Standard video capture drivers? What's that?



  • As part of a research project I needed to get both infrared and visible light images from a combined IR+visible light camera from a fairly small manufacturer. The most obvious two ways to get images from a camera are in order of preference for this task:

    1. Just use the manufacturer's software to write a video file. Our software can handle most video file formats
    2. Use DirectX or a similar interface to get the images directly as the camera records them

    Unfortunately these don't work for this camera:

    1. Their software writes a proprietary video format (.ravi) that contains both IR and visible images, with the IR added in a raw format in columns that are just added to the right of the video frames. That raw format is not parseable without calibration data that again lives in proprietary-format files that only their software can read.
    2. They don't have their own driver to separate the video streams. Instead they use the standard USB capture driver to capture images that are like point 1 and split them in their application

    Instead if you want to access image data from the camera you need to start their capture application and then connect to it using a pretty shoddily made COM API. This then forwards the images that are rendered to the screen or temperature images for IR. From the way it behaves I'm pretty sure that this API is serviced from their GUI thread, because when you do anything in the application you get frame drops on the API side. But they think their API is great because they have a code sample where they put a live image from the camera in Excel.

    Recently they started offering a small "network box" that sounded like they would offer a simple streaming video interface. Unfortunately that is not what they did. Instead that "network box" runs Windows XP and a cut-down version of their application that forwards images to a desktop version using a proprietary, undocumented protocol. When I asked if there was a way to directly get a video from the "network box" they seriously suggested that I could just install Fraps on the network box and have that stream over the network.

    I guess hoping for a semi-sane interface from a small industrial camera manufacturer was too much to ask.



  • @witchdoctor said:

    But they think their API is great because they have a code sample where they put a live image from the camera in Excel.

    That could be handy during porn auditions, no need to look away to take notes and assign score.



  • @Ronald said:

    @witchdoctor said:
    But they think their API is great because they have a code sample where they put a live image from the camera in Excel.

    That could be handy during porn auditions, no need to look away to take notes and assign score.

    Infrared porn?

    I'm listening..



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ronald said:
    @witchdoctor said:
    But they think their API is great because they have a code sample where they put a live image from the camera in Excel.

    That could be handy during porn auditions, no need to look away to take notes and assign score.

    Infrared porn?

    I'm listening..

    Less listening and more clicking



  • Moral of the story: if it can't do cool stuff in Microsoft Office, it doesn't meet requirements.



  • @Ronald said:

    Less listening and more clicking

    Where's the rangefinder reticule? The crackle of radio chatter? And most of the videos seem to end before the explosion..



  • @witchdoctor said:

    I guess hoping for a semi-sane interface from a small industrial camera manufacturer was too much to ask.

    Yes, yes it was.

    Drivers are literally the worst thing ever.



  • @spamcourt said:

    @witchdoctor said:
    I guess hoping for a semi-sane interface from a small industrial camera manufacturer was too much to ask.

    Yes, yes it was.

    Drivers are literally the worst thing ever.

    I thought they would at least use the shortcuts that mean less work for THEM. But they didn't even do that. And they don't even have drivers as most people understand the term, just a GUI application that communicates with the camera directly.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @witchdoctor said:

    As part of a research project I needed to get both infrared and visible light images from a combined IR+visible light camera from a fairly small manufacturer.
    […]
    I guess hoping for a semi-sane interface from a small industrial camera manufacturer was too much to ask.
    So the outcome of the research was “Don't buy anything from this manufacturer. No matter how much it costs to go somewhere else”? Sometimes, being the spearhead of the application of market forces against boneheads is the only way. Planning to struggle on the the face of such idiocy would be TRWTF.



  • @dkf said:

    Sometimes, being the spearhead of the application of market forces against boneheads is the only way. Planning to struggle on the the face of such idiocy would be TRWTF.

    Hey I read that almost verbatim in the Cliffs notes for Mein Kampf.



  • @Ronald said:

    @dkf said:
    Sometimes, being the spearhead of the application of market forces against boneheads is the only way. Planning to struggle on the the face of such idiocy would be TRWTF.

    Hey I read that almost verbatim in the Cliffs notes for Mein Kampf.

    I read Mein Kampf when I was 14. It's a shockingly tedious book; 900 pages of droning nonsense, like the first book in a series of ten by Gore Vidal. It's no wonder the Nazis edited down to a nice pamphlet for mass consumption.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    900 pages of droning nonsense

    SpectateSwamp, is that you?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I read Mein Kampf when I was 14. It's a shockingly tedious book; 900 pages of droning nonsense, like the first book in a series of ten by Gore Vidal.

    The entire opus of Gore Vidal is but a whisper compared to a single chapter of Atlas Shrugged.




    @Ayn Rand said:

    She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance.

    Imagine over a thousand pages of that.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    900 pages of droning nonsense

    SpectateSwamp, is that you?

    Last month you accused me of being SpectateSwamp. Could mean it's time to make up a new insult. Unless you are SpectateSwamp wearing a gay Al Yankovic Jr disguise, which would qualify as a scooby doo ending.



  • @Ronald said:

    @Ayn Rand said:
    She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance.

    Imagine over a thousand pages of that.

    I always wondered if there wasn't some meta shit going on with Atlas Shrugged, given how awful the writing is. Like "Ha ha, fuck you, this is what happens when good writers aren't appreciated so they choose to stop writing and only the dregs are left."



  • @Ronald said:

    Unless you are SpectateSwamp wearing a gay Al Yankovic Jr disguise, which would qualify as a scooby doo ending.

    "Who would have thought it was the janitor, Ben L., wearing a cheap rubber mask all along!"



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I always wondered if there wasn't some meta shit going on with Atlas Shrugged, given how awful the writing is. Like "Ha ha, fuck you, this is what happens when good writers aren't appreciated so they choose to stop writing and only the dregs are left."
    That's just because People keep mistaking Atlas Shrugged for a novel, when really it's just pure ideology molded into a form vaguely resembling a novel. Kind of like with L. Ron Hubbard, except Ayn Rand apparently never was tripping enough to get the idea of turning her crazy world view into a cult. Thank ${deity} for that.



  • @Anonymouse said:

    That's just because People keep mistaking Atlas Shrugged for a novel, when really it's just pure ideology molded into a form vaguely resembling a novel.

    I get that, but the form is just shitty. And I'm not criticizing her ideology here, just the choice of media (poorly-written, tedious novel.)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Anonymouse said:
    That's just because People keep mistaking Atlas Shrugged for a novel, when really it's just pure ideology molded into a form vaguely resembling a novel.

    I get that, but the form is just shitty. And I'm not criticizing her ideology here, just the choice of media (poorly-written, tedious novel.)

    I despise both.



  • @Ronald said:

    I despise both.

    You would, with your slave morality.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ronald said:
    I despise both.

    You would, with your slave morality.

    STOP WRITING SOFTWARE THAT BLAKEYRAT CAN'T UNDERSTAND



  • @boomzilla said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Ronald said:
    I despise both.

    You would, with your slave morality.

    STOP WRITING SOFTWARE THAT BLAKEYRAT CAN'T UNDERSTAND

    The Will to Powerpoint.



  • "The Dildo Purple"

    A 759-page insemination of symbosexual oppression of disensexualized forum dwellers.



  • @dkf said:

    @witchdoctor said:
    As part of a research project I needed to get both infrared and visible light images from a combined IR+visible light camera from a fairly small manufacturer.
    […]
    I guess hoping for a semi-sane interface from a small industrial camera manufacturer was too much to ask.
    So the outcome of the research was “Don't buy anything from this manufacturer. No matter how much it costs to go somewhere else”? Sometimes, being the spearhead of the application of market forces against boneheads is the only way. Planning to struggle on the the face of such idiocy would be TRWTF.

    At least that was my recommendation and the recommendation of every researcher and developer I explained it to. Unfortunately there's politics involved, so I might end up having to actually use this at some point.


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