AutoDev Module Use (v1.5+)

Notes from users, documentation addendums.
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AutoDev Module Use (v1.5+)

Post by Guy »

Here are some notes relating to using the AutoDev module.
They relate to StarTools version 1.5.368 and later.
Please let me know if anyone sees any errors or has any additional advice they think helpful.
I will update this post as needed.
To easily access similar notes on the other StarTools modules see StarTools Main Window Use.

AutoDev Module

  • To intelligently apply a global stretch to the image for inspection and development purposes.
For a general overview see Autodev.
  • AutoDev is designed to show up the faults in an image - that is why most images look bad when doing the initial global stretch.
  • When given a suitably cropped and Wiped image AutoDev is designed to find the optimal global stretch.
  • Autodev employs an enhanced algorithm that yields optimal global dynamic range assignment - without masking artifacts - while being easy to control.
Useful Sources
There are good general instructions for the use of the AutoDev module here.
The notes below relate to StarTools version 1.5+.
The processing video 'StarTools complex LLRGB composite processing in 9 minutes real-time, with the Compose module' shows the use of the AutoDev module. This shows v1.5 but is still relevant for this module.

When to use:
  • For the initial global stretch - Just after loading the image in StarTools - to allow initial viewing of the features and problems associated with the image.
  • For the final global stretch - After using the Wipe module.
Example Workflow (v1.5):
AutoDev-{Band/Lens}-Bin-Crop-Wipe-AutoDev(or Develop)-{Decon/Sharp/Contrast/HDR/Flux/Life}-Color-{Entropy/Filter}-Denoise-{Layer/Shrink/Heal/Repair/Synth}
Key: {...} optional modules

Example Workflow (v1.6):
AutoDev-{Band/Lens}-Bin-Crop-Wipe-AutoDev(or Develop)-{Contrast/HDR/Sharp/Decon/Flux/Life}-Color-{Entropy/Filter}-Denoise (or Denoise 2)-{Layer/Shrink/Heal/Repair/Synth/Stereo 3D}
Key: {...} optional modules

Example Workflow (v1.7):
AutoDev-{Lens}-Bin-Crop-Wipe-AutoDev(or FilmDev)-{Contrast/HDR/Sharp/Decon}-Color-{Shrink/Filter/Entropy/Super Structure}-Unified De-Noise-{Layer/Flux/Repair/Heal/Synth/Stereo 3D}
Key: {...} optional modules

Initial global stretch
  • Use default settings.
  • The image produced will help you see many of the common problems with images and understand what issues need your attention.
  • No need to Keep the results.
Final global stretch
  1. Set Ignore Fine Detail - to ensure AutoDev ignores noise, dust specks and other dark anomalies.
  2. Select Region of Interest (ROI):
    • Highlight the subject, or a part of it, to select the range of levels that AutoDev should allocate dynamic range to.
    • Sometimes highlighting an area within the subject gives the optimum dynamic range.
  3. If you want to highlight detail in the shadows then increase Shadow Linearity above 50%.
  4. In rare cases, possibly due to the subject or the amount of noise, AutoDev does not produce a good result. In these cases it is necessary to use the FilmDev (aka Develop) module instead.
  5. If you make a mistake, the 'Reset' button discards all the changes since you started using the module.
  6. 'Keep' the result when you are happy with it.
What result to look for:

Initial global stretch
The image may look something like the one below:
KurtM_M8_Autodev_v1.5_qs.jpg (68.71 KiB) Viewed 2145 times
AutoDev will highlight any of the following:
  • Stacking Artefacts - remove later with the Crop module.
  • Colour bias (remove this later with the Wipe module)
    - red or yellow/brown cast - skyglow that has been white balanced.
    - teal, blue or green cast - skyglow that has not been white balanced.
    - bright blue-green cast - skyglow filtered using a light pollution filter.
    - missing yellow (e.g. no yellow stars) - indicates use of light pollution filter.
  • Vignetting - darkening towards the corners, Amp Glow - remove later with the Wipe module.
  • Dust specks - remember to mask out when using the Wipe module.
  • Noise.
  • Banding - use the Band module next - but don't 'Keep' the AutoDev result.
  • Debayering Problems - checkerboard pattern. See the description here.
  • Coma - fix later with the Lens module.
Final global stretch
The image may now look something like the one below:
KurtM_M8_Autodev2_v1.5_Result_qs.jpg (83.17 KiB) Viewed 2145 times
Look for:
  • Good dynamic range in the area of interest, showing all the major structures of interest. Don't worry about the detail within the structures - they will be targeted later.
  • Controlled noise in the background - if not go back and do a less aggressive stretch (by changing ROI selection). The Denoise module can handle a reasonable amount of background noise but has problems when it is excessive.
  • Colour Bias, Vignetting, Dust specks, etc. should be well controlled or removed by this stage. If not you may need to go back and redo the Wipe or Crop.
Ways of getting better results:
  • Use Flats and Darks (or Dither) when creating the original image
  • Use the Bin module at the start of processing if the original image is oversampled.
  • If you continue to have problems with background noise you may want to try the FilmDev (aka Develop) module instead. It may provide the level of control you need.
After Use:
  • After initial global stretch - use the Band module if needed (v1.6 and earlier) - followed by Lens-Bin-Crop-Wipe modules - as needed
  • After final global stretch - Consider using the Decon, Sharp, Contrast, HDR modules as needed.
Description of Controls:

  • Reset - Resets controls 'Ignore Fine Detail' to 'Off' and 'Outside ROI Influence' to 0%.
  • No ROI - Clears any Region of Interest (ROI) set.
RoI X1
Sets the X value of the top left hand corner of the Region of Interest (RoI) in pixels.
  • Default is 0 pixels. Range is from 0 to maximum pixel width.
RoI Y1
Sets the Y value of the top left hand corner of the Region of Interest (RoI) in pixels.
  • Default is 0 pixels. Range is from 0 to maximum pixel height.
RoI X2
Sets the X value of the top bottom right hand corner of the Region of Interest (RoI) in pixels.
  • Default is maximum pixel width. Range is from 0 to maximum pixel width.
RoI Y2
Sets the Y value of the top bottom right hand corner of the Region of Interest (RoI) in pixels.
  • Default is maximum pixel height. Range is from 0 to maximum pixel height.
Ignore Fine Detail <
Allows AutoDev to ignore small features such as noise when allocating dynamic range.
  • Particularly important when the image has a low signal to noise ratio (SNR).
  • Default is Off. Range is Off then 1.1 to 50.0 pixels.
  • Increase to exclude noise - usually until the image doesn't darken any more.
Outside ROI Influence
Defines how much dynamic range to reserve for outside the Region of Interest (ROI).
  • Defaults to 15%. Range is 0% to 100%.
  • Reduce if you have a high dynamic range subject and you want to allocate more dynamic range to the subject.
  • Avoid AutoDev clipping the data by never reducing this value to 0%.
  • Increase if there is some detail outside the ROI which you want to show up.
Detector Gamma
Allows you to apply a Gamma correction before the linear data is analysed by the detail detection algorithms
  • Increasing the value above 1.00 will make bright details stand out more - so more dynamic range will be allocated to bright detail.
  • Increasing the value above 1.00 will make bright details stand out less.
  • The effect is like having an intelligent Gamma correction.
  • Keep at 1.00 for no change.
  • Default is 1.00. Range is 0.00 to 10.00
Shadow Linearity
Sets how much linearity is applied to the shadows - before non-linear stretching takes over.
  • Values above 50% allocate more dynamic range to the shadows and background.
  • Values below 50% allocate more dynamic range to the highlights and foreground.
  • Default is 50%. Range is from 0% to 100%.
Background Notes:
The AutoDev module, along with the FilmDev (aka Develop), Contrast and HDR modules, provide automated stretching at all levels of detail. These modules replace the traditional curve-based adjustment of stretching.
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