Download PDF - Best-Practices-LD5
Preparing for Use
Before you use your camera, we recommend that you are aware of the following resources:
- Getting Started Manual for the camera—provides information on installing components and software needed to run the camera.
- Technical Reference for the camera—provides information on the camera’s specifications, features and operations, as well as imaging and acquisition controls.
- Firmware updates—ensure you are using the most up-to-date firmware for the camera to take advantage of improvements and fixes.
- Software development kit (SDK) updates—ensure you are using the most up-to-date SDK for the camera to take advantage of improvements and fixes.
SDK bug fixes and performance improvements happen often. Visit the site regularly to update your SDK and take advantage of the latest improvements to achieve the best performance from your Ladybug5.
- Technical Application Notes—For additional guidance, see Using the Ladybug in a Mobile Setting and Diagnosing and Fixing Connectivity Errors with Ladybug5.
- Tech Insights—Subscribe to our monthly email updates containing information on new knowledge base articles, new firmware and software releases, and Product Change Notices (PCN).
System Requirements for Capture
Because of Ladybug5’s high demand on bandwidth during the capture phase, it is important to match the camera’s requirements with the capacity of your system. This table lists the recommended minimum system requirements. See the Ladybug5 Technical Reference manual for operating modes and expected data rates.
|CPU||Intel Core i3 or equivalent processor||Intel Core i7 or equivalent processor|
Windows 7 64-bit
|Windows 7 64-bit|
|RAM||4 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||RAID array or SSD capable of sequential data write speed of up to 240 MB/s.
Depends on actual streaming bandwidth of the camera.
|Video Card||Intel HD4000 Graphics or newer||NVIDIA GTX 560 or newer|
|Host Adaptor||USB3 host adaptor|
Included with Ladybug5
|1 meter USB 3 cable (ACC-01-2303)
3 meter USB3 cable with locking screws (ACC-01-2300)
5 meter USB3 cable with locking screws (ACC-01-2301)
Included with Ladybug5
|6 meter 12-pin GPIO power cable and wiring harness
The Ladybug5 requires 12 – 24 volts of power which must be provided by an external power supply connected to the GPIO cable.
|Driver||PGRxHCI 126.96.36.199 or later for dedicated host adaptors
PGRUSBCam 188.8.131.52 or later for onboard USB3 port
|Software||Ladybug SDK 1.14 or later||
Ladybug SDK 1.14 or later
|Firmware||Use the latest firmware available.||Use the latest firmware available.|
Ladybug5 comes with the following accessories:
- 1 meter USB3 cable
- 3 meter USB3 locking cable
- 5 meter USB3 locking cable
- USB3 hub, VIA VL812 with screw locks
- 6 meter 12-pin GPIO power cable and wiring harness
- Renesas µPD720202 USB3 PCIe Card
- 24 V 2.5 A (60 W) power supply
- 4-legged desktop mount
- tripod adapter with 3/8-16 mounting hole
Although a shorter cable (5 meters or less) is recommended, a hub and active cables may be used to extend the cable length beyond 5 meters and to improve connectivity. We recommend using a hub when using a laptop or when using cables longer than 3 meters.
The Ladybug5 has worked successfully with the following systems:
- Dell Precision M3800 (2014 model)—tested by FLIR
- Intel NUC D34010WYK
- Gigabyte Brix GB BXi7-4500
- MacBook Pro (running Bootcamp)
The Ladybug SDK is required to capture and process images from the Ladybug5.
- Download and install the Ladybug SDK.
- In the Driver Selection window, select I will be using the Ladybug5 camera.
- Select the driver:
- PGRUSBCam. Select this option if using an onboard USB3 port or if your host adaptor is used to support other USB3 devices.
- USBPro. Select this option only when you have a dedicated host adaptor for Ladybug5 because non-FLIR USB3 devices are not recognized by this driver. If this driver is selected, click Configure USBPro driver to identify the dedicated host adaptor.
After installation, to manage and update drivers, use the DriverControlGUI utility in the SDK.
- To open the DriverControlGUI:
Start Menu → All Programs → Point Grey Ladybug SDK → Utilities → DriverControlGUI.
- Select the interface from the tabs in the top left.
- Select your interface card to see the current setup.
- From the Driver Selection drop-down, select the new driver and click the Install Driver button.
Tools for Optimizing Ladybug5 Capture Settings
There are a number of options to optimize the results when capturing images. Some settings must be established before capture and are not available at the processing stage.
There are two windows which provide access to the camera controls:
- Ladybug Recorder provides direct access to the main settings used during capture. We recommend using this tool during capture.
- LadybugCapPro Camera Control dialog has a more comprehensive selection of options but a more complicated interface.
Using Ladybug Recorder
To open the Ladybug Recorder:
Start Menu → All Programs → Point Grey Ladybug SDK → Ladybug Recorder.
The Ladybug Recorder provides access to these options:
- Record: Stop/Start and Pause
- GPS On/Off. Click to open GPS window.
- Pixel format (includes 8-bit, 12-bit, uncompressed JPEG)
- Shutter Range Mode (includes Motion, Indoor, Low Noise)
- Exposure ROI (Region of Interest)
- IEx (Independent Exposure)
- One Shot Auto White Balance (WB)
- Settings (includes Compression Quality, Frame Rate, and Gamma)
To open LadybugCapPro:
Start Menu → All Programs → Point Grey Ladybug SDK→ LadybugCapPro→
LadybugCapPro main toolbar provides access to the following options discussed in Optimizing Post Processing:
- Color Processing
- Image Quality
- Dynamic Stitching
For information on all of the features of LadybugCapPro, see Ladybug5 Technical Reference.
Recommended Optimization Capture Settings
Use Ladybug Recorder to set the following options prior to starting image capture.
There are two options that relate to pixel depth and post processing controls:
- 12-bit JPEG setting is a new feature available only with Ladybug5. It provides the highest quality of images and offers a range of post processing options not available with the 8 bit setting. The 12-bit JPEG setting is the recommended setting.
- The 8-bit JPEG setting may be suitable when file size is a concern or certain software compatibility issues apply. If you select 8-bit setting, some post processing options are not available.
|8-bit Pixel formats||On-Camera Processing||
|Post Processing on PC||
12-bit Pixel Formats
|Post Processing on PC||
Shutter Range Mode
There are three preset shutter range modes. Choose the shutter range according to the conditions of use, as defined below:
- Motion—This is the default setting. The maximum shutter time is set as short as possible to prevent motion blur. It is best used outdoors while driving at highway speed or the resulting images may be too dark.
- Indoor—The maximum shutter time is slightly longer than the motion mode. Use for indoor applications and when the camera motion approximates walking speed.
- Low Noise—The maximum shutter time is not restricted. Use when the camera is stationary or operating in conditions of low light.
When using 12-bit mode, gamma correction is done at the post processing stage.
When using 8-bit mode, the gamma option must be turned on before you start the capture process. It cannot be changed once this process has begun.
- In Ladybug Recorder, click Settings to access gamma.
- Set gamma to a value between 1.8 and 2.2.
Automatic White Balance (AWB)
AWB is a system of color correction used for different lighting conditions. It is adjusted by modifying the relative gain of R, G, and B to keep white areas looking white under changing lighting conditions. If you write your own collect software, make the API call for AWB every 20 frames.
When using 12-bit mode, AWB is adjusted during post processing.
When using 8-bit mode, the AWB can only be set during the capture stage. In Ladybug Recorder, click the AWB button occasionally while capturing to adjust for changes in lighting conditions.
Turn on GPS and set the data update interval time before capture. Set the interval for double the output rate of the GPS. For example, if GPS sends out data every 1 second, set the interval to 500 ms.
To turn on the GPS option for one use, use Ladybug Recorder:
- In Ladybug Recorder, click GPS.
- Set the ON/OFF drop-down to ON.
- Set the Update Interval in ms.
To turn on the GPS option every time LadybugCapPro is started:
- In LadybugCapPro, from the Settings menu, select Option.
- In the Options dialog, select Start GPS when starting LadybugCapPro.
- Set the Update Interval in ms.
Optimizing Post Processing
There are a number of options to set during post processing to improve image results. Access the following controls using LadybugCapPro main toolbar.
To improve the color processing results:
- From the LadybugCapPro main toolbar, click the color processing button.
- Select High Quality Linear. If using an NVIDEA graphics card, select High Quality Linear GPU.
This selection must be made every time LadybugCapPro is started.
The Image Processing window shows the default settings, which are the recommended settings for best image quality. Tone Mapping is not turned on as a default setting, but should be turned on to improve quality. To access these controls, from the Settings menu, select Image Processing.
The captured images are “stitched” together using an algorithm that examines the image overlap along each seam and determines various ranges values along it. There are three settings to control stitching, including two options for dynamic stitching. Click the button for the drop-down menu of settings as follows:
- Manual—sets the sphere size to a fixed range.
- Dynamic (one-shot)—makes adjustments based on information from a single image and uses these results on all following frames.
- Auto Dynamic stitch—runs the pattern-matching algorithm on every frame. The processing speed is slower, but fewer image artifacts appear when the scenery changes. The default setting for the minimum and maximum distance is 2 meters – 100 meters.
To improve the speed for this option:
- From the Settings menu, select Options.
- Adjust the values in in the Options dialog.
To improve the processing time of the pattern-matching algorithm, narrow the range, for example, to 4 meters – 20 meters.
Follow these guidelines to help protect Ladybug5 from damage:
- excessive shaking, dropping, or mishandling of the camera;
- extended exposure to bright sunlight, rain, or dust;
- electrostatic charge; and
- touching the lenses when handling the camera.
- To clean the lenses, use a standard camera lens cleaning kit or a dry cotton cloth. Avoid heavy pressure.
- If the Ladybug5 is mounted to a vehicle and stored outside, cover the camera when not in use to prevent the accumulation of dust and pooling of precipitation on the lenses.
Do not open the camera housing. This voids the warranty.