Hey, I am by know means the best at this but always willing to share. I currently use CCDops for flats and darks (and shooting), Maxim Essentials for combine, CS2 (with the Carboni tools) for the most of the heavy lifting and Microsoft Digital Office Suite to add the finishing touches.
Just got Maxim DL Pro but waiting for clear skies to break it in. I've seen some great images that have been created with Gimp and PixInsight. Good stuff.
I've been using PS CS5 with Noel Carboni Astronomy Tools plug-in and Russell Cromin's GradientXTerminator plug-in. I've seen a lot of good work done with GIMP. Does GIMP supporting 16 bit channel yet? I think that will be huge when it does.
Just a question. I'm a newbie with Photoshop - but I'm familiar with a lot of graphic tools; does Gradient eXterminator keep what it says? I use PixInsight but for a world of reasons at the end I've to stretch a lot, so color gradients are a constant struggle...
I can't believe no one else uses PixInsight! It's a really awesome piece of software.
It's cross platform (Linux, BSD, MacOS, Winblows); x86, x86_64.
Yeah, it would be nice if GIMP supported 16 bit colour. Perhaps I should free up
some more of my time to contribute to the project. I think it has the potential to
be a real gem in the AP toolkit. If any of you have decent C programming skills,
you should check out their plugin API; It's a piece of cake to integrate your work.
I'm a Linux/BSD geek, I don't use windows either. Thankfully, PixInsight is primarily developed for Linux and there's a Mac build as well! I recommend the 64 bit version, personally, as they seem to be a bit more stable and many of the procedures seem optimised for 64 bit CPUs. Certainly worth a look, if even for the trial! Glad I spent the money though; I wouldn't use anything else.