Instead of just presenting a new and unfinished AutoStakkert!2 version – remember that I said it would be released AROUND the end of August – I thought it might be nice to start keeping a small log here to keep you up-to-date with what I’m actually working on.
I still have a long list of new features and bugfixes to implement. I know that some of these are more important than others, but somehow I always start implementing those ideas that I enjoy working on the most. At the moment I seem to be very interested in getting the best performance out of AS!2, without a decrease in image quality of course. I know AS!2 is already quite fast, but perhaps it is possible to make it significantly faster? Getting a speed boost of 5% is nice, but if I need to put in a lot of hours that could be spend on new functionality it would hardly be worth the effort. However, if you can decrease the total processing time a lot, you could for example process more recordings in the same time, or experiment on the same recording to find better stacking parameters that will actually end up improving the image quality. It is also much more fun to work with a program that is fast.
So my main priority now has been to make all the critical code in AS!2 as fast as possible, without compromising image quality. I think I succeeded. Aligning images and creating a reference frame is now almost twice as fast. Stacking monochrome* images is more than twice as fast, and performing surface alignment received a speed boost of about 30%.
Now it is back to the boring list of other to-do’s…
* I still need to have a look at the color stacking code (and drizzling), but I don’t think there is a lot of performance to be gained there.