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Previewing and Acquiring Data in Image Acquisition Tool

The Preview Window

The Preview window displays the image data when you preview or acquire data.

Use the buttons in the Preview window to:

Below the area that displays the frames you will see text messages with information relative to the current state of the window. For example in the figure above, that text indicates that all the frames that were acquired are being displayed. After you start and stop a preview, the text will indicate that the tool is ready to acquire data.

During an acquisition, a running timer appears under the display area that indicates the actual time of the frame acquisition.

    Note:   The Image Acquisition Toolbox™ Preview window and the Preview window that is built into the Image Acquisition Tool now support the display of up to 16-bit image data. The Preview window was designed to only show 8-bit data, but many cameras return 10-, 12-, 14-, or 16-bit data. The Preview window display now supports these higher bit-depth cameras.

Previewing Data

To preview data:

  1. Select the device and format in the Hardware Browser.

  2. Click the Start Preview button to test your device.

  3. If necessary, adjust the device to achieve the desired image.

  4. Set the Frames Per Trigger on the General tab and the Number of Triggers on the Triggering tab, to set the total number of frames for the acquisition.

  5. Set any other acquisition parameters to adjust the quality of the image or other acquisition factors.

You are now ready to start the acquisition.

Acquiring Data

To acquire data:

  1. Select the device and format in the Hardware Browser. The Hardware Browser shows the image acquisition devices currently connected to your system. If the device you want to use is not connected to your system, plug it in and then select Tools > Refresh Image Acquisition Hardware to display the new device in the Hardware Browser.

    The nodes listed under the device name are the formats the device supports. They may correspond to the different resolutions and color spaces that your device supports, or to different video standards or camera configurations. This information comes from your device adaptor. Select the format you want to use.

    See Selecting Your Device in Image Acquisition Tool for more information about devices and formats.

  2. Use the Preview feature to test and set up your device by clicking the Start Preview button. If necessary, physically adjust the device to achieve the desired image area, or use the Region of Interest tab of the Acquisition Parameters pane to constrain the image.

    See Previewing Data for more information on previewing.

  3. Set the Frames Per Trigger on the General tab and the Number of Triggers on the Triggering tab, to set the total number of frames for the acquisition, if you did not do so while previewing.

    For example, if you set Frames Per Trigger to 4 and Number of Triggers to 2, the total number of frames acquired will be 8.

    If you just want a snapshot of one frame, leave the default settings of 1 in both fields. If you want a specific number of frames, use the fields to set it.

    Alternatively, you can set the tool to acquire continuously and use the buttons in the Preview window to manually start and stop the acquisition.

  4. Set any necessary acquisition parameters if you did not do so while previewing. See Setting Acquisition Parameters in Image Acquisition Tool for more information.

  5. Choose your log mode, which determines where the acquisition data is stored.

    On the Logging tab, use the Log To field to choose to log to memory, disk, or both. Disk logging results in a saved VideoWriter file. If you choose memory logging, you can export your data after the acquisition using the Export Data button on the Preview window.

    For more information about logging, see Logging Your Data.

  6. Start the acquisition by clicking the Start Acquisition button.

    • If you set Trigger Type (on the Triggering tab) to Immediate, the tool will immediately start logging data.

    • If you set Trigger Type to Manual, click the Trigger button when you want to start logging data. For more information about manual triggering, see Setting Up Triggering.

  7. Stop the acquisition:

    • If you set Frames Per Trigger (on the General tab) to 1 or any other number, your acquisition will stop when that number of frames is reached.

    • If you set Frames Per Trigger to infinite, click the Stop Acquisition button to stop the acquisition.

      Note that you can also click Stop Acquisition to abort an acquisition if the number of frames was specified.

When the acquisition stops, if you logged to memory or disk and memory, the Preview window will display all or some of the frames of the acquisition. The window can show up to nine frames. If you acquire more than nine frames, it will display frames at an even interval based on the total number of frames. The montage of nine frames are indexed linearly from the acquired images. The text under the images will list which frames are shown. You can also hover your cursor over each frame to see which frame number it is, as shown in the following figure.

If Images Are Blurry or Dark

If the first one or more frames of your acquisition are blurry, black, or of low quality, your camera may need to warm up before you capture frames.

You can allow for device warm-up by using manual triggering. This allows you to start the acquisition after the device has warmed up and is acquiring image data that meets your needs.

To use manual triggering, go to the Triggering tab of the Acquisition Parameters pane and select Manual in the Trigger Type field.

For more detailed instructions about manual triggering, see Selecting the Trigger Type.

For more information about troubleshooting specific devices, see Troubleshooting Overview in the Troubleshooting chapter.

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