Is Star Tools for me?

General discussion about StarTools.
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Is Star Tools for me?

Post by donstim »

I hate to ask this question because the answer appears to be pretty obvious based on the very well explained basis of Star Tools special advantages over other similar image processing tools. But, I have to ask anyway.

I use the SharpCap software to livestack DSO images for EAA live viewing. I usually also save the final stacked image for further sharing with friends and family, and to keep as a record. I do post-process the saved image file for further refinement and am currently using GIMP, Starnet, and Neat Image noise reduction to do this. Neither the imaging nor the post-processing (nor of course the final image) would generally meet what I would call "astrophotography standards."

Would there be any advantages to replace my current post processing tools with Star Tools, recognizing that I start with a .png image file that has already been stretched and white balanced (to an extent) while live stacking within SharpCap?
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Re: Is Star Tools for me?

Post by admin »

Any and all questions are welcome!

StarTools is absolutely useful for EAA. As a matter of fact, there are some quite prolific EAA StarTools users (see the work of @elpajare for example). Useful (and unique) functionality like walking noise reduction (as of 1.7) is also a boon for those who practice EAA, as dithering is often out of the question.

Software like SharpCap should give you the ability to stack the data as it comes in and (separately to what you' and your audience is viewing!) keep it linear. However it should also be able to store the individual frames so you can stack them in another application (like DSS, ASTAP, Siril, etc.). The latter option will yield the best quality (as the stacker can see all the data at once). More importantly, both of these scenarios will keep your datasets linear and will make for suitable input.

The best recommendation I can give is to see if you can produce such a dataset and then give the free StarTools trial a spin. Again - any questions are more than welcome.

I hope this helps & wish you clear skies!
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
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Re: Is Star Tools for me?

Post by elpajare »

There are advantages, many advantages. Startools does a very good job of removing gradients and electronic background noise to enhance the object's signal.

At EAA we usually use short exposures and integration times are very short. Getting the most out of your signal is one thing Startools does very well! :thumbsup:

My images come out stacked and in jpg from the original capture and stacking program of my Risingsky camera. They are perfectly worth, weigh little and handle well with any computer.

There are several examples in the Forum of EAA images treated with Startools, Ivo has been very kind to put a link to these examples.

If you have specific questions, please ask!
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