JR Astrophotography Macros v13 (Affinity Photo)

James Ritson
129 ratings

Workflow aids for astrophotography editing, including functions like colour preserving tone stretching, star eating, motion deconvolution, nonlinear sharpening, adding star glow and layer setups for LRGB, SHO, HOO compositions and more.

Here's a quick list of some functionality the macros provide:

  • Perform automated normalisation tone stretching, logarithmic tone stretching, or apply a colour preserving tone stretch (similar to Arcsinh).
  • New: Multi-Bandpass Sharpening and Fine Bandpass Sharpening, which uses the same decomposition technique as Absolute Point of Focus sharpening: it gradually enhances perceptual detail and sharpness whilst avoiding over-sharpening noise and halo/panda eyes artefacting.
  • A variety of composition setups for different data set combinations, e.g. RGB, LRGB, SHO, HOS, HOO, HaOIII, RGB-HSO, HORGB, HORGB-L... the list goes on!
  • Various sharpening methods: gaussian subtractive sharpening, gaussian kernel edge-mask sharpening, weighted intensity ('background') sharpening, non-linear sharpening to avoid 'panda eyes' around high contrast star detail etc.
  • Monochrome colour mapping for single grayscale data layers.
  • Add star glow and brilliance to highlight detail.
  • Remove excessive star detail to promote focus on other deep sky objects.
  • Colour range luminosity enhancement to bring out specific detail.
  • Add live, non-destructive star and background masks. Easily reduce background luminosity and star luminosity with additional macros that utilise these live masks so you can easily adjust them non-destructively.
  • Create thresholded star masks.
  • RGB luminosity layers: boost channel detail e.g. for red spectrum objects.
  • Motion deconvolution: remove slight star trailing.

See the included PDF for installation instructions and a detailed explanation of how to use the macros.

Free to download, but if you want to donate for time and work it's much appreciated :)

v13 change list:

  • Repetitive Bandpass Sharpening: uses multiple bandpass filters all set to the same value, which gradually enhances detail and sharpness in a very subtle and refined way. The value can easily be changed to suit different imagery, as the filters are all linked.
  • Re-introduced and improved live, non-destructive versions of Logarithmic Tone Stretch and Colour Preserving Tone Stretch. These are useful for images with difficult highlight areas that can clip quickly, but require more manual intervention from the user to determine the best settings that work well for each individual data set.
  • Reduce Magenta Star Colour: creates a masked adjustment that selectively desaturates magenta star detail.
  • Remove Salt and Pepper Noise (16-bit only): uses median filtering with a custom blending range to reduce the visibility of harsh salt and pepper noise.
  • Structure Mask Star Inpainting (32-bit only): creates a structural mask and uses it to inpaint (content aware fill) bright star detail. This does not produce starless images but is good for removing the brighter stars if they are too overpowering and making it difficult to pull out nebula detail.
  • Soft Rendering: creates an interesting and pleasing rendering effect that softens and reduces star detail as well as diminishing background noise.
  • Changed all monochrome composition setup macros to use Screen blending rather than Add (linear addition). This results in a subtle but smooth highlight roll-off that is very helpful for objects that have a very high dynamic range (e.g. the Orion Nebula core). This is now especially useful when combined with the non-destructive tone stretching macros.

v12 change list:

  • Multi-Bandpass Sharpening with multiple options: normal, stronger, colour-preserving and stronger colour-preserving. These macros use the same decomposition and bandpass technique that is utilised with Absolute Point of Focus. Each bandpass is a non-destructive group, however, allowing you to fine tune each value to your own imagery. You can also disable each bandpass or change individual opacity values to further tailor the sharpening to your own requirements.
  • Fine Bandpass Sharpening: an alternative to Multi-Bandpass Sharpening if that seems too aggressive or enhances contrast too much. This will provide a very fine enhancement of smaller detail.
  • Enhance Depth & Colour: a very powerful alternative to Enhance Structure, this increases perceptual depth and detail non-destructively.
  • Use Layer as Mask: takes your currently selected layer and allows it to be used non-destructively as a mask, rather than having to explicitly Rasterise to Mask (which is a destructive approach). Simply click-drag and drop it over the thumbnail of any other layer to use it as a mask. For example, you could duplicate a monochromatic data layer such as SII or OIII, run this macro, and drop it into an HSL adjustment to saturate certain detail selectively.
  • Final Tone Lift: designed to be used at the end of the editing process. I have often found that once exporting my images, they almost always need a small boost in brightness and contrast. This macro adds such a boost but whilst preserving important highlight detail, so it is useful for enhancing the overall image without compromising bright detail.
  • Highlight Preserving Brightness Boost: boosts overall brightness whilst preserving highlight detail using blend ranges.
  • Reduce Mid-Tone Contrast: useful for flattening nebula detail if it has too much contrast. Uses blend ranges to avoid affecting the shadow and highlight tones.
  • Added “NEW” labels to macros new to this version in the PDF readme.

v11 change list:

  • Gaussian Kernel Sharpening: uses a gaussian kernel for edge detection, then applies a live Unsharp Mask filter based on this mask. Additionally, the mask strength is controllable. This is a great option for sharpening star detail without over sharpening the edges (which usually results in black halo artefacts).
  • Gaussian Subtractive Sharpening: a non-destructive, subtractive sharpening model which gives separate control over small and large radius detail.
  • Highlight Preserving Tone Boost: aggressively masks based on darker tones in the image, allowing you to push brightness and add contrast to the image without affecting the highlights (e.g. bright star detail, bright nebula areas etc).
  • Green Channel Synthetic Substitution: interpolates the green channel from a blend of red and blue channel data—useful for bi-colour compositions, or broadband compositions where green channel information would be mostly noise rather than meaningful data.
  • Green Channel Noise Reduction: performs aggressive noise reduction on isolated green channel data, leaving red and blue channel data alone.
  • SCNR Green Max/Additive: an implementation of subtractive chromatic noise reduction used to reduce green channel noise, with the ability to blend non-destructively between maximum and additive methods.
  • SCNR Green Neutral/Max Neutral: an implementation of subtractive chromatic noise reduction used to reduce green channel noise, with the ability to blend non-destructively between neutral and maximum neutral methods.
  • Weighed Luminosity Enhancement: calculates a weighted greyscale intensity based on the RGB channel data, then uses it to enhance luminance.
  • One shot colour data mapping options: based on OSC narrowband filter data provided by users, I have created some non-destructive channel mapping macros that help achieve false colour setups (SHO, HSO, OSH, HOO) by performing channel blending operations. These are considered work in progress and any feedback is appreciated.

  • Moved all data setup macros to a separate category called “JR - Astrophotography Data Setups”. This helps reduce the bloat of the main 32-bit macro category.
  • Improved PDF documentation: clearer sections, added uninstallation/upgrade instructions.

v10 change list:

  • Fixed issue with Normalised Tone Stretch where NaN (not a number) pixels could be created during tone stretching.
  • Improved Soft Star Glow macro: completely changed implementation for a smoother appearance.
  • New macro: Live Channel Mask, to easily mask based on channel contribution.
  • New macro: Channel Masked White Balance, enabling you to change white balance and blackbody tint whilst masking to a specific RGB channel contribution.
  • New macro: Average Neutralisation, useful for balancing out images that have strong colour casts.
  • New macro: Diffuse Glow, renders a pleasing diffuse lighting effect on brighter areas of the image.
  • New macro: Background Sharpening, which applies sharpening based on a non-destructive weighted intensity mask, avoiding bright areas such as star detail. Very useful for minimising black star halos around stars.
  • New macros: Boost Red/Yellow Detail and Boost Blue/Green Detail. Compared to the Enhance Signal macros, these focus more on colour intensity as opposed to luminosity.
  • New macro: Luma Denoise, for reducing luma noise independently of chroma noise.
  • New macro: RGB + HOS (Mixed Luminance). Sets up RGB layers as colour data, then averages between Ha, OIII and SII data layers for luminance enhancement.
  • New macro: Ha Luminosity Setup, to quickly take an additional Ha data layer and use it for luminance enhancement.
  • New macro: Extract Inferred Ha Luminance, which extracts red channel data from your composition, tone stretches it and applies it non-destructively as a luminosity layer.

v9 change list:

  • New macro: Remove Harsh Noise, which helps tackle blocky pixellated noise
  • New macro: Soften Structure, to reduce harshness of brighter details
  • New macros: OSC Dual Narrowband and OSC Quad Narrowband Channel Balance to aid working with OSC setups using narrowband filters
  • Local Contrast Structure now automatically adds a mask layer so you can localise the effect
  • Tweaked Star Eater macro for better results (again!)
  • Tweaked Reduce Star Intensity macro for better results in 32-bit
  • Tweaked Star Motion Deconvolution macro for better initial results
  • Tweaked Luma + Chroma Denoise and Structure Denoise for better results

v8 change list:

  • Overhauled all tone stretching macros and made them completely automated for significantly improved results. Automated Tone Stretching has been replaced with a Normalisation Tone Stretch which is vastly better. Colour Preserving Tone Stretch and its stronger version are now completely automated and produce superior results. Logarithmic Tone Stretch is now also automated and provides a better initial result.
  • More monochrome composition macros for different data setups: HaRGB-L, RGB-HaL, RGB-SHO, RGB-HSO, HORGB (R+B), HORGB (G+B), HORGB-L (R+B), HORGB-L (G+B).
  • Optimised Star Eater macro for better results.
  • Hugely improved Local Contrast Structure for a much better result in 32-bit. 16-bit remains the same.
  • Added Min-Max Live Luminosity macro, allowing you to control luminosity based on minimum and maximum RGB colour calculations.
  • Added Enhance Colour Signal macros, which boost luminosity and colour intensity of specific colour ranges—very useful for teasing out detail.
  • Nonlinear Sharpening now automatically adds a mask layer so you can quickly invert/paint to control where the sharpening is applied.

v7 change list:

  • A 16-bit version category is now available which contains optimised versions of all applicable macros. It does not include tone stretching or composition macros, but you can use these in 16-bit rather than 32-bit to improve performance on older/weaker hardware
  • New macro: Local Contrast Structure. Enhances local contrast and structure in the image using blend ranges to avoid crushing shadow detail or overexposing highlight detail
  • New macro: Deepen Colour Detail. Uses an interesting differential blending technique to enhance colour detail in a natural-looking way
  • New macro: Enhance DSO Luminosity. Enhances luminosity for particular colour ranges typically attributed to deep sky objects
  • New macro: Golden Boost. Uses the LAB colour model and blending to produce a rich gold/cyan look—works particularly well with false colour SHO images if you want the green Ha data to look unique and interesting
  • New macro: Structure Denoise. Performs luminance denoising but also enhances structure to compensate for loss of fine detail
  • New macro: HaRGB (Red Mix) Composition Setup. Sets up an HaRGB composition where Ha and Red channel data is blended (you can change the weighting via layer opacity)
  • New macro: HaRGB (Luminosity) Composition Setup. Sets up an HaRGB composition where the Ha data is used for luminosity blending.
  • Logarithmic Tone Stretch now clamps unbounded values to avoid artefacting with certain live filters
  • Chroma Denoise and Structure Denoise now have two variants for unstretched and stretched data where the values are optimised for each scenario
  • Weighted Saturation Mask now uses Vibrance instead of HSL to avoid oversaturating colours (Windows-related issue)
  • Tweaked Reduce Background Luminosity and Reduce Star Luminosity for better initial results
  • Remove Star Fringing is now split into two versions: regular and selective. Regular applies defringing to the whole image, whereas selective will apply to masked star detail
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129 ratings
  • Powerful and useful macros for astrophotography workflows in Affinity Photo

  • Filesize
  • Powerful and useful macros for astrophotography workflows in Affinity Photo
  • Filesize8.7MB


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JR Astrophotography Macros v13 (Affinity Photo)

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