Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Questions and answers about processing in StarTools and how to accomplish certain tasks.

Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby Notty » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:54 pm

I'm still struggling a bit with Star tools what with my 3 monthly harvest of not very good data and regular re-immersion into the world of image processing having not looked at it for months so it's always one step forward but 2 backwards but here's an example of how I must be just missing the point of Star tools. I've got a stack of some Ha data of the Soul Nebula. I processed it through Star Tools, with a workflow of Crop, Wipe, Develop, Deconv, Sharpen then NR. Pretty much took the defaults from each step, except on Wipe I ended up skipping doing any of the top button functions (gradient etc) as they seemed to just add more noise and the image didn't seem to have any bad gradients. The trouble is, comparing it to what I did in a few minutes in Affinity Pro, using nothing but 4 recursive Levels adjustments then one curve stretch, I much prefer the output from Affinity. There is just so much more definition in the mid-tones, and for all the processing in ST, it doesn't look particularly noisier either? Try as I might I can't get anything like it from ST. I've linked the original .TIF if anyone fancies showing me how it's done, but at least in the Photoshop-type clone I know what I want to achieve and can see it in real time as I play with it. If I wanted the ST output to look more like the other one where would i start? C'mon, i know ST is a brilliant product as Ive seen other people's output - it just seems to me to be that much less... accessible? Anyway does anyone agree one image is more pleasing that the other? I'd love opinions!

Affinity Pro Output:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mm1bn48w0vtru ... o.jpg?dl=0

Star Tools Output:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/f23v0h9vbnn9n ... s.jpg?dl=0

Original .TIF file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/54pwjbuaoh2kr ... photo?dl=0
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby Cheman » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:21 pm

Notty
I tried to open your stacked file in Startools but no go. It seems to be an Affinity file.
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby admin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:44 am

Hi Notty,

I indeed would prefer the Affinity photo one over the StarTools result as well.
If you could upload the TIFF file (and perhaps post your StarTools.log excerpt for how you processed the image?), we'd be happy to have a look!
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby Notty » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:23 pm

Thanks guys, I'm away from home for a few days but will upload the .tif as soon as I'm back, thanks for your help. Andy
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby Notty » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:30 am

Hi, so I've had another go with much the same results, but hopefully the files are sorted now. Thanks for having a look!

Star Tools output from above:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kv9sxr2cnizq5 ... T.tif?dl=0

Here's the original .TIF:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bcjwpgwvimmhu ... a.tif?dl=0

Here's what I did in Afinity Pro (about 4 levels changes and one minor curve stretch:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/000u7f55yskdv ... .tiff?dl=0

Log file:
-----------------------------------------------------------
StarTools 1.4.327
Fri Apr 14 07:32:57 2017
-----------------------------------------------------------
File loaded [/Users/Andrew/Downloads/Autosave Ha.tif].
---
--- Crop
Parameter [X1] set to [145 pixels]
Parameter [Y1] set to [129 pixels]
Parameter [X2] set to [4505 pixels (-151)]
Parameter [Y2] set to [3367 pixels (-153)]
--- Wipe
Parameter [Mode] set to [Correct Color & Brightness]
Parameter [UNKNOWN] set to [Yes]
Parameter [Precision] set to [256 x 256 pixels]
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [1 pixels]
Parameter [Drop Off Point] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Corner Aggressiveness] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Aggressiveness] set to [75 %]
--- Develop
Parameter [White Calibration] set to [Use Stars]
Parameter [Gamma] set to [1.00]
Parameter [Skyglow] set to [0 %]
Parameter [Digital Development] set to [94.00 %]
Parameter [Blue Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Green Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Red Luminance Contrib.] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Headroom] set to [5 %]
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [Off]
--- Deconvolution
Parameter [Image Type] set to [Deep Space]
Parameter [Mask Behavior] set to [De-ring Mask Gaps, Hide Result]
Parameter [Radius] set to [1.5 pixels]
Parameter [Iterations] set to [6]
Parameter [Regularization] set to [1.00 (optimal noise and detail)]
Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [8.0 pixels]
--- Wavelet Sharpen
Parameter [Intelligent Enhance] set to [Yes]
Parameter [Scale 1] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 2] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 3] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 4] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 5] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [8.0 pixels]
Parameter [Amount] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Small Detail Bias] set to [75 %]
--- Wavelet Sharpen
Parameter [Intelligent Enhance] set to [Yes]
Parameter [Scale 1] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 2] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 3] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 4] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Scale 5] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [8.0 pixels]
Parameter [Amount] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Small Detail Bias] set to [75 %]
--- Wavelet De-Noise
Parameter [Scale 1] set to [90 %]
Parameter [Scale 2] set to [90 %]
Parameter [Scale 3] set to [90 %]
Parameter [Scale 4] set to [90 %]
Parameter [Scale 5] set to [0 %]
Parameter [Mask Fuzz] set to [1.0 pixels]
Parameter [Scale Correlation] set to [6]
Parameter [Color Detail Loss] set to [12 %]
Parameter [Brightness Detail Loss] set to [12 %]
Parameter [Grain Size] set to [6.8 pixels]
Parameter [Read Noise Compensation] set to [Off]
Parameter [Smoothness] set to [75 %]
File saved [/Users/Andrew/Downloads/Autosave Ha ST.tif].
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby admin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:31 am

Hi Notty,

Thanks for that.

The sole issue with your data is that it is very, very noisy - almost like it is a single sub, or like the stacking algorithm rejected all but one frame.
The noisier the data, the "harder" it is to process, in that deviation from the default parameters may be required more often (though in other software this is of course the default way of working - virtually never apply).
As for StarTools, if the noisiness is kept in mind (especially during AutoDev), it is not terribly hard to achieve something that is reasonable - considering the data - with a fairly standard wokflow;

Autosave Ha.jpg
Autosave Ha.jpg (835.23 KiB) Viewed 74 times



-----------------------------------------------------------
StarTools 1.4.327
Sat Apr 15 11:34:21 2017
-----------------------------------------------------------
File loaded [/home/irwjager/Downloads/Autosave Ha.tif].
---
--- Auto Develop
To see what we got.
Severe noise. Some (faint) stacking artifacts or some other anomaly (there is a quick tapering off of the brightness in the upper area).
--- Bin
To reduce noise and hide slight "eggynness" (happy easter!) of the stars.
Parameter [Scale] set to [(scale/noise reduction 50.00%)/(400.00%)/(+2.00 bits)]
--- Crop
To remove stacking artifacts/brightness tapering.
Parameter [X1] set to [66 pixels]
Parameter [Y1] set to [74 pixels]
Parameter [X2] set to [2279 pixels (-49)]
Parameter [Y2] set to [1713 pixels (-47)]
--- Wipe
Default parameters.
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [5 pixels] due to high noise levels.
--- Auto Develop
This is how easy it is to achieve a far better result than traditional stretching;
Create a Region of Interest over an area that contains most of the nebulosity.
Because of the noise, set Parameter [Ignore Fine Detail <] to [3.5 pixels] (so AutoDev doesn't optimise for noise grain)
Parameter [Outside ROI Influence] set to [5 %] to reduce dynamic range allocation to the area outside the RoI.

The reason why I say this result is "better" is that stars are not over-exposed blobs, while faint nebulosity is visible (though buried in noise), while the midtones show all manner of detail.

--- Deconvolution
The data is too noisy fore decon, but thanks to Tracking there is no harm trying; not much will happen if the signal quality is just not sufficient.
Parameter [Radius] set to [1.3 pixels]
--- Wavelet Sharpen
Usiong same mask that decon created.
Parameter [Amount] set to [308 %]
--- Wavelet De-Noise
Final noise reduction - do this to taste, however a fair bit of deviation from the default parameters is required.
Parameter [Scale 5] set to [49 %]
Parameter [Brightness Detail Loss] set to [18 %]
Parameter [Grain Size] set to [20.9 pixels]
Parameter [Read Noise Compensation] set to [7.35 %]
Parameter [Smoothness] set to [88 %]

Does this help?
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby Notty » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi Ivo, thanks so much for that, that is actually much improved I'm really impressed! The key for me was seeing exactly what you did though; it didn't occur to me to use the Dark Anomaly filter (I don't really understand what it does even having read the notes) but setting a ROI makes total sense now and I suspect what's why you've managed to drag out more definition from the image. The wavelet settings though... I'm not sure I could've come up with what to set them to on my own, but thanks for giving me a boost to persevere with it, although as you rightly say the key is more data, but that's completely out of my hands at the moment!!
Thanks again
Andy
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Re: Startools Vs Photoshop clone

Postby happy-kat » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:05 pm

Why are you using a tiff?
If you used DSS to stack then you want to use the autosave fits file in StarTools.
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