User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2010/07/26

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Exploring Tracking Software

As I wrote about just over a week ago, I am trying to find a good tracking software that will fit my needs well enough to measure the movement of the water droplets in my emulsions. Luckily, there is a wide number of labs that have done something similar to what I am hoping to get as tracking software is a fairly common application. Unfortunately, I've ran into a couple of technical problems getting one to work well. The have been pretty minor issues, mostly they require a programing language or packet that I don't have, or I would have to purchase, or they only run on Windows machines, while I use a Mac. One of the most useful things that I've found so far, and has served as a base camp of sorts is a web page by Graham Milne at the University of Washington. Here's a link to the front page. The page contains links to tracking software written in both LabVIEW and MATLAB, which are the two programing languages used most in the lab and by myself, among others like C. Graham's doctoral thesis is also on the web page, and it covers a good deal of information on tracking software. I was unable to get the MATLAB software working to the point that I could track anything, and I am moving on to the LabVIEW version and will post any interesting forces or tracks that I am able to generate as soon as I get them.

Things to Remember

These are just notes to myself of things that I read that I need to remember when using the LabVIEW tracking software.

  • The software can use any .avi files, or any sequence of 8-bit bitmap image sequences.
  • Processing the data can be useful for some files, but is not extremely necessary.
  • There are two tracking modes, a simple and advanced mode. The simple tracking mode uses the user defined template throughout the whole video and is good for particles that are confined to the focal plane and do not change. Advanced tracking mode is more demanding, but updates the tracking template each frame, allowing for particles that change in shape, like cells, to be tracked without being lost.
  • Two particles can evolve to the point that they are indistinguishable, and the computer will return an error.