Last weekend I finished the integration of postprocessing with the PlanetarySystemStacker software. It works as I described in my post of May 4 above.
Now that everything was in place, I performed the first large-scale test: I created the Windows installer on my development PC and moved it to a PC with no Python or other programming environment installed. There I ran the Windows installer (to test how it would work at your site). Then I went to a directory with AVI files of a complete moon panorama, 75 files in total with about 1800 frames each. I let PSS process all those 75 files in fully automatic batch mode, and afterwards I batch-post-processed all 75 summation files for sharpening. My PC needed 91 minutes in total for stacking the 75 videos. Sharpening the 75 images just took 24 seconds to complete.
Finally, I copied the 75 sharpened images into a folder, together with the corresponding reference files produced with AutoStakkert!3 and AviStack2 (for wavelet sharpening). For a fair comparison I had chosen similar numbers of alignment points in both programs. Now, switching back and forth in an image viewer, for every panorama tile I could directly compare both versions. The result: For all tiles the PSS version was consistently better than the reference version. There were much fewer artifacts (like vertical banding, checkboard-like patterns, distortions of the moon rim, gray patches outside the rim), and in many places the definition of small detail was better (in particular in craters with shadows on the terminator). To make sure that this was not just my biased opinion, I showed the images to friends who confirmed my observations.
I produced this panorama from the 75 tiles. The very first panorama produced with my own software! I was so relieved to see that everything worked as expected: No program crash, not even a warning, even in those cases where the moon only covered a small fraction of the view, no artifact on the moon rim caused by improper frame alignment etc.
Yesterday I started writing the user guide. I will publish the Windows installer only when that is finished, so I have to ask you for some more patience. Stay tuned!
All the best,