta release atm.

So is beta 2 available yet ?  that's the one I'd like to try.  I havent bothered with beta 1 as it looked like there werent too many changes from 1.082

I've got a lot of processing to do in the next couple of weeks as I gradually piece together a dual-camera 5-pane wide Witches-Head to Cone Nebula panorama I've been working on all year.

(here's a sample with no MBB which I probably wont be using as I'll most likely be cropping and only using the middle part of each pane)

Orion TwinCam

Ah great stuff! Working all year on an object (out of a few) is something I like doing as well, just trying to maximize the amount of data, which can be a challenge anyway. I would probably still advice to use LNC and MBB, it may be a bit slower, but maybe you change your mind a bit in the future..

I'd like to use MBB and LNC much more than I do.  I did two versions of this image so far with LNC 1-3 enabled but there was very little difference. I dont really have time to try increasing levels / iterations several times.  With reference to the above image (and seeing the two fields of view that I use - Canon 6D & 135mm big frame / 294MC-Pro & 85mm smaller frame) can you suggest a good starting point for LNC degree and iterations - and also MBB percentage ?   I would definitely prefer to use the entire frame of the 6D.

 

Good luck,

Vincent

 


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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 2909
December 1, 2020 12:20  
Posted by: @kelvin-hennessy
 

I collect old computers  (mostly early IBMs and Apples) - the interest in them and therefore prices has skyrocketed this year.  I also had an old car I was restoring and likewise it has shot up in value too  (so I sold it while the price was up).    And yes I set up a lot of businesses with work-from-home solutions early in the year.  Many are going to continue doing it (interstate and even inter-country) as they realise the many benefits of doing so.

That is nice, I actually started with a Commodore C16 back in the 80's, given by my grandfather. Then the Amiga. And I still have both and recently had them fixed so they should last for another decade at least. 🙂 Indeed, I could sell that Amiga for way more then it cost back then, which is interesting. Though I can't part with it.

Yes, I like that a lot. I'm travelling a bit in the last couple of years with my family, trying to get a permanent base now again, but in the mean time remote working was a nice solution. More options for that is always nice, I think it's partly going to be the future.

Anyway, back on-topic. 🙂

So is beta 2 available yet ?  that's the one I'd like to try.  I havent bothered with beta 1 as it looked like there werent too many changes from 1.082

There are some, like what you can find in that link as well. But yes, it was mainly to see if the comet registration worked well. That's now developed further, along with other things many will find nice. That beta isn't out no, but I expect it within a few weeks at most.

Ah great stuff! Working all year on an object (out of a few) is something I like doing as well, just trying to maximize the amount of data, which can be a challenge anyway. I would probably still advice to use LNC and MBB, it may be a bit slower, but maybe you change your mind a bit in the future..

I'd like to use MBB and LNC much more than I do.  I did two versions of this image so far with LNC 1-3 enabled but there was very little difference. I dont really have time to try increasing levels / iterations several times.  With reference to the above image (and seeing the two fields of view that I use - Canon 6D & 135mm big frame / 294MC-Pro & 85mm smaller frame) can you suggest a good starting point for LNC degree and iterations - and also MBB percentage ?   I would definitely prefer to use the entire frame of the 6D.

Yes, so you would need to have multiple sessions for each camera to have their own calibration files (or you make both integrations separately first). But I guess you did that properly? Then I would make each integration as nice as possible first, using the light pollution correction tool etc. And then I would load them in as lights again to go through registration, normalization and integration like usual. That should be able to produce a much better result. If that doesn't work, I'm fine having a look as well.

Vincent


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