Thanks also to Dietmar for (of course) finding Ivo's table on this subject from a couple years ago, here: viewtopic.php?p=11393#p11393
The discussion in Freddy's post involved unsharp mask and I suppose sharpening in general, as an astro processing tool.
Since the time of Ivo's table of course, things have moved on (and with the explosion of "AI" are likely to continue), though the basic concepts should remain the same. GHS has perhaps become the stretch of choice across several platforms. Various plugins including the X-tools are rampant. In fact, they seem so heavy-handed (or good at what they do, depending on your view) that I've seen decent-looking images posted along with kudos for "you have great data here," yet when I open the same shared file to inspect it with OptiDev and Wipe, it's actually a complete train wreck. Finally, I thought Topaz was dead in the water, but to my horror saw continuing usage recently. And it's still growing hair on things!
The latest iteration of BXT, and AI in general, have also sparked interesting discussion not only as to the legitimacy of its deconvolution and new "perfect star repair" mode, but also as to perhaps ultra-purism. Of which there seems to be one last devotee, that I can tell.
With the caveat that of course one can do whatever one wishes with their data, processing-wise, though hopefully workflow is explained, and that we all have different goals and lines in the sand we won't cross (usually), I'm wondering where we think things today fit into the table (recreated here), and if it needs to be expanded.
I had forgotten that Ivo lumped Sharp, Contrast, and HDR all together. Does that seem right? Following onto the previous discussion, it struck me that due to use of a blurred subtraction, sharpening is a bit manipulative of reality, even if technically intrinsic. Contrast and HDR seemed more akin to stretching, sometimes locally, and thus affecting local relative pixel intensities, but not actual re-jiggering of data the way a subtraction would in a sharpening tool. True or no?
I also wonder where things like OptiDev, other stretching tools, and Denoise would stand. Or SS, for that matter, since it is an oft-utilized ST module and is permitted in the normal tracking workflow.
2021 Ivo Table
|DBE (sample setting-based background removal)
|Heal (hot pixels, dead pixels)
|Photometric Color Correction
Heal (dust donuts)
Neural Hallucination (TopazAI, StarNet)
Operations with hand-drawn masks