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Adding a camera | Image Configuration | Camera Calibration | Installing a DirectShow Camera driver | Bandwidth



In Camera Settings you manage cameras and images in Scorpion Vision Software.

The following describes the flexible system:

  • To connect to a camera select a camera driver
    • The most used camera driver is firegrab.dll
      • This driver is based on Microsoft DirectShow - it connect to alsmost any USB and Firewire Camera
      • In offline or simulation mode reading / files is built into scorpion - this means that demonstration / offline verification can be implemented without connecting to a driver
  • A list of N Cameras are be defined
  • To use a camera it must be connected to an image
    • A camera can also be connected to multiple images
  • Images can be stiched
  • Camera Images can be delayed in a FIFO system
  • An image is displayed in the Scorpion ImageView where the use can define the layout
  • 3D Camera can produce multiple images

The Camera has the following properties:

  • Driver - Scorpion Camera Driver dll file - default is firegrab.dll
  • Camera Name
  • Port - this # is only used for a few camera drivers
  • Format is defined by the Driver and the user configuration
  • Operation
    • Auto Open - default on
    • HW Trigger - set on if using hw-trigger
      • Note: not all camera drivers nor camera has hw trigger capability
    • Calibrated
      • The Camera can resample or reduce image size if the camera is calibrated
      • Can be useful if you need to reduce size and the camera only transmits the whole image
  • Statistics
    • Statistics is collected for every camera to be able to verify operation.
    • Note: It is important to use Curves to verify the stability of image capture.


The Properties activates the camera property dialog where camera properties like exposure, shutter, contrast and brightness.

The Calibration activates the camera calibration dialog where a camera image can be resampled and resized before the image is available in Scorpion.

- Add camera
- Edit camera
- Selection up
- Selection down
- Delete camera
- refresh
- help


  • New - creates a new camera
  • Edit - activates the camera dialog
  • Properties - activate the camera property dialog
  • Calibration - activates camera calibration properties dialog
  • Up - move a camera up
  • Down - move a camera down
  • Delete - removes camera from list
  • Flush - empties the cameras buffer
  • Flush All - empties all camera buffers
  • Reset - open and close the selected camera
  • Reset All - reloads the camera driver
    • Is used to reconnect a cameras when something is wrong
    • Can be automated to improve robustness of a system
  • Import - Import a camera configuration spb  file
  • Export - Export a camera configuration spb file
    • Can be used to store a camera configuration
  • Cameradriver - used to change the current scorpion camera driver
  • Help - activate Scorpion help

Changing the Properties of a Camera

Double-click the camera or select it and press the Edit button, and you see detailed information. This varies dependant on the camera.

Live Video

By choosing Live video, the system will take pictures at fastest possible speed. This is useful when adjusting the camera or to get an overview of image variations – if for instance the light conditions have changed. In multi image type systems, you can decide to run live video for one type of image or for all types.

Note 1: If Live Video stops - toggle the live video check box.
Note 2: Live Video can also be activated from the Service Toolbar

Camera Settings

The dialogs described in this section assumes that the Scorpion DirectX driver - firegrab.dll - is active.

  • HW-Trigger - default - off - require hw camera support
    • Note: see Advanced HWTrigger support

Pressing the Properties button will active the camera's own property dialogs.


Camera Settings - Error

  • Error Settings
    • Error Images - activates error images
      • Pixel Value - fixed pixel values is set for error image
        • Width  - width of error image
        • Height - height of error image
      • Load from file - name of error image files
  • Grab Options
    • Close on grab error - should be ON
    • Auto open on grab - should be ON
      • Open retries - specifies the number of retries Scorpion shall do be for giving in - 10 is default

Camera Settings - Timeout

When timeout occur an images can be generated. To secure a complete image set for the inspection.

  • Timeout Image - activates image timeout
    • Delay[ms] - time to wait before timeout
      • Width  - width of error image
      • Height - height of error image
    • Pixel value - a fix value image is generated
    • Load from file - name of timeout image files

Camera Settings - FIFO

The FIFO can be used to delay one image.

This can be useful if images of the same object is captured in different positions.

FireGrab - DirectShow Property Dialog

The dialog below shows the Firegrab property dialog












  • State - Closed | Open - reflects the camera status
  • Color Images - default off - activate color image processing
  • Continuous Video Stream - default on - other settings must be verified
    • off will pause the graph between image capture - reduces cpu consumption -
    • may not be  supported by every wdm-driver
  • HWTrigger support - activate to support hw trigger on DirectX compatible cameras.
    • Note 1: Always enabled on cameras using Unibrain WDM driver.
    • Note 2: Added to avoid deadlock while querying the camera's HWtrigger capabilities.
    • Note 3: To manually unblock a camera entered this mode,
      • edit the hwtrigger option (hwtrigger=0) in the FireGrab.ini configuration file located at the scorpion profile directory after closing Scorpion and the profile.
  • Raw format - use to decode camera with bayer color coding
  • Source - open the Source Dialog
  • Format - open the format dialog
  • Capabilities - pressing this button will print the camera capabilities in the console window

More information about Unibrain Fire-I Camera Properties.


This dialog is a sample USB 2.0 Source Dialog where frame rate, image size and image format is defined.

  • Frame Rate - the number of images streamed
    • Check the Bandwidth table when designing firewire muliti camera system - when working with many camera you may need to increase the system bandwidth by adding multiple firewire interface cards
  • Color Space - Select the Color format
    • For black and white images Y800 is preferred
    • Color formats are Y411, Y422 and RGB

Note: The Frame Rate shall be set as low as the application allows to reduce cpu resource consumption - in multi camera systems another way to reduce bandwidth requirement is to use hw-triggered cameras.

Note: Compressed color formats use less bandwidth and computer resources - like Y411 rather than RGB24.


This dialog is a sample USB 2.0 Format Dialog where the camera properties are managed.

Image Averaging

The Firegrab.dll has a feature where image averinging can be performed. This is a way to improve the image quality of low cost usb cameras by averaging two or more images. This will effectively improve the image quality.

  • Number of images to average - used to improve image  quality
  • Recursive Filter - an exponential filter the percent defines the effective filter length


The Firegrab.dll has a filters feature.












  • Static Image Detection - To be documented
  • Trigger Delay
    • Number of images to skip after trigger

Note: Trigger Delay can be used to get rid of bad image. Some camera produces a first distorted image after the graph is started - This can be needed when deactivating Continuous Video Stream


Scorpion Vision Version XII : Build 646 - Date: 20170225
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