Recommended Deep Sky Stacker settings

Deep Sky Stacker (FREE) remains a one of the most popular pre-processing applications for Windows. Stacking and saving your data with these settings is essential to getting good results from StarTools.

When applying the important pre-processing do's and don'ts when using StarTools with any stacker, you will want to configure Deep Sky Stacker specifically in the following manner.

  • Choose No White Balance Processing in the RAW/FITS dialog
  • Choose Bilinear Interpolation for the Bayer Matrix Transformation algorithm
  • Save your final stack as 32-bit/channel integer FITS files, with adjustments not applied.
  • Stack with Intersection mode - this reduces (but may not completely eliminate) stacking artifacts
  • Do not choose Drizzling, unless you are 100% sure your that; your dataset is undersampled, you have shot many frames, and you dithered at the sub-pixel level between every frame
  • Turn off any sort of Background Calibration
  • Some users have reported that they need to check the 'Set black point to 0' checkbox in the 'RAW/FITS Digital Development Process Settings' dialog to get any workable image.
  • Choose Kappa Sigma rejection if you have more than ~20 frames, use Median if you have fewer.
  • Ensure hot pixel removal is not selected on the Cosmetics tab

With all the above settings made, you can then safely stack and (assuming you used a DSLR or OSC) import your dataset into StarTools as "Linear, from OSC/DSLR with Bayer matrix and not white balanced".

Please consult the "Important dataset preparation do's and don'ts" section for further advice on improving your datasets.