The “Auto Capture” feature in AltairCapture allows users to capture a sequence of images. You can predefine the name format, file type and get the images saved to a preset directory quickly and easily.
Choose the “Capture> Auto Capture” command in AltairCapture or press the Auto Capture toolbar button. This will begin to capture images from the video stream automatically.
When the capture process begins, “Capture> Auto Capture” will change to “Capture> Stop Capture” and the toolbar button will appear active. Choosing the “Capture> Stop Capture” command or pressing the checked toolbar button will stop the auto capture process.
Before using Auto Capture, some parameters need to be defined. This is done in the “Options > Preferences > Auto Capture” properties menu or you can click on the little gear icon on the right of the top menu bar:
Directory: To keep things neat, you can set AltairCapture to automatically save your files in a default target directory and sub directory.
Directory: Enter name of the drive and directory where the new image(s) will be saved.
You can either manually type the file path, or use the Browse button
to find the directory in which to capture the image files.
Sub Directory: The sub directory can be automatically named with the date of the capture sequence, and various formats are available:
Name Format: Year, month, date, hour, minute and second or nnnn (sequence) are used as part of the file name. If more files are saved within a second, a (xx) suffix is attached to the end of Name Format to avoid possible name conflicts. For the nnnn (sequence) Name Format, no suffix is needed.
File Prefix: Enter a file name prefix for Auto Capture when generating file names for a series of images. This prefix will be combined with Name Format to form a final file name according to the naming convention you prefer. You could type file prefixes like Sun, Moon, Jupiter, or Saturn for example:
File Type: In this box, you can select the format in which you want the image to be saved. BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF, or FITS:
Note: When users are capturing RAW images (that’s when the Format under Capture & Resolution is set to “RAW”, the only file type available will be FITS (.fit). This format is Debayered and is a very pure output from the camera which is why it’s the only option available when capturing in RAW mode. FITS file format is normally used for deepsky imaging and stacking of subframes.
File Menu: Many image formats are available in AltairCapture (.bmp, .jpg, . png, .tif or .fit) to save the captured image. For example to choose .jpg format, this option can be pre-set in “Options > Preferences… > File properties“. If the file format has additional options like compression, the Config… button to the top right will be enabled. Note: This menu also controls video files.
When the “Config…” button is clicked, a dialog will pop up as below, showing the options for the selected format:
The Capture Mode settings define the timing between images. A limit can be imposed on the number of images. This is especially useful for timelapse movie sequences.
Sample: The final file name is shown at the right of the Sample label for reference.
Capture every frame: Checking this will capture every frame in the video sequence.
Time Slot (second): Capture one image at each time interval (0-100s, default is 6).
Total Images: Checking Total Images brings up a field where you can enter the Total number Images to capture in the sequence (1-9999, default is 100). NOTE: If Total Images is unchecked, AltairCapture will continuously capture images until user chooses the Capture > Stop Capture command to stop the Auto Capture process.
After all parameters are set, clicking OK will close the dialog and the parameters will be used as default for the Auto Capture command until changed.