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StarTools 1.5 out now

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#1 Ivo Jager

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 09:33 AM

Hi all,

 

After a long, long period of R&D and subsequent beta testing, I am proud to announce the next big version of StarTools!
It finally brings together everything researched and developed over a period of 4 years, only some of which could be glimpsed in the 1.4.x development versions.

 

What's new

 

1.5 is a massive release, jam-packed with enhancements, features and exciting signal-processing innovations;

 

  • Create and process complex composites as if they were simple DSLR datasets. The new Compose mode processes luminance (detail) and color separately in parallel. In a world first, processing LRGB, LLRGB, LSHO and more in one go without combining later is now possible and yields cleaner results to boot due to cross-dataset signal consultation. Video of LLRGB example here and video of LSHO example of the iconic Hubble Pillars of Creation here.
  • Multiple years of work have gone into improving the signal evolution Tracking engine performance across all modules. Noise mitigation and signal fidelity preservation is more effective than ever before.
  • New presets and a brand a new module (video here) are now available for quick and intuitive manipulation of narrowband datasets.
  • Many other quality-of-life improvements are included, such as pre/post-tweak buttons, hot keys, UI overhaul, optimizations, new docs and videos, STREPLAY support and much, much more. See CHANGELOG file in the download for details.

 

The trial is still free as always and downloadable now. Any StarTools license ever issued will work with 1.5 and make it fully functional. As a courtesy, this is true even if your license has expired (though if you like what you see, please consider supporting us by renewing your license).

 

Many thanks to the beta testers and those sending me datasets here on CN and elsewhere. I couldn't have done this without you!  laugh.gif


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#2 mikeyL

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:09 PM

Looks like an impressive piece of software. What is the best way to come up to speed on StarTools 1.5? I am a current middle level PixInsight user who is pretty happy, but would still like to learn enough to do some reprocessing on a couple stacks with this and evaluate using the free download to decide if I want to add this to my tool kit. I would think that being able to compare on screen without saving should be just fine for that, so I have already downloaded the program. So now looking to figure out how to do enough basic stuff to be  able to produce a result that fairly compares to some of my already PixInsight processed images.

 

Thanks bunches,

 

ML



#3 Ivo Jager

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:06 AM

Hi,

 

Apologies for the belated reply!

To quickly get to grips with the software, you can have a look at the links & tutorial section on the website.

Or... You can can share a dataset with me (PM me with a Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc. link), and I can do a personalized workflow - absolutely no strings attached (I love processing different datasets smile.gif )

You can even point me to an image you've done with PI and I can try to emulate your preferences with the same dataset, while hopefully showing you something extra that may pique your interest.

If you are a PI user (or an ST user thinking about checking out PI), there is a handy terminology conversion table here that is continuously updated. It also highlights the most important differences between the two signal processing engines.

 

From your signature, it appears you have mono camera with filter wheel - in that case you will appreciate ST's ability to process luminance and chrominance data in parallel (which comes with numerous benefits), rather than having to process these separately and then combine them. It make processing complex composites extremely easy, as seen in this video.


Edited by Ivo Jager, 29 August 2019 - 08:23 AM.


#4 Phil Cowell

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 06:33 PM

Hi,

 

Apologies for the belated reply!

To quickly get to grips with the software, you can have a look at the links & tutorial section on the website.

Or... You can can share a dataset with me (PM me with a Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc. link), and I can do a personalized workflow - absolutely no strings attached (I love processing different datasets smile.gif )

You can even point me to an image you've done with PI and I can try to emulate your preferences with the same dataset, while hopefully showing you something extra that may pique your interest.

If you are a PI user (or an ST user thinking about checking out PI), there is a handy terminology conversion table here that is continuously updated. It also highlights the most important differences between the two signal processing engines.

 

From your signature, it appears you have mono camera with filter wheel - in that case you will appreciate ST's ability to process luminance and chrominance data in parallel (which comes with numerous benefits), rather than having to process these separately and then combine them. It make processing complex composites extremely easy, as seen in this video.

Nice work.



#5 barrabclaw

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 07:29 PM

Hi,

 

Apologies for the belated reply!

To quickly get to grips with the software, you can have a look at the links & tutorial section on the website.

Or... You can can share a dataset with me (PM me with a Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc. link), and I can do a personalized workflow - absolutely no strings attached (I love processing different datasets smile.gif )

You can even point me to an image you've done with PI and I can try to emulate your preferences with the same dataset, while hopefully showing you something extra that may pique your interest.

If you are a PI user (or an ST user thinking about checking out PI), there is a handy terminology conversion table here that is continuously updated. It also highlights the most important differences between the two signal processing engines.

 

From your signature, it appears you have mono camera with filter wheel - in that case you will appreciate ST's ability to process luminance and chrominance data in parallel (which comes with numerous benefits), rather than having to process these separately and then combine them. It make processing complex composites extremely easy, as seen in this video.

Hi Ivo,

 

I recently noticed the new version when I went to install StarTools on a new machine. The first thing I noticed was the UI; looks great! I'm still fairly new to AP and your software was the first (and really, only) I've used so far. Would I be able to take you up on your offer to do a personalized workflow on some of my data? I've just been clicking around somewhat haphazardly, having fun but probably not achieving the best results. My data isn't perfect either, but I'd be interested to see what you could do with it and how I could improve my image processing.

 

Thanks,

Brendan



#6 Ivo Jager

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 03:03 AM

Hi Ivo,

 

I recently noticed the new version when I went to install StarTools on a new machine. The first thing I noticed was the UI; looks great! I'm still fairly new to AP and your software was the first (and really, only) I've used so far. Would I be able to take you up on your offer to do a personalized workflow on some of my data? I've just been clicking around somewhat haphazardly, having fun but probably not achieving the best results. My data isn't perfect either, but I'd be interested to see what you could do with it and how I could improve my image processing.

 

Thanks,

Brendan

Absolutely! Just share a link to your dataset with me via Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. and we'll take it from there! waytogo.gif


Edited by Ivo Jager, 26 September 2019 - 03:03 AM.

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#7 barrabclaw

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 04:27 PM

Absolutely! Just share a link to your dataset with me via Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. and we'll take it from there! waytogo.gif

Ok here are the subs, dark, and a stack of the best 100 subs + dark. You can use the stack or do it yourself! Thanks for taking the time to help me out!

 

These were taken with a Explore Scientific 102ED with a QHY 183C. They're 30s each, gain of 11, offset of 15. The camera was cooled to -15 C. Let me know if there's anything else that would help for you to know.

 

https://drive.google...zisaGmk1cfE3MHD



#8 Ivo Jager

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 09:02 PM

No problem!

I processed the image with the latest 1.6 alpha (should be mostly replicable using the latest 1.5 stable) like so;

 

File loaded
---
Type of Data: Linear, was not Bayered, or was Bayered + white balanced
--- Auto Develop

To see what we got.

We can see a bias/skyglow, oversampling, some tracking error

--- Bin

Converting oversampling and tracking error into improved signal.
Parameter [Scale] set to [(scale/noise reduction 35.38%)/(798.89%)/(+3.00 bits)]
Image size is 1936 x 1285
--- Crop

Cropping any stacking artifacts and framing M27 better.
Parameter [X1] set to [218 pixels]
Parameter [Y1] set to [178 pixels]
Parameter [X2] set to [1685 pixels (-251)]
Parameter [Y2] set to [1107 pixels (-178)]
Image size is 1467 x 929
--- Wipe

Getting rid of bias/skyglow.
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [5 pixels] to catch any small dark anomalies or dark noise grain.
--- Auto Develop

Final global stretch. I put a Region of Interest over M27.
Parameter [Ignore Fine Detail <] set to [2.0 pixels]
Parameter [Outside RoI Influence] set to [24 %]
Parameter [RoI X1] set to [655 pixels]
Parameter [RoI Y1] set to [354 pixels]
Parameter [RoI X2] set to [826 pixels (-641)]
Parameter [RoI Y2] set to [573 pixels (-356)]
Parameter [Shadow Linearity] set to [15 %]
--- Deconvolution

Default settings. Stars are a little tighter, but signal is otherwise too low for material improvements.
--- HDR

Reveal some latent detail.

Parameter [Algorithm] set to [Reveal All]
Parameter [Dark/Bright Response] set to [Full]
Parameter [Strength] set to [1.3]
--- Life

Default (which is the Isolate preset).

Push back the noise a little, while "lifting" the planetary nebula.
Parameter [Strength] set to [75 %]
--- Color
Parameter [Dark Saturation] set to [3.00]
Parameter [Bright Saturation] set to [Full]
Parameter [Blue Bias Reduce] set to [1.00]
Parameter [Green Bias Reduce] set to [1.53]
Parameter [Red Bias Reduce] set to [1.00]
Parameter [Highlight Repair] set to [4 pixels] (new in 1.6 alpha)
--- Entropy-driven Detail Enhancement

This is an object where the Entropy module (new in 1.5) shines. It can really help make the red filaments stand out against the blue/teal emissions.
Parameter [Resolution] set to [High] (needed as the details we're trying to bring out are quite small in the grand scheme of the entire image)
Parameter [Channel Selection] set to [Red (SHO SII,Vis.Ha)]
Parameter [Dark/Light Enhance] set to [20% / 80%] this boosts Red, and pushes back anything else (e.g. blue) a little.
--- Wavelet De-Noise

Turn Tracking off. Final noise reduction. Default settings.
Parameter [Grain Size] set to [6.0 pixels]

 

barrabclaw_M27.jpg

 

Hope this helps!


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#9 barrabclaw

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 07:37 PM

No problem!

I processed the image with the latest 1.6 alpha (should be mostly replicable using the latest 1.5 stable) like so;

 

File loaded
---
Type of Data: Linear, was not Bayered, or was Bayered + white balanced
--- Auto Develop

To see what we got.

We can see a bias/skyglow, oversampling, some tracking error

--- Bin

Converting oversampling and tracking error into improved signal.
Parameter [Scale] set to [(scale/noise reduction 35.38%)/(798.89%)/(+3.00 bits)]
Image size is 1936 x 1285
--- Crop

Cropping any stacking artifacts and framing M27 better.
Parameter [X1] set to [218 pixels]
Parameter [Y1] set to [178 pixels]
Parameter [X2] set to [1685 pixels (-251)]
Parameter [Y2] set to [1107 pixels (-178)]
Image size is 1467 x 929
--- Wipe

Getting rid of bias/skyglow.
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [5 pixels] to catch any small dark anomalies or dark noise grain.
--- Auto Develop

Final global stretch. I put a Region of Interest over M27.
Parameter [Ignore Fine Detail <] set to [2.0 pixels]
Parameter [Outside RoI Influence] set to [24 %]
Parameter [RoI X1] set to [655 pixels]
Parameter [RoI Y1] set to [354 pixels]
Parameter [RoI X2] set to [826 pixels (-641)]
Parameter [RoI Y2] set to [573 pixels (-356)]
Parameter [Shadow Linearity] set to [15 %]
--- Deconvolution

Default settings. Stars are a little tighter, but signal is otherwise too low for material improvements.
--- HDR

Reveal some latent detail.

Parameter [Algorithm] set to [Reveal All]
Parameter [Dark/Bright Response] set to [Full]
Parameter [Strength] set to [1.3]
--- Life

Default (which is the Isolate preset).

Push back the noise a little, while "lifting" the planetary nebula.
Parameter [Strength] set to [75 %]
--- Color
Parameter [Dark Saturation] set to [3.00]
Parameter [Bright Saturation] set to [Full]
Parameter [Blue Bias Reduce] set to [1.00]
Parameter [Green Bias Reduce] set to [1.53]
Parameter [Red Bias Reduce] set to [1.00]
Parameter [Highlight Repair] set to [4 pixels] (new in 1.6 alpha)
--- Entropy-driven Detail Enhancement

This is an object where the Entropy module (new in 1.5) shines. It can really help make the red filaments stand out against the blue/teal emissions.
Parameter [Resolution] set to [High] (needed as the details we're trying to bring out are quite small in the grand scheme of the entire image)
Parameter [Channel Selection] set to [Red (SHO SII,Vis.Ha)]
Parameter [Dark/Light Enhance] set to [20% / 80%] this boosts Red, and pushes back anything else (e.g. blue) a little.
--- Wavelet De-Noise

Turn Tracking off. Final noise reduction. Default settings.
Parameter [Grain Size] set to [6.0 pixels]

 

 

 

Hope this helps!

Thank you very much! It does help; I was more or less on the right track, even though I was just clicking buttons. Maybe that speaks to your software being very intuitive and powerful at helping people like me produce a nice final image!

 

Here's what I came up with, following your workflow but fiddling with settings:

 

https://imgur.com/a/9TsB7yA



#10 Ivo Jager

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 04:42 AM

Great stuff! Lots of other interpretations possible, but this sure is a nice one. waytogo.gif



#11 Ivo Jager

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 05:31 AM

Hi all,

 

A 1.5 Maintenance Release has been uploaded with some important fixes. Updating is recommended. A 1.6 alpha version is also available which implements a number of new features, improvements and a completely rewritten signal-aware multiscale (wavelet) sharpening module.

 

1.5.369MR1 Maintenance Release

  • Fixed memory leak in Wipe module
  • Fixed bug where small screens would not show Rotate functionality in main screen
  • Fixed bug in handling edge cases in Decon where Decon would generate pixel artifacts
  • Improved Decon deringing of small stars
  • Small improvement in overall handling of Tracking fidelity
  • MaxRGB mode now shows linear color dominance in "before" mode
  • Fixed memory overflow bug in Shrink module

 

Clear skies!


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