“Towards a laboratory instrument for motion analysis” by Baecker, Miller and Reeves

  • ©Ronald (Ron) Baecker, David Miller, and William (Bill) T. Reeves




    Towards a laboratory instrument for motion analysis



    Motion analysis is the systematic and usually quantitative study of the movements of humans, animals, organisms, cells, or other entities as recorded on movie film or video tape. Despite the utility of computer-aided motion analysis to many biological, social, and physical sciences, its role has been limited because it is so time-consuming and so expensive. Automated techniques can only be used on real images in very special cases; interactive techniques have involved laborious frame by frame operations. In recent years, Futrelle and Potel have revolutionized the process of interactive motion analysis by demonstrating how to digitize entire motions with a single sketch rather than with a sequence of operations on each constituent frame. However, their GALA-TEA system is applicable only to film and not to video tape records, and consists of equipment which cannot easily be engineered into a reliable and mass-producible laboratory instrument. The paper describes a prototype laboratory instrument for the interactive motion analysis of video tape records. The prototype includes a host PDP 11/45 computer, an experimental display processor called SPIWRIT, and a microprocessor-controlled video disk. SPIWRIT generates a computer-animated video representation of the phenomenon being analysed, and superimposes it on the actual video record being streamed from the video disk. SPIWRIT’s bit-slice microprogrammable display processor produces true animation on a colour raster display by decoding segmented display file images into alternate halves of a double frame buffer.


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