Revolutionizing Astrophotography: BlurXTerminator, the Pioneering AI Deconvolution Tool
December 14, 2023 – new BlurXterminator 2.0 with AI-4 is released with astouding improvements!
Astrophotography, an intricate blend of art and science, has experienced a paradigm shift with the introduction of BlurXTerminator. This AI-powered deconvolution tool, designed exclusively for astronomical images, marks a significant advancement in the realm of space photography. Available as a plugin for PixInsight, BlurXTerminator stands out for its specialized approach and precision.
The Unique AI Behind BlurXTerminator
The world of AI is vast and varied, but not all AI technologies are created equal, especially when it comes to image processing. General photography AI tools, though abundant, fail to address the specific needs of astronomical imagery. These tools often struggle with the accurate rendering of stars and tend to fabricate details, compromising the authenticity of the images.
BlurXTerminator distinguishes itself by focusing on extracting and enhancing real, low-contrast details present in astronomical images. It steers clear of artificial detail creation, ensuring that the sharpened images remain true to the original captures. This commitment to authenticity is a cornerstone of BlurXTerminator’s design philosophy.
Understanding Deconvolution in Image Processing
Deconvolution in image processing is a complex, somewhat speculative task. Renowned algorithms by Richardson, Lucy, van Cittert, and others, delve into this territory of educated guesswork. The challenge lies in determining which sharpened image, among numerous possibilities, most accurately represents the original scene.
A key component in this process is the understanding of an image’s point spread function (PSF). BlurXTerminator excels in this aspect by automatically identifying the PSF in astronomical images, using the stars within as reference points. This automation simplifies the deconvolution process, making it more efficient and user-friendly.
BlurXTerminator version 2.0 and AI version 4 is a major update with expanded optical aberration correction and improved accuracy.
The latest iteration BlurXTerminator 2 with AI version 4, has set a new benchmark in the field of astrophotography. Building upon the foundation of its predecessors, this updated version boasts an expanded capacity for correcting a broader spectrum of optical aberrations. This enhancement not only amplifies its efficiency but also ensures a higher fidelity in the resulting images.
The launch of AI4, the latest advancement in the BlurXTerminator series, brings a transformative “under the hood” feature – the ability to process linear images directly. This significant upgrade over its predecessors marks a milestone in the journey towards achieving unparalleled precision in astrophotography.
Direct Linear Image Processing: A Game-Changer
In previous versions of BlurXTerminator, an intermediate stretch was applied to images before processing them through the neural network. This method, while effective for most scenarios, had its limitations. It introduced certain distortions, subtly affecting the overall performance and accuracy of the tool.
AI4, on the other hand, eliminates this intermediate step, opting instead to process linear images directly. This approach has profound implications for the quality of the final output.
BlurXTerminator’s AI-4, a groundbreaking tool in the astrophotography arena, takes a sophisticated approach to colour image processing. Unlike conventional methods, it is uniquely trained to work with RGB images, processing all colour channels concurrently. This innovative technique leverages the interplay between color channels to achieve superior correction and maintain channel registration.
Correcting Per-Channel Variations in Seeing and Scatter
One of the inherent challenges in astrophotography is dealing with variations in seeing conditions and scatter parameters across different color channels. Such variations can lead to discrepancies in image clarity and color integrity. AI4 is trained to recognize and correct these variations on a per-channel basis.
Addressing Common Instrumental Color Shifts
A frequent issue encountered in astrophotography is the variation in scatter among color channels, often more pronounced in the blue channel. This can result in brighter halos or a color shift, affecting the overall quality of the image. AI4’s sophisticated AI is designed to identify these discrepancies, particularly common in many instruments, and apply the necessary corrections.
Addressing Optical Aberrations with Advanced AI
Optical aberrations are common hurdles in astrophotography, often resulting from atmospheric conditions, scattering, and instrumental errors. BlurXTerminator’s AI is trained to recognize and adjust for these aberrations, including coma and chromatic aberration. This capability enhances the tool’s effectiveness, enabling it to produce clearer, more accurate images without the need for pre-extraction of the PSF.
Optimized Deconvolution for Stellar and Nonstellar Features
A unique feature of BlurXTerminator is its ability to differentially apply deconvolution to stellar and nonstellar elements within an image. Traditional algorithms, when applied uniformly across an image, tend to create undesirable artifacts like dark halos around stars. BlurXTerminator addresses this issue by allowing more sharpening to be applied to nonstellar parts, thus enhancing detail without introducing artifacts.
Images processed using BlurXterminator for PixInsight…
Comprehensive Aberration Correction
Beyond deconvolution, BlurXTerminator offers limited correction for other aberrations present in astronomical images. This feature broadens the tool’s applicability, making it a versatile solution for a range of astrophotography challenges.
Conclusion: A New Era in Astrophotography
BlurXTerminator represents a leap forward in the field of astrophotography. By combining advanced AI with a deep understanding of astronomical imaging, it offers photographers a tool that is not only powerful but also faithful to the realities of the cosmos. Its specialized design and capabilities position it as a vital asset for anyone serious about capturing the beauty and complexity of the night sky.
BlurXterminator 2 is now available for PixInsight. Get yours here: https://bit.ly/3FXxCtz
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My story began more than 40 years ago looking up at the Moon with a small telescope my Father had. Encouraged by my parents, who bought me my very own telescope, a 4.5″ reflector, I began to explore the night sky from my family home backyard. Today I do astrophotography from my home in Kitchener, Ontario and also with remote telescopes located in New Mexico and Australia. Some of my images have won awards and have been featured online and in magazines.