April 1, 2023

StarStaX Evaluation: Picture Stacking and Mixing Software program

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Should you’ve ever tried taking photos of the evening sky together with your telephone, you understand how troublesome it’s.

More often than not, you possibly can’t see any particulars, and half the celebs don’t present up.

That’s why individuals use functions like StarStaX for astrophotography.

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On this StarStaX overview, we’ll stroll you thru what this highly effective image modifying software program can do and easy methods to use it.

We’ll additionally cowl a few of the key options of this system.

What Is StarStaX?



  • Can create seamless star trails with ease
  • Accessible for each Home windows and Mac units
  • Contains controls for points like lighting and framing
  • Capable of fill in small gaps within the star path photographs
  • Freed from cost to obtain and use
  • Comes with totally different modes which have distinct results

  • Controls could also be too small to navigate on all display screen sizes
  • Incapable of studying uncooked picture information
  • Star path creation might take some time relying on the variety of frames
  • Struggles to fill massive gaps in star trails

StarStaX is an utility that may stack and mix tons of of photographs with a click on of a button.

Taking photos of the evening sky is usually a little bit of a problem. It’s important to discover the proper location and calibrate your digital camera’s settings rigorously.

On high of that, to get a good-quality snap, you’ll must stack a number of photographs collectively. This course of is usually a little difficult when you have no expertise with star trails.

These are photos that observe the movement of celestial our bodies. That’s why many beginner astrophotographers use apps like StarStaX.

The ultimate result’s a single, seamless picture with all the information from the enter pictures.

With a little bit of observe, you possibly can learn to management the images exactly.

The app will will let you edit the lighting, framing, and focusing to create higher star trails.

Taking a Photograph for StarStaX

To make use of the app, that you must work out easy methods to angle your digital camera.

First off, that you must discover an space with minimal gentle air pollution. Relying on the place you reside, this is usually a difficult job.

Ideally, you’ll wish to discover a area away from all the town lights, the place the celebs are seen.

Should you’re within the northern hemisphere, then hold a watch out for the Ursa Main constellation. This seems to be like a small bear with a protracted tail.

As soon as you discover the gathering of stars, find Polaris (north pole star) and use it as a pointer.

As for the southern hemisphere, search for Crux. It’s the Southern Cross, with two Magellanic clouds surrounding it.

These two positions ought to provide you with a transparent view of the sky, with few obstructions. They’ll additionally act as a kind of axis in your photographs.

The celebs will rotate across the central level, which results in higher photographs.

For the very best outcomes, it’s a good suggestion to take photos over an prolonged interval. Sometimes, an hour or two ought to do the trick.

Key Options of StarStaX

Now that you recognize what StarStaX does, we are able to check out a few of its options.

1.   Stacking/Mixing Modes

The standard of the photographs you’re taking for a star path can differ drastically. It’ll rely upon the sunshine publicity, location, and, after all, your digital camera.

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That’s why StarStaX presents eight distinct mixing modes. Every one in all these will have an effect on your supply photographs in another way.

That will help you perceive this, let’s discuss pixels. Once you snap a photograph with a digital camera, the machine will break down the picture into many tiny areas.

Then, the software program will assign a numerical worth to every space based mostly on its brightness. These numbers will differ from zero for darkish spots to 255 for the brightest ones.

The modes will mix the pixel values of the totally different photographs to create the ultimate star path.

Right here’s a fast take a look at what the modes can do to your photos.


This is among the mostly used modes in StarStaX. Its essential operation will mix all of your uncooked photographs.

As soon as that’s accomplished, a distinction course of will provoke. The app will examine the photographs you uploaded and choose the brightest pixel at every location.

Then, it’ll mix the elements to create a star path.


As you possibly can guess, this mode is the other of lighten. As an alternative of selecting up the brightest pixels, it’ll select the darkest ones.

That’ll successfully subtract any gentle from the picture and go away behind boring objects.

So, utilizing this mode, you possibly can take away star trails from photos. This can be a nice strategy to {photograph} your environment with out together with the evening sky.


Since you’re taking star path photographs over a protracted interval, it stands to purpose that you just’ll see a little bit of variation. Every picture can have a novel perspective of the placement you’re photographing.

As an example, if a automotive passes by as you’re taking an image, the sunshine publicity will change. Which will trigger slight distortion in your path.

Sadly, that implies that compiling the photographs collectively can get troublesome. To make the method somewhat less complicated, you should utilize this mode.

It’ll common the values of every pixel within the photographs. The general impact is a easy path with minimal noise.

This mode is particularly helpful in case your uncooked information has low brightness or notable shade modifications.

Addition & Subtraction

With ‘Addition’, StarStaX will add pixel values as a substitute of selecting particular ones. Which means the star path shall be as shiny as doable.

This may generate photos with longer publicity patterns.

Subtraction, however, can have the other impact. It’ll deduct the pixel values and cut back the publicity.

The ensuing picture would be the darkest star path you possibly can {photograph}.


Should you’re taking photos of an space with many gentle sources, then this mode may help you out.

It’ll multiply the pixel values to common out the sunshine publicity. This may diminish distinction within the photographs and provide you with a extra uniform star path.


The gap-filling mode is a heightened model of the ‘Lighten’ perform.

If one in all your photographs accommodates distortion, StarStaX will work on resolving the difficulty. As an alternative of eliminating the image, it’ll edit it.

To do this, the app will check out the pictures that got here earlier than and after the distorted picture. Then, it’ll common the pixel values to scale back the noise.

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This may eradicate any lacking frames out of your star path.

With StarStaX, customers can select what areas to make use of the gap-filling perform on. As well as, you possibly can restrict the pixel threshold to manage the brightness of your photographs.

Comet Mode


Comet is an auxiliary perform you could apply to the lighten and gap-filling modes. The primary operation of this filter will add a slight fade to the top of star trails.

That’ll create an phantasm that makes it appear to be the celestial our bodies are transferring. The ultimate shot will seem like a bunch of comets racing by the sky.

Utilizing StarStaX, you possibly can enhance or lower the scale of the fade. With an extended path, the celebs will seem like they’re touring at unimaginable speeds.

2. Cumulative Mode

Once you use StarStaX, the result’s normally a single picture with all of your information. Nevertheless, that isn’t the one output you will get.

The appliance additionally presents a cumulative mode. This may seize a body of each picture that you just course of, then mix the pictures in stacking movies.

These clips can present you ways this system combines totally different photos. As well as, if you play them, they seem like a sped-up time-lapse of the evening sky.

3. Multi-Contact

Star path photographs normally seize a big space with many tiny particulars. Sadly, that implies that some traits can get misplaced within the background.

Fortunately, StarStaX has a repair for the difficulty.

The multi-touch perform permits customers to pinpoint particular areas in a picture. Then, they will select to edit this part to reinforce or diminish it.

So, with just a few clicks, you possibly can cover some particulars and make others extra seen.

As well as, the app is appropriate with mouse wheel scrolling. This lets you change between the photographs rapidly as a substitute of clicking by them one after the other.

4. Picture Assist

Despite the fact that you possibly can’t add uncooked photographs to StarStaX, the app can learn many image codecs. That features:

  • JPG
  • PNG
  • TIFF (as much as 16 bit/channel)

That makes the app accessible to a variety of customers, throughout a number of working programs. All it’s a must to do is convert the uncooked information into one in all these codecs.

5. Person Interface

StarStaX is among the most user-friendly image-stacking apps on the market. The format of the app is fairly easy, with easy controls.

When you launch this system, you’ll must add your photographs. You are able to do that by merely dragging and dropping the photographs into the designated slots.

After that, it’s as simple as clicking the Begin Processing button. The app offers you a drop-down menu that lets you select the modifying mode.

Then, all it’s a must to do is anticipate the compilation course of to finish. At that time, this system will show your star path within the middle of the display screen.

Together with your last picture in hand, StarStaX offers you extra choices to complete up the path. That features adjusting any gap-filling and the depth of the pixels.

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6. Working System Compatibility

Among the best points of StarStaX is that it’s appropriate with a couple of working system. Which means you should utilize no matter pc machine you’ve gotten available.

StarStaX is obtainable for each Home windows and Mac working programs. Whether or not it’s a laptop computer or a desktop machine, the app ought to function seamlessly.

On high of that, StarStaX doesn’t take up a lot cupboard space. You’ll solely want just a few megabytes in your onerous drive to put in this system.

7. Anti-Aliasing

Pictures of the stars

StarStaX breaks down photographs into pixels and edits each individually. Which means some areas will grow to be brighter, whereas others get darker.

Regrettably, this could trigger the photographs to look somewhat distorted or pixelated.

To handle this difficulty, the app makes use of anti-aliasing instruments. These will examine neighboring pixels and be certain that there’s no sharp drop in values.

Not solely will that go away you with clearer photographs, however it’ll additionally assist with zooming.

With anti-aliasing, you possibly can enhance the scale of a star path to nearly double its measurement with no distortion.

Total Efficiency

The general efficiency of StarStaX is kind of stellar. It will probably stack and mix tons of of photographs within the span of some minutes.

Though, this could change relying on the scale of the photographs and your pc.

For instance, the bigger the decision of a shot, the extra time it’ll take to course of it. Equally, the extra highly effective your pc is, the quicker the app will run by photographs.

Moreover that, StarStaX will not often stutter. Which means it’ll be capable of course of every picture within the right order.

This may lead to a significantly better cumulative mode video of your star path.

System Necessities

macOS model
StarStaX requires macOS 10.7 or increased and a 64-bit succesful Intel or Apple M1 processor.

Home windows model
StarStaX requires Home windows 7 or increased.

Options to StarStaX

Numerous apps can stack and mix evening sky photographs. Some may even function in your telephone.

Listed below are the preferred StarStaX substitutes.

Whereas all of them carry out the identical perform, they’re not equal.

We examined the apps on Home windows, utilizing the 64-bit variations. On common, StarStaX can compile the photographs quicker, producing better-quality trails.

With Photoshop, you’ve gotten extra management over particular person photographs, however the course of is sluggish. You’ll must add every picture to a brand new layer, after which edit them collectively.

As for the opposite apps, StarStaX presents extra modifying choices and a less complicated interface.

StarStaX Evaluation | Closing Ideas

Should you’re an astrophotographer or anybody who likes to dabble with taking photos of the evening sky, StarStaX is a helpful piece of modifying sofwtare.

Whereas subscribers to Photoshop might want present workflows for mixing a number of layers to supply stacked photographs, StarStaX is a quicker and extra handy technique which is free to obtain.

Its processing pace is optimised to make use of multi-CPU and multi-core {hardware} setups, making it good for these with succesful computer systems.

Total, I like to recommend you give StarStaX a strive the subsequent time you’ve been out making an attempt to seize some thrilling star trails.