A set of 304 color BMP files 933 x 632 were collected using ImagesPlus live view camera control at 5x zoom with a Canon 50D and a 203mm F9 TMB APO with 4x Televue Powermate.

The goal is to crop and center Saturn in all 304 frames then normalize, grade, align, stack, and enhance the stacked image. ImagesPlus images set operations are used to automate the process.

Typical single frame. Canon 50D 5x live view data with 203mm F9 TMB APO and 4x Televue Powermate for an effective F36.

Step 1 - Focus and Capture Live View Data

ImagesPlus 50D live view with 5x zoom is used to focus and capture the 304 color BMP files for processing.

Step 2 - Crop and Center Saturn

Crop Files before execution with the crop rectangle around Saturn defined and Auto Find Planet option to center Saturn

Cropped image file on left with input-output file list on right.

Step 3 - Normalize the average brightness and contrast of each Saturn image in the cropped set.

Normalize Files before execution with average brightness and contrast set. Press Normalize to start processing.

Normalize Files output image set control tab. Press Grade to start grading the normalized file set..

Step 4 - Grade the files by edge sharpness.

Automatic edge sharpness grading with only grade A images selected for further processing.

Grade report columns can be sorted and files selected to create a custom grade file list for further processing.

169 of the 304 initial image files are graded as A and will be used for further processing.

Step 5 - Align the image set to sub-pixel accuracy.

Auto Align Planet can display each image and apply a brightness increase for display and inspection. One or more images can be excluded from the alignment process. Press Align to start processing.

Auto Align Planet output of 169 image files. Press Combine to start stacking the aligned image set.

Step 6 - Stack the 169 aligned images of Saturn.

Combine Files stacks the graded image set using the auto edge graded average method. Press Combine to start stacking the image set.

Combine Files output from stacking 169 image files. Stacked image of Saturn on right.

Step 7 - Adjust the red, green, and blue image components to remove the blue edge on the left side of Saturn and the red edge on the right side.

Initial image before red, green, and blue component split.

Combine LRGB command used to link the red, green, and blue components to the color version. Filters can be applied to the color components then the color image is rebuilt by pressing the Apply button on Combine LRGB.

The blue and red edge of Saturn is removed by aligning the color components. Check the single frame of Saturn at the top of this page and you will find that each live view image file contains this blue red edge.

Step 8 - Brightness Levels Adjustment

Initial image before levels adjustment with Process History window on right.

Levels applied to the image to increase brightness and contrast. The Process History window tracks the parameters used by levels.

Step 9 - Sharpen Only Saturn.

Selecting the range of pixel values to be sharpened. Check the Min Apply box then left-click on the limb of Saturn as shown by the red dot in the above image.

The Finest, Fine, and Medium sliders are moved to the right to sharpen Saturn.

Feather range is used to blend the sharpening action into the darker areas outside of the apply to range of [24826, 65535].

Step 10 - Increase color saturation.

Saturn with increased color saturation.

Final image of Saturn. Best 169 of 304 live view frames. Canon 50D with 5x zoom and 203mm TMB APO at F36.

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