Apr 012010

a brief Captifier update, no April Fool’s joke:
A new machine is up and running, the development continues. The GUI got an overhaul, a setup dialog is implemented, bits’n pieces done, getting closer…

Captifier 20100331

Click for full size

Cheers, Oliver

Mar 182010

the Captifier development went pretty well the last days, a nice setup dialog is done, functionality growing towards a first usable version and…
… my develpment machine died today :( The graphics section of the laptop is dead, looks like a total write-off. I’m currently backing up all data, development is stalled until I have a replacement machine up and running. Needless to say how I hate that so please excuse my french… Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans… ;)

Cheers, Oliver

Mar 022010

Captifier is getting closer to something roughly usable, slow but steady ;)
Some bugs that sneaked into the concept after restructuring the thread-concept have been fixed, the histogram is working, the magnifier is working…
Here another sneak screenshot, please disregard the temporary buttons…

Click to enlarge


Feb 042010

I had to fiddle with a number of issues delaying the advancement in the project.

  1. GDK/GTK+ is not thread aware under Win32
  2. Polling a file descriptor under Win32 does not work using VC++2008 since GLib is compiled against msvcrt.dll and it’s almost impossible to convince VC++2008 to do so
  3. GTK+ 2.18.5/Cairo has a bug on Win32 giving an incorrect Windows GDI device context for a drawing area

To continue with the project I gave up inter-thread messaging  and sacrificed the separate grabber-thread. Polling frames from the camera is now done in the idle callback of the main loop and only saving data is done in a separate thread. This should still be a sufficient task splitting on a two core processor to achieve seamless captures at high framerates.
Reverting back to GTK+ 2.16.6 fixed the window DC bug. OK, time to move on with the actual tool development, I still don’t regret not using MFC :)
Overall CPU utilisation looks good running the tool at 60fps, performance should be ok. I changed the provisional GUI to a one window look:

Cheers, Oliver

Feb 012010


some drawbacks regarding Captifier: After a lot of debugging, testing and trying workarounds I finally read that GDK (and thus GTK+)  is not thread-aware under Win32 as it is under Linux. Great, I found that out, too Рthe hard way ;)
I’m currently evaluating two alternative strategies to overcome the issue: Interthread-messaging to announce frames to display or integrating the grabber thread in the main thread… The decision will depend on the camera interfaces that are planned to be integrated sooner or later…

Best, Oliver

Jan 222010


I’ve been able to fix some issues with the preview display last night, windows GDI functions are now blitting correctly into the GTK drawing area. I’ve enabled the CMU camera control window, writing to disk is working. The capture window GUI has been quickly redone to test some things, still not even preliminary and ugly.
I hope to have a roughly working version soon to use it at the scope with the Dragonfly2 or Scorpion. At least Yoda and the force are with me…

Clear skies,

Jan 122010

Hi there,

over the years I used several programs to capture my planetary, lunar and solar images at the telescope. None of them met my wishes & requirements completely. With the arrival of two new Point Grey Research cameras without software I decided to develop my own capture tool: Captifier.
Some current specs:

  • IEEE1393 aka firewire support via CMU1394 library, software architecture is implemented open to other camera-interface for future support of e.g. USB cameras
  • Windows based, should support XP/Vista/7
  • Multithreaded buffering approach for seamless captures without dropped frames even on machines with low processing power, in the end the harddrive and bus speeds are the limits
  • 16 Bit in-/output support
  • Hardware ROI/Format 7 support and software cropping
  • GTK+/Glade GUI (I hate MFC programming…)
  • Freeware but not open source (for now…)
  • Functionalities helpfull for planetary imaging according to my wish list :)

Basic core functionality is working quite well, a version capable of first field testing should be available soon. I will post updates here and on the subsite http://captifier.astro-imaging.de/

Captifier preview

Clear skies!