The Xiris Blog

Picture in a Picture from a Weld Camera!

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Xiris has recently added a powerful new feature to its WeldStudio™ software utility that controls and displays images from its weld cameras: the Picture in a Picture (“PIP”) feature. The PIP Feature allows for two-tone mapping algorithms to be used on different portions of the screen at the same time, one on the full screen and one on an adjustable inset window.  Each tone mapping algorithm will have its own settings to enhance key areas of interest in an associated view. 

The dual tone mapping is performed right in the camera view by using the camera’s onboard image processing capability and the image is streamed to an external device as one image. 

Screenshot of WeldStudio™ with Picture-in-Picture Mode


Window2 PIP

 

The image processing tools inside WeldStudio™ allow the operator to manipulate and measure different  features of the weld, to help make meaningful process decisions. The playback mode allows users to view and manage recorded video offline for further analysis, including the ability to slow and freeze frames, view frame by frame, or manage video transfer to an external device.

The PIP feature ensures that enhanced images can be created with better, localized contrast that improves the visibility of key regions of brighter or darker brightness in the image.  Being able to tone map two regions of interest separately allows the user to see higher contrast image details in a foreground and the background. For example, in welding applications where there is an extreme brightness range between the weld area and its background (such as in electron beam welding or high powered laser welding), a smaller inset foreground window can be placed over the welding arc or spot and be optimized for very bright light localized to that region, while the surrounding darker background can be brightened to see the weld seam, allowing heat affected zones and other darker features to be seen more clearly.

By performing the PIP feature inside the camera, fewer external PC processing resources are needed to process the resulting images. In addition, less data needs to be transmitted between the camera and a PC (lowering network traffic that can be beneficial when using multiple cameras), allowing full frame rate to be maintained with the camera at 55 fps.

Our users will have full control of the brightness settings, window size and location for the foreground inset window independently of the the settings for the background image. This feature has been implemented to work on both color and monochrome versions of the Xiris weld cameras. 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: weld inspection, manufacturing, area of interest, color imaging, weld camera system, welding education, consistent, WeldStudio, PictureInaPicture, PIP

Using a Light Meter for Automatic Weld Monitoring

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, August 02, 2016 @ 02:30 AM

With the advent of high dynamic range weld cameras such as the Xiris XVC-1000, images of welding processes can be made with enormous ranges of brightness.  As a result, it is now possible to monitor and record good quality video of most welding processes using an HDR camera.  With good quality images of the weld pool, arc and seam, the next logical step is to incorporate image processing into the camera system to extract additional information to help operators better control the welding process.

One of the most basic tools for image processing is a LightMeter.  The LightMeter tool from Xiris provides statistical information about the pixel values in an area of interest.  It can be used as an overall measure of the intensity of a weld process, detect part or feature presence, or be the first step in performing powerful image processing on an area of interest.

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Figure 1 : LightMeter Window

The LightMeter generates a histogram based on the light intensities of the pixels in an area of interest, calculating a number of statistics, including:

Median – the brightness level that separates all the pixels in the area of interest into two equal halves.

Mean - the average brightness of all the pixels in the area of interest

Mode - the pixel brightness level that appears most often in the area of interest.

Minimum - the value of the darkest pixel in the area of interest.

Dark Tail – the pixel value at which a specific percentage of the total number of pixels in an area of interest are found to be darker.

Bright Tail - the pixel value at which a specific percentage of the total number of pixels in an area of interest are found to be brighter. 

Maximum – the value of the brightest pixel in the area of interest.

Standard Deviation – the amount of variation or dispersion of brightness levels of all the pixels in an area of interest.

Sum – the addition of all the pixel values in the area of interest.

These measurements can be used as building blocks by users and developers to create automatic inspection algorithms to measure welding features and parameters with the goal of performing a level of process or quality assurance.

A sample histogram with some of the key features is displayed below:

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Figure 2: Sample Histogram

Conclusion:

By incorporating image processing tools such as a LightMeter tool into their weld camera systems, machine builders can measure features of their weld processes in a way that has never before been possible.  It is now possible to find and measures levels of light across an entire image, or in a region of interest in an image.  This can provide information about features of the weld, such as the weld wire, melt pool or weld seam, that could allow for further monitoring or analysis, or form the foundation for seam tracking or weld pool geometry analysis.

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras and the LightMeter image processing tool can enhance the quaity and economy of your welding processes, visit Xiris.com

Topics: weld camera, image processing, Xiris, welding, High Dynamic Range, area of interest

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