Capturing webcam using DirectShow.NET library


I’m using DirectShow.NET library to capture and preview all webcams connected to my PC.

Download Demo | Download Source Code | Latest file available here (.msi)

Origianl Source code of DirectShow.NET Library edited by Muaz Khan

What is DirectShow.NET?

DirectShow.NET is a library for manage code (.NET framework) that allows developers access (preview/capture) video devices (webcams, TV-tunnels, scanners etc.) by using simple objects like enums, structs and interfaces. Developers don’t have to worry about filters, memory addresses, and GUIDs as C++ and COM developers do all these things manually.

Filters filters = new Filters();

Filters” class do following jobs:

  1. Track all video devices attached to your PC
  2. Track all audio devices attached to your PC
  3. Track all video compressors
  4. Track all audio compressors

To access first video device (webcam) and first audio device connected to your PC:

Capture capture = new Capture(
    filters.VideoInputDevices[0],
    filters.AudioInputDevices[0]
);

By setting “PreviewWindow” property; you can preview the captured video into a panel or in any container windows forms control:

capture.PreviewWindow = panel;

In the above line, “panel” is System.Windows.Forms.Panel object.

And your last task is start previewing the video stream!

capture.Start();

To save the captured video into the Disk device; you’ve to set “FileName” property:

if (!capture.Cued) capture.Filename = "captured-video.wmv";

For tracking second or third video or audio device connected to your PC, just increment the index:

Capturecapture = new Capture(
    filters.VideoInputDevices[increment_index],
    filters.AudioInputDevices[increment_index]
);

It is better to use first audio device (index: 0) if all webcams are placed in the same room.

In case, when there is no video device attached to your PC, the program will throw an error. I recommend you use this technique instead of using try-catch blocks to handle the error:

if (filters.VideoInputDevices != null)
{

// all code goes here

}

To stop streaming (previewing or capturing into disk):

capture.Stop();

To capture as quickly as possible, use “capture.Cue()” method:

capture.Cue();

capture.Start();

This will speedup streaming/capturing into disk.

In the demo project, I’m not only previewing and capturing into disk but also using timer to automatically change file name after each 10 minutes.

I’m using timer because the size of video file goes into GB after some time; so we’ve to split video files for FTP upload or other uses!

timer.Interval = 600000; // 10 minutes!

In the “Tick” event of the “timer” object:

counter++;
if (!capture.Cued) capture.Filename = counter + ".wmv";

Where I’m incrementing “counter” object on each tick.

I’m capturing video into “WMV” file; you can also use “AVI” or other supported formats.

DirectShow supports ASF, WMA, WMV, AIFF, AU, AVI, MIDI, SND, and WAV video formats.

You can also compress the video:

capture.VideoCompressor = filters.VideoCompressors[0];
capture.AudioCompressor = filters.AudioCompressors[0];

DirectShow supports compression formats such as H.264, AAC, Cinepak, DV (Digital Video), ISO MPEG-4 video version 1.0, Microsoft MPEG-4 version 3, MJPEG, MPEG Audio Layer-3 (MP3) (decompression only), MPEG-1 layer I and layer II audio, MPEG-1 video, MPEG-2 audio, and MPEG-2 video.You can also use third party codecs.

Downloads:

  1. Download DirectShow.NET Library
  2. Download Demo
  3. Download Source Code of the Demo Project
  4. Origianl Source code of DirectShow.NET Library edited by Muaz Khan

Updated at March 1, 2013:

You can set width and height of the “panel” element to control frame size (i.e. min/max width/height) of the preview screen:

panel.Width = this.Width;
panel.Height = this.Height;

Above two lines will set panel’s width and height equal to current window’s width and height.

CSP (Content Security Policy)


In this post, I’ll practically show you one promising new defense using CSP (Content Security Policy) that can significantly reduce possible XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks in modern web-browsers (currently Chrome 16+ and Firefox 4+)!

I’ll not only block inline/outer scripts but also ask user-agent to auto-generate report for each violated activity it founds that violates my pre-defined policy.

Read full post:

Exploring CSP (Content Security Policy) using ASP.NET MVC

Test online: http://csp.somee.com/

Interesting behavior of lineWidth on Opera


I found an interesting behavior of lineWidth on Opera when setting its value very large:

context.lineWidth = 222;

This is a rectangle whose lineWidth is 222!

On Google Chrome, Firefox or IE – it doesn’t act like Opera!

If you want to test it quickly, open my tool: Canvas Designer

Selectrectangle” from tool-box; set lineWidth=222 (from tool-box) and draw rectangle! (You must do this in Opera!)

Relative Points vs. Absolute Points


Relative Points:

In simple words, points that are relative to each other are called relative points.

 Absolute Points:

Absolute points contain exact values.

I started using the concept of “Relative Points” while within my first tool “Curvature” (I continued using it in “Canvas Designer“!) – where I allowed end-users to get auto-generated code in relative/absolute formats. Relative points helped them move/drag shapes easily by just changing two objects: x and y. (x-y coordinating system!)

My all tools contain this feature and personally I use it in my real experiments and projects, too.

Relative points help you in complex animations like flying bird, scene movement (rolling camera), rocket fire or any other kind of animating experiment!

See an example: http://muaz-khan.github.com/Everything/Canvas/Experiments/Flying-Bird/

The process of “Relative Points”:

I get topmost x-y coordinates and then I extract all other points from those coordinates accordingly.

In case of additional complex shapes like Bezier/quadratic curves, I get topmost four points (one starting point, two control points and one ending point) and I set these values to four variables and use them accordingly. You can see it in action in my tool “Curvature“.

———————————–

An absolute point specifies a unique point on the screen as measured from the top-left corner of the screen.

The difference between the two types of coordinates is their origin.

Absolute coordinates are always measured from the origin (top-left corner of the screen or a specific object), and relative coordinates are measured from the current position (or a specific position), where this might be.

Following statement draws a line using absolute coordinates:

context.moveTo(20, 20);

context.lineTo(500, 500);

Following statement draws a line using relative coordinates:

var x = 20, y = 20;context.moveTo(x, y);
context.lineTo( x + 480, y + 480);

Relative coordinates are using frequently in drawing closed shapes, be it’s easier to define an endpoint by its distance from the previous one.

http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/


Just designed a simplest project: UseMe

UseMe allows you to compare features side-by-side or search any feature as quickly and easily as possible!

Features are relevant to HTML5CSS3 and JavaScript specifications (also WebGL/SVG etc.)

Data has taken from +caniuse.com (awesome website!)

If I misused any feature; please let me know in the case.

I wanna make its design awesome using Canvas 2d API but my exams are about to starts (college exams) that’s why I’m early releasing a simplest version of UseMe.

Some individual features:
❶ http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/#Canvas
❷ http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/#WebGL
❸ http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/#Video

Some features comparatively:
❶ http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/#Canvas/vs/WebGL
❷ http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/#Audio/vs/Video
❸ http://muaz-khan.github.com/UseMe/#requestAnimationFrame/vs/Canvas

https://github.com/muaz-khan/UseMe

Related: https://plus.google.com/100325991024054712503/posts/3A826CiDJzp

Releasing Curvature second time!


Curvature is a designer allows you draw curves. It generates Canvas 2d APIs relevant code in different forms/styles.

http://muaz-khan.github.com/Curvature/

What is Curvature?

Today release contains following new features:
➛ Curves Alignment (align any point, to any coordinate of the screen)
➛ You can drag whole curve (as it is!)
➛ You can drag whole drawing (all curves – without any disturbance!)
➛ You can copy whole drawing exactly!
➛ You can get shortened code too!