Testimonials

General discussion about StarTools.

Re: Testimonials

Postby admin » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:39 pm

alacant wrote:No more jumping through hoops. No nonsense, affordable astro software that just works.
I made a blog post with the quote and a bit of publicity:
http://linuxcostablanca.blogspot.com.es ... tools.html
Cheers and clear skies.

Thank you so much! :obscene-drinkingcheers:
Ivo Jager
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Re: Testimonials

Postby TinySpeck » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:48 pm

Hello Ivo,

I'm a brand new astrophotographer. I've been struggling with equipment for a while, but things are finally starting to come together. I had been getting nice results with some preliminary images using StarTools, and now with some decent image data StarTools seemed to be working quite well. I wondered what I might be missing, however, since of course everyone uses PixInsight (PI), so I decided to download their trial and compare. I'm an engineer and quite used to signal processing, so I thought I would appreciate PI's approach.

I spent several hours with PI and was starting to make some progress on my comparison image. It was tough going, despite all the help and tutorials available. Doing barely-acceptable background and color neutralization required me to manually place over 800 sample points on the image, something which StarTools did in Wipe with breathtaking ease. I tried a dozen different approaches in PI, but my unbelievably tedious manual method was the only one which worked even halfway on my rather heavily vignetted image.

PI also creates an alarming volume of intermediate image files. My single image chewed up almost 50 GB (yes, GB) in intermediate disk files.

After giving PI a good run, I looked back at my beautiful results obtained with ease using StarTools and gave it up. I did some more looking for tutorials and found a couple example workflows with StarTools, which have been so successful I was stunned. I'm now creating gorgeous images from even mediocre data with very little effort using StarTools.

What a brilliant program! I didn't realize what a jewel it was until I'd checked out the competition and gotten a little more comfortable with a good StarTools workflow. Now I'm so amazed that I am processing and re-processing my images with ease, just for fun, and can't wait for more new data. I do so hope you can keep maintaining and improving this fabulous program. You've got a lifetime fan here.

Gerrit
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Re: Testimonials

Postby admin » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:35 am

TinySpeck wrote:Hello Ivo,

I'm a brand new astrophotographer. I've been struggling with equipment for a while, but things are finally starting to come together. I had been getting nice results with some preliminary images using StarTools, and now with some decent image data StarTools seemed to be working quite well. I wondered what I might be missing, however, since of course everyone uses PixInsight (PI), so I decided to download their trial and compare. I'm an engineer and quite used to signal processing, so I thought I would appreciate PI's approach.

I spent several hours with PI and was starting to make some progress on my comparison image. It was tough going, despite all the help and tutorials available. Doing barely-acceptable background and color neutralization required me to manually place over 800 sample points on the image, something which StarTools did in Wipe with breathtaking ease. I tried a dozen different approaches in PI, but my unbelievably tedious manual method was the only one which worked even halfway on my rather heavily vignetted image.

PI also creates an alarming volume of intermediate image files. My single image chewed up almost 50 GB (yes, GB) in intermediate disk files.

After giving PI a good run, I looked back at my beautiful results obtained with ease using StarTools and gave it up. I did some more looking for tutorials and found a couple example workflows with StarTools, which have been so successful I was stunned. I'm now creating gorgeous images from even mediocre data with very little effort using StarTools.

What a brilliant program! I didn't realize what a jewel it was until I'd checked out the competition and gotten a little more comfortable with a good StarTools workflow. Now I'm so amazed that I am processing and re-processing my images with ease, just for fun, and can't wait for more new data. I do so hope you can keep maintaining and improving this fabulous program. You've got a lifetime fan here.

Gerrit


Thank you so much for your thorough review and testimonial Gerrit!

Thanks to your background in signal processing, you just took a massive a shortcut where others take a long road; starting with ST, then "graduating" to PI (because complex & granular is better, right?) only to eventually return to StarTools after learning more about signal processing and signal preservation.

It's such a common path in fact that I created a PI <> ST "translation table" a good while back for those switching between the two applications, simply to speed up the process; it's best to discover these things for yourself rather than to take someone else's word for it - it's how we learn. As such I definitely encourage people who feel like they're "missing out" to try PI, since it has a 45-day free trial.

If you already bought PI, know that the price is worth it for its stacking capabilities alone. It is probably the best AP processing program of the old filter-upon-filter-upon-filter paradigm; as such it is a great toolbox. Unfortunately its tools don't have a concept of time progression / signal evolution (and hence ignoring a 3rd dimension of signal that can be used by its algorithms to improve results), nor do its tools have any awareness of the commutative properties of the the other tools in the toolbox. At the end of the day, it's just as handicapped as Photoshop in that regard, producing similar results.

It's a hard thing to explain to newbies and intermediates. Fortunately ST's superior results tends to be enough evidence that something else must be going on besides the obvious ease-of-use.

Thank you again & I will add your testimonial to the website!
Ivo Jager
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Re: Testimonials

Postby TinySpeck » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:47 pm

admin wrote:If you already bought PI, know that the price is worth it for its stacking capabilities alone. It is probably the best AP processing program of the old filter-upon-filter-upon-filter paradigm; as such it is a great toolbox. Unfortunately its tools don't have a concept of time progression / signal evolution (and hence ignoring a 3rd dimension of signal that can be used by its algorithms to improve results), nor do its tools have any awareness of the commutative properties of the the other tools in the toolbox. At the end of the day, it's just as handicapped as Photoshop in that regard, producing similar results.


I gave PI enough of a review not to buy it. I completely agree with your positive comments about it though, and indeed the stacking and quality-assessment was really impressive. Deep Sky Stacker has some of that capability though, and I'm working on making the most of that.

Thanks again for such a wonderful program. I bet you've done most of the documentation, too, which is another huge amount of work. You've done the field of AP a great service! If there's anything I can do to pitch in or help, let me know.
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Re: Testimonials

Postby niccoc1603 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:47 am

I am new to astro photography and unfortunately I don't have much time to spend on this fantastic hobby.
I almost gave up after starting the "classic" route.

Then i decided to give ST a try, since it was promised to be powerful and simple at the same time. Soon after I discovered it was not just a promise!
The beauty of ST is that after a quick learning curve you will spend your time processing images and getting wonderful results rather than wondering what the hell you have to do next.

Most of all I have to thank Ivo for its fantastic support, I really enjoy exchanging opinion and receiving feedbacks from him!
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