ASTROSTITCH !!! N E W !!!
On April 17, 2005 my Norwegian friend and QCUIAG member Carsten Arnholm informed me that he had spotted Autostitch, which is an AUTOMATIC Mosaic construction software package.
I found it hard to believe but I fed 19 mosaic pieces into Autostitch and the result was astonishing !
You can see for yourself by downloading these 19 pieces and let Autostitch do it's magic.

QCUIAG member David Dench wrote:
I have been using AutoStitch and championing its virtues for some months now.
There are a couple of tricks to getting the best out of it.
Make sure you have generous overlaps, set the scale to 100% and turn off Auto Straighten.
Other astro users have found that adding one frame at a time can fool it in to working when the sledgehammer didn't work.


Here follows the full text of how I make my moon mosaics. Surely there must be better scenarios, but here are my own experiences.

METHOD 1: DRIFT 'FLY-BY' MODE

IMAGING

CONSTRUCTING The Mosaic

This used to be a time consuming and eye straining activity: with painstaking precision the individual frames had to be merged with each other without any seams showing of course.
I did this in Photoshop with the feathering technique, which involved a lot of 'mousing' and movements with pixel precision.

That is all over now: Jon Grove has written iMerge (runs under Windows) which does the 'piecing together' with minimal involvement from your end.
Thank you Jon for such a marvellous piece of software !!
To finalise the mosaic:

METHOD 2: AVI MODE

QCUIAG friend and fellow Dutchman Rob Kantelberg enhanced my fly-by technique: he aims at the moon and shoots AVI's - with the RA Motor ON - until he has covered the whole moon.
After processing his AVI's he also uses iMerge to construct the final mosaic.
On October 30, 2004 I used both scenarios to find out if Rob's more laborious technique was worth the effort: see below.

Click on the image to see my results side-by-side and click here (655K) to view an animated presentation of the different versions. This animation (also includes a version with noise reduction in NeatImage).

BATCH post processing of 'moon mosaic AVIs'.

Note: for more information about the tools I use: see the Help of the related tool.
All tools are listed on my Software page.

FULL MOON with 2x Barlow: how long it took to IMAGE and CONSTRUCT

  • Imaging: about 30 minutes (49 AVI's of 30 seconds @ 10 fps)
  • Processing in RegiStax: 2 minutes per AVI, so just under 2 hours
  • Rotate/crop in Irfanview and make an AVI in K3CCDTools: 5 minutes (most of the time was used to find out 'how to')
  • Mosaic in iMerge: I did not look at the clock, but I assume about 20 -30 minutes.
  • Photoshop: ~ 15 minutes for histogram tweaking, adding text etc.

Mosaic of the Terminator of the 9 day 7 hour old moon
December 7, 2008 19:23 - 19:54.
9 Piece Mosaic of the Terminator of the 9 day 7 hour old moon
[2500 x 6000 pixels; 932 Kb]
Imaged with LX 200 10-inch f/10 [focal length 2500mm] in prime focus.
Camera: Trust WB-5400 webcam in 1280x1024 pixels format.
Post processing of the individual AVIs: as per my Planetary Post Processing Tutorial.
Mosaic: manually constructed in Photoshop.
Seeing: 8/10, transparency 7/10, almost freezing.
I had problems in imaging the bottom part of the mosaic because of trees ...