Version 3 of Webcams / Digital Cameras

Updated 2005-06-13 14:58:15 by lwv

MG starts this page on June 12th 2005, to list some of the Tcl applications or extensions for working with Digital Cameras or Webcams.

I wanted a capture some footage from a webcam (or at least see if it was possible) for embedding it in a webpage (I have a program that converts most common movie formats into Flash movies files at the touch of a button), and thought I'd see about doing it in Tcl. There seem to be several extensions (generally aimed at MS Windows, it seems) for working with web cams, so below is a list of all the ones I've found, after a very brief search. If anyone has any more extensions, or info on using webcams or digital still cameras with Tcl and/or Tk, please post it here!

QuickTimeTcl provides a webcam capture facility, according to it's homepage, which I believe runs on MS Windows and MacOS (and requires that Quicktime be installed, on both).

Pat Thoyts wrote a Tk widget for displaying streaming video from a webcam. It can also take still images from the webcam, but can't save the video to a file/pipe it through a channel, at present. See [L1 ] and [L2 ] for more info.

PT: 13-Jun-2005: I can look into streaming to a file if you'd like. The tkvideo widget basically wraps the DirectShow API so it's mostly a matter of constructing the correct filter graph and deciding how this should be presented to the Tk programmer.

The AviCapTcl package on Sourceforge (at [L3 ], and apparantly also [L4 ], though the second is down due to a work at present) also supports webcam video (and audio) capture to an AVI movie file.

And finally, though I haven't looked at it yet (and taken straight from the Applications in Tcl and Tcl/Tk page: Audela is a free and open source astronomy software intended for digital observations (CCD cameras, Webcams, etc.). Audela is fully customizable and reprogrammable using simple Tcl-Tk scripts. It enables not only camera control, but also full telescope control, locally or at long distance via a network. It has been written for both Windows and Linux platforms and is available in 6 languages (fr,uk,es,it,de,dk). See [L5 ]

SRIV June 12th 2005 I wrote a v4l (video for linux) tcl extension to capture frames from a framegrabber (bt848), but its been tested wuth a Phillips/Logitech USB webcam and Logitech USB notebook cam. It doesnt require Tk, so it can be easily used in server side and cgi applications. It grabs a frame, then converts it to jpeg and returns the jpeg file data, which could then be streamed back to a client as stills or a mjpeg stream. I'll get a page assembled for it here in the next day or so.

Category Multimedia