StarXTerminator AI Version 8 for Photoshop and PixInsight is now in general release. StarXTerminator is a tool works in Photoshop and PixInsight to remove stars from astro images. This allows separate processing of stars and background objects, or simply leaving out the stars altogether. See Images 1 and 2 for a before and after example.
StarXTerminator uses an advanced convolutional neural network with a unique architecture suited to this task. This network has been extensively trained on photographs from both refractors and reflectors, so small stars, big stars, huge stars, and even diffraction spikes are recognized and removed, with minimal impact to non-stellar features. StarXTerminator can even remove stars with dark halos around them from deconvolution or sharpening. An accurate feathering algorithm eliminates the tiling artifacts produced by other solutions.
The end result is a very smooth elimination of stars, with minimal residual artifacts and excellent color matching.
StarXTerminator adopts a “universal licensing” scheme: a permanent license for any version (Windows/Mac/Linux, Photoshop/PixInsight) will work on any other version.
The new StarXTerminator AI Version 8 for Photoshop and PixInsight includes updates to the neural network which has been re-trained from scratch for greater precision in removing stars and retaining non-stellar details. The training data set has been further expanded to include tough cases such as bright stars, crowded star fields, and especially galaxies and galaxy clusters. Particular attention was given to retaining galaxy disk details such as H-II regions.
StarXTerminator AI Version 8 for Photoshop and PixInsight also includes a statistical noise matching engine that is the result of months of intensive research and development. This module matches the noise statistics of surrounding areas when removing large stars, making these areas blend seamlessly into the rest of the image.
The publisher recommends using StarXTerminator as early within your processing flow as possible. Though the software has been trained to remove sharpened stars and stars with dark halos, better results are possible on lightly processed photographs.
Before running the filter, duplicate the target layer. This allows easy evaluation of the results as well as access to the original photograph in case any non-stellar features were removed. If you want to create a layer with just the stars so they can be processed separately and added back in later, you can do so.
StarXTerminator requires a computer with a modern CPU having instructions required to run neural networks. Older CPUs lacking FMA, AVX, and SSE instructions are not supported. The publisher suggests requesting a trial before purchasing to make sure it will work on your machine.
– Version 10.15 (Catalina) or later
– Photoshop CC or PixInsight 1.8.8-9 or later
– GPU/Neural Engine recommended for fast performance, but not required. Not all GPUs are supported. StarXTerminator will automatically use the CPU if the GPU is not supported.
– Apple silicon (e.g., M1, M1X) supported natively
– Windows version 10 or later
– Photoshop CS4 or later (64-bit only), or PixInsight 1.8.8-9 or later
– Ubuntu 18.04 or later, or equivalent (glibc 2.27 or later required)
– PixInsight 1.8.8-9 or later
You can learn more about StarXTerminator AI Version 8 for Photoshop and PixInsight here.
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