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Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:03 pm
by admin
My original plan for SharpCap 3.2 was to add quite a large number of new features and aim for a release late 2018 (beta in autumn 2018). I now have a new plan :D

The new plan is to split what was going to be one big release out into 2 smaller releases. SharpCap 3.2 which I am aiming to release "sometime in the summer" (note: Northern summer strictly runs until the autumnal equinox, but I will try not to take *that long) and a later release - 3.3 - in late 2018.

SharpCap 3.2 will focus on improvements to Live Stacking and related functionality - to give you some idea of things you might expect:

* Saturation adjustment
* Sharpening
* Noise Reduction
* A folder monitor camera (SharpCap will read new image files as they are written to a folder by another application)
* Display the image full screen on second monitor
* An improved Dark UI mode

Some things that will not be in 3.2 but are likely for 3.3 include

* Canon DSLR support
* Still mode
* Sequencer
* 64 bit version of SharpCap

If anyone has any other good Live Stacking feature suggestions (even if mentioned before please feel free to mention again in case they have just been overlooked) please reply below.

thanks,

Robin

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 12:40 am
by cuivenion
Hi. Dithering guided and unguided would be the main thing missing for me. I have mentioned a bad pixel map function before but with darks already implemented that probably isn't a pressing concern.

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 5:05 pm
by Astrogate
Robin, if possible a live curves adjustment tool when live stacking would be awesome? Looking forward to the Sharpcap 3.2 release and I would opt to beta test this for you.

Chris

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 6:57 pm
by admin
Hi Chris,

how would 'curves' differ from the way you can stretch the live stack image now by dragging the black/mid/white points on the histogram? What do you see the advantage as being?

cheers,

Robin

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:46 pm
by Astrogate
Hi Robin

Here are the advantages of using curves over levels.

1. Curves provides 256 levels of tone and color controls on each color channel and Master channel, while Levels allows only three adjustments!

2. Curves provides more customized contrast control than Levels.

3. Curves allows quantitative control of all tonal and color values, including critical highlight and shadow points, through the use of control points.

4. With Curves, you can apply dramatic creative changes in tonal/color distribution totally unavailable in Levels.

Chris A

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 12:56 am
by lowenthalm
I agree, a multipoint curve control feature would be helpful. The curves feature is great, but sometimes it can be a bit of a blunt instrument. Especially under light polluted skies.

The ability to pass images into SharpCap via a "hot folder camera" is a very useful option. I have often wanted to take some saved images and re-stack them with SharpCap after changing the FWHM filter. I have had to use DSS for this, which doesn't always work as well as SharpCap with short exposures since it doesn't have as much control as SharpCap over alignment star selection. It would be nice if the demo camera mode also had this functionality so that arbitrary sets of images could be used to practice and train people on the use of SharpCap.

One other thing that might be nice would be the ability to manual select the stars used for alignment. It usually does this automatically quite well, but sometimes, a lot of fiddling in the live stacking alignment settings tab is required. Sometimes it would be nice just to be able to click on a few obvious stars you would like to try aligning on and let SharpCap configure itself to use those stars. Maybe even have it auto adjust the digital gain, star size, noise filter, etc, alignment settings to make the stars you click on clearly "visible" to SharpCap for stacking subsequent frames.

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:32 pm
by jimthompson
Hi Robin,

You get two thumbs up from me for the proposed sharpening tool, something I feel has been sorely lacking from all non-analog EAA camera offerings. I don't know what sort of sharpening algorithms you are considering (unsharp mask, etc.), but I highly recommend "warpsharp" which is available as a filter plugin for VirtualDub, and was coded by Avery Lee. This algorithm sharpens the image towards edges, tightening up stars and really doing a nice job accentuating details in deepsky objects. It tends to smooth out pixel-sized details such as noise or hot pixels. This is unlike Unsharp Mask which is tricky to control the settings for so that the noise or inherent graininess of your image is not accentuated. I've attached some images to give you an example of what Warpsharp does.

Anyway, thank you so much Robin for your continued dedication to Sharpcap and the EAA community.

Regards,

Jim Thompson

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:03 pm
by mAnKiNd
Best of luck with the development Robin, looking forward to seeing the new features.

My only real recommendation is what I've always been banging on about since last year, which is to send a sequenced dither command, either to PHD2, or unguided through sharpcap.

All the best buddy, keep up the great work!👍
Minos

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 11:55 pm
by RMSQueenMary
admin wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:03 pm
My original plan for SharpCap 3.2 was to add quite a large number of new features and aim for a release late 2018 (beta in autumn 2018). I now have a new plan :D

The new plan is to split what was going to be one big release out into 2 smaller releases. SharpCap 3.2 which I am aiming to release "sometime in the summer" (note: Northern summer strictly runs until the autumnal equinox, but I will try not to take *that long) and a later release - 3.3 - in late 2018.

SharpCap 3.2 will focus on improvements to Live Stacking and related functionality - to give you some idea of things you might expect:

* Saturation adjustment
* Sharpening
* Noise Reduction
* A folder monitor camera (SharpCap will read new image files as they are written to a folder by another application)
* Display the image full screen on second monitor
* An improved Dark UI mode

Some things that will not be in 3.2 but are likely for 3.3 include

* Canon DSLR support
* Still mode
* Sequencer
* 64 bit version of SharpCap

If anyone has any other good Live Stacking feature suggestions (even if mentioned before please feel free to mention again in case they have just been overlooked) please reply below.

thanks,

Robin
I like the idea of full image on second monitor. That would be great. 8-)

Re: Plans for SharpCap 3.2

Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 3:07 am
by robrj
Just curious, what's the benefit of a 64 bit Sharpcap?