Now you’ve got an AutoFlats run ready to go.  With it, you can 

  • Run it to capture flat calibration data
  • Just save it for later (your custom AutoFlats run will save along with the rest of your sequence; currently only a single custom AutoFlats run is supported per sequence
  • Export it as Flat Events to the current sequence. This most closely resembles the previous “Flats Wizard” in SGPro. This method will result in the traditional “Flat” event type as part of the main sequence and these frames will be captured like any other sequence event.

Below, we’ll cover how to accomplish each of these actions…

Before you start the AutoFlats run, you may want to consider the order in which Flat Events appear in the list. An Flat Event run will run in the order it appears in the list. Does it matter?  Maybe. The primary reading to order your Flat Events is for efficiency. Sky Flats are often a timed event and might be highly beneficial to enforce a particular order that maximizes the time available to you. For instance, you may have a very slow filter wheel and toggling back and forth between Flat Events that use different filters may cost you precious minutes. In this case you’d want to order Flat Events in such a way that the Filter Name is the primary ordering key. This will result in an AutoFlats run that minimizes the number of filter changes. After applying the filter grouping, the next “time suck” to consider is your hypothetically slow rotator. In this case, you’d want to apply an ordering option for rotator angle. At this point, you have instructed AutoFlats to group Flat Events by Filter and then, within those Filter Groups, further group by rotator angle. In this hypothetical case, AutoFlats has ordered Flat Events in such a way that it will prioritize minimizing Filter changes and then minimize Rotator movement within those Filter groups. With that in mind, here are some tools available to help you easily enforce whatever ordering scheme is best for your rig:

  • Moving Flat Events Manually: You can Right Click on a Flat Event and choose to move it up or down in the list (or to the top or bottom of the list).
  • Automatic Ordering: Alternatively, AutoFlats has a robust automatic ordering system in place.  With it, you can choose to order the Flat Events by whatever properties you choose and in a ranked manner. In other words, you can specify “Sort by A and then by B and finally by C”. More on this below.