EPIX image analysis software is now available for both DOS and Windows! New 4MIP V3.0 and New SVIP V7.0 offer many enhancements to improve convenience, support new hardware, and satisfy requests from EPIX customers.
|Menu Display From SVIP 7.0 for WINDOWS. This example demonstrates the standard main menu in the upper left quadrant, a 2-D image in the upper right quadrant, a waterfall image in the lower left quadrant, a 3-D plot in the lower right quadrant, and last but not least, the Hot Button menu at the bottom.|
The most notable addition to SVIP and 4MIP is Windows compatibility. EPIX' goal is to introduce the advantages of a GUI Windows environment without severe departure from previous DOS-based software. We want the transition from our previous software to require minimal effort; especially for those who have customized their software with MIPX scripts.
The main menu, in both DOS and Windows versions, has been reorganized for a "Windows look". This spiffy new design organizes operations into single-word categories. Selection of a particular category, via the mouse, reveals a pull-down menu of related operations. Underlying these operations are traditional EPIX software menus optimized for functionality. The result is an analysis vehicle with the power of a Mac Truck-but with the look and feel of a Ferrari.
The Windows (only) versions of SVIP/4MIP feature a graphical equivalent of the function keys that are standard in EPIX DOS-based software. "Hot Buttons" are defaulted for common operations such as capture, display, increment image buffer, and pop-up of the Pixel Peek, Poke & Plot menu. These buttons, similar to function keys, can be reprogrammed; they execute specific tasks with the touch of the mouse.
It's HERE!! It's HERE!! Single Monitor Display is HERE!! Display AND process images on the computer's Super VGA or VGA display - no second monitor required! Experienced users know that VGA image display has been available in the last couple of software releases-forget about what you've seen-there is no comparison. This is not one small step for EPIX VGA display, this is a quantum leap to a high quality display of analysis menus and target image on the same screen!
Standard VGA (640x480) is supported to its limit of 16 grey levels. Up to 4 menu or image screens can be displayed at one time, but multiple menus require significant use of pan and scroll to read the full text.
Super VGA display offers significant advantages. Up to 256 grey levels, at up to 1280x1024 resolution, are available. Text resolution is higher-many Super VGA systems allow simultaneous display of 4 full menu screens without using pan or scroll. Windows versions of EPIX software can be used with any Super VGA system using a Windows-supported adapter; DOS versions require a Super VGA system using a VESA BIOS compatible adapter.
Analysis tools, such as cross hairs, rulers, and edgers can be overlaid on either the VGA or Super VGA display. Image refresh is fast, with the refresh rate dependent on the computer, video adapter, video format, image size, and monitor being used. (Note: The improvement in refresh rate over previous versions is truly amazing, but still can't equal the refresh rate of images displayed directly on a second monitor. All EPIX imaging boards continue to provide image display directly to a second monitor.)
COC401 & COC402 Processor Board Support
The COC401 and COC402 boards are optimized to support user development of custom programs. There are no operations hardcoded in silicon-all are executed by user-programmable TMS320C40 DSPs. The user has the freedom to execute custom code at a rate of 550 million floating point operations per second (COC402) without relegating control to black boxes designed in far off places by persons unknown. Program design, alteration, and implementation are in the mind, and at the fingertips, of the programmer; immediately accessible. 4MIP V3.0 includes a menu to ease program development. This menu provides a symbolic debugger that allows single-stepping, break points, and display of registers and memory. A more complete description of the Symbolic Debugger appears in the October 1994 issue of EPIX Vision.
Image Memory Expansion Support
4MIP V3.0 supports the IMAGE MEMORY EXPANSION board with up to 256 MB of image memory. Capture a sequence of 262,144 frames, 32x32, at 9400 frames per second! Capture 64 frames, 2048x2048!
EPIX boards and software are acclaimed for their ability to capture, analyze, and display sequences of images. Not resting on our laurels, we've added two new options!
Previous versions of 4MIP/SVIP have featured the ability to trigger sequence capture at the touch of a mouse button or keyboard. Now, a delay of a specified number of fields can be designated. As a result, a trigger event can be captured at the start of an image sequence, at the end of a sequence, or anywhere between the two extremes.
The new Triggered Image Sequence Capture menu provides a better method for controlling sequential capture of extended integration images (on cameras that feature on-chip integration). It provides a more efficient (faster) method that is easier to use and requires no programming. In previous versions, a user-written MIPX script was required to control iterations. The need for a MIPX script is eliminated with integration control provided as part of the standard software-without the overhead of a MIPX script, execution speeds are faster, and faster capture rates are possible. This menu can also be used for extended control of the external input and output trigger signals during a sequence capture.
Enhanced Blob Analysis
The glare on a dark blob is typically interpreted as a "hole" without substance-this misinterpretation can wreak havoc on area calculations. The Blob Analysis menu provides a new option that allows for "holes" within a blob to be treated as part of the blob. Include Holes Within Blob is especially useful with blobs that exhibit glare from an electronic flash or other strong light source.
MIPX Script Compatibility
Many EPIX customers have customized their software with MIPX Scripts. MIPX users can adapt their existing scripts to the new 4MIP/SVIP using one of three options:
Option 1: Adapt MIPX scripts to work with the new main menus. This alternative requires the most (immediate) work. The number of changes will depend on the complexity of the scripts, and on the extent to which the custom operations need to access main menu titles. This option has the advantage of making the cleanest break from the previous menu structure.
Option 2: Allow the user to access the new menu structure while MIPX Scripts still use the traditional 4MIP/SVIP structure. The best of both worlds-the user can work with the new menus while MIPX scripts are content operating in parallel using the previous structure. This mode is easier to initiate than option 1, but requires the user to stay familiar with both menu structures.
Option 3: For users who are perfectly content with their current interface, and who have no interest in the "Windows look," there is no need to change. The traditional main menu display remains available, and can easily be designated as the default. Use of the traditional main menu will require a minimum of MIPX script modification.
Customize Any Menu
A new feature, Customize Any Menu, allows listing of user-written MIPX operations within any 4MIP or SVIP menu (except for the main menu). Previous versions provided access to user-written operations by DOS file name with the F8 Key, or by descriptive labels from within a single custom menu dedicated to listing MIPX Scripts.
The New Customize Any Menu allows descriptive labels of user-written operations within the standard EPIX menu structure. The user writes the operation using MIPX Scripts, labels it, determines a convenient location for using it, and puts the label there! No more guessing! No more searching! If Pixel Plot, Line <X> and Pixel Peek, X-Y are frequently used as part of a blob analysis study, both operations can be included in a MIPX script, and the MIPX script can be called from within the Blob Analysis menu by a label such as, "Pixel Value Analysis". Any operation that can be written as a MIPX script can appear like a standard (EPIX-written) operation within standard menus.
Line scan users rejoice! Now you can align and calibrate your camera with an interactive image display! Waterfall Line Display on PC provides a two-dimensional image on the Super VGA/VGA monitor from the single line emanating from the camera. Previous software provided feedback with Pixel Plot, Line <X> -- a graph of pixel values changed as focus and lighting adjustments changed (see EPIX Vision Volume 1; No.4). The waterfall display is more intuitive - an image is viewed, and the focusing and integration adjustments are straight forward.
32 Bit Operations & More Memory
If speed of program execution is a top priority, then upgrade to the DOS software. The New SVIP and 4MIP DOS packages run as 32 bit protected mode programs; Windows-based software is limited (by Windows 3.1) to 16 bit protected mode.
Both DOS and Windows versions benefit from operation as protected mode programs. They have access to all extended memory, virtually eliminating "Out of Memory" errors.
Immediate. Contact your local EPIX distributor, or contact EPIX, for further details.
EPIX Vision - May 1995 Newsletter