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Affinity update


Clive
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As I'd noticed that the Affinity software has very recently been updated to include new functions including stacking of astro images I updated to the latest version (1.9.0.932) this morning and decided to give it a try using:

   90 lights (Milky Way in Cygnus taken way back in 2019)

   90 bias frames

   60 darks

   32 flats

I must admit I haven't read the help guide, but it was very intuitive to load all the files and I set it going with the Background Calibration option ticked, Kappa-Sigma stacking method selected (K = 5, S = 2) and to use 100% of the images.  It came up with a 'Detect Bad Pixels' progress bar that lasted for over an hour before changing to 'Astrophotography Stack' that lasted even longer.  In total it took over 140 min to get to the final image.  For comparison I used DSS with exactly the same file list (no calibration masters) and stacking parameters and it took just under 45 min to output the final image, a 3 fold improvement.

 

I am in no way experienced in the use of Affinity (I purchased it when it was on a 50% offer but have only tinkered with it since) , my laptop is not the fastest and probably doesn't include all the latest bells and whistles so I might be missing out on some of the more recent software techniques employed to increase processing speed, but I would be interested if anyone else has used it for stacking and if so, what was the overall experience.

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I'm impressed.  It seems quite easy to use (in an Affinity sort of way) and it's nice to have the result of stacking in the package you want to use to process the image afterwards.

This was 20 shots of the Moon which look at least as good as Sequator's stacking.

large.Affinity_stacked_Moon.jpg.5762c71147a8271ff3742f217c95b72c.jpg

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1 hour ago, Bottletopburly said:

How was the stack Clive compared to Dss , was the result any better?.

I didn't post process the image since unfortunately I had other more pressing things to attend to (given the time it took to stack the image), but when I have more time I will check it out more fully.

@bryand that moon stack looks promising so I'll certainly give that a try.

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On 05/02/2021 at 14:51, bryand said:

I'm impressed.  It seems quite easy to use (in an Affinity sort of way) and it's nice to have the result of stacking in the package you want to use to process the image afterwards.

This was 20 shots of the Moon which look at least as good as Sequator's stacking.

 

I tried 10 images of the moon using the standard stack, I only had the JPEGS and CR2 files straight out of the camera to play with.  It stacked the JPEGS quite quickly and the result seemed to be as good as that using other software but when I tried the CR2 files Affinity took quite a while to create a very pixilated image which within a minute or so disappeared and Affinity closed down! I'm not sure whether it can stack RAW files or not, but if it can't then I would expect not to be able to load RAW files in the first place.

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I spent an entire evening trying to get the AstroStacking option to work.  It gobbles memory like there’s no tomorrow and eventually silently failed.  Using JPEGs or PNGs did work, but the ordinary Stacking option was more successful, which is probably appropriate for lunar pics.

So the CR2 file from my camera isn’t as useful as it might be.  
I eagerly await an update - it will be great when it works.

I don’t have a set of nebulae pics to use as a test (I normally delete source files once I have a processed result.)

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Interesting I just bought Affinity after watching a couple of video’s and I have just run some CR2 (Canon Raw) and it was fine. I too was attracted by the  50% offer. I was running on an i3 with 16Gb Ram and a Nvidia 1050, so not state of the art. Others have seen crashing when multiple programs running in parallel.

 

 

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1 hour ago, bryand said:

It gobbles memory like there’s no tomorrow ...

I'd noticed that the HDD access LED remained on continously throughout the 140 mins it took to stack the image and as it was the only program running it appeared to be using the HDD for something.

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I've been using Affinity for a while now. I've just tried the stacking option out following the procedure on Youtube on 100 x 90 sec exposure + 50 x 20 sec exposure + darks. I'm using a ZWO 294MC pro so using Fits files, stacking was on par with DSS time wise and took a max 10 mins to stack. If you watch the full version by James Ritson there are macros that can be downloaded and installed (JR-Astrophotography 32-bit.afmacros)

 

large.1923673299_OrionJAN2021AFFINITY.jpg.14ae020a8a140b52e2fa0aea29c85822.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Alec said:

...  I've just tried the stacking option out following the procedure on Youtube on 100 x 90 sec exposure + 50 x 20 sec exposure + darks. I'm using a ZWO 294MC pro so using Fits files, stacking was on par with DSS time wise and took a max 10 mins to stack  ...

Your PC is obviously faster than my laptop!  Just using CR2 lights (no calibration frames, so as quick as it can be)  DSS took 12 minutes to stack 90 off 4144 x 2822 pixel images (11.7 Mpx as per the ZWO294MC) on my laptop using the average stacking mode and slightly longer at 13 minutes using Kappa-Sigma stacking.  But it I use the full images size from my DSLR (6024 x 4022 pixels, 24.2 Mpx), whilst the average stacking took just 15 minutes, the Kappa-Sigma stacking stacking took 25 minutes.  The difference in time between the average and Kappa-Sigma stacks for the different image sizes is due to the time it takes for the software to determine the median value for every pixel within the set of images (which is non-linear with the total number of image pixels being processed).  So I suppose that using median stacking for the calibration frames as well, I can understand why I get up to a total of 45 min stacking time for that set of images in DSS.

I notice that in the video, the time between the 'Detect Bad Pixels' pop-up appearing and the 'Astrophotography Stack' pop-up disappearing lasted about 4 seconds, a nice bit of editing there I think! 

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