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The first step for analysis 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 images to be analyzed using the Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS).

Even though a few of CAPTURE's features appear complex, they are relatively easy to master once you understand the concepts behind them. 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.


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

  1. Multiple Screen Digitizing. Up to four images can be displayed and digitized simultaneously.
  2. Multimedia Compatible Image files can be saved in *.AVI format utilizing Intel Indeo technology.


The following table provides the basic guidelines for minimum and recommended hardware to provide the best possible performance. Software requires a minimum of Microsoft Windows 3.11 and Ariel Revison 7.60.

Component		Minimum			Recommended
Video RAM		1 MB				2MB
Processor		486/25				DX4/100 or Pentium
Memory			8 MB				16 MB or more
VCR			Panasonic AG-7150		Panasonic AG-7350
			   w/34 pin remote connector	   w/RS-232 Interface


  1. Double-click the CAPTURE icon located in the APAS window group. The main Capture menu will appear. You are now ready to capture a new image or restore a previously captured image.



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 CAPTURE 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 three separate fields; VCR Status Field, View Status Field and the Time Display Field.
bulletVCR Status indicates the current state of the VCR. NR will be displayed if no recorder is detected.
bulletView Status indicates whether the current image is LIVE or a previously captured image for REVIEW.
bulletTime 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.


  1. Choose the NEW command from the FILE menu. The NEW File Dialog box will appear.

    The NEW File Dialog box looks for one of two types of files (files that have the extension of .AVI or .PCL). The current file type is listed in the lower left corner 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 OK to proceed.


  2. Choose the OPTIONS command from the VCR menu. The VCR Options menu will be presented.
    bulletVCR Interface is used to specify the type of VCR controller. 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 7350 VCR. The factory settings usually configure the mouse for COM1 and the VCR for COM2. If this cable is not connected, the VCR Status Field in the status bar will indicate NR for No Recorder.
    bulletVCR Search Speed is used to set the speed of the Forward/Reverse search functions located in the VCR menu.
    bulletTime 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 far left field of the Status Bar.
  3. Choose the VIDEO FORMAT command from the CAPTURE menu. Click Details to see the entire dialog box. The Video Format menu will appear.

    The following functions are only active while previewing the video. When images are captured, the full screen image is saved at the maximum Quality.

    Video Compression Method is used to set the compression to one of two options:
    bulleta. Compressed (Intel Indeo R3.2 Video) - Video is captured and compressed in one step, in real time (compressed while you capture). Compressed files create smaller files sizes that are faster to capture at a slight expense on image quality.
    bulletb. Raw (Intel Indeo RAW Video) - More of the original video information is stored. Raw files provide the best possible quality at the expense of larger files.

    Size allows adjustment of the size of the image while previewing the video.

    You can choose a Video Data Rate OR a Quality setting only if you are using Intel Indeo R3.2 Video.
    bulleta. Video Data Rate (80-300KB/sec) - How much video data is sent to your disk each second. A lower data rate gives you a smaller file, but it will also give you lower video quality.
    bulletb. Quality (1-100%) - This sets a minimum data rate that will be maintained for the video quality setting you chose. A high setting gives you the best quality video, but your files will be bigger. A low setting creates the smallest file it can, but the video quality will be lower.

  4. Choose the VIDEO SOURCE command from the CAPTURE menu. The Video Source menu will be presented.
    bulletThe Picture Effects options are used to enhance the image quality of the video. Contrast, Tint, Saturation and Brightness can be altered by clicking the left/right arrows with the mouse.
    bulletInput Source 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.
    bulletInput Type is for information purposes only and indicates if PAL (50 Hz) video format is detected. When this item is shaded, it indicates that NTSC (60 Hz) video format is being used.
    bulletThe Save option is used to save the current settings for future sessions.
  5. Choose the CAPTURE PARAMS command from the CAPTURE menu. The Capture Parameters Dialog box will appear.
    bullet#Images is used to specify the number of images that you wish to capture to the hard disk. This number should be used in combination with the #Skip field in the following manner. The calculation for #Images = the number of frames grabbed, from beginning to end, divided by the #Skip +1. This number also affects the Frame Rate that will be entered in the Digitizing module.. For example, let's assume that there is a sequence of 300 frames recorded at 60 Hz (refer to the table below). If the event to be analyzed is fast you may not want to skip any images (#Skip = 1). However, if the event to be analyzed is slow speed, then every frame may not be necessary and possibly every other frame or even every 3rd frame would be sufficient for analysis
    # Images	#Skip		#Images		Film Speed
    300		0		300 / (0+1) = 300	60 / (0+1) = 60 Hz
    300		1		300 / (1+1) = 150	60 / (1+1) = 30 Hz
    300		2		300 / (2+1) = 100	60 / (2+1) = 20 Hz
    300		3		300 / (3+1) = 75	60 / (3+1) = 15 Hz
    bulletStep Delay is a time value in milliseconds (ms) that allows you to specify a selectable delay between the image advance and the freezing of the image. A value of 0 to 900 ms may be selected.
    bulletConfirm can be set to Yes or No. A setting of Yes will cause the system to pause after capturing every image and allow the user to Confirm that the frame was grabbed correctly. The Enter key must be pressed to capture each successive frame. A setting of No will result in the system capturing the number of images specified in the #Images field without any pauses.
  6. Choose the START CAPTURE command from the CAPTURE menu. The Start Capture command will begin the capturing process using the values specified in the Parameter menu. A confirmation screen will appear when all the frames have been captured.
  7. The STOP CAPTURE command can be selected to abort the capturing process


  1. Choose the OPEN command from the FILE menu.
  2. Select the desired image file
  3. Adjust the video to the desired control image using the options listed in the VCR menu. Select the PAUSE option when the desired image has been reached.
  4. Choose CAPTURE CONTROL from the CAPTURE menu. A confirmation screen will appear to verify that the frame has been grabbed.


  1. Choose the OPEN command from the File menu. The OPEN Existing Image Dialog box will appear.
  2. Choose REVIEW from the VIEW menu.
  3. Use the image control commands located in the VCR menu to advance/review the captured image.


  1. Choose the OPEN command from the File menu. The OPEN Existing Image File Dialog box will appear.
  2. Choose REVIEW from the VIEW menu.
  3. Choose CONTROL command from the VIEW menu.


The features listed below are not required for a basic analysis. They are extended features or options to the basic program.


Images must be captured in the *.PCL format in order to use the automatic Digitizing feature of the APAS. Please refer to the DIGI4 software manual for additional information on capturing the image file. Also refer to the Digitizing Chapter of the APAS manual.



The Time Code commands are not necessary for operation of the APAS, however, it provides a valuable tool for searching to a specific sequence or image on the video tape. In order to use the Time Code feature you must have the Panasonic AG-7350 VCR with the Serial Interface connected to the APAS computer. These items can be selected as additional options to the APAS.

Writing SMPTE Time Code

The Time Code option can be used for accurately searching and finding a specific sequence. Several steps must be followed for the APAS to utilize the time code feature.

  1. Insert the desired video tape into the VCR.
  2. Choose the WRITE command from the TIME CODE menu. This will record the Time Code signal onto the video tape. When the WRITE option is selected you will see the Writing SMPTE Time Codes menu to verify time code recording is in progress.
    Time Code recording occurs at the standard tape speed, so if you have a two hour tape that you wish to time code, the writing process will take two hours.
  3. Cancel can be selected to abort the SMPTE Time Code writing operation. Time codes will be recorded on the tape up to the point where the Cancel option is selected.

Utilizing The SMPTE Time Code

Once a tape has SMPTE time code recorded, the SEARCH function can be selected from the Time Code menu to Search to a specific time code. The format used is Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frame

  1. Choose the SEARCH command from the Time Code menu. The Search menu will appear.
  2. Enter the desired Time Code in the following format: hh:mm:ss:ff where:
    bullethh = Hours
    bulletmm = Minutes
    bulletss = Seconds
    bulletff = Frame Number
  3. Select OK to advance to the desired time code or Cancel to abort the process.

Resetting the Counter

  1. Choose the Reset command from the Time Code menu to reset the image counter located on the right side of the Status Bar. This option is only active if the VCR Interface is set to P34. When the Time Format is set to Count, the counter will reset to 000. When the Time Format is hh:mm:ss:ff, the value will be reset to 00:00:00:00 If time codes are being used, this option only resets the counter on the front panel of the VCR.


  1. Select the Zoom command from the VIEW menu. The displayed image can be set to one of two zooming factors. The current Zoom status is indicated by the checkmark.
    bulletZoom 0.5x - Zooms the displayed image to approximately one-half of the screen size.
    bulletZoom 1.0x - Zooms the displayed image to full screen size

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This page was last modified on 12/07/2008 at 22:47 PST. Copyright � 1994 - 2002, all rights reserved, Ariel Dynamics Inc. Please send your comments or feedback to or proceed to our feedback form. This page has been accessed many times since Dec 12, 2002. Our privacy policy is here.