Have you considered a 32 bit output file option?

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Have you considered a 32 bit output file option?

Postby markcasazza » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:47 pm

I have started playing around with Gimp 1.9 dev versions and the implementation and support for both 16 bit and 32 bit image files is impressive. While I can get real close with Star Tools alone, I do like to make some final adjustments in Photoshop. I'd love to be able to output a 32 bit depth file now that Gimp is able to do most of what I care to do in PS.
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Re: Have you considered a 32 bit output file option?

Postby admin » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:57 am

Thanks Mark,

Given that StarTools is a post-processing application and that the final output is meant to be a human-visible interpretation of the source data (source data which itself often has less than 16-bit real effective bit-depth) for display on 8-bit sRGB media, rather than the output being another data set itself, outputting in a higher dynamic range of 32-bit-per-pixel is very much overkill.

The same goes for outputting in FITS format; this format is meant for storage of scientific data and - in our case - unadulterated measurements (e.g. photon counts), regardless of interpretation, preference or device-specific rendering cues. Given that StarTools is a post-processing application, the output it produces is no longer scientific data, but rather an interpretation thereof. You will notice that even the act of loading a data set will start with an interpretative question. Once such decisions have been made, storing a picture(!) as scientific data no longer makes sense, while the important of bit-depth of data quickly diminishes once final stretching has occured.

Hope this makes sense!
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
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