ECTcamera - Settings and additional parameters
Program Settings Guide
ECTcamera provides the user with 25 changeable parameters. These parameters can be accessed through “Settings” – “Show Settings Form” or by pressing the F3 hotkey. For convenience, all the parameters of the settings panel are marked with different colors (see fig. 19).
(Fig. 19. ECTcamera settings panel)
The settings panel of the program has its own “Action” menu (see fig. 20). It contains the same items as the “Settings” submenu.
(Fig. 20. Action menu of the settings panel of the program)
The user can change each parameter by modifying its value in the second column of the table. After the termination of the program, it automatically saves all changes into a configuration .ini file and automatically loads them during the next launch. This configuration file is created during the very first start of the program and after each termination of it.
Let’s look more closely at the parameters of the settings panel of the ECTcamera.
1. Camera device in use. When there are several video-capturing devices connected to the computer, the user can select one of them through the menu. The name of each device, automatically identified by the program, is going to be shown in the value field of this parameter.
2. Video format and resolution. When the program identifies a web camera or any other external device, a new submenu appears, allowing the user to choose a video codec and a resolution. When the user selects a desired submenu item, its value is automatically filled in this parameter.
3. Scale video in percents from original. After selecting the camera and its resolution, the user can also choose video zoom level. This parameter allows the user to select any desired video zoom level.
4. Step in pixels. In cases of a very high resolution or zoom, the image can go beyond the borders of the main window of the program. In such a situation, the user has to use the image shifting function to select a desired area. This parameter predefines a single shift value in pixels, which is applied every time the new image fragment is selected. It has to be selected manually. The default value of the shift is −20px.
5. Video position X. This parameter determines the total shift of the camera image in pixels on the horizontal axis. When the user moves the image to the right, the shift value is increased by this number. Respectively, when the user moves it to the left, the shift value is decreased. When moving it to the left, the variable can become negative. This parameter is changed in real-time when the user presses a hotkey or selects corresponding menu items. The default value of the variable after the first launch is 1, and the image is located in the upper left corner of the program window.
6. Video position Y. Everything works the same as in the previous paragraph, but the shift is made on the vertical axis. When the working area is moved up, the variable is decreasing; when it goes down, it’s increasing. The default value of this parameter is 1.
7. Video window width. When the user closes the program, it automatically adds ECTcamera window size information to the configuration file. During the next launch of the program, the Video window width parameter shows the width of the program window. This value can be changed manually. The window width will change during the next start of the program or when the user selects the Set Current menu item. The user can also pull the frame of the main window of the program by holding the left mouse button and changing the size of the window; in that case, the new value is saved automatically. An updated value of this parameter will appear after reopening of the settings panel. The default window width of ECTcamera is 320px.
8. Video window height. The very same principles as in the previous paragraph are involved in window height changing. The default window height is 200px.
9. Video window position X. When the user closes the program, it automatically adds information about the window position to the configuration file. During the next launch, the ECTcamera reads this data and opens the window of the same size and at the same position as before. This feature allows the user to avoid selection of the position of the window with every new start of the program. The Video window position X parameter contains information about the shift of the program window of the horizontal axis. This value is changed in real-time when the user moves the program window. The default value of this parameter 1.
10. Video window position Y. Everything works similarly to the previous paragraph, but the shift is made on the vertical axis. When the program window is moved up, the variable is decreasing; when it goes down, it’s increasing. The default value of this parameter is 0.
11. Auto start video. This parameter can have two values: 0 or 1. If it’s equal to 0, the program will not start the video capturing process immediately after its launch. This allows the user to make additional changes, such as selecting another camera or resolution. If it’s equal to 1, the video stream from the previously selected camera is going to be shown automatically after the launch of the program. The resolution and the format of the video are also saved from the previous time or loaded from an additional configuration file when the user launches the program through the command prompt and indicates the additional .ini file. The default value of this parameter is 0 (video is not captured immediately after the launch of ECTcamera).
12. Flip video. This parameter can have several values: 0, 1, 2, or 3. If it’s equal to 0, video is not flipped and is shown in its original format, as it comes from the camera. If it’s equal to 1, the video is flipped horizontally. If it’s equal to 2, the video is flipped vertically. If it’s equal to 3, the video is flipped both vertically and horizontally. The default value of this parameter is 0.
13. JPEG compression %. This parameter is manually set by the user and its value can range from 0 to 100. It determines the size and quality of screenshots, which are saved in .jpg. The higher the value of JPEG compression %, the better the quality of the file. However, higher quality results in increased file size and more storage space needed. The lower the value of this parameter, the higher the compression. However, it also results in low quality of screenshots. The recommended value is 70+. The default value of this parameter during the first start of the program is 100.
14. Make shots in selected format. This parameter can have several values: 0, 1, or 2. If it’s equal to 0, screenshots are saved in BMP. Unlike JPEG, which involves compressing and decimating algorithms, files in BMP provide more precise color accuracy. However, they require more space on the storage device. For example, a screenshot of a web camera on a laptop made with 640x480 resolution and saved in JPEG with 80 compression ratio has a total size of around 40Kb, while the same screenshot in BMP has around 500Kb. If it’s equal to 1, screenshots are saved in JPEG with a compression ratio selected by the user. If it’s equal to 2, screenshots are saved in PNG. This variant is the most convenient because, unlike JPEG, it allows the user to avoid image quality loss. This format of screenshots also requires less space on the storage device, especially in comparison with BMP. The default value of this parameter is 0 (screenshots are saved in BMP).
15. Capturing mode. This parameter can have one of the values: 0, 1 or 2. If it’s equal to 0, the screenshot is saved in the original resolution. If it’s equal to 1, the screenshot contains only the visible part of the image in the main window of ECTcamera. If it’s equal to 2, the screenshot contains all the desktop of the operating system (including notifications bar and all other open windows). The default value of this parameter is 1. This value is highly recommended for the user because it uses less space on the storage device and only makes screenshots from the video stream in the main window of the program.
PRO16. Display form borders. This parameter can have two values: 0 or 1. If it’s equal to 1, the standard window of the program is shown. If it’s equal to 0, the window is shown without the header and outer borders. This feature allows the user to add more space to the desktop and can be useful to run ECTcamera on computers with low resolution of the display. This mode is also really convenient for simultaneously working with several copies of the program in order to capture video from several devices at the same time. It affects the appearance of the program (see fig. 21).
(Fig. 21. ECTcamera with the frame (up) and without it (down))
17. Menu. This parameter is responsible for the appearance of the main menu in the window of ECTcamera. It can have four values: 0, 1, 2, and 3. If it’s equal to 0, the menu is hidden from the user. If it’s equal to 1, the user will see the standard menu of the program, which can be open with a left-click on “Menu” or the “Alt” button, followed with “Up”, “Down”, or “Enter” buttons. If it’s equal to 2, the user can open a pop-up menu by making a right-click on the working zone of the ECTcamera window. If it’s equal to 3, the user will be able to use both standard and pop-up menus (see fig. 22). The default value of this parameter is 1 (the user is able to work only with the standard version of the menu).
(Fig. 22. The interface of the program with both standard and pop-up menus)
18. Date Time format. This parameter allows the user to define the format of date and time that are used by the program (e.g., the time format is used to create names for screenshots). The default value of this parameter is – YYYY_MM_DD-HH_NN_SS-ZZZ (current date: full year, month, and day; current time: hours, minutes, seconds, and hundredths of seconds).
19. File mask for saving shots. In order to provide more convenient browsing, storage, and sorting of screenshots, all of them are saved with special names. This parameter allows the user to define a mask (template) for new screenshots. The default value of this parameter is ECTcamera_* (“*” symbol is changed with the current date and time). Please note that the file extension is not indicated here: the program will automatically add it during saving of a screenshot in the desired format. The format of screenshots can be chosen in the 14th parameter.
PRO20. Make multiple shots in a row. ECTcamera allows the user to make multiple screenshots in a short period of time. By changing the value of this parameter, the user can select any desired amount of screenshots, which the program will make after the user selects “Make Shot (photo)” or presses the F6 hotkey. The default value of this parameter is 1 (only one screenshot is made; the multiple screenshot feature is disabled).
PRO21. Delay between shots in milliseconds. When ECTcamera makes multiple screenshots, it makes predefined intervals between them. This parameter allows the user to change the interval. For example, if the user needs to make 10 screenshots per second, it’s necessary to set this parameter to 100ms. The multiple screenshot feature is disabled by default. This parameter is equal to 0 during the first launch of the program.
PRO22. Buffer all images before saving to disk. This parameter can have two values: 0 or 1. If it’s equal to 1, buffering is enabled. The program will save all screenshots to data storage only after taking all of them. This approach avoids pauses for file saving, thus increasing FPS rate (amount of frames per second). The multiple screenshot feature is disabled by default. This parameter is equal to 0 during the first launch of the program.
PRO23. Video resolutions listing mode. This parameter allows the user to disable redundant or unsupported modes of video devices. Thus, the list of modes and resolutions becomes shorter, making it easier for the user to make a choice. This parameter can have the following values: 0 – all modes are shown; 1 –VideoInfo2 modes are hidden; 2 – VideoInfo modes are hidden. The default value of this parameter is 1.
24. Current language file name. This field allows the user to manually set the full path to a localization file for the program.
25. ID. This field is used to save the information about the hardware code of the system the program runs in. This parameter is necessary for activation of ECTcamera.