Archive for the ‘C#, C++, ASP.NET’ Category

Mightex TCE1209-U new pictorial application

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

As a next step from my last blog – utility app, challenge is to write a demo app replacement.

Thanks to Mightex’s software engineering, there already exists some sample code in C++, C#, VB for interfacing with driver and camera.  You can download them from Mightex TCE1209-U page.


My personal copy of Visual Studio is 2008 and it is able to load the solution CSharp_Application under the SDK directory.  The SDK is written in C++ so I am building this as an x86 app for interop.



The sample application is threaded and already has code for interfacing with the driver.  User interface even has a button to start and stop frame grabs.  All I need to do are three tasks, display video rendering, save buffered image to file and offer a ‘run-on’ mode to save frames indefinitely.

Display Video


Sample code provided an unsafe pointer to each 16 bit pixel during after a frame-grab.  All I have to do is bitblit pixels to screen continuously.  For C#, I choose to use pictureBox as my video display.  I create 2 bitmap buffers to handle the alternating process of render and display.

// create 2 buffers for preview

bmps = new Bitmap[2];

bmps[0] = new Bitmap(picBox.Width, picBox.Height, PixelFormat.Format24bppRgb);
bmps[1] = new Bitmap(picBox.Width, picBox.Height, PixelFormat.Format24bppRgb);
rect = new Rectangle(1, 0, picBox.Width – 1, picBox.Height);


// copy previous buffer data to current except current frame.

g = Graphics.FromImage(bmps[notCurrent]);
g.DrawImage(bmps[current], 0, 0, rect, GraphicsUnit.Pixel);


// sample frame-grab pixels into new buffer
for (i = 0; i < frameSize; i++)
// bit shift – 12 bpp to 8bpp
byte p = (byte)((uint)*frameptr >> 4);

// preview – sample 1 out of 10 pixels
if (i % 10 == 0)
*Bmpptr = p; Bmpptr++;
*Bmpptr = p; Bmpptr++;
*Bmpptr = p; Bmpptr += (Bmpdata.Stride-2);


// copy new buffer into pictureBox

picBox.Image = (Image)bmps[current];

Sized at 500 x 205, it is scaling 10X smaller the specified 2048pixels/frame.  So, I am sampling 1 pixel out of 10 for video preview.  All previous frames (1 to n-1) are copied to (0,0) so as to provide a left moving video.

Buffered Image to file


The main goal of this application is to provide Andy a way to specify image size and then save the image in a common format.  The Buffered tab offer a standard saveFileDialog1 to create file name and destination.  .NET Bitmap class saves the 8bpp image into gif, bmp, jpg, png, tif.

How large can our Bitmap be ?  Here is the Microsoft documentation on System.Drawing.Bitmap.  Constructor signature for width and height are Int32 which has a range of 2,147,483,647.  32bit pointer with 2048 image height leaves us 1048575 pixels for width (minus header and padding).  In my tests, writing a 100,000 x 2048 bitmap crashes at regardless of destination format type.  The largest bitmap I am able to save is 80,000 x 2048 pixels as bmp.


Inherently, the camera is 12bpp and produces 16bpp frames (4bits blank).  Logically I should be able to render and store png16 or bmp16 with indexed colors.  Also, another little quark about working with bitmap 8bpp index palette, one cannot directly set the palette values.  Instead, the following order of value assignments are required.  Read more from Charles Petzold’s article.

// set gray scale palette
ColorPalette pal = buffer.Palette;
for (int i = 0; i < 256; i++)
pal.Entries[i] = Color.FromArgb(255,i,i,i);
buffer.Palette = pal;

Run-On Mode


One advantage of a line scanning camera is that there is no specified image width.  One may wish to scan indefinitely or for a very long time.  So, it would be nice to use this ‘run-on’ mode to continuously scan and save each frame to a separate file.  For combining the frames, use the utility written for the last blog.  I will update it to handle png input next.  It should be noted that run-on mode is a secondary feature because of performance issue.  Writing image to file is a slow process while other frame-grabs get dropped; it takes about 500ms to iterate 1 frame save on my MacBookPro running Vista on VMWare.  We may revisit this feature later if it should be desirable.

To use this feature, you should use an empty directory.  If you prefer otherwise, the selected directory is scanned and displays an error popup if any file(s) with prefix of “frame” is founded.  Sorry I am not offering a choice in name or file format.  I am sticking with png files for now.


Test results

Here are some images I am creating at Lake Calhoun today; the original images are bundled in Github repository under directory exampleResults.




Here is the Microsoft Visual Studio solution source code – CSharp_Application on Github with debug executable.


It is a fun day making panoramic images at lake Calhoun.  I am learning that the software exposure value can speed up the frame rate and change the image brightness.  Unfortunately, the value of 1 locks up the application for unknown reason.


Here is a video demo.  thanks to my better-half for filming.

Next step

1) Update utility to handle png inputs with prefix name “frame”.

2) Debug above mention error with exposure value of “1”. problem in driver, block user from setting value of 1 for now.

3) Debug and implement the ability to use 8bpp gray scale bitmap if possible. done !

4) Sent it back to Andy for feedback !


1) Setting Bitmap Palette – Charles Petzold


Application use direction



  1. plug in camera.
  2. execute application.
  3. select ‘camera1’ in left-upper combo box.
  4. start preview by clicking upper-right-button, ‘start preview’.

Buffered image mode


  1. to save scans by buffering, click on the ‘buffered tab’ (bottom).
  2. enter the numeric line count, (image width).
  3. select or enter destination file name path.
  4. check all the file types that apply (bmp, png, tiff, gif, etc).
  5. if not already selected, select radio button (upper-right) for “buffered image”.
  6. click on button “save” to start recording.
  7. a popup dialog will display when successfully scanned and saved to file.

Run-on mode

  1. to save scans by ‘run-on’, click on the ‘run-on tab’ (bottom).
  2. select a destination directory (preferably empty).
  3. select radio button (upper-right) for “run-on”.
  4. click on button “save’ to start recording.
  5. click on button ‘stop’ (previously ‘save’) or ‘stop preview’ to exit run-on mode.

Mightex TCE1209-U demo app utility

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Greatly appreciate my professor, Andy Davidhazy for loaning his line scan camera for an ‘enrichment’ project.

The challenge:  figure out why (possibly fix) the camera-demo app is producing images with poor tonal quality.

Given: Mightext TCE1209-U camera with demo application as well as sample project source in C++, C#, VB.


After much anticipation, camera arrives with 50mm lens adaptor already assembled.  No power supply needed, USB will do!  Software installation includes a device driver for Windows 7 and demo app (available from website).  The demo application display image result similar to an oscilloscope, one line per time interval.  Output options are Windows bitmap or raw ASCII files.



















With Windows bitmap option known to be a problem, I am diving in to work with the ASCII output option.  Here is one of my ‘better’ result from the first try.  Here, I am swiping the camera view across my kitchen.  You can see a blur version of my daughter in silhouette.













For a better test, I printed the following test page with grayscale (short of buying a Kodak IT-8 target).










The ascii output files each contain 2048 lines (camera pixel width) .  Each pixel has a depth from 0 – 4098 (12 bits per pixel) and is represented in a line delimited by a carriage return.  Since displays and common pictorial file formats are in 8bits per pixel, I am writing the utility to requantize 12bpp ASCII into 8bpp binary image.  With .NET library, System.Drawing.Bitmap class offer all of the features I need to manipulate and save the files into bmp, gif, tif, png, jpg and others.  For better visual result, I am applying histogram equalization to minimize the bit depth compression (12bpp to 8bpp).  Here is my result.









The utility app has three tab pages, Source, Image processing and Storage.  Source code in C#, Visual Studio 2008 solution is available on GitHub.  Included in the solution is a debug executable, test source files and results.

Source (ASCII) – user selects the source directory with ASCII files.  Internally, DirectoryInfo retrieves all the FileSystemInfo and sort them by creation time.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 1.21.24 PM








Image processing – Internally, it loads all the source files to find image black point, white point, mode and number of shades.  It also builds a histogram and look-up-table for 12bpp->8bpp conversion.  User may write the histogram to file (ASCII) for more detail analysis.  Also, user may override the histogram-equalization-look-up-table by changing the white point and black point.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 1.21.15 PM








Storage – Internally, it loads all the source files, apply histogram-equalization (above mentioned) to assemble an 8bit per pixel bitmap which is then saved as bmp, gif, tif, png or jpg.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 1.21.42 PM








Conclusion / Next step:

Probably should invest more time investigating the tone reproduction issue.  Instead, a quick utility is devised and moving onward to the next solution by writing a replacement demo app.  Most of the features in this utility will be ported to the next.

Future enhancements are as follow:

1) an auto-gamma correction

2) a display of the cumulative histogram.

3) FFT filter to remove sine wave if the vertical lines in the image are not artifacts by yours truly.

4) save image into png16.

5) high dynamic range feature to blend the additional 4 bits of data (alternative bit depth conversion 12bpp -> 8bpp).

6) write a demo-app replacement that display live image and output better pictorial binary image files.


1) Peripheral photography article by Andrew Davidhazy.

2) Digital Image Processing by Gonzalez, Woods.  – class text – Digital Image processing I with Dr. Rao at Rochester Institute of Technology.

3) My viewer exercise project in C#, Visual Studio 2005

4) Mightex TCE1209-U camera documentation.

5) Photographics Materials & Processes by Dr. Strobel – class text – M&P with Dr. Strobel, Jack Holm, Russ Kraus at Rochester Institute of Technology.







WPF STL decoder

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

For my most recent enrichment, this is my first exercise using WPF.  I am implementing a STL binary decoder in C#.  The ASCII format decoder is ‘work-in-progress’.

Visual Studio 2008 DecoderExercise project on GitHub.


FTPWebRequest in VB.NET

Friday, September 21st, 2012

One of the nice thing about Visual Studio is your language choice.  Regardless of your preference for C#, C++ or VB, the underlining API is the same.  So, it is a surprise to me that the FTPWebRequest example is missing a VB implementation.  As an exercise assigned, I am porting the C# example into VB for those whom feel left out.  Here is my dialog application that allows you to navigate to a directory, connect to ftp server and put file(s) onto server.  For test comparison, I have also make the sample code into a DLL for testing.  Here is my class library of the MSDN-C# example.

Screen Shot 2012-09-21 at 9.30.25 AM

sketchfab – exporter test

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Exciting opportunity to develop exporter(s) for sketchfab.  The offer is to implement exporter plugin(s) for popular CAD software in exchange for sketchfab account for a year.  There are already three such implementations: AutoDesk-3dMax, Blender and Google-SketchUp.  I am looking into Rhino and Meshlab.

Rhino v5 beta is available in Mac OSX and Windows.  Python scripting is a big feature I have been anticipating for sometime.  Sadly, I did not witness its functionality in OSX beta WIP.  Any suggestion(s) ?  Windows Rhino v5 is only available for licensed Rhino users.  So, I downloaded Rhino v4 evaluation which does not support python.  Pray to the Rhino deity that the documentation and SDK is excellent and writing a C# plugin will be a cinch !

Meshlab is an open source project with seemingly good documentation on wiki.  But apparently there is nothing under ‘plugin’ ?  I did find these plugin examples and this official documentation which includes instruction on C++ plugin development as well as the project location and compile.  Meshlab is compiled with QT.  Might QT Creator be the magical tool I seek ?

Before the actual implementation, I thought to make a prototype.  The API specification is available on sketchfab, token is provided upon sign up.  My prototype is in C#; got it working quickly (praise to a good language, tools and user community, thank you!)  So, here is the Visual Studio 2005 C# application for uploading your CAD file to sketchfab.  Feel free to use this GitHub source code for your next exporter implementation (if it is helpful).

Screen Shot 2012-08-12 at 4.56.25 PM