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extensible camera viewer program (part of the motmot camera packages)

Project description

**************************************************************************
:mod:`fview` - Extensible realtime image viewing, saving, and analysis app
**************************************************************************

.. module:: fview
:synopsis: Extensible realtime image viewing, saving, and analysis app
.. index::
module: fview
single: fview


Overview and Usage Guide
========================

:command:`fview` is an application to view and record data from
uncompressed digital video cameras. The name ''fview'' derives from
"fly viewer" -- the software was developed within the `Dickinson
Lab`__ at Caltech__ to record movies of flies.

See the :ref:`Gallery <applications>` for some screenshots.

__ http://dickinson.caltech.edu/
__ http://www.caltech.edu/

Features
========

* **Plugins for realtime image analysis** -- Plugins to perform
realimage image analysis are straightforward to write, with
templates included to get you started quickly. Plugins have been
written, for example, to perform background subtraction very quickly
by making use of Intel's Integrated Performance Primatives (IPP)
library. See :ref:`writing FView plugins <fview-plugin-writing>`.

* **camera trigger device with precise timing and analog input** --
see :ref:`this page <fview_ext_trig-overview>`

* **Many supported cameras** -- fview uses :ref:`libcamiface` to
interact with cameras. This means that if you use fview, your code
is independent from the particular camera hardware you're using.

* **Written in Python** -- Python__ is used as the "glue" that hold the
application together -- the underlying image processing and saving
is performed by high performance C code. Flexible memory allocation
is possible for easy integration with other languages and libraries.

__ http://python.org/

Running fview
=============

Fview has options which can be set via environment variables. These
are:

.. program:: fview

.. envvar:: FVIEW_NO_REDIRECT

Set to non-zero to direct all output to the console (linux) or to a
pop-up window (Windows, Mac OS X). Otherwise, the default behavior of
saving to fview.log.

.. envvar:: FVIEW_RAISE_ERRORS

If this is non-zero, it will cause FView to raise an exception and
thus close noisily, if any of its plugins raise exceptions. Otherwise,
the default behavior of warning about the exception and continuing
without the plugin will be used.

.. envvar:: FVIEW_NO_OPENGL

Set to non-zero to disable use of OpenGL for image display. This will
be slower and take more CPU time, but will avoid any potential bugs
with the OpenGL side of things.

.. envvar:: FVIEW_SAVE_PATH

Set to the directory name in which to record movies. (This can also be
set with the Menu option "File->set record Directory...".)

Current limitations
===================

fview currently only supports a single camera. Although the plugin
structure and the camera interface are inherently multi-camera ready,
fview itself has not been written to support capturing from multiple
cameras simultaneously. Flydra__, for example, makes use of multiple
cameras using motmot.

__ http://dickinson.caltech.edu/Research/MultiTrack

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