First off, please note that this module emulates many aspects of photographic film, including its shortcomings. These shortcomings include photographic film's tendency to "bloat" stellar profiles. If your goal is to achieve a non-linear stretch that shows as much detail as possible, the far more advanced AutoDev will always do an objectively better job for that purpose.
First off, please note that this module emulates many aspects of photographic film, including its shortcomings.
Enhancements over the classic Digital Development algorithm (Okano, 1997), are the introduction of an additional gamma correction component, the removal of the edge enhancement component, and the introduction of automated black and white point detection. The latter ensures your signal never clips, while making histogram checking a thing of the past.
A semi-automated 'homing in feature' attempts to find the optimal settings that bring out as much detail as possible, while still adhering to the Digital Development curve.
Finally, a luminance mixer allows for re-mixing of the contribution of each color channel to brightness.
Non-linearly stretching an image's RGB components causes its hue and saturation to be similarly stretched and squashed. This is often observable as "washing out" of coloring in the highlights.
Traditionally, image processing software for astrohptography has struggled with this, resorting to kludges like "special" stretching functions (e.g. ArcSinH) or Color enhancement extensions to the DDP algorithm (Okano, 1997) that only attempt to minimize the problem, while still introducing color shifts
While other software continues to struggle with color retention, StarTools Tracking feature allows the Color module to go back in time and completely reconstruct the RGB ratios as recorded, regardless of how the image was stretched.
This is one of the major reasons why running the Color module is preferably run as one of the last steps in your processing flow; it is able to completely negate the effect of any stretching - whether global or local - may have had on the hue and saturation of the image.
Because of this, the digital development color treatment extensions as proposed by Okana (1997) has not been incorporated in the Develop module. The two aspects - color and luminance - of your image are neatly separated thanks to StarTools' signal evolution Tracking engine.
The crop module is an easy-to-use image cropping tool with quick aspect ratio presets and switchable luminance and chroma preview modes.
And all this is just what Tracking does for the deconvolution module.
At this point, things to look out for are; Stacking artefacts close to the borders of the image.
There are many ways to enhance detail to taste and much depends on what you feel is most important to bring out in your image.
Uniquely, thanks to the signal evolution Tracking engine, this color calibration is preferably performed towards the end of your processing workflow.
You can convert everything you see to a format you find convenient. Give it a try!