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Basic Planetary Image
Processing with Registax


Before you actually begin this tutorial, I do highly recommend (but isn't absolutely necessary) that you review the user manuals for Registax Version4 and Registax Version5.  You can find these manuals on the links provided below.




    With Registax open on your screen, use the select button located in the upper right hand corner of your screen to choose the AVI file in which you want to process.Now before we start to align the frames of the AVI file, lets check to make sure we have things set correctly.


    Near the top of your screen, just off center to the right you will notice a couple of settings. One is “extended mode,” the other is “use extended mode for.” If you are using vista, check the vista circle, if not, leave it as default. For the other setting, I recommend checking the “always” box.   This takes a little longer when processing a file, but it is necessary if you are processing an AVI file larger than 3,469 frames.


ALIGNING YOUR FRAMES:  Quick Method 1 (also see Method 2 below, best.)

    Before you choose an alignment box or alignment point in which to align your  image, notice the bottom left-hand part of the screen.  You will notice a slider and a set of up and down arrows.  Use these arrows to cycle through a few of your frames to chose a "good" frame that you will use as a reference frame for aligning the rest of your frames.



Now to the left hand side of your screen.



    For this AVI, we will leave the “alignment method” set to default.  For the align box size, choose a size box that the planet (for this tutorial I am using Mars) fits snugly inside of.  You can check the box size by moving your cursor over the image.  

    Next since there isn’t a lot of detail in which to pick a good alignment point, I’ve found that in this situation checking the “Align using centre of gravity “ box works well.  When you check this box the align box should snap right around the planet.  At this point do not worry about the luminence threshold.

    In the “quality settings” box it should say “gradient 2” this is a default setting which is fine.  For the “lowest quality,” set it to about 90 to 95%.  There is a way to raise the quality of the frames that will be used, which I will go into later in the “stacking” stage.  In the “tracking settings” box I suggest checking all, you can experiment with these settings later. The “misalign detect level” should be 0.70 by default.Be sure to look over all these settings each time you open Registax.

Ok’, let’s click the align button and align some frames. This will take several minutes based on your processor speed and the size of the AVI file.




    When Registax finishes aligning the frames, notice at the bottom of your screen the number of frames Registax is going to stack, out of the total number of frames available based on the lowest quality, to make the final image.  



ALIGNING YOUR FRAMES:  Method 2 (best)

    To find the best frame in which to use as an alignment frame to base the quality % on for the rest of the avi's your going to stack...

    Open your avi using the select button,, check over the settings as described above, only instead of cycling through the frames to pick a "good" frame, set the lowest quality percent to 100%, pick the alignment box size as described above, and click the align tab.

    When Registax finishes the alignment process, notice at the bottom of the screen "Frame (XXXX)."  The number in parentheses is the best frame in the avi.  Remember this number!

Close Registax.  Re-open registax.  Again select the avi, check the "show framelist" box in the header at the top of the page which brings up the framelist window...Scroll down the list until you find the frame number Registax chose as the best frame and click on it.  Reset the lowest quality% box to 90-95%.

    Then you are ready to set your alignment box and align the frames as described above based on the best frame for a better final image.

With that step finished.


Next click the “Limit” button, you should now see the “Optimize” screen.

    Just leave the optimize settings as they are, (you can also experiment with these later) and click “Optimize.” Do not click the “Optimize and Stack” button, this by-passes several steps that could make you a better image.  This again, will take a few minutes.  When Registax finishes optimizing the frames, what you will want to do next is create a reference frame.




     I like using 50 frames to create a reference frame, so Registax will cycle through the frames quickly and pick the best 50 out of the total to do this. Click "Create."





    When Registax finishes you should get a new screen that looks like this.  This is the wavelet screen.



    Set the “wavelet filter” to Gaussian, and the “wavelet scheme” to linear.  Then use the wavelet sliders to sharpen the image somewhat. (just a little or Registax will have problems using the new reference frame to re-optimize the frames.)

    Once you have done this, click the “do all” button, then click the “continue” button.  This will bring you back to the optimizer page again.  Click the optimize button, you will get a pop up window asking if you want to use the new reference frame, click “yes."

    Registax will re-optimize the frames using the new reference frame.When Registax finishes, click the “stack” tab at the top, which will open the page where you will stack your frames.





The stack page.


On this page we will use a few options. Check the “normalize intensity over frames” box, and the “show stackgraph” box.  

    The stack graph should appear on the right-hand side of your screen.   If you have a large number of frames to work with, you can use the sliders located on the left and at the bottom of the stackgraph screen to cull more frames and raise the quality % of the total amount of frames. (which will make the quality of your final image better.)  As you adjust the sliders, monitor the amount of frames you are culling, and the quality % at the bottom of the page.  Once you have made adjustments, you are ready to click the “stack” button.



The stack page.



    When Registax finishes the stacking process, you are ready to click the “wavelet” tab.  Here we are back on the wavelets page.

    Here you can re-adjust the wavelet sliders and make other adjustments using the different options on the right hand side of the page. Once you feel you’ve enhanced the image sufficiently click the “do all” button and your ready for the final page so click the “final” tab.


The final Page.

    Here you can rotate your image if need be, make color adjustments, crop and a few other options. But most of all, don’t forget to save your image!


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