StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

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StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#1

Post by startoolsastro » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:17 pm

Hi wonderful TSS people!

The latest 1.6.382 alpha previews some major updates to the engine, the application and compilation targets.

Along with a new (additional!) Denoise 2 module, much work has gone into further optimisations and making the engine more CPU data cache friendly. Furthermore, two new executables have been added to take advantage of newer instruction sets found in modern systems (from Intel Haswell, or AMD Excavator and Ryzen CPUs onward). These executables have the postfix 'AVX2'.

Regardless of the executable version you are running, you should notice considerable speedups across the board, especially compared to 1.5 and lower.

Given that this alpha release has a lot of work done under the hood, I am keen to hear from you how the engine is behaving and any feedback you might have. Thank you in advance! :handgestures-thumbup:
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#2

Post by Gordon » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:34 pm

Looking forward to giving it a run through!

Thanks for the update!
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#3

Post by Gordon » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:35 pm

I got a chance to play just a bit today. I normally use my 'small' computer for processing even though it's much slower. It runs windows 10 and is okay for internet stuff and email. When I attempted to run the Alpha version it pretty much ground to a halt. Eventually is was able to bin the image but is was much too slow for my liking. So today I loaded up the Alpha version to my Linux computer (much more processing power!) and got to play a bit. Lot's of new stuff in this version.

I will be able to give it a good run though during the next few days. I have a KVM switch coming so I can use my good display with the Linux box. Plus it's going to be raining here till the end of the week, so no more excuses!
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#4

Post by startoolsastro » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:12 am

Gordon wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:35 pm
I got a chance to play just a bit today. I normally use my 'small' computer for processing even though it's much slower. It runs windows 10 and is okay for internet stuff and email. When I attempted to run the Alpha version it pretty much ground to a halt. Eventually is was able to bin the image but is was much too slow for my liking.
Thanks Gordon. The 1.6 alpha version in question should definitely be quicker than 1.5 on that system with the same dataset. Disk access and usage should also be reduced (and thus quicker). On the flip side, Compose mode (processing luminance and chrominance separately yet simultaneously) will add to the burden on your system in some cases. This mode can be avoided though when dealing with DSLR/OSC RGB datasets (e.g. open a dataset using the Open button in the main screen and choosing the first option). Just out of curiosity, could you give me the specs (CPU / RAM) of that system, as well as the X/Y resolution of the dataset you loaded?

If/when possible, I'd still like to support older and/or less powerful hardware, as it lowers the bar to entry to AP...
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#5

Post by Gordon » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:35 am

Hi Ivo,

I will give details and run a complete test tomorrow after I get the KVM switch hooked up.
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#6

Post by Graeme1858 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:03 am

startoolsastro wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:17 pm
Given that this alpha release has a lot of work done under the hood, I am keen to hear from you how the engine is behaving and any feedback you might have. Thank you in advance! :handgestures-thumbup:

Hello Ivo, I'll have a go at the 1.6 tonight with my M33 data collected last night and report back!

Regards

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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#7

Post by Gordon » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:30 pm

Hi Ivo,

I had a chance to play a bit today and discovered that the windows version is running faster than I thought. My guess is something was running in the background and slowing ST down yesterday.

My Linux machine is faster but basically it's a 4 core vs a single core on my Windows machine so I would expect that.

I did find a couple of things interesting however.
1. When doing a crop the new W64 version has some preset crop sizes where the L64 version does not display them.
2. And it appears that by default when you run the Wipe function ST turns on AutoDev by default with no way to turn it off. Is this what should be expected?
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#8

Post by startoolsastro » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:38 am

Gordon wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:30 pm
I had a chance to play a bit today and discovered that the windows version is running faster than I thought. My guess is something was running in the background and slowing ST down yesterday.
That's good to hear! There are some optimisations that benefit single core machines as well, though the biggest benefactors would be multi-core, multi-threaded machines.
I did find a couple of things interesting however.
1. When doing a crop the new W64 version has some preset crop sizes where the L64 version does not display them.
All versions are (should be) the same, so it sounds like you're running an older version on you Linux box... Are you sure the version number in the home screen says 1.6.382 alpha?
2. And it appears that by default when you run the Wipe function ST turns on AutoDev by default with no way to turn it off. Is this what should be expected?
That's correct and has been the case since 1.5. Given that it's important to see any lingering - possibly faint - issues, a temporary optimised re-stretch is fairly important. After running Wipe, the data reverts back to its linear - but this time Wiped - state, so you can apply a stretch as you see fit that makes use of the dynamic range that has been freed up (e.g. dynamic range that previously was allocated to gradients).

Thank you for trying the alpha and letting me know your findings!
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#9

Post by Gordon » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:12 am

I did get to play more today, now that I have the KVM switch running. I will double check versions and confirm.
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#10

Post by Gordon » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:34 pm

Just an update.....

When I moved the files over to my Linux computer I must have grabbed the wrong one. I now have the latest and greatest! Everything is working great and a bunch of new tools to play with!!!

Thanks Ivo
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#11

Post by SKEtrip » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm

Thank you, Ivo.
Any plans for updated tutorials & workflows? (I need pictures :oops: )
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#12

Post by startoolsastro » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:45 am

SKEtrip wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm
Thank you, Ivo.
Any plans for updated tutorials & workflows? (I need pictures :oops: )
If no major glitches rear their ugly heads (so far reports from multiple users across multiple systems are that everything is running smoothly), then I will start updating the docs for 1.6, pending an official release.
Tutorial and workflow-wise, much of 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 is still applicable. If anything, workflows have become simpler since 1.5 for non-DSLR data, as you can now use simpler DSLR workflows for complex composites.
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#13

Post by SKEtrip » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:38 am

startoolsastro wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:45 am
If no major glitches rear their ugly heads (so far reports from multiple users across multiple systems are that everything is running smoothly), then I will start updating the docs for 1.6, pending an official release.
Tutorial and workflow-wise, much of 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 is still applicable. If anything, workflows have become simpler since 1.5 for non-DSLR data, as you can now use simpler DSLR workflows for complex composites.
Thanks again Ivo!
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#14

Post by startoolsastro » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:58 am

1.6.383 is now available with some slight tweaks (mostly preset tweaks so the modules are more useful out-of-the-box). More importantly, I've added some documentation for Denoise 2 if anyone is curious about what it is and what it does.

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^ Left: pre-Denoise 2 image, middle: Denoise 2 statistically optimal noise grain equalization, right: Denoise 2 pyschovisually optimized noise grain equalization.

Also be sure to check out the new Sharp module if you haven't yet, as it can really help bring out latent faint detail;
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Re: StarTools 1.6.382 alpha; major updates for your previewing pleasure

#15

Post by Gordon » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:54 pm

Thanks Ivo!

I have tried out the Denoise 2 feature and it really does work great!
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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