Starry Landscape Stacker
Developer: Ralph Hill
Current Version: 1.4.5
Last Updated: 2 months ago
Download Size: 2 MB - Download
Starry Landscape Stacker makes it possible to produce landscape photographs taken at night that have both low noise and stars rendered as points. It does this by compositing several images taken in rapid succession, shifting the sky as needed to align the stars. A free trial version is available on the developer's website.
The automatically generated file name for the image with the mask has been changed to ...-mask. It was ...-sky. I made this changed because sometimes you will generate a file with the stars in the sky aligned and another file with the stars in the reflections aligned. The old naming made it difficult to name the image files and the mask files unambiguously.
Starry Landscape Stacker will now refuse to align images where the elapsed time is greater than 20 minutes as attempting to align these images requires huge amounts of memory and usually exceeds system resources.
Alignment is now faster when there are more than 5 light frames and there are regions of sky that are difficult to align due to fog, clouds, etc.
Peak memory usage during alignment has been reduced at least 20%. In some cases, such as images that are difficult to align or taken over a long period of time, the reduction can exceed 50%. (Processing 14 images of 50Mpixel each that are easily aligned now uses a maximum of 14.3 Gbytes. Processing the same files with version 1.4.4 requires over 21 Gbytes).
More detail is provided in the progress reporting during alignment.
Most Helpful Reviews
Amazing tool! - This program is excellent! It is easy to use and makes stacking, aligning, and blending multiple star shots a breeze. The result is far less noise and pinpoint stars if you take short exposures of the sky. I use a Nikon D800E and if I take 10 exposures each at ISO 6400, f/2.8, 14mm, for 10 seconds each, the result is pinpoint stars and much lower noise then I would have seen with a single ISO 3200 exposure of 25 or 30 seconds. This program respects your input images’ color space and bit depth, so you can import 16-bit TIFFs in the ProPhoto RGB color space and the result will be a 16-bit TIFF in ProPhoto RGB.
Once it finished… - Once the program finished stacking 3 tif files (5568x3712) — took almost 45 minutes — the results were very poor. Its automatic detection of stars was incomplete (roughly 66%) and depended on manual identification for completeness. Hand-identifying dozens of stars might be worth the effort if the results were decent. There was odd blotchy block-shaped regions in the sky. The result was unusable and provided no value-add other than doing post-processing in Lightroom. Bottom line: save your money.