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2023-09-16: APP 2.0.0-beta23 has been released !

Improved performance again, CMD-A now works in macOS File Chooser, big improvement for bad column cosmetic correction, solved several bugs

We are very close now to  releasing APP 2.0.0 stable with a complete printable manual...

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BlurXterminator support/integration (or equiv)

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(@xthestreams)
Red Giant
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 34
Topic starter  

I just downloaded and tested Russ Cormans's new tool on some data I'd processed with APP and I have to say it blew me away.

Just as simple and easy as using "sharpen" in APP but with spectacular results in under a minute.

https://www.rc-astro...d79676092bc9afc

Mabula - if there's anything that can be done to integrate this into APP (sub-license) or to develop an equivalent (I have no idea how challenging this is, I presume it's non-trivial), I would highly recommend it. 

Stunning results (almost too easy if you ask me, but it really does make for some amazing images)


   
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(@mabula-admin)
Universe Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 3815
 

Hi Paul @xthestreams,

Thank you very much for notifying us about this. The result looks awesome indeed. I will definitely look into this to see if we can make this possible. I also want to point out that I do want to implement things like this myself going forward using neural networks 😉

Mabula


   
Walter, csi4astrophoto, Rob Kottink and 1 people reacted
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(@andybooth)
Red Giant
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 41
 

@mabula-admin for me, APP has been the absolute making of my astro photos, i could not achieve anything like what I am doing without it. However for a near complete processing package it is missing two areas, deconvolution and noise reduction, with deconvolution IMHO the priority as it really needs to be done at the linear stage.
Noise reduction can currently be easily achieved with other packages, especially NoiseXterminator.

For me, a ‘quick’ ability to utilise the BlurXterminator in APP would be a Godsend until the official home grown version arrives. 🙏


   
Walter, Rob Kottink and John reacted
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(@jan-willem)
Neutron Star
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 105
 

Hi Mabula @mabula-admin,

I really like this idea, could you please consider this!! Especially for short therm, I understand you want to make this by yourself but if we could now use this "plugin" this would save us a license on pixinsight.

And already enyou such a feature.

 

Clear skies Jan-Willem 

 


   
Rob Kottink reacted
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(@brazzo229)
White Dwarf
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 13
 

Hi Mabula,

I have to agree with the others, a plugin for APP would be wonderful, I do everything with APP and PS and I don't want to switch to PI either.

Hope you can make that happen somehow

 

THX & CS

Sascha


   
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(@rickwayne)
Neutron Star
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 67
 

+1.

In fact I was just writing, in another forum, that this might be a make-or-break feature for me. I love using APP and don't want to switch to PI, but between this and the plate-solved photometric color calibration...whoo. That's twisting my loyalty pretty hard.


   
Paul Muller reacted
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(@xthestreams)
Red Giant
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 34
Topic starter  

I've posted a quick A/B comparison on Astrobin for those interested, I will say this - the Sharpen tool in APP is not THAT far behind BXT - but BXT seems to get the last 5-10% out of the data (unsurprisingly given that it's been fed a diet of near-perfect Hubble images for training!)

I will also add that, and I am not a expert here, that NoiseXterminator does a lovely job of reducing background noise and bringing up the signal of fainter objects (including normally very hard to see gradients, annoying) - I've never really felt.I needed noise reducing with APP, does anyone else use it and if so how?


   
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(@ippiu)
Neutron Star
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 138
 

+1

I have to agree with the others, a plugin for APP would be wonderful...


   
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(@andybooth)
Red Giant
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 41
 

@xthestreams i use NoiseXTerminator, and also StarXterminator PS plugins post APP and find them very good indeed. Noise reduction is mandatory in post processing, and again like Blurxterminator, its best done before the major non linear stretch, which makes it an APP preferred process in the long run.

I also agree that the APP sharpen is very good, especially combined with the APP star reduction. 


   
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(@csi4astrophoto)
Brown Dwarf
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 5
 

+1 also from my side. it would be wonderful to have support for BXT/BXT-alike plugin from within APP :).


   
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(@wglogowski)
Red Giant
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 37
 

Along the line of adding plug-ins.  I like watching the iTelescope webinars where Christain S, processes data with APP. I would say that 90% of the time, he saves and then brings an image into Photoshop, Topaz DeNoise, or Topaz Sharpen.  He then has to reopen the image in APP. Could a drop-down menu be added within APP  to send an existing image in APP into Photoshop or one of the Topaz plugins? Then, when you are finished, have it saved back to APP.  I have no idea if this is possible or how hard it would be to implement... just an idea. This would be a real workflow streamlining and might be able to be done more quickly than inventing an AI solution like BlurX for APP. 


   
Paul Muller reacted
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(@devonshire)
Red Giant
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 35
 

Yes, please!   IMO, extending APP this way is a fine idea.  And if it worked out that over time, customers were able to choose between licensing a third party extension vs. using a built-in facility as it becomes available, so much the better. 

 


   
Walter reacted
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 John
(@john-j)
White Dwarf
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 10
 

Pixinsight is not for me. I am very happy with APP, but I am afraid that PI is going to rule the world and therefore I really hope for a plugin to APP.

best regards 

John 


   
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(@wglogowski)
Red Giant
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 37
 

@john-j PixInsight has a steep curve to climb to get good images out. I love APP for its simplicity and all of its current functions. I do mess around with PixInsight, but honestly, after an afternoon of playing with PI my final image from APP is just as good, if not better than the one created with PI. And, APP does it in a fraction of the time!! I have to give three thumbs up to all APP developers, especially @Mabula-admin, for all the work and improvements you have added to APP... it is much appreciated!  


   
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(@tempusfugitxxii)
Red Giant
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 38
 

@xthestreams I wholeheartedly agree!!  BlurX is a game changer.  It's certainly going to be a loyalty test for a lot of people...   

I never had any inclination to go with PI but I am not sure anymore...


   
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(@xthestreams)
Red Giant
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 34
Topic starter  

@tempusfugitxxii funnily going back to PI to test BXT REMINDS me why I prefer APP 🙂 honestly, I have nothing but admiration for anyone who writes any piece of software, it's an incredible skill, but the PI folks have some REALLY interesting (sarcasm) ideas about UX design and a general sense of "if I make this hard enough people will feel like scientists" feel about it.

APP - once you get over the few UX elements that aren't immediately obvious (like the one button-click integration) - is just so incredibly thoughtfully designed, I love it MORe every time I got back to PI, but then again I am strange...


   
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(@jure)
White Dwarf
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 16
 

Another vote for a BXT plugin - if it is possible. Like many others, I love APP and have no desire to start learning something as complex as PI to get results which ~might~ be better than what I am able to do with APP + PS + NXT. 

I have plenty of other stuff that I need to learn in my AP journey, thank you very much. 😛

Jure


   
Paul Muller reacted
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(@csi4astrophoto)
Brown Dwarf
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 5
 

tbh. this whole topic around BXT is getting too "emotional". i see it quite simple -> if you decide (for yourself, and that's the point here unless you seek competition on the various platforms around) that you don't want to spend money for a PI-license plus BXT, you can still work with whatever you have.

also, using BXT (with PI) doesn't require that you have to learn PI to its fullest. it's just one (automated) step for deconvolution that you integrate/shift in your workflow.

so what i'm trying to say..
1) if you're comfortable with APP (like myself), stay with it - there's absolutely no need to change.
2) if you want to have "extra-pretty pictures", just go for PI+BXT and do your deconvolution there... it's just one step.

 

CS!

This post was modified 9 months ago by csi4astrophoto

   
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(@tempusfugitxxii)
Red Giant
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 38
 

Any word on this?

Is it considered?  Possible?


   
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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5701
 

It's not considered to support that plugin at the moment. I do think you can use the plugin on its own without the need of PI though. Mabula does have plans to add a similar technology, but that won't be very soon. The star reducer and sharpen tool can get you further though.


   
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(@tempusfugitxxii)
Red Giant
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 38
 
Posted by: @vincent-mod

. I do think you can use the plugin on its own without the need of PI though

  • Can you elaborate on this?  I thought it was only PI compatible. 

   
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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5701
 

I'm not 100% sure, I heard someone mention that, sorry for that. Looking at the page it states "It is available as a process module plug-in for PixInsight only", so I assumed wrong I think. I'll investigate further. If it is a PI specific module, then it wouldn't be compatible anyway.


   
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(@csi4astrophoto)
Brown Dwarf
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 5
 

OK, so afaik there are no plans that Russell plans to release BXT for other software than PI. I think the reason behind, as you may imagine, is first and foremost maintenance and demand. He released several other plugins for multi-platform purpose and each combination needs love from time to time.

Don't get me wrong, not stating that there's no demand to have BXT working with APP, but comparing PI with PS has a (clear) winner.

As already stated earlier, the [sharpen] and [star reducer] modules of APP can get you further, but not to the extent of BXT.

This post was modified 8 months ago by csi4astrophoto

   
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(@tempusfugitxxii)
Red Giant
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 38
 

@csi4astrophoto

Posted by: @csi4astrophoto

As already stated earlier, the [sharpen] and [star reducer] modules of APP can get you further, but not to the extent of BXT.

I am afraid you don't understand what BlurXterminator does.  It is a lot more than a star reducer and a sharpening tool.

Check this video and see what it does. BXT goes even beyond deconvolution (that APP still lacks).

 


   
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(@csi4astrophoto)
Brown Dwarf
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 5
 

I do have both PI and BXT, so I know what it's capable of. Also please note what I wrote;

Posted by: @csi4astrophoto

the [sharpen] and [star reducer] modules of APP can get you further, but not to the extent of BXT

I never said they're a replacement or that you could compare them (as-is) with a highly sophisticated tool like BXT. But for users, who are comfortable with APP (and PS.. or whatever they have installed) and don't want to spend (additional) money on PI+BXT, they could give those mentioned tools a try.


   
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(@devonshire)
Red Giant
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 35
 

I've tried PI, but I prefer APP on linux. So...no third party plugin is available to me.

I'd love to be able to add some of Mr. Croman's tools to my APP installation, and I think that capability, whether or not everyone takes advantage of it, would add to APP's overall value in the marketplace. 

Mabula's wording on the "Owners License" description is clear - that in the event of some large upgrade, an upgrade fee might be required. So, if some money needs to be paid to enable a plugins option in APP, the groundwork has already been laid, and I'd be up for that.

I'd very much like Mabula to talk to Russell Croman and explore the possibilities.  

This post was modified 8 months ago by devonshire

   
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(@wglogowski)
Red Giant
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 37
 

Both APP and PI are great products. Each software application has things I wish the other had. At this point in time, BXT is what "everyone" wants; I mean, "come on," who doesn't want the magic to make their imagery less blurry? One thing that PI does have are thousands of hours of "how to process" tutorials explaining each of the hundreds of tools and scripts available in PI and when to use them.  After using APP for years now and loving it, I still don't understand and fully know when and how to use all of its features. I'm sure others have done this but, google how to use AstroPixel Processor, and you find a handful of posts from years ago, none of which really explain all the features. If BXT is not something that can be done in the near future, maybe the developers can put together some in-depth video posts on how to use APP to its full extent. I know we have some video tutorials on the APP site, but none of them have full explanations of APP's features.  


   
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(@vincent-mod)
Universe Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 5701
 
Posted by: @wglogowski

If BXT is not something that can be done in the near future, maybe the developers can put together some in-depth video posts on how to use APP to its full extent. I know we have some video tutorials on the APP site, but none of them have full explanations of APP's features.  

A full and detailed manual is in the making and will be released with the full 2.0 release of APP.


   
Walter reacted
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(@philippe-bernhard)
Red Giant
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 48
 

Hello

I am a fully user of APP and Pixinsight since a while (close to begining) and it is easy for me to switch from APP for preprocessing to Pixinsight for processing.

I even do both preprocessing on APP and PI to look on result and I am (not) surprised to see, most always, APP result is little better. 

I really want Mabula concentrate on the best preprocessing algorithms with some useful tools like gradient removal (maybe a better one). Integrate some tools like Xterminator series (I use on PI) is not for me the priority. But if so, algorithms like Generalized Hyperbolic Stretch is the most powerful tool to integrate. 

But, before all of that, mosaic is the most difficult tools on every software. Only APP has the best one but needs in my opinion more effort. 

Some plate solve tools to maybe have better mosaic alignment could help 


   
Walter reacted
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(@tempusfugitxxii)
Red Giant
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 38
 

@philippe-bernhard.  Good for you that you can enjoy the Xterminator tools in PI. By the sound of it,  I will have to get PI to get access to them.   If I do, I will not renew with APP.  I have been using APP for four years.  There were big promises of improvement at the beginning.  So far I have seen little of this happening.  Heck, we can't still save a project.  Yes, the mosaic tool is great but I rarely do mosaics. As stated by another user, PI has tons of instructional materials while APP has a handful of 4 years old videos and still no manual. From what I can see PI has kept improving over time either internally and externally (with 3rd party add ons).  I'll think twice when APP renewal time comes.

This post was modified 8 months ago by Tempus

   
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