In a little bit more detail, AutoFlats allows you to define a generalized set of parameters about your flat frame capture (as part of an equipment profile). Then, using this input, AutoFlats will capture flat frames automatically for every imaging session. Doesn’t matter if you use a Flat Box, a wall mounted light panel or prefer Sky Flats. AutoFlats handles them all. Your Flat Frames will just appear next to your Light Frames when the sequence is complete.  Of course, if you prefer, you can use AutoFlats as a standalone tool but, ideally, it’s run as part of the sequence.

AutoFlats is compatible with any light source, including full support for “sky flats”.  With it, you can capture flats for your current sequence almost effortlessly.  AutoFlats will automatically calculate the flat frames required based on your (minimal) input, match camera angle, gain and offset, arrive at focus and begin to take flat frames.  It’s even smart enough to determine flat frame compatibility in order to prevent duplicate capture when a single set of flat frames will work for multiple different “light” events from your sequence.

To be sure, AutoFlats can be complex, but it doesn’t need to be. It has a lot of options available to it in order to accommodate for as many scenarios and workflows as possible. Odds are pretty high that your AutoFlats settings won’t be overly complex and that you’ll be able to “set and forget”. Future sequence creation won’t need to consider flat frames at all, yet, they’ll appear with the rest of your data when the sequence is complete.

Flat frame capture is a drag… AutoFlats is here to make it easy.  You’ll no longer need to remember all of the sequencing parameters that are required in order to match them to their corresponding light frames.  AutoFlats will certainly automatically manage and track your exposure length for you, but that is really just a very small part of what it can do.  When you add “Flat Events”, AutoFlats will do its very best to derive all the information you’ll need to capture flat frames.  It uses a new marker that SGPro leaves behind for all light events called “flat hints”.  For all intents and purposes, Flat Hints are invisible to you, but AutoFlats knows how to find and use them.  In the case that no Flat Hint marker exists, AutoFlats is also capable of finding and extracting required parameters from FITS headers.

Here we will cover both the automated use of AutoFlats as a child process to the main sequence and also manual use of AutoFlats as a standalone tool.  We will cover standalone usage first since it will cover many of the aspects of its automation at the same time. If you are familiar with SGPro, you can think of it like Auto Focus. Auto Focus can be run as a standalone process or as part of a sequence by defining focus triggers. In the same manner, AutoFlats can run as a separate Flats tool or can define certain triggers that can automate Flat Frame capture as part of the sequence.