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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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mcbbcn
super member


Reged: 03/10/07

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Processing Software - StarTools [Re: lawrie]
      #5534841 - 11/23/12 03:55 AM

Quote:

I don't think it can open a .tif file.




Hi Lawrie,

I thought I would lend you a hand.

I have a very similar system than yours. If you upload the .tif file that you're having challenges with to box.net or dropbox, I'll be happy to download it into my system and see if I can open it. At least that will help us narrow down the issue.

Thank you,

M.


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mcbbcn
super member


Reged: 03/10/07

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: mcbbcn]
      #5536422 - 11/23/12 11:00 PM Attachment (61 downloads)

Hi,

I went ahead and reprocess the Heart Nebula using Ivo's method for luminance and color, and this is the end result. I find his approach balances colors better & gets more contrast.

Cheers,

M.

Edited by mcbbcn (11/23/12 11:01 PM)


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mcbbcn
super member


Reged: 03/10/07

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: mcbbcn]
      #5541333 - 11/26/12 11:39 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share my Heart nebula processed by Ivo using StarTools. I was blown away. Keep in mind that this is a 45min. Ha exposure with 15min. for each color (RGB) taken from a Bortle 8 sky like Portland Downtown which is where observatory is located. Pretty amazing!!!

If you want to see the full image, you can get it @ http://astrogab.ning.com/photo/heart-nebula

Cheers,

M.


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: mcbbcn]
      #5541523 - 11/27/12 04:45 AM

Wow, that really pulled out the data, very impressive result - especially from our city! (I have renamed it Cloudyopolis, am in SE part of city 'close in') Congrat's

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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5541932 - 11/27/12 11:44 AM

Nice colours !!

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Jeff Smith
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/06/10

Loc: Chicago
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5542702 - 11/27/12 07:41 PM

Anybody running Startools on a Windows 8 computer?

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TimN
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Jeff Smith]
      #5542717 - 11/27/12 07:51 PM

Yup, I run StarTools on Windows 8 - no problem.

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Jeff Smith
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/06/10

Loc: Chicago
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: TimN]
      #5543321 - 11/28/12 06:35 AM

Great. Thanks.

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mcbbcn
super member


Reged: 03/10/07

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5544070 - 11/28/12 03:20 PM

Hi Jim,

It's nice to find another East-sider in the CN forum. I'm in NE close by Broadway and Fred Meyer.

I like the Cloudyopolis name, very appropriate

By the way, I see you're familiar with our crazy LP. I looked your NB shots and they're amazing...I'm slowly but surely moving in that direction. I just got my Lumicon OIII filter, so now, I have an Ha 7nm, OIII 11nm, and RGB for color stars, I should be able to take some nice shots too.

Cheers,

M.


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mcbbcn
super member


Reged: 03/10/07

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Jeff Smith]
      #5544075 - 11/28/12 03:22 PM

Thank you all for the feedback. I can't take credit for the processing, just the gathering of photons, but I'm very happy with StarTools. I have a core i7 64bit system with 6Gb of ram, and it handles my raw, tiff & fit images, just fine.

Cheers,

M.


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klhanson
newbie


Reged: 03/04/12

Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: mcbbcn]
      #5574476 - 12/16/12 04:48 PM Attachment (73 downloads)

Hi all,

I thought I'd add my own experience using StarTools to this thread. First off, I want to state that I'm very new to the astrophotography (and astronomy more generally) hobby. I was drawn to this by the absolutely beautiful images of galaxies, nebula, and stars produced by some of the heavyweight experts mentioned earlier by Ivo. I grabbed some raw data and started reading whatever I could find about the processing workflow concepts, and downloaded trial versions of almost every software I could find to experiment. Each and every time, I hit what seemed like a hard knowledge barrier preventing me from coming anywhere near what I longed to be able to produce myself. That was until about 3 days ago when I stumbled upon StarTools. In minutes, I could tell that the approach Ivo took in providing software that you can learn via trial-and-error without worrying too much about ruining your precious data was the right one for me. The modules all seemed so intuitive to use, even if I only still understand a fraction of the multitude of options. About a month ago I signed up for Slooh to be able to capture targets of interest, and despite extremely small exposure times (Lum 70 sec x 2, RGB 40 sec each) provided by a single Slooh imaging session (pre-calibrated by the Slooh delivery system), I was amazed what Ivo's tool could achieve.

To give you an idea of of StarTool's capabilities in the hands of a complete novice, here is the image the composite image Slooh delivered to me the night I pointed their half-meter scope at IC405 (clipped to fit to the attachment rules):


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klhanson
newbie


Reged: 03/04/12

Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: mcbbcn]
      #5574484 - 12/16/12 04:51 PM Attachment (72 downloads)

...and below is the image that I came up using StarTools after following Ivo's workflow above (roughly). This is my first attempt and I can't wait to learn more about this great asset Ivo has provided to the AP community. Needless to say, I became a customer.

Hat's off to you, Ivo. A truly great accomplishment.

Clear skies to you all,
Kris.


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Ranger Tim
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/25/08

Loc: SE Idaho, USA
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: mcbbcn]
      #5574838 - 12/16/12 09:42 PM

Just for your edification and information, I have not been submitting any reports back to Ivo because everything seems to have been resolved regarding my MacBook Pro. StarTools is running well. I have a huge backlog of images to reprocess and it will take some time. That's a good thing considering the Idaho winter has finally arrived and it has been mostly cloudy since mid November. Working a 5AM job is not helping either.

However, I must correct Ivo in that I am running Snow Leopard, NOT Lion as he has previously thought. I am also content to work in 32 bit for now. One day I will make the change to Lion but only after the bugs in some other unrelated software apps are fixed.

I believe StarTools has filled a niche in this market, i.e. astrophotography post processing SW that is substantially more user friendly and less technically demanding. The before/after buttons are particularly useful, along with the simplified workflow. An area I still find frustrating is the lack of my own skill with creating masks and knowing what type of masks I should employ, but this software makes this entire (other) side of the imaging coin much more enjoyable for me. I was once lost in a sea of highly subjective curves and levels iterations and was never quite sure when I was clipping data or whether I was being aggressive enough.

The noise reduction feature that has been incorporated with the tracking is another big incentive to use this SW - it really works! The relatively low cost of StarTools is also a big plus. Thanks Ivo, there can only be good things that result from having more choices in the marketplace. And yes, I do own Photoshop and Nebulosity as well. I just don't have the patience or cash to lay down for some of the other big names (Images Plus, Pixinsight, etc.)

While I understand some other folk's frustration over performance problems (I was in the same boat recently), it is important to continue to support independent developers such as Craig Starke and Ivo. These guys are making a difference for many of us, and I appreciate it.

Thanks for letting me stand on the soap box for a moment.


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Ivo Jager
Vendor ( Star Tools )


Reged: 03/19/11

Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ranger Tim]
      #5578111 - 12/18/12 11:12 PM

Many thanks for the kind words and encouragement guys. As I said before, knowing that ST really makes a difference to how people progress in our wonderful hobby, makes it all worthwhile!
1.3 has, as of today, hit Release Candidate stage, with some additional tweaks and bugfixes (mainly for the 32-bit executables).
A number of new tutorials are out on the forums, while the fast growing community has also started spilling over into /r/StarTools on Reddit; do stop by for some cat pictures, memes and of course, plenty of ST & astronomy related banter!

Happy holidays everyone!


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akulapanam
super member


Reged: 08/27/12

Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ivo Jager]
      #5619500 - 01/12/13 05:31 PM

I had tried your program several months ago and hadn't been intrigued.

However, I came back to it today and downloaded the 1.3 release and I must say that I'm very impressed! It produces a superior image to photoshop in far less time.

The only issue I have right now is that auto develop changes my image into something with very strong red and yellow tones. However regular develop works great.


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Ivo Jager
Vendor ( Star Tools )


Reged: 03/19/11

Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: akulapanam]
      #5619643 - 01/12/13 06:53 PM

Quote:


The only issue I have right now is that auto develop changes my image into something with very strong red and yellow tones. However regular develop works great.




AutoDev is THE most 'honest' stretching procedure you can use. By design, it does its very best to highlight any problems in your image, whether they be noise, stacking artefacts, flat/dark frame issues or light pollution problems.
In your case, it sounds like you have light pollution problems. They should be easily taken care of by the Wipe module. As Wipe will suggest, just redo your stretch afterwards (this time without the LP bias)

In Photoshop, more often than not people leave a clear (to me) light pollution signature in the form of a brown haze. AutoDev really just shows you the unadulterated signal as your CCD captured it; no pyschovisual tomfoolery (for example it refrains from doing CIELab luminance-only stretching). The reason that AutoDev takes this approach is that it assumes that your color can not be accurately determined yet because of the presence of one or more possible signal biases, so color constancy is useless (and actually detrimental to further processing and assessing your data). Only after subtracting these biases can color accurately be determined and manipulated. Up until then AutoDev applies the exact same signal gain factors to all channels.

For that same reason the LRGB module (which is scheduled for an overhaul in 1.4 by the way) does not perform a CIELab combine, destroying saturation. Rather it chooses to retain saturation over color constancy, giving a more classic (as in film/plate era) and vibrant color rendition.

StarTools does fully respects psychovisual color constancy in the Color module which operates in sRGB color space. The rest of the modules also automatically convert between different color spaces as appropriate.

If you feel the yellow/red bias is something else than light pollution, do let me know though!

Cheers,

Edited by Ivo Jager (01/12/13 06:55 PM)


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akulapanam
super member


Reged: 08/27/12

Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ivo Jager]
      #5619749 - 01/12/13 08:07 PM

Thanks that was very helpful!

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ivo Jager]
      #5619781 - 01/12/13 08:34 PM

Ivo,

Why is the Mac version only 32 bit??

-- Chris


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Ivo Jager
Vendor ( Star Tools )


Reged: 03/19/11

Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: CJK]
      #5619789 - 01/12/13 08:42 PM

Hi Chris,

Apple dropped support for Carbon applications on 64-bit and I still need to re-write my MacOSX multi-platform framework to use the Cocoa framework instead.
This re-write/migration is scheduled for 1.4.

Hope that helps!


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Processing Software - StarTools new [Re: Ivo Jager]
      #5619849 - 01/12/13 09:37 PM

Ah, got it. Good news that a Cocoa version is planned. Thanks!

-- Chris


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