First look at StarTools

Requests for new features and wish-list items.

First look at StarTools

Postby moscow » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:04 am

Hi!

Friend of my give me his laptop and tell me: Try StarTools! Very good program :thumbsup:
I used PixInsight before, do a little fixes in it code.

So I open my Cocon nebula linear fit and start to using StarTools. And found it GREAT. Thanks for your work very much.
Here is my first look results:

---------------------

Sharpen:
- only 1 cpu core used (speed up);
- no preview feature (speed up);

Contrast:
- only 1 cpu core;
- no preview :(

... maybe some more modules do so? Not deconvolve i see.

Denoise:
- where is zoom at grain size calibration?

Common problem:
- mouse wheel is not used. I mean better to use it for zoom;
- sometime want to see percentage, not only "loading.." animation circle (perhaps ETA would be better);
- entering into deconvolve (for example) start view at 100% with left-top image corner aligned. Better to use previous zoom / pan, I think (or change pan to center);

Save dialog ask a filename, its ok. I try to write 'IC5146' and press enter. StarTools give me error - something like "Could only save at tiff / jpeg".
Sure no problem. Will choose it by hand. But see only 'All files' wildcast in dialog. Not tiff / jpeg choise.
Its not intuitive to type .tiff extension by hands.
----------

thanks again for good product, will but it soon. Didnt like PixInsight Juan's religion :(
moscow
 
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:03 am

Re: First look at StarTools

Postby admin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:14 am

moscow wrote:Hi!

Friend of my give me his laptop and tell me: Try StarTools! Very good program :thumbsup:
I used PixInsight before, do a little fixes in it code.

So I open my Cocon nebula linear fit and start to using StarTools. And found it GREAT. Thanks for your work very much.


Hi,

Thank you for your kind words! It means a lot. :D

Thank you also for your thoughtful feedback!

Here is my first look results:

---------------------

Sharpen:
- only 1 cpu core used (speed up);
- no preview feature (speed up);

Contrast:
- only 1 cpu core;
- no preview :(



There are some good reasons for the points you mention.

With regards to single core use in some places;

Multi-threading is used where it makes sense in StarTools.
For very memory intensive algorithms, the memory bus is actually the main bottle neck. In these cases multi-threading can actually have an adverse effect on performance and cache hits; threads would spend a lot more time waiting for memory access rather than processing. In such cases the algorithm uses a single core to alleviate memory access times and cache misses, while simultaneously taking advantage of higher clock speeds for single core usage (e.g. frequency throttling features such as Intel's TurboBoost etc.).

With regards to the lack of a preview in some places;

Some algorithms require the whole image to be processed to work correctly; often a pixel's new value is dependent on values of other pixels very far away. In such cases, a preview area would not work and so, a speed up is not possible.

Denoise:
- where is zoom at grain size calibration?


The point of the grain size calibration is to look at the image 1:1 (e.g. at 100% zoom) and blur the image until noise grain at the largest visible scale can no longer be seen. Zoom is not useful in this instance. Hope this makes sense.

Common problem:
- mouse wheel is not used. I mean better to use it for zoom;

Noted!
- sometime want to see percentage, not only "loading.." animation circle (perhaps ETA would be better);

It's a tricky one... Ideally the animation circle/spinner should not be shown very long (for things that could take a long time, a traditional progress/status bar is used). In StarTools, virtually every module runs multiple algorithms in parallel or in sequence with varying lengths and/or opportunities to report back a status. In virtually all cases it is not a simple 0% to 100% linear process, complicated even more by multi-threaded processing (with each thread having its own completion status). So what to report in such a small space?
- entering into deconvolve (for example) start view at 100% with left-top image corner aligned. Better to use previous zoom / pan, I think (or change pan to center);

Modules show the image at a zoom level that is appropriate for the task. 100% was determined to be appropriate for the decon module as, 1. it enhances small detail (requiring 100% zoom level or higher) and, 2. allows for specifying a preview area (requiring 100% zoom level or higher)

As you can hopefully see, a lot of decisions were made with a clear rationale or reason behind them! :)

Save dialog ask a filename, its ok. I try to write 'IC5146' and press enter. StarTools give me error - something like "Could only save at tiff / jpeg".
Sure no problem. Will choose it by hand. But see only 'All files' wildcast in dialog. Not tiff / jpeg choise.
Its not intuitive to type .tiff extension by hands.

You're absolutely right. This indeed needs fixing.

Thanks again for your thoughtful and comprehensive feedback - it is much appreciated.

Clear skies!
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
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admin
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Re: First look at StarTools

Postby moscow » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:29 am

Thanks for your reply.

Another feedback by forum. Would be better to check "notify me when ..." by default :)
Will answer you soon. Sorry for anons only.
moscow
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:03 am

Re: First look at StarTools

Postby moscow » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi.

Sorry for delay.

admin wrote:With regards to the lack of a preview in some places;

Some algorithms require the whole image to be processed to work correctly; often a pixel's new value is dependent on values of other pixels very far away. In such cases, a preview area would not work and so, a speed up is not possible.


I understand. For example wavelets should be applied to big part of image at least.
But its very important to get interactive user communication in app. So, maybe you should warn user with text like "what you see in preview may not be same as at full page"? Dont realy know, but... at moment my pation could give me ability to process only crops :(

Also about interactivity. Read it in other threads - yes, software need pan tool at shotkey with fast scrolling at big zooms. Perhaps like at photoshop or other software - hold some key like ctrl or alt and pan image by mouse. With mouse zoom it would be greate usability improve.

admin wrote:
Denoise:
- where is zoom at grain size calibration?

The point of the grain size calibration is to look at the image 1:1 (e.g. at 100% zoom) and blur the image until noise grain at the largest visible scale can no longer be seen. Zoom is not useful in this instance. Hope this makes sense.


Ok, but i'm spent tooooo many hours at pc, so my eyes not real good. I'm using 150% font size in browser on my HD laptop's screen, changed font size at IDE and Skype, and so on...
Maybe you right... sure.

admin wrote:
- sometime want to see percentage, not only "loading.." animation circle (perhaps ETA would be better);

It's a tricky one... Ideally the animation circle/spinner should not be shown very long (for things that could take a long time, a traditional progress/status bar is used). In StarTools, virtually every module runs multiple algorithms in parallel or in sequence with varying lengths and/or opportunities to report back a status. In virtually all cases it is not a simple 0% to 100% linear process, complicated even more by multi-threaded processing (with each thread having its own completion status). So what to report in such a small space?


Oh, I see. :think:

admin wrote:Thanks again for your thoughtful and comprehensive feedback - it is much appreciated.

Clear skies!


Thanks. You too.
And thanks again for a good software! I'm trying it from time to time now. But as u see, havnt much time atm :(
moscow
 
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:03 am


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