Ariel Dynamics, Inc.

CAPTURE MODULE

Revision 1.0

Contents

ARIEL CAPTURE PROGRAM††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................................................

WHATíS NEW IN CAPTURE 1.0..........................................................................................................

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS....................................................................................................................

TO START THE CAPTURE PROGRAM..............................................................................................

SCREEN LAYOUT....................................................................................................................................

THE APAS TOOL BAR...........................................................................................................

THE TOOL BAR.......................................................................................................................

THE STATUS BAR..................................................................................................................

OPERATING THE VCR............................................................................................................................

VCR DELAYS............................................................................................................................

FAST SPEED CONTROL.........................................................................................................

SLOW SPEED CONTROL.......................................................................................................

CREATING A NEW IMAGE FILE.........................................................................................................

STEP CAPTURE (COMPUTER CONTROLLED).................................................................

STREAMING CAPTURE.......................................................................................................

CREATING A NEW CONTROL FRAME...........................................................................................

CAPTURING CONTROL INFORMATION TO SEPARATE AVI FILE..........................

RESTORING PREVIOUSLY CAPTURED IMAGE FILE....................................................................

EXTENDED FEATURES.......................................................................................................................

AUTOMATIC DIGITIZING..................................................................................................

FILE COMPRESSION.............................................................................................................

TIME CODES..........................................................................................................................

RESETTING THE COUNTER................................................................................................

ZOOMING...............................................................................................................................................

CAPTURE QUICK REFERENCE..........................................................................................................

CAPTURE MENUS................................................................................................................................

FILE COMMAND MENU.....................................................................................................

VIEW COMMAND MENU...................................................................................................

VCR COMMAND MENU......................................................................................................

CAPTURE COMMAND MENU...........................................................................................

TIME CODE COMMAND MENU.......................................................................................

RUN COMMAND MENU.....................................................................................................

HELP COMMAND MENU....................................................................................................

 


ARIEL CAPTURE PROGRAM

 

INTRODUCTION

The first analytic step after recording is transferring the video image into the computer hard disk for digitizing.The ARIEL CAPTURE software is a Windows based program for capturing and storing these images for analysis using the Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS).

 

Although a few of CAPTUREís features may appear complex, they are relatively easy to master once you understand the underlying concepts.This manual is arranged to teach you these concepts in a logical order by showing you, in step-by-step fashion, how to use CAPTURE.

NOTE:The CAPTURE program is designed for capturing Analog video and requires the analog frame grabbing hardware.This module does not support using the Digital Video (DV) capture hardware.

 

 

WHATíS NEW IN CAPTURE 1.0

A few of the new features you will see in CAPTURE version 1.0

1.Multimedia CompatibleImage files can be saved in *.AVI format utilizing MJPEG technology.

2.     Real Time CaptureImages can be captured directly from computer controlled VCR or streamed directly from the video source to the hard disk drive.

3.     APAS Tool Bar.A toolbar has been added to allow the user to activate individual APAS modules from within the main programs.

 

 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

The following table provides the basic guidelines for minimum and recommended hardware to provide the best possible performance.The software requires a minimum of Microsoft Windows 95/98 and APAS-2000 Revision 1.0 or later.

 

Component†††††††††††††††††††††††† Minimum†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Recommended

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Processor†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pentium 233†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pentium II 333 MHz or higher

Graphics Card††††††††††††††††††† 800 x 600 @ 16 Bit††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† High Color Display (65,000 colors or more)

RAM †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 32 MB†††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 64 MB or more

Free Hard Disk Space††††† 500 MB††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2000 MB or more

Multi-Media Components CD-ROM Drive†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Windows 95 compatible multimedia sound card

VCR††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Not Required††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Panasonic AG-7350 or AG-5700
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† w/RS-232 Interface


TO START THE CAPTURE PROGRAM

1.Double-click the CAPTURE icon located in the APAS System window group.The main Capture window will appear.

 

 

SCREEN LAYOUT

Prior to performing the CAPTURE process, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the format and contents of the various screens listed below:

THE APAS TOOL BAR

You can activate any of the APAS software modules from within the current program by selecting the icons located on the APAS tool bar.The tool bar is toggled on/off using the APAS Toolbar command in the VIEW menu.A check mark in the left column of the menu indicates that the toolbar is currently active.The toolbar can be re-located anywhere in the main program window by dragging it with the mouse.The following program modules can be activated by clicking the appropriate icon.Icons are pictorial representations of programs, commands or functions.

 


THE TOOL BAR

You can activate many functions by selecting the icons located on the CAPTURE program tool bar.The tool bar is located near the top of the window.Icons are pictorial representations of commands or functions.You can access the following commands by clicking the appropriate icon.

 

 

THE STATUS BAR

The status bar provides useful information about the current status of the image file.The status bar is located at the bottom of the Capture window.The far left side of the status bar is divided into five separate fields; Capture Mode Field, VCR Status Field, View Status Field and the Time/Counter Display Field and Time Code Indicator Field.

 

 

Capture Mode indicates the currently set capture mode.StepCap will be displayed if using the Step Capture method.Stream will be displayed when using the Streaming method of video capture.The capture mode is changed in the Capture Parameters menu.

VCR Status indicates the current state of the VCR.NR will be displayed if no recorder is detected by the computer.

View Status indicates whether the current image is LIVE or a previously captured image for REVIEW.

Time/Counter Display is a counter that displays the currently selected Time Format.The counter may display the image number (Count) or the time (hh:mm:ss:ff) as specified in the VCR, OPTIONS menu.

Time Code Indicator indicates whether the computer control is using SMPTE or Control Pulse (CTL) for advancing/reversing the video tape.

 

 

 

OPERATING THE VCR

 

Controlling the VCR with the ARIEL CAPTURE software is intended to electronically mimic the actions required for manual operation of the VCR.Comparison of the front of the VCR with the various Menu items and/or Icons presented in the CAPTURE screen will facilitate learning the subsequent functions and options available.

The primary action buttons on the front of the VCR look similar to the icons located in the CAPTURE program Tool Bar.Proceeding from left to right, these buttons are:STOP, PLAY, PAUSE, STEP REVERSE, STEP FORWARD, REVERSE SEARCH and FORWARD SEARCH.Search Speed buttons have also been added to mimic the control of the Jog/Shuttle dial used to control the forward/reverse search speed.These functions can also be found on the pull-down menu presented by choosing the VCR option from the menu bar.Eight speeds are present for the AG-7350 VCR and six for the AG-5700.In addition, the CAPTURE program presents two control buttons which do not appear on the VCR panel.These choices, STEP FORWARD and STEP REVERSE allow the video to be moved one image at a time.

 

 

1.From the VCR menu, choose the OPTIONS command, and the following screen will be displayed.

 

The VCR Interface is used to specify the type of VCR controller.The system is usually set to None when using the Streaming Capture method.The P34 Interface requires a 34 pin remote cable to connect the computer to the expansion board located on the rear panel of the computer.The COM1, COM2 Interface requires the RS-232 Serial Interface module for the Panasonic VCR.The factory settings usually configure the VCR for COM1 and the optional modem for COM2.If this cable is not connected, the VCR Status Field in the status bar will indicate NR for No Recorder.

 

Time Format is used to specify the image counter format.Count is selected to keep a numerical count of the image numbers.The counter can also be set to a Time mode by selecting hh:mm:ss:ff.The counter value for the current setting is located in the Time/Counter field of the Status Bar.

Model is used to specify the Panasonic VCR model.Options include AG-7350, AG-5700 and LanC.When the Panasonic model AG-5700 VCR is selected, the AG-5700 button will become active and can be selected to specify Reverse Step Delay parameters for this VCR.The LanC option is used for several 8mm camcorders and requires a specialized cable interface.

 

 

Due to the mechanical nature of the 5700 VCR, it is difficult to reverse one field at a time.The VCR must receive a Frame Reverse command, wait for the counter to change, delay while the VCR settles down and then issue a single Field Advance command.

Field is used to specify the delay time (ms) for the VCR to settle before reversing one field.A value of 1000 ms is the default value.

Frame is used to specify the delay time (ms) for the VCR to settle before reversing one frame.A value of 500 ms is the default value.

 

Examination of the format, compression method and size of the image to be grabbed can be regulated only while previewing the video.Selecting VIDEO FORMAT will present these choices


2.Choose the VIDEO FORMAT command from the CAPTURE menu.

 

 

 

Capture Format is used to select between three capture formats: Motion JPEG, RGB24 or RGB15.

a.Motion JPEG - is the recommended format for video capture.This standard algorithm allows digital compression, storage and transmission of moving image information such as motion video, CD-quality audio and control data at CD-ROM bandwidth.The MJPEG algorithm provides inter-frame compression of video images and can have an effective compression rate of 100:1 to 200:1.Since MJPEG provides excellent video quality and the best capture performance, you will probably use it most of the time.

b.     RGB24 - is a high quality input format, and so it can be useful for the most demanding video quality situations.However, capturing with RGB24 demands a high performance PC with a Pentium processor; some PCís may drop frames when capturing with RGB24.Uncompressed RGB24 files will also be very large compared to MJPEG.Use RGB24 only when you must have its higher video quality, and only on a PC that can support uncompressed capture.

c.     RGB15 - is similar to RGB24 with slightly less picture quality and corresponding smaller file size.

 

Image Size allows adjustment of the size of the captured image. It is recommended to use the Full size for maximum resolution.Larger numbers produce a larger window size.

OK is selected to proceed and save the current video format changes.

Cancel is selected to abort the current menu without saving any changes.

Default is selected to return the Video Format values to the Default settings.

Compress allows adjustment of the compression value.High compression will result in lower quality and smaller files.Minimum compression provides high quality files that are larger in size.Users are encouraged to experiment with this value to determine the desired compression value for their specificapplication.The compression value can be changed by left-clicking on the desired arrow or sliding the adjustment button.Select OK to proceed and save your changes or Cancel to abort.

 

Alterations of the image qualities of the video such as brightness or color can be made prior to grabbing.The VIDEO SOURCE option is used for this process.


3.Choose the VIDEO SOURCE command from the CAPTURE menu

 

 

Video Standard is used to set the standard for the video format.Available options are:†††

NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) A 60 Hz Video standard used extensively in North America.

PAL (Phase Alternate Line) A 50 Hz Video standard used extensively in Australia and most of Western Europe.

DETECT is selected to automatically detect the video format.Several frame grabbing boards are capable ofdetecting the video standard supplied on the video input.Clicking the detect button adjusts the video standard to the appropriate setting.This option is not functional if the Video Inputis not set correctly.

 

Video Input should be set to the appropriate setting.If the video input to the computer utilizes the RCA jack, then the Input Source should be set to Composite.If the S-Video jack is used, the Input Source should be set to S-Video.The S-Video input is preferred because S-Video has twice the resolution of composite, so the video image will be clearer.

 

The Color options are used to enhance the image quality of the video.Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue can be modified by adjusting the sliders or clicking the left/right arrows with the mouse.Selecting the DEFAULT button will return the settings to the factory default.

 

The ARIEL CAPTURE program automatically saves the current settings for future sessions when OK is selected.Select Cancel to exit the current menu without saving any changes.


You are now ready to capture a new image or restore a previously captured image.

VCR DELAYS

 

As the speed of computers increase, an additional option has been added to includenecessary delays required for correct image capture.

1.     Select the CAPTURE, CAPTURE PARAMETERS and then the STEP tab to access the DELAYS button.The Capture Delays menus will be presented.

StepDelay (ms) - is the time delayed between successive commands to step the VCR when capturing while skipping images.It has no effect if every image is being captured.The system defaults to 500 ms.

CapDelay (ms) -is the time between Freezing and capturing the current image.With slower computers, there was no need for any delay.However, with the faster computers, a small delay is sometimes necessary.If there is insufficient delay, the same image gets captured twice.The total number of frames is correct, however, a file might have images 1, 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 7...The system defaults to 300 ms.Changes should be made in 100 ms increments with a maximum of 500 ms.

When either delay is changed, the program will prompt the user to make sure the change is desired.

FAST SPEED CONTROL

 

A useful option employed while previewing the film sequence to be digitized is the ability to control the speed of the fast forward and rewind choices.The VCR search speed can be adjusted according to your individual preference in a manner similar to the manual speed dial control on the front panel of the VCR unit.With this option, rapid speed can be utilized when trying to locate a particular section of the film and then the speed can be regulated to a slightly slower speed to locate the activity more precisely.It is extremely important to remember that when using the Intel frame grabber, the image on the monitor cannot be refreshed as quickly as the VCR can function.Therefore, at rapid speeds the film may go well beyond the specific point desired.For this reason, controlling the search speed will vary among individual users and may also differ for each person as the search goals change.(NOTE: It is recommended to connect an additional color video monitor to view the film at the same speed as the VCR.The second monitor would be connected directly to the Video Out connector of the VCR eliminating the refreshing limitation previously noted.)

 


SLOW SPEED CONTROL

 

Once the section of the filmed activity is located, the CAPTURE program provides the ability to move forward or reverse in single image steps.This option can be performed by using (1) the STEP FORWARD or STEP REVERSE buttons located on the CAPTURE program tool bar or (2) select VCR on the menu bar and then choose either Step_Fwd or Step_Rev.A third option is available by selecting VCR from the Menu and then choosing the Step_To... option.You must type a number in the box labeled #images to indicate the number of images which you wish to move and then type Enter or click on the OK button.You must remember to type a minus sign (hyphen) before the number if the film is to be reversed.While the film is being moved, the cursor will appear as an hourglass until the specified number of images has been reached.At the completion of the task, the Image: box located in the lower right hand section of the screen will reflect the current image value.The value in this box can be set to zero by selecting the TimeCodes option and then choosing Reset.This indicator can be particularly useful when finalizing the starting point of the film section to be captured as well as knowing the number of images to be grabbed.

 

 

 

CREATING A NEW IMAGE FILE

The Ariel Capture module provides two options for capturing images to the computer hard drive, Step Capture and Streaming.Step-Capture utilizes the optional computer controlled VCR to precisely control the capture starting point, set a skip factor, and set the number of images to be captured.The Streaming option captures video directly to the computer in real-time and does not require the computer controlled VCR.

STEP CAPTURE (COMPUTER CONTROLLED)

1.Choose the NEW command from the FILE menu (or the NEW icon in the toolbar).The OPEN File Dialog box will appear.

 

The OPEN File Dialog box is used to create a new image file that can be one of two types (files that have the extension of *.AVI or *.PCL).The AVI format is recommended for most applications since this is compatible with Microsoft Video For Windows format.The current file type is listed in the lower portion of the dialog box.The New File Dialog box can be used to specify the Drive, Directory, Type and Name of the image file to be saved.Type the Name of the New image file in the File Name box and select OPEN to proceed.Select CANCEL to abort this menu.

2.Use the VCR commands from the VCR menu to determine the number of images in the sequence to be analyzed.This is usually accomplished by adjusting the video to the desired starting point and manually selecting the IMAGE ADVANCE icon while keeping a count of the number of mouse clicks.The VCR and STEP_TO commands can also be used to advance the video in specified increments.

3.Select the PAUSE command from the VCR menu and adjust the video to the beginning image of the sequence using the IMAGE ADVANCE / IMAGE REVERSE commands from the VCR menu.NOTE:The VCR must be in the PAUSE mode for the Capture process.

4.Choose the CAPTURE PARAMS command from the CAPTURE menu.The Algorithm Default Dialog box will appear.

 

5.†† Select Step Capture, specify the video Format, set the Temporary File Allocation and Allocation Size for the AVI file.

Capture Mode specifies the method that will be used to capture the video images to the hard drive of the computer.

Format specifies the video standard.NTSC is used throughout North America, while PAL format is more common in Europe and Australia.

Temporary File Allocation determines the drive, directory and name of a temporary file for saving the captured AVI file.When using the Step Capture mode, this item is normally not used since the user will be prompted for a file name when the AVI images are saved.

Allocation Size (MB) determines the maximum size of the temporary file in megabytes of memory.This setting is not important for the Step Capture.It is used more often in the Streaming Capture mode.

6.     Select the STEP tab to specify the parameters for the Capture process.The following menu will be displayed.

#Images is used to specify the number of images that you wish to store on the hard disk.This number should be used in combination with the #Skip