Just to keep you all updated, I’m still slowly working on this software… It kind of got put on the back burner these last couple days as I got too involved with another “Conquer the World” in “Rise of Nations”… Now that that’s over, I should be able to get to bed at a more reasonable hour.
In order to continue this software, I’m now working with these new requirements: (Hey, if people have to work to shoot greenscreen, they should have to work to shoot saber fights, too, shouldn’t they?
1. The light sabers must be at least 1” in diameter
2. The light sabers must be a solid color, highly contrasting the background. (Florescent orange is a great color for out-door scenes while florescent yellow is a great color for indoor scenes.)
3. The lighting must be such that the sword never inverts colors. (In other words, there must be enough lighting that the saber stays approximately the same basic color. Variances in intensity are no problem.)
4. The footage must not move too fast… I believe this is more a function of light than anything else.
Now, for the news…
I’ve re-written the framework for the program, allowing the software to process a frame at about 1 per second on my Athlon64 3700+. Once I actually compile the software, I’m hoping for a dramatic speed increase. (Right now, it’s being interpreted.)
Currently, the only interaction the user needs to make with the software is loading a picture file and clicking on the light saber. (No, you would not need to click on the saber for each frame.)
The software automatically adjusts boundary levels (internal values used for locating the saber) based on the current frame. (Theoretically, changing lighting and speed should require no user interaction.)
In my tests, the software can almost always accurately locate a point on the saber even in footage where the saber is difficult to see. I’ve gotten the software to accurately locate the saber in footage with a fast-moving, low-contrast saber, but this can require a lot of user intervention.
I’ve almost gotten the software to accurately locate the saber edges in good footage… I just need to work on it some more.
I would include some screenshots, but it doesn't look much different. It sure works better, though!
The hardest part so far is figuring out how to make everything relative... (How to get the computer to automatically adjust parameters so it can still detect the saber in varying conditions.) I'm still working on this for the saber edge detection. I think I figured out how to use a mathematical model for locating the saber, but I still haven't figured out how to find the edges. (Well, actually, I have, and it pretty much works, but I don't like it.)