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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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CounterWeight
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5458762 - 10/07/12 03:15 AM

Impressive difference Mike - I really like that second image a lot -very nice

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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5458828 - 10/07/12 05:56 AM

Thanks Jim. So far I'm having better luck tweaking 'finished' images than I am starting from scratch with stacked unstretched frames. But that may be just the 'quality' of the stuff I shot tonight. Seeing was really bad and I tried shooting full focal length binned. Too tired for another processing run now and I kinda rushed the first one, have to try again tomorrow.

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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5459754 - 10/07/12 07:35 PM Attachment (114 downloads)

Ok here's what I got out of last nights data using Neb3 to calibrate, stack, and resize the binned subs, and then StarTools for the rest. Bear in mind I only have the slightest grasp of what I'm doing with these advanced processing routines. I have no doubt someone who actually knows how to use StarTools could do a much better job.

This is M76 shot at 2670mm focal length binned 2x2 through the CLSccd filter. 20 x 10mins. My flats failed so there's donuts visible and an artifact in the lower right corner from a nasty dust speck right on the ccd. Seeing was miserable.

Anyway this is the shot as it came out of Neb3 with just a ddp stretch so you can see what's in it.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5459758 - 10/07/12 07:36 PM Attachment (98 downloads)

And this is what I managed to produce using only StarTools. I didn't record a step by step but from memory, I used 'Develop', 'Crop', 'Decon', 'Wipe', and various iterations of the 'Sharp', 'Contrast', 'Life' and 'Magic' modules. Much cancellation and do-over in the process so which processes actually ended up in the final image might be less than 'all' of those.

Oh and I used 'Heal' to remove the dust speck artifact.


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mbach72
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5459864 - 10/07/12 09:05 PM

I have to say, I'm pretty intirgued by StarTools. I've been playing around with the demo and found similar results to Mike7Mak. I think my resulting images are at least as good as what I got from photoshop in a fraction of the time. Granted, my skills are pretty rudimentary. I do some levels and curves, some sharpening/blurring, and color balancing. I dont get anywhere near as advanced as most of you. I just havent had time to learn all the ins and outs of PS.

As someone who has limited time for imaging, I have small amounts of data per image compared to what I see from a lot of you. Usually around an hour per object in LRGB. I'm sure my lack of data precludes me from having images that I could do a whole lot with anyhow. That being said, I like the simplicity of StarTools and what it allows me to do with my simple data.

I have received decent results not even having a full understanding a lot of the modules and just using trial and error with the sliders. With more time to learn the modules, I'm sure I would really like the results. I'm especially impressed with the gradient removal tools and being able to correct out-of-round stars with one click.

I'll probably never have time to fully learn PS or Pixinsight, so this will be a few bucks well spent for me.


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shawnhar
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5459866 - 10/07/12 09:06 PM

Very nice Mike.

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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5459997 - 10/08/12 01:28 AM

Thanks Shawn.

M76 is this month's beginner challenge object so I wanted to get a preview of it while gathering some 'fresh' data to feed into StarTools. It was also a test of my recently 'repaired' camera. I discovered a crack in the ccd chamber cover glass when I went to change the dessicant. SBIG was fantastic about it and sent me a new chamber cover.

So with new dessicant and cover glass I'm now able to go below 0c without fogging the chip. The M76 shot was taken at -20c. What a difference. The one hot pixel I have that starts to bloom in under a minute at 10c only hit about 40k adu in 10 minutes at -20c. But I really have to open it up again to get that dust speck off the chip.

If I get some clear sky during this month's new moon the plan is to re-shoot M76 in LHOO with the .7 reducer for the challenge.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5466109 - 10/11/12 10:52 PM

I posted this question on the StarTools forum but maybe someone here knows the answer.

When installing a newer version can I extract the new version files into the old directory and let them overwrite, or do I have to uninstall the previous version first?


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shawnhar
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5466145 - 10/11/12 11:21 PM

Mike, I don't think you have to do anything if you let StarTools connect to the internet.
I had been using the Alpha, and someone posted that it had become Beta, sure enough when I launched it and looked at the "About", it showed the new version.


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Ivo Jager
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5466202 - 10/12/12 12:19 AM

Hi Mike,

You should be safe just overwriting the files.
Shawn, oh how I wish StarTools had a spiffy updater like that! Alas, for now it's all manual (i.e. you have to download a new version and extract it manually).
There is a reason behind that though. Right now, StarTools has a rapid release cycle; new features and fixes are introduced in rapid succession (it's part of the reason why the documentation had been getting out of date so fast).
I don't want to force people to update if they don't want to.


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MikeCMP
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ivo Jager]
      #5466227 - 10/12/12 01:03 AM

I too played with the demo and found the results to be pretty good. It's pretty powerful, and seems to work well once you get all the stacking artifacts out of your image. I ended up buying it.

One question I have though issue I process a color image, should I process the three color files and the luminance all separately, all by themselves, and then combine them, or just combine and process?

Also, I am using the alpha, and the deconvolution doesn't seem to make a big difference in my images. What are the factors that go into whether more detail can be teased out in deconvolution?

Mike


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Ivo Jager
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Reged: 03/19/11

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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: MikeCMP]
      #5466305 - 10/12/12 03:49 AM

Hi Mike,

Typically for separate LRGB (or just RGB) frames you'll want to combine them into one image that you can process using the LRGB function. Here you can integrate them into one.
If you're doing narrowband imaging, however, it may be worth processing them independent of each other and combining them at a later stage.

With regards to the Decon module, you can trade off noise for more detail by playing with the Regularization parameter. The Decon module tries to figure out if you stand anything to gain by applying deconvolution, or whether it would just introduce noise. You can skew its 'decisions' by modifying the Regularization parameter. Ypur mileage may vary with this - the Wavelet de-noising routine at the end (when tracking is switched off) will be able to mop up some of the noise introduced, but not all of it.
Typically, images that required pretty heavy stretching to bring out detail (e.g. your signal is faint) also exhibit more noise and therefore deconvolution becomes difficult. Do your images fall in this category? If not, I'd love to have a look at your data and see whether Decon is making the right decisions...


Cheers,

Edited by Ivo Jager (10/12/12 03:58 AM)


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gustavo_sanchez
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ivo Jager]
      #5466984 - 10/12/12 03:56 PM

I bought this software since it has improved some of my previous images beyond what I expected. However, I have noticed that the focus of all postprocessing efforts have towards DSO objects. How effective ST is for planetary imaging?

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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: gustavo_sanchez]
      #5467245 - 10/12/12 06:45 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

Well I decided to just keep going with full focal length (2670mm). This is the previous L data with Ha+O3 added. 6 x 20 minutes each binned 2x2 added to 17 x 10 minutes L also binned.

I did a LHOO combine and 'auto color balance' in Nebulosity 3 and from there it's all StarTools. I think I'm gonna keep playing with this for a while and try doing the separate processing and layering of the L and HOO that Ivo mentioned.

M76 in LHOO


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gustavo_sanchez
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5467784 - 10/13/12 06:33 AM

My reprocessed M16, using StarTools:



Full resolution image here:

M16


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Eric Gage
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: gustavo_sanchez]
      #5467852 - 10/13/12 08:26 AM

Nice Gustavo--do you still have the original process without Star Tools?

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CounterWeight
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Eric Gage]
      #5468140 - 10/13/12 11:41 AM

Just wanted to pop in and thank all the folks posting in on this - I'm following along still have not purchased... but will very soon. I'm learining a lot by folks Q&A here which is great.

Ivo - does the decon tool try and figure out over/under sample for decision to invoke? Ex. would it toggle in or out based on 6.2 arcsec/pixel vs. 1.2 arcsec/pixel? Just curious... I in general do not use it.


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gustavo_sanchez
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Eric Gage]
      #5468562 - 10/13/12 04:14 PM

Quote:

Nice Gustavo--do you still have the original process without Star Tools?




Sure, here it is:



This is before StarTools, the other is is posted a few posts above.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: gustavo_sanchez]
      #5468738 - 10/13/12 06:31 PM Attachment (75 downloads)

Here's another M76 before/after StarTools pair. This was supposed to be color but I forgot to change the filter to Ha and took the whole binned Ha sequence with the CLS filter. Drat. To top it off I think the chip has developed a dead column.

Anyway this is the luminance stack, 22 x 10 minutes binned 1x1 with the CLS filter, with the .5 Antares reducer for approx 1500mm fl.

Again, I'm still kinda flailing around in StarTools pushing buttons and blindly tweaking parameters to see what happens. So far my 'workflow' is roughly 'Develop', 'Crop', 'Decon' and then various trial and error iterations of 'Magic' 'Life' 'HDR'. Photoshop gets honorable mention for converting the 16 bit tiffs to jpeg.

This 'before' is calibrated, stacked, and ddp stretched in Nebulosity 3. (edit...the Neb3 ddp stretch isn't done on the file that ST works on.)

Edited by Mike7Mak (10/13/12 06:44 PM)


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5468740 - 10/13/12 06:32 PM Attachment (60 downloads)

And 'after'...

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