Many image processing professionals are experienced users of Image-Pro Plus for Windows (IPWIN) by Media Cybernetics. They have developed custom applications, are happy with IPWIN's capabilities, and aren't interested in porting their applications to a different image processing environment. While reluctant to change software, they recognize a need to use an imaging board with advanced interfacing capability, more image memory, or greater processing power. A solution is now available. Image Pro Plus for Windows is now compatible with both the SILICON VIDEO MUX and the 4MEG VIDEO Model 12. The EPIX driver supports both Image Pro Plus Version 1.1 and Version 1.3. Version 1.1 supports Windows 3.1 ONLY:Version 1.3 supports both Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.
EPIX Boards Provide Versatility
An advantage of using IPWIN with an EPIX imaging board, especially the 4MEG VIDEO, is that a wide variety of cameras becomes accessible. The 4MEG VIDEO interfaces to high frame rate, high resolution, analog, 12 bit digital, CCD, CID, tube-type, gated, shuttered, intensified, cooled, progressive scan, interlaced, RS-170, CCIR, RS-330, or RS-343 cameras; not to mention VCRs and medical imaging devices.
IPWIN's Acquire Menu
IPWIN's Acquire menu provides a control panel with various image capture options. The Snap option digitizes a frame and copies it to PC memory. With the image in PC memory, IPWIN displays to the VGA monitor in its nearly full-screen image window. An advanced option available by using EPIX imaging boards, Multi-Frame Acquire, allows the capture of multiple frames at video rates. Timed Image Acquire, yet another option, allows capture of one frame at a time at a rate determined by the user.
IPWIN's Options Button
The Options button provides user control of Triggered Image Capture and allows monitor selection for image display. Triggered Image Capture allows remote image capture by use of a TTL signal. Typically used in an automated imaging system, an external device can determine precisely when the EPIX board captures an image. Another button in the options menu allows the control of extended integration cameras.
The 2nd Monitor option allows the user to select one of two display options:
Use of a second monitor requires the additional desk space and expense of a TV-type monitor, in addition to the computer's VGA display. This option has two advantages over single monitor display. First, is the added convenience of having the VGA monitor dedicated exclusively to the display of software menus while the second monitor provides a full-screen image. The second advantage is the availability of true live video. Live video can be displayed because the second monitor is driven directly by the EPIX board; video output is not impeded by the computer. Single monitor display, the default display method for IPWIN, has the advantage of providing a smaller and more economical imaging system (no second monitor). The drawback is that video display is slowed (not live) since images must flow through the ISA bus to PC memory before they can be displayed on the VGA monitor - the display rate is limited by the speed of the particular computer being used, and can be significantly slower than 30 frames per second.
IPWIN General Features
Image-Pro Plus for Windows has many image enhancement, measurement, and processing capabilities that operate on the image data transferred from the EPIX board image memory to IPWIN's display window. Brightness, Contrast, and Gamma Correction can be altered by sliding a control with the mouse. An area of interest can be specified by pressing a button. Rectangular, elliptical, or freeform areas of interest are available. A Zoom tool allows magnification of the image in IPWIN's display window, and a Pan Tool allows the window to move across the image. Six Command tool buttons give the user quick access to Image-Pro's major functions. Filter, Histogram, FFT, Count/Size, Operations, and Measurements buttons allow filtering, histogram operations, Fast Fourier Transforms, blob analysis, mathematical operations, and image measurements, respectively. Each of these functions is also available through pull-down menu commands.
Take a look at Image-Pro Plus Version 3.1 and the 4MEG VIDEO Model 12 in action under Win 95.
For more information about Image-Pro Plus for Windows contact:
EPIX Vision - March 1996 Newsletter