The last several months have witnessed many new developments in EPIX software. Three of these advances are detailed in other articles: the new 32 bit Image Pro Plus for Windows drivers, the accessibility of 'C' libraries by Visual Basic programs, and the ability to display full resolution live video at true video rates from the PIXCI® PCI board. There are other significant improvements.
Better Sequential Capture With PIXCI
The March EPIX Vision contained an article entitled "Calculating Image Memory for PIXCI." This article explained that the PIXCI® board addressed computer memory in 16 MB pages, and that when capturing an image sequence, a frame would be lost each time a boundary was encountered. The article described our memory addressing capabilities as they existed at the time. In early June an improved addressing method was developed. Although the page boundaries still exist, EPIX software now hurdles them without skipping a beat. As a result, continuous video rate sequences are captured, to the limit of the computer's available memory, without any loss of frames. All customers with earlier versions of PIXCI® software were upgraded at no additional cost.
Win 95 & Win NT
New operating environments are now supported. New 32 bit Windows 95 support -- imaging board control and image processing DLLs, as well as menu-driven software, is available for all EPIX imaging boards. Users of DOS-based or Windows 3.x compatible EPIX software will find that Windows 95 software uses the same menu structure, which makes it easy to adapt to the newer, more powerful software packages.
Windows NT drivers and DLLs are now being beta tested for the PIXCI and 4MEG VIDEO series!
Color Capture And Analysis With PIXCI
The PIXCI® board captures color in YCrCb color space. Processing can take place in either RGB, YCrCb, or HSI color definitions. Any of the three color definitions can be broken down into their three color components, and each component can be individually processed or analyzed.
Particle Tracking has been added to the menu-driven software packages available for all three boards. The EPIX software department adapted an algorithm originally developed for the 4MEG VIDEO board by Mark Wernet, engineer at the NASA Lewis Research Facility in Cleveland, Ohio.
Particle tracking is accomplished by correlating particle size and displacement expectations, through a sequence of images, as predicted by the user. The software allows the user to determine the search variables and define what constitutes an acceptable margin of error. Reliable results are obtained if enough frames are captured, if the frame rate is fast enough to reliably record particle displacement, and if the particles remain visible through all of the frames. An almost unlimited number of particles can be tracked through as many frames as can be configured in the available image memory.
After the analysis has been completed, EPIX software labels the particle tracks with arrows and tick marks. A tracking summary is prepared for each particle that can either be examined, printed, or exported into another application. The summary reports the center of mass for each particle in H and V coordinates. (Example Application of Sequence Capture & Particle Tracking)
Image Measurements Excerpt
Image measurement capability is a continually increasing strength of EPIX software. To make it easier for potential EPIX customers (as well as existing customers) to access the depth of current measurement operations, EPIX has made available a new publication, "Image Measurements." This publication is literally the various Image Measurement chapters (including the Particle Tracking chapter) excerpted from the manuals for EPIX menu-driven software. Contact EPIX, or your EPIX distributor, and ask for the Image Measurements Excerpt -- it is available at no charge.
EPIX Vision - December 1996 Newsletter