4K Monochrome USB 3.1 Gen 1 Camera

Accessing See3CAM Custom Format with OpenCV

Published on June 29, 2015

Brief on OpenCV

In the blog Working with See3CAM and OpenCV the basic procedure to access See3CAM USB 3.0 cameras with OpenCV is been discussed. In this blog the procedures and changes to be done to access custom formats supported by See3CAM USB cameras (See3CAM_CU51 supports Y16, See3CAM_10CUG_C supports BY8) with OpenCV is discussed.

This was a question to most of the customers who bought industrial machine vision USB cameras. e-con Systems™’ machine vision camera is designed to get full access to the raw camera data, say for eg, See3CAM_CU51 supports high resolution 12 bit monochrome data which is an important feature in analyzing high gradient monochrome data. OpenCV does not have capability to access custom formats like BY8, Y16 by native.

OpenCV makes use of DirectShow (for Windows) and V4L2 (for Linux) framework internally to access frames from camera. As algorithm developers are concentrated towards optimizing their results, e-con has reduced their effort by providing all necessary patch and modification to OpenCV layer for accessing custom formats provided by e-con USB camera. This will provide user to utilize their current working OpenCV algorithm code with very minimal changes.

Refer to Working with See3CAM and OpenCV blog for installing OpenCV in Windows/Linux. Download the modified OpenCV package for capture interface and sample application source code.

Download link for modified OpenCV binary

Accessing Custom Formats using OpenCV

e-con’s See3CAM_12CUNIR(Y16), See3CAM_CU51(Y16), See3CAM_CU40(Y16), See3CAM_10CUG_C(BY8) and Tara(Y16) supports custom format as of now. The below sample code demonstrates the basic access of the camera’s using OpenCV. The camera is by default set to 1280 x 720 resolution.

To access Tara camera

The sample source code is given in the Tara SDK provided along with the camera.

To use See3CAM_CU40 set the define CU40

Sample code to split the RGB & IR Data & display the images is provided. Note that the missing Green component is filled with the value of the nearest neighbor. For display purpose the 10 Bit images are scaled down to 8 Bit.

To use 12-bit Monochrome (Y16) from See3CAM_CU51 and See3CAM_12CUNIR set the define CU51_12CUNIR

12-bit monochrome data can be used directly for analysis purpose, but for demonstrating purpose, the input 12-bit image is converted to 8-bit and displayed.

To use See3CAM_10CUG_C

Sample code by default streams See3CAM_10CUG_C. Register the Bayer Filter provided by e-con in the package. The result image is by default interpolated and then displayed.

/* OpenCV Streaming Sample Custom format - Y16 and BY8
To test the Camera's Set the corresponding defines to 1 (CU40 - RGB IR Camera, CU51_12CUNIR - CU51/ 12CUNIR camera)
For 10CUG make both defines as 0 */

#include "opencv2/imgproc/imgproc.hpp"
#include "opencv2/highgui/highgui.hpp"

#include <iostream>
#include <conio.h>

using namespace cv;
using namespace std;

#define CU40	0
#define CU51_12CUNIR	0 //Both CU51 or 12CUNIR

#define ImageWidth	1280
#define	ImageHeight    720

// Actual Data format BGIRR after conversion BGGR - IR is replaced with the G 
//IR data is collected as a separate image
bool ConvertRGIR2RGGB(Mat BayerRGIR, Mat &BayerRGGB, Mat &IRimage)
	//Result image after replacing the IR pixel with the G data
	BayerRGGB = BayerRGIR.clone();
	//IR data will be half the size of Bayer Image
	IRimage = Mat(BayerRGIR.size().height / 2, BayerRGIR.size().width / 2, CV_8UC1);

	//copying the IR data and replacing the IR data with G
	for (int Row = 0; Row < BayerRGIR.rows; Row += 2)
		for (int Col = 0; Col < BayerRGIR.cols; Col += 2)
                   //Set the IR Data with Nearby Green 
		   BayerRGGB.at<uchar>(Row + 1, Col) = BayerRGIR.at<uchar>(Row, Col + 1);
                   //Set the IR Data 
		   IRimage.at<uchar>(Row / 2, Col / 2) = BayerRGIR.at<uchar>(Row + 1, Col);

	return true;

// Main Function
int main()
	cout << "e-con's Sample OpenCV Application to  Custom Formats" << endl;
	cout << endl <<"Demonstrates the working of e-con's Custom Format(Y16 / BY8)";
        cout << "cameras with the modified libraries of OpenCV" << endl << endl;

	char keyPressed;
	VideoCapture _CameraDevice;	
	Mat ResultImage, InputImage;
	Mat BayerFrame8, IRImage, BGRImage;
	//Open the device at the ID 0

	if( !_CameraDevice.isOpened()) //Check for the device
		cout << endl << "\tCamera Device not Initialised Successfully" << endl << endl;
		cout << endl << "Press any Key to exit the application" << endl << endl;
		return 0;

	//Set up the width and height of the camera
	_CameraDevice.set(CV_CAP_PROP_FRAME_WIDTH,  ImageWidth);
	_CameraDevice.set(CV_CAP_PROP_FRAME_HEIGHT, ImageHeight);

	cout << endl << "Press 'Q / q /Esc' key on the image winodw to exit the application" << endl << endl;

		_CameraDevice >> InputImage; //Read the input image

		if(InputImage.empty()) //Check for the vlid image
			cout << "No frame grabbed!!, check whether the camera is free!!" << endl << endl;

#if CU51_12CUNIR
		//Convert to 8 Bit: 
                //Scale the 12 Bit (4096) Pixels into 8 Bit(255) (255/4096)= 0.06226
		convertScaleAbs(InputImage, ResultImage, 0.06226);

		namedWindow("Y16 to Y8", WINDOW_AUTOSIZE);
		imshow("Y16 to Y8", ResultImage);

#elif CU40
	        //Convert to 8 Bit:
                //Scale the 10 Bit (1024) Pixels into 8 Bit(255) (255/1024)= 0.249023
		convertScaleAbs(InputImage, BayerFrame8, 0.249023);

		//Filling the missing G -channel bayer data
		ConvertRGIR2RGGB(BayerFrame8, BayerFrame8, IRImage);
		//Actual Bayer format BG but Opencv uses BGR & Not RGB So taking RG Bayer format
		cvtColor(BayerFrame8, BGRImage, COLOR_BayerRG2BGR);

		namedWindow("Camera BGR Frame", WINDOW_AUTOSIZE);
		imshow("Camera BGR Frame", BGRImage);

		namedWindow("Camera IR Frame", WINDOW_AUTOSIZE);
		imshow("Camera IR Frame", IRImage);

#else //10CUG and other camera's

		namedWindow("Camera Frame", WINDOW_AUTOSIZE);
		imshow("Camera Frame", InputImage);

		keyPressed = waitKey(1); //Waits for a user input to quit the application

		if(keyPressed == 27 || keyPressed == 'q'  || keyPressed == 'Q' )

	//Release the devices
	cout << endl << "Press any Key to exit the application" << endl << endl;	
	return 1;

With this blog, it is been made clear to access e-con’s custom format Camera’s with OpenCV. The modified OpenCV binary provided for download is built using Visual Studio 2012. For installation instructions of OpenCV with Custom format in Windows / Linux refer to the document provided in the package.

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