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Have you always wanted to create your own stunning images of Deep Space?

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs 

Workflow Course

NGC3324 Workflow Course

In this comprehensive course, we unravel the mysteries of processing astrophotography, guiding you through each intricate step to transform raw data into stunning celestial images. Embark on an adventure as we delve into the realm of PixInsight, a powerful tool for astrophotographers.

Join us as we navigate through the intricate path of image enhancement, offering insights, techniques, and hands-on experience to help you achieve the remarkable and share-worthy results you've always dreamed of.

  • ​Videos: 15 Hours of detailed Step-by-Step videos 
  • Bonus33 Bonus chapters included from our A-to-Z of PixInsight Course detailing every process and Script introduced in the workflow course
  • Astro-Files: 51 Astro-Files included detailing each chapter of the course

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course

Free Chapter 6: Star Core Fixes

In this example chapter from our NGC324 Cosmic Cliffs processing workflow course, we will introduce a method to fix blown out star cores.

  • ​Repeatable Workflow: The sample chapter goes into great detail to introduce a repeatable workflow.
  • Filter ImagesThe sample chapter covers the entire workflow for all 6 filter images.
  • 57 minutes: The sample includes all seven parts from the series with nearly 1 hour of content.
  • ​Bonus Chapter: Included for Free is the Multiscale Linear Transform (MLT) chapter,.The MLT is a powerful tool in PixInsight used for image enhancement and noise reduction.
Star Core Fix Introduction

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course

18 Video Chapters, 33 Bonus Videos

The full course includes 18 chapters across 4 phases of processing along with 33 Bonus Chapters from our A to Z of PixInsight course that introduce every single tool used throughout the video chapters.

  • Project Setup: 4 Workflow Videos , 4 Bonus Chapter on Installing PixInsight and tools introduced.
  • Linear Processing5 Workflow Videos, 17 Bonus Chapters covering all tools introduced. 
  • ​​Non-Linear Processing: 7 Workflow Videos, 8 Bonus Chapters covering all tools introduced.
  • ​​Post Processing: 2 Workflow Videos, 4 Bonus Chapters on color management and exporting.

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course

Project Setup Chapters

  • Introduction: In the introduction, we will cover how to get the most out of the course, the resources available to you and the general structure of the steps we will be taking in order to create our final image.
  • Project StructureOnce we have PixInsight installed and ready to run, we will then go over how to create different project structures and how to create a template project, this template project will help us save time when we are doing future image processing and will take us out of the amateur league and into the professional league.
  • ​​Raw Data: In this chapter, we will learn how to download our raw deep space image data absolutely free, thanks to the amazing MAST database. The files available from the MAST database can be extremely large so being able to download exactly what we require is essential.
  • ​​Data Import: In the final chapter of the project setup section, we will import the raw data files into PixInsight and learn about the FIT file format used by telescopes.

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course

Linear Processing Chapters

  • Star Alignment: In the first chapter of the linear processing workflow section, we will be fixing the alignment issues between the different raw data files we are processing, this will make sure we do not end up with a blurry image. We will create a structure map for our reference image using the star alignment tool which will produce star aligned registered images .
  • FramingIn the Framing chapter, we will be using tools to flip and crop our images so that the nebula is positioned similar to our reference images from the James Webb Space Telescope Gallery.
  • Star Core Fix: In this chapter we will learn a repeatable process to fix blow out star cores. Some larger stars have cores that are blown out or clipped in the original James Webb Space Telescope data this clipping is caused by the filter collecting more data than the shorter wavelength filters until the clipping occurs due to too much data. However, we need these longer wavelength filters in order to see the finer detail.
  • ​​Linear Fit: Each detectors filter throughput are not equal, the response of each pixel to the wavelengths, may differ for the same exposure time and the resulting image intensity for each filter will often differ. This difference in image intensity across channels will usually result in some kind of color cast or even a strong color bias when the channels are combined. In this chapter we will linear fit our filter data to rectify these issues.
  • ​Combine Images: In the last chapter we combined our filter images using PixInsights Pixel Math Tool into a single grayscale image that used each images pixel data as an equal weight in the final image. Our challenge is going to be how to combine these 6 filter images in the correct proportions of the three primary colors available to us, that would give us a good representation from which to start further processing.

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course

Non-Linear Processing Chapters

  • Image Stretching: We now have our combined color image, however, we have been working with the data in its linear form so that we could fix the problems in the original files, such as the blown out star cores. For the remainder of the processing we are going to do, we need to convert our image into the non-linear form as we want to
    work on the nebula and other fainter artefacts that are not as visible in the linear data.
  • Star ExtractionWe need to be careful not to affect the stars in the image when we are trying to accentuate the details in the nebula. We are at risk of over-exposing the brighter objects in the image, in order to prevent this we can extract out the bright objects from the background and work on the two independently.
  • Color Masks: In Astrophotography we can use color to differentiate between items in an image to bring them to the
    attention of those viewing our images. In this chapter we will apply color masks and use the curves transformation tool to bring out the color details in our image.
  • ​​Luminance Mask: Our image is still looking a little flat, so we will be using a luminance mask in this chapter to
    apply a greater strength mask to high signal areas and lower strength to low signal areas. Luminance masks are used many times during the image processing workflow and are helpful with initial noise reduction, color saturation and brightness adjustments.
  • ​Local Histogram: In this chapter we will use the Local Histogram Equalization process to increase the contrast in the
    nebula. We will need to be careful not to over-process the image as the Local Histogram Equalization process can create artefacts such as halos or unnatural color gradients when applied aggressively.
  • ​Dark Structure Enhance: With the contrast in our Nebula enhanced, we are able to see much more detail in the dust lanes. Our next challenge is to get the darker structures in the image to stand out from the background Nebulosity. Using a process called Dark Structure Enhance, we can make the darker structures in the image stand out more clearly.
  • ​Re-Combining Stars: Now that we have finished processing the background of our image, we need to bring our attention to the star field. In this chapter we will fix both the green and magenta tints to our stars, once we have finished this recalibration we will merge our stars back into our background nebula image for further processing.

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course

Post Processing Chapters

  • Watermarks: Now that we have finished processing our image, we can add a watermark so that we can share our image.
    If we do not add a watermark then it would be difficult for us to know where our images are being shared or displayed on the web. You can use any image as a watermark, your logo or even your own signature.
  • ExportingIn this chapter, we will discuss PixInsight's Color Management Setup, How to convert between color profiles
    and resample the sizes of images depending on their intended use, be it for print or web.

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs Workflow Course


Every chapter in the course includes a step-by-step guide in the form of a PDF Astro-File. 

  • Astro-Files: 18 Astro-Files included detailing each chapter of the course
  • Bonus33 Bonus Astro-File chapters included from our A-to-Z of PixInsight Course.

NGC3324 Cosmic Cliffs

A to Z of PixInsight Bonus Chapters

Each time a new process is introduced the corresponding bonus chapter from our companion course the A to Z of PixInsight is included to help reinforce the learning.

  • ​​Videos: 12 Hours of detailed Step-by-Step bonus videos
  • Bonus: 33 Bonus chapters included from our A-to-Z of PixInsight Course detailing every process and Script introduced in the workflow course​

Discord Server

Astrophotography Community

Our dedicated Discord server brings real-time to our courses, you can interact with instructors and other students. Discuss the latests news and ask those challenging questions. We run Astrophotography challenges and share processing tips and tricks. 

  • Instructors: All our course instructors are active participants on our community server.
  • Course Discussion: Every course has a dedicated channel where you can interact with other students
  • ​​News: We discuss the latest Astronomy and Astrophotography discoveries and news daily.