View Full Version here: : RGBSplit - call for Beta Testers
09-06-2006, 11:38 AM
Adam Bialek (HitchHiker) has written a VB application front-end which takes as input one or more folders which contain BMP files, and splits each BMP into it's red/green/blue channels, outputting the result into their own Red/Green/Blue folders.
It's basically a nice front-end to take the place of netpbm tools (that I use) and aviraw (that other people use). The command-line challenged need not fear this application.
It's designed to be run in the following workflow:
1) Save your avi as a set of BMP files (using virtualdub or similar)
2) Run ppmcentre on your BMPs (crop, centre, rank)
3) Run RGBSplit to split your BMPs into their separate colour channels
4) Pass each set of BMPs through registax
5) Recombine back into a colour image (using AstraImage, Photoshop, etc)
In the future, it will also be integrated with ppmcentre, so points (2) and (3) in the workflow above can be automated by a single GUI application.
It can work on a single directory, or you can do it in batch by loading multiple directories and then processing them.
It has been tested on Windows XP and Windows 2000 on a few different computers, but before final release, it needs to be tested on some other configurations of hardware/operating system (windows only). There may need to be VB libraries downloaded in various configurations, etc.
If you'd like to be a beta tester and help Adam iron out any last minute bugs (or offer suggestions/feedback for improvements), please raise your hand by way of posting a reply here or a PM.
I've ran and used the application and it works great!
09-06-2006, 11:53 AM
Attached is a PDF help file to show you what it looks like and some instructions for its use.
09-06-2006, 01:14 PM
RGBSplit is written in Visual Basic. To run a Visual Basic program on your windows PC you need to have installed the Visual Basic runtime libraries. Windows versions after Windows 2000 (ie Windows 2000 and XP) have the runtime libraries already installed so RGBSplit should run with no action from the user.
Users who have an earlier version of windows may not have the runtime installed - having said this, there is a good chance you will as many programs have been written in VB. If you need the latest Visual Basic 6 runtime it can be downloaded here:
09-06-2006, 03:04 PM
I will put up my hand :) love VB
09-06-2006, 03:57 PM
I'll try it in various Windows versions, even 2003R2
I love VBApps Beta testing, yeah I know I should get out more.
09-06-2006, 07:15 PM
my hand is up!!
09-06-2006, 07:31 PM
I'll test it when it and ppmcentre are intergrated into registax :P :D
10-06-2006, 06:03 PM
I can feel the love in this thread, thanks guys! :D :love:
I love VB, too! I mostly use VB for Applications at work to automate stuff in Excel and Access - mostly data gathering and analysis. However, I am not a professional programmer, so please be gentle! I have mostly used VB to create various apps for myself - nobody else gets to see them, so creating something for others to use is a new experience for me and I'm sure there are plenty of things I have forgotten or don't know.
Thanks DP! What tool are you currently using to split into RGB? Can you do a batch process in this app? Mike seemed pretty keen about batch processing! :)
:rofl: I think that's going to be way beyond me!
What I intend to do from here (besides making sure that RGBSplit is a useable tool) is a 'proof of concept' GUI front end to ppmcentre, then a standalone GUI front end to ppmcentre, then integrate RGBSplit and ppmcentre to eliminate some steps from the workflow Mike outlined. The ppmcentre front end will call ppmcentre with the correct command line arguments - all the real work is done by ppmcentre (which by the way is a fantastic app - command line or no command line!)
10-06-2006, 06:32 PM
hey hitchy, i use vb.net to write web applications mainly. I have been using aviraw to split avis and then bink amd smacker to split split the avis into bmps, they have batch capbilities.
let me know if you want any source code help.
10-06-2006, 07:05 PM
I've been a professional programmer most of my working life and in VB since VB1 in the early 90s.
I'd love to try it too please.
10-06-2006, 09:33 PM
Wow! There's some serious VB firepower on Ice In Space! :D
I'm pretty happy with what I have done so far - I've tried to make it simple and usable. But what might seem simple and logical to me might be confusing to someone else. I'll be looking forward to comments on useability, especially.
I'm also looking forward to some 'fresh eyes' using the app to pick up things I might have missed.
One thing I'm not happy with is the Add Folders... interface - it only allows one folder at a time to be selected and it is not very obvious which folder is actually selected, especially if you're in a hurry. I will be replacing this with a more 'Explorer' like interface as I get time. Since you can drag and drop folders from Windows Explorer I'm not too worried about that.
On the ppmcentre front I've just done a 'quick and dirty' VB app to run ppmcentre with some 'vanilla' parameters - this works OK so it should be fairly easy to create a VB front end to ppmcentre for those who aren't comfortable with command line apps.
10-06-2006, 10:06 PM
my main aim in 20 or 30 years is to follow bird and get my application to:
-drive my scope
-drive the filter wheel
-process the avi ie ppmcentre,
11-06-2006, 12:18 PM
Here's an example of where I think beta testers can help make RGBSplit more robust:
Thinking about RGBSplit this morning I suddenly realised that I have allowed the user to enter ANYTHING as a destination folder name on the Options tab. Potentially a user can use illegal characters for folder names (eg '\', '.') which will crash the app when it tries to create the folder.
I'm thinking about restricting user input to 0-9 and A-Z - but will that create another problem if a user is trying to enter an 'illegal' character and nothing is happening? Should I throw up a dialog saying 'x' is an illegal character?
11-06-2006, 12:30 PM
once a folder has been created to hold the original capture from k3ccd etc, say \jupiter_060611_optimised\, then why let them touch input anything at all?
windows can stop wrong characters being used when they create a folder to start with for their original avi.
after that, let your system do the rest ie \red\x.bmp001, \green\x.bmp2 etc
i personally do not want to have much interaction at all with the system, just point the program at a directory and say "go do your thing!" and then go and watch the soccer!
11-06-2006, 12:38 PM
I'll certainly keep my eye open for when it's intergrate with ppm with GUI. Unless someone can direct me to a how to for ppm center?
11-06-2006, 12:45 PM
Good point DP!
Some further explanation - by default, RGBSplit will create three folders called 'Red', 'Blue', and 'Green' underneath the directories that contain the bitmap files. The split files are then stored in each of these directories. However, I have allowed the user to specify a different default destination folder name if they so desire.
I would think most users would not want to change the default destination folders but have allowed it in case someone has a need for different folder names.
The normal behaviour of RGBSplit will be just as you have suggested, ie select folders, hit process, go and watch the soccer. However, because I have allowed the user to change the default destination folders, I think I had better make sure that the entered destination folder will be a valid folder name.
11-06-2006, 02:53 PM
true adam, the age old programming problem, do you program to to be idiot proof, so only idiots will use it, or nice and flexible, but idiots can't use it??
11-06-2006, 03:59 PM
some points, pedantic maybe but neccessary as a BetaTester
A '.' is valid in a Windows folder name
Invalid characters shouldnt crash the app if correct error handling is implemented when creating the folders.
Idiot proof and inflexible are not the same thing.
A good programme should allow experts to do their thing and help idiots use the app as if they were an expert.
11-06-2006, 04:11 PM
Chris, be as pedantic as you like! I appreciate your input. :D
16-06-2006, 11:20 AM
Ok here is the application.
It's working well and is stable as far as I can tell. So I'll release it publicly here and Adam can fix any bugs you find.
Thanks to Adam for writing a great application to make it easier for command-line challenged folk to split their BMP's.
16-06-2006, 11:44 AM
:sad::sad::sad::sad::sad: Why couldn't you release it 4 hours ago. :sad::sad::sad: I've just split 26 videos into seperate rgb vids, run each through vitual dub to create the bmps and now I'm part way through aligning them in ImagesPlus. :sad::sad::sad:
Thanks Adam for this. I'm so looking forward to not going though this again :thumbsup:
16-06-2006, 12:10 PM
Oops... sorry Paul! :(
I've been working on this a little more in the last couple of days - not allowing invalid default folder names, and generally trying to make it more robust as per Chris' suggestions.
Also have been working on the standalone ppmcentre front end which uses virtually the same interface, so any issues picked up here will benefit that as well.
Just as a tease... I've been using the ppmcentre front end to process some of my own runs - even though I don't mind command line stuff it saves a lot of time and fuss. :D
16-06-2006, 12:21 PM
:lol: np Adam, I'm certainly looking forward to giving it a go.
16-06-2006, 12:42 PM
Me too.. i'm going to hold off writing part of my processing tutorial until these GUI's are ready. It'll make it much easier to explain to people than command line stuff and netpbm tools.
I'm sure it'll only be a week or so until we're up and running with a fairly stable version.
16-06-2006, 12:44 PM
Hey here's a thought..
Adam, do you know how to create BMP's from an AVI?
If you could have a 1-stop shop that would take an AVI, save it as BMP's, run ppmcentre through them, and then split them into RGB channels, it would be awesome! :P
The virtualdub step is kinda annoying, but it's not too bad. It would be great if it could also be batched somehow. I mean, I know it can run batches but then it'd need to somehow kick off my ppm/rgb batch script afterwards.
At the moment I just run virtualdub on an avi as soon as i've captured it. It only takes 2 minutes and when it's finished i'm ready to capture the next avi.
It also means as soon as I walk inside with the laptop, I kick off the batch script that runs ppmcentre/rgb split. When I wake up in the morning, it's registax-ready! :)
16-06-2006, 01:13 PM
The short answer is no, but I didn't know how bitmaps were formatted a month ago,either... the Internet is a wonderful thing!
I have thought of this (in fact, I'm surprised it took you so long, Mike :D ), but my LPI saves files as individual bitmaps, not avis so, personally, I don't have any need of such a thing. Though there could be a ToUCam thingy in my future!
Once I've finished the the current projects (stable version of RGBSplit, stable standalone version of front end for ppmcentre, integrated RGBSplit and front end for ppmcentre) I will have a look at the structure of avis - if it is not too hard (ie compression, or something I haven't thought of, yet) I might have a look at doing something. No promises, though. :whistle:
16-06-2006, 01:16 PM
:prey2: :prey2: :prey2:
16-06-2006, 01:18 PM
No worries Adam, like you said, maybe something for the future :)
I also imagine it might get tricky regarding compression, different codecs etc.
16-06-2006, 01:25 PM
Adam I had a quick play and have pm'd you a few comments/suggestions. :eyepop:
16-06-2006, 01:36 PM
My (probably wrong) impression is that an avi consists of a header and a string of 'bitmaps' - if it's that simple it probably wouldn't be too hard. The unknown, for me, is compression. I know most webcams compress to send the image 'down the cable', not sure if the actual avi is compressed?
16-06-2006, 01:58 PM
i have noticed bink and smacker has batch processing and the file binkconv. This should do the trick when integrated into this application
18-06-2006, 04:13 PM
Here is an updated version of the RGBSplit beta. This version has included a lot of the suggestions made by Chris (33South) and a couple of things I found.
Here is a rundown of the fixes:
First Chris's suggestions:
-Clicking Process with no folders gives an error - fixed, now if you click Process with no folders, a helpful message is displayed
-Ability to minimise to task bar while running - done
-The "save parameters" menu item should say "save options" or the tab label should say "parameters" - menu item changed to "Save Options".
-Should have shortcut letters on button and tab captions - done.
-After adding a folder it closes the add folder window - now the add folder window stays open and files can be added until the close button is pressed.
-You can add same folder twice. Fixed - whether you add a folder from the add folders dialog, or drag and drop, folder names are checked and the same folder cannot be added twice
-When restarting it would be nice if the previously selected windows were kept in the folder list view. I think I've fixed this (if I undestood the problem!)- the add folders window was supposed to remember the last added directory and go to that the next time it was run (unless the folder no longer exists where it will start in the Windows directory). I've changed the behaviour to go back to the last selected folder regardless of whether it was added or not.
-If you change a default folder name but don't save it you should get a warning to save it now or discard when changing tabs or exiting. Fixed - though had to ask the user when exiting rather than moving off the tab
Thanks for your input Chris - your suggestions have made this app much easier to use.
Stopped user from entering invalid characters in destination folder names (\ / : * ? " < > | )
Added "Processing..." to the main form caption when processing so user can see the status of the app even when minimised.
Selecting folders with no bitmap files gives an error. Fixed, a helpful message is displayed in this case.
One of Chris's that I couldn't do much with was the folder selection in the Add Folders window - the control I have used is a bit lame in that you have to double click on the folder you want to add. It's not very intuitive in that sometimes you can click add and find that the folder you thought you had selected is not selected at all. I will redesign this but that will take some time (also would like to be able to select multiple folders and drag and drop etc) Note that you can drag and drop from Windows Explorer and I find that very useful.
19-06-2006, 03:43 AM
i am missing the tab control link, ie tabctl32.ocx to run this??
19-06-2006, 06:32 AM
Davo - I had the same problem (missing TABCTL32) and Adam sent it through. Works great now. Just passed you his e-mail by e-mail.
19-06-2006, 06:39 AM
DP, what version of windows are you running and what hardware?
19-06-2006, 08:19 AM
thanks rob, file received and now working beautifully.
Adam, windows XP pro and dell latitude d610
19-06-2006, 12:05 PM
Thanks DP. Windows versions from 2000 onwards must have the Visual Basic runtimes but not necessarily all the Active X controls. Looks like some PCs/Laptops will have the ocx, others won't.
I will have a look at packaging up the application with all the required files - this will be a lot bigger but saves people having to download extra files.
19-06-2006, 01:01 PM
yeh good idea - this app will have widespread appeal so you should think about packaging it up with an install wizard for installing required runtime libraries and ocx files.
20-06-2006, 03:28 PM
Some more fixes - thanks again Chris! :thumbsup:
I've had a go at creating an installer - works fine but the whole download is now 2Mb! I have attached just the zipped .exe file here, as usual.
20/6/2006 From Chris (33South). If there is only 1 bmp in the folder you get a msg saying no bmp files in selected folder – Fixed.
20/6/2006 From Chris (33South). You can start the app up multiple times, not sure if there is any benefit running it twice at the same time – Fixed, multiple instances not allowed.
20/6/2006 With Chris’s help, now will prompt user to save changes to default folder names on moving off the tab rather than on exit.
20/6/2006 If a user entered an invalid character as a default folder name and the previous default name was restored, the ‘Save Options’ menu item was enabled. Fixed – now only enables ‘Save Options’ if a genuine change has been made to the default folder names.
20-06-2006, 03:40 PM
Gave it a rip on the weekend and it is good!
So, bink & smacker command to convert avi to bmp and then ppmcentre to centre??? That would all I can think of??
20-06-2006, 03:55 PM
Bink & smacker? :shrug:
Assume this converts avis to bitmaps. Is it windows or DOS? Freeware or shareware?
I don't have to convert from avis - my LPI gives me a directory full of bitmaps! :thumbsup:
20-06-2006, 04:56 PM
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showpost.php?p=124412&postcount=32 in response to the converting of avi to bmp's
rad video put this video editing software out.
20-06-2006, 06:35 PM
Tools for this job for Linux/Unix/Mac users: ppmtorgb3, rgb3toppm, and ImageMagick's convert (and a teency bit of command line saviness, i.e., for file in *; do ... ; done).
... now if only we had some stacking software as good as Registax. Maybe could run it in Wine. :confuse3:
01-07-2006, 03:50 PM
I havent been able to get it to work. it dosent draw the screen correctly. The old version runs but crashes when you load a avi into it. Could be a codec problem? shame some progrmmer out there dosent do a open source one for linux :(
01-08-2006, 01:15 PM
im looking forward to trying this myself- i was also wondering if posting the link on another forum would be offensive?
01-08-2006, 01:20 PM
No problems at all - direct them to www.iceinspace.com.au/?files and it can be downloaded from there. You could also direct them to my processing tutorial :)
One person appears to have had a problem with the zip file, but I've downloaded and extracted it fine.
01-08-2006, 01:22 PM
I can't see any problem with that. I think Mike has posted links on other forums. I think it's a good idea to post a link to Mike's processing tutorial, as well.
01-08-2006, 01:34 PM
thx- i thought it best to ask 1st- i cant even imagine the hard work that goes into these techniques, i know they should be appreciated and given credit wheres it do- john--edit- excuse my stupidity- but how do you 'remerge' the image back into color?- LOL
01-08-2006, 01:53 PM
Hi Been reading the info at your site here for a lil while and never noticed the forum.Thanks for the great info.
I was trying to follow your processing tutorial and got stuck at the RGBsplit program download. It keeps saying the file is corrupted. I tried to redownload a few times to no avail. Anyone got a copy that works? Thanks in advance.
I downloaded and extracted the zip file here, without a problem.
Are you sure you're not downloading a corrupted cached version?
Maybe try clearing your browser cache and try downloading it again. There really isn't anything wrong with that file.
01-08-2006, 03:06 PM
The compressed(zipped) Folder is invalid or corrupted.
I tried your suggestion and clear my cache but still get that error message. I download the VB update as well just to see if maybe I needed to. Running windows xp here.
What are you using to unzip the file?
Also check that the zip file you downloaded is 2,104,567 bytes in size.
01-08-2006, 03:19 PM
I'm using winrar to open but it seems to be locked onto the windows default unzipping tool. How are u unzipping them?
Thanks for the replies.
01-08-2006, 03:21 PM
The size I'm showing is 2,104,841
I use Winzip. But I tried it with Winrar as well and it unzips fine.
Maybe try Winzip (http://www.winzip.com/) or something else.
If that's the file size then it's wrong.
Try this. I'll rar it for you. Download it from here (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/downloads/RGBSplit-v2.1.0.rar) instead.
The rar file size you download should be 2,103,572 bytes.
01-08-2006, 03:33 PM
Hey that worked thanks. Not sure what the deal was but your download link worked.
01-08-2006, 03:34 PM
Thats cool I was just getting to that part of the tutorial again.
01-08-2006, 03:35 PM
Could you put up the walkthrough as well that file does the same thing to me.
If you have anymore download problems, PM me instead of posting in this thread.
01-08-2006, 04:06 PM
NP thanks for the help.
Something I noticed (maybe my machine is just losing it but...) if I browse for the folder it only processes one frame but if I drag the folder it works right.
01-08-2006, 09:24 PM
Harpspitfire, a lot of image processing applications allow you to do a RGB merge to put the separate channels together. I use AIP4WIN to recombine the channels, Astra Image has a similar function, Paint Shop Pro has an RGB merge, IRIS has a function, I'd be very surprised if Photoshop doesn't have a RGB merge.
What image processing software are you using? Someone might be able to point you in the right direction once we know what software you have.
01-08-2006, 09:32 PM
Hi GotoSleep and welcome to IIS!
When you say 'if I browse for the folder' do you mean you press the 'Add Folders' button and select the folders in that dialog? (As opposed to dragging and dropping folders from Explorer)
I find dragging and dropping from Explorer the most convenient way to add folders for processing. The 'Add Folders' dialog is not particularly pretty and I hope to replace it with something a bit better (33South from this forum has made some really great suggestions for improvement - I just need the time to do it! :P )
01-08-2006, 11:42 PM
ok i should of tried it before asking, i got PS7 and CS2- along with a couple other yo-yo's-- reason i did ask is, i have a 'split color ATN'-- when i use it i have a R-G-B image- but its actually in red/blue and green- not grayscale as AI does, when i recombined those- i got nothing but some really sick color combo. so i just thought you needed a special program to do this with- john
02-08-2006, 01:32 AM
Yeah Hitch, the add folder option. Works great other than that and it's not a big deal. Dragging is alot easier anyways as you already have the file open that you'll be working with.
03-08-2006, 11:27 PM
i tried 3 times to download RGB split- i get to 'file is downloaded',but when i tried to open it i get 'file is invalid or corrupted', any idea what im doing wrong? thx john
04-08-2006, 05:47 AM
Read some of the posts above.. GoToSleep had the same problem.
04-08-2006, 09:03 AM
geez, mr stupid here again- i did the 'rar' file and also loaded the pdh walk through file-, but when i open RGB split- i get 'windows cannot open this file-please look for yadayada' i must be missing something cause the walkthrough says to 'open RGB split'- so i need to fiigure out to get it opened, i put it on my desktop and drug it into PS, but that doesnt work either
04-08-2006, 12:28 PM
Some instructions on how to install RGBSplit. Download the zip or rar file. Extract the files in the zip or rar file to the directory of your choice.
You should see a file called setup.exe in the directory you chose in the last step. Double click on this file and an install wizard takes you step by step through the install process (if you have installed stuff on a Windows machine before, this will all look very familiar). The install programme will take care of all the details.
RGBSplit should be successfully installed on your machine and you should be able to find it in the Start menu.
06-08-2006, 10:24 AM
nothing worked-- so chris sent me the file he uses on his laptop and it loaded right up!!-it took alittle while but i got i figured out now-- now i got the problem of figuring out to merge a R-G-B image in photoshop- probably a 'you gotta be kidden me' for some- but a real brain drainer for me- LOL
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