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What's New


What's New in K3CCDTools 2.0.1

Introduction

K3CCDTools 2 has brand new core open for further enhancement while keeping the well known K3CCDTools' speed.
Both video capture core and sequence processing core were rebuilt.
K3CCDTools†2 is now a project with 180000 lines of source code (3x more than K3CCDTools†1).



Video Capture

New video capture core supports 3 capturing technologies:


1, Video for Windows (VFW) - known from K3CCDTools 1

††

Features:

  • rather old technology from 90ís, but still offers some useful features like single frame capturing
  • disadvantages:
    - slow preview speed
    - multiple web-cams are mapped through a single WDM capture device

The picture above shows VFW device list when 3 webcams are connected to computer - only one WDM mapping device is visible, so it is not possible to select required camera from the menu directly.
See also 2 webcams connected to a single computer.


2, Windows Driver Model (WDM) - modern video capture technology

  Features:
  • based on DirectX technology
  • supports new hardware
  • fast
  • ideal for focusing
  • each web-cam is individually accessible
     

3, TWAIN interface

  Features:
  • interface originally developed for scanners
  • single frame capture with better quality
  • necessary for supporting JG modification (SAC8 cameras)
     



Brightness Level Meter

It was also reworked, now it offers many variable options:


min/max for each
of LRGB components

histogram for each
of LRGB components

min/max for RGB color balance

RGB color balance with histogram

Variability of level meter settings is achieved by using various combinations of settings:

  Low pas filter suppresses brightness fluctuations caused by atmospheric turbulence. It makes star focusing easier.

Simple star focusing:
1, Aim scope to a single star
2, Set such camera exposure that star is not saturated
3, Try to focus the scope to achieve the highest brightness



Big Display

It shows details about capturing and enables to watch capture process from longer distance.



Port Commander

It enables to directly control camera's parallel / serial port. Very useful for camera developers and testers...



Drift Explorer + Autoguiding

  Supports the following autoguiding protocols:
  • LX200
  • Astromeccanica DA-1
  • PISCO interface and modified GEM1 mount
  • Modified TAL interface
  • File interface

Features:

  • Real-time Periodic Error graph
  • Variable scales in horizontal and vertical axis
  • Periodic error and drift is shown in graph in arcseconds
  • Real-time drift display
  • Enables accurate polar alignment in 10-15 minutes
  • Camera angle measuring and correction
  • Realtime statistics - †actual error, trend, maximum error, standard deviation



Sequence Processing

New reworked core supports:

  • much more formats for sequence processing:
    - variety of color depths: 8-/16-/24-/32-/48-/96-bit
    - variety of input formats: AVI, JPG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, TIFF 16/48, FIT 16, FIT 32
    - variety of output formats: AVI, JPG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, TIFF 16/48, FIT 16, FIT 32
  • processing of several AVI files at once like if it was only 1 file
  • support for 16/48 bit dark frames & flat fields offers getting even more information from the stacked/summed picture



Input Filters for Sequence Processing

  The filter architecture enables to select only required component for processing.
Thereby it is possible to process e.g. green component of color RGB sequence. Or it is possible to process only Y component of AVI file.

K3CCDTools 2 also offers color de-bayer filters for processing Color RAW sequencies (images or AVI files).
There are 2 sets of de-bayer filters:
- fast - for fast processing
- HighQuality - for final processing



Sequence Properties


Sequence Properties dialog shows sequence quality and difference graph and enables to filter low quality or high difference frames from stacked selection.



New Enhanced Planeraty Wizard


New Planetary Wizard gives you more possibilities while processing planetary AVI/Image sequences:

  • 3 modes: Normal, Semi Auto, Full Auto
  • better user interface
  • more user control in Normal mode enables to influence more the result picture
  • Semi Auto and Full Auto modes are especially useful for novice, but still enable an experienced user to tweak the individual procedure steps
  • Full Auto mode is "one touch" solution for getting fast preview of captured planets



Telescope and Camera Settings


New user interface and data handling enables to select required combination of scope, barlow lens or focal reducer and camera directly from Configuration combo box.



Open Dialog


Displays all input formats in preview window and shows more information.
It is really invaluable help e.g. when working with 16-/48-bit flat fields and dark frames.



Additional Tools for Sequence Processing

- Extract L/R/G/B components from group of pictures or AVI sequence:


- Expand
frames - expands group of pictures to the same size
(very useful for stacking of images of different sizes):



Other New Features

- Blinking comparison of any two frames of processed sequence. It is extremely useful for aligning seuqencies which have difficulties with automatical alignment (Lunar eclipse, Mercury or Venus transit, etc.)
- Enhanced file naming in Video Capture mode - enables automatic usage of date-time in files naming
- Night Vision mode
- Import of Registax project files for stacking in K3CCDTools 2
- ... and others



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Last Update: 26.04.2007