User Tools

Site Tools


Camera driver tutorial

The aim of this tutorial is to create a camera (CCD) driver. In order to be hardware independent, the created driver will not correspond to any existing camera - it will create a test (dummy) driver, which can be used to show how the RTS2 works.

The believe is that this tutorial will enable interesting parties to write own camera driver for theirs special hardware.

Preparations - creating source file, Makefile

First, change to rts2/src/camd directory. That is the directory where most of the driver resides.

New camera driver shall be added to Makefile, so it will be properly generated when automake machinery is invoked. To do this, add following lines to the end of (in rts2/src/camd):

bin_PROGRAMS += rts2-camd-test
rts2_camd_test_SOURCES = test.cpp

Please note that as variables in must contain legal characters for shell variable name, '-' shall be replaced with '_'. Hence rts2_camd_test_SOURCES is used, instead of rts2-camd-test_SOURCES. The automake machinery takes care of replacing '-' with '_' in final executable name.

The above lines instruct automake to add 'rts2-camd-test' among names of binary programs make shall produce. And tells make, that rts2-camd-test shall be produced from test.cpp source.

Adding the source code

Looking into include/camd.h file, you will find that there are two pure virtual methods:

		virtual int startExposure () = 0;
		virtual int doReadout () = 0;

We need to implement those. We also need to set width and height of the chip in initChips. The generated data needs to be send with sendReadoutData method. See the code below for full example:

#include "camd.h"
#include "utilsfunc.h"
#define TEST_WIDTH 100
#define TEST_HEIGHT 200
namespace rts2camd
class Test:public Camera
		Test (int argc, char **argv):Camera (argc, argv)
			initCameraChip (TEST_WIDTH, TEST_HEIGHT, 0, 0);
		virtual int startExposure ()
			return 0;
		virtual int doReadout ()
			uint16_t data[TEST_WIDTH * TEST_HEIGHT];
			for (int i = 0; i < TEST_WIDTH * TEST_HEIGHT; i++)
				data[i] = random_num () * 100;
			int ret = sendReadoutData ((char*) data, TEST_WIDTH * TEST_HEIGHT * sizeof (uint16_t), 0);
			if (ret < 0)
				return ret;
			if (getWriteBinaryDataSize () == 0)
				return -2;
			return 0;
int main (int argc, char **argv)
	rts2camd::Test testcam (argc, argv);
	return ();

Place this content to src/camd/test.cpp and you are ready to build.

Building rts2-camd-test

First, you need to make sure the changes in propagates to and then to Makefile. Usually, you will need at least to run automake RTS2 top directory (the directory with src and include subdirectories, usually rts2). After running automake, just run make && sudo make install.

That should make rts2-camd-test available in the path. To launch those, just:


Testing camera test driver

First, run rts2-mon to verify you see C0 in device list. Your terminal window shall look like depicted below:

Then, run rts2-xfocusc -d C0 to get images from the camera. This shall create window with random content of the image, as depicted below:

Complicating it

If you follow sucesfully the example to this line, congratulations - you created working sceleton of the camera driver. To make it work with your hardware, just implement startExposure and doReadout methods to start an exposure and get data from the camera.

code/camera_driver.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/01 00:00 (external edit)