Aphelion™ Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is a good source for image processing education?

VisionTutor is a computer vision course that is interfaced with Aphelion. It is equivalent to a two semester course in image processing. This multimedia product contains lectures and laboratory experiments. The laboratory experiments interface directly with Aphelion so that the user may see and evaluate the results.

Is there any site license available for Aphelion. I am a Professor at University ...
I would like to equip a full classroom with Aphelion. Do I need to purchase 25 licenses for the 25 PCs, or do you have any cheaper solution for me?

There is a site license available for Aphelion. For a price of about 5 times the standard price of Aphelion, a customer can get as many copies of Aphelion as necessary to equip a set of computers for teaching or research purposes. A single point of contact has to be elected, to avoid too much administrative hassles, and a maintenance agreement is automatically included in the package.

What is the difference between the academic and the commercial versions of Aphelion?

Apart from the price, there is no difference between an academic and a commercial version of Aphelion. There is a 40% discount for non-profit organizations.

Is it possible to download an Aphelion trial version from Internet?

It is possible to download a trial version of Aphelion from the web. You just have to fill the form in the Download menu, and follow the instructions. This demo will have exactly the same capabilities than the standard Aphelion Developer version. After 30 days, or 100 trials, it will stop. Sending a P.O. will almost automatically reset the system, without having to reinstall the software. You will be given a software key to transform an evaluation version into a permanent one

What is the difference between the Aphelion Maintenance Agreement and an upgrade?

For a yearly fee, Aphelion users have access to the hot-line, including email support, bug fixes, and new releases as they become available. A maintenance agreement is usually valid for a period of at least one year. Site licenses are usually sold with a maintenance agreement. Customers who do not wish to enter into a maintenance agreement can get upgrade versions for about 1/3 of the original price. An upgrade is the most recent version of Aphelion, including new documentation, new Image Processing operators, and GUI enhancements.

I am using Aphelion daily to solve most of my Vision applications. I currently have just the basic package. Are there any additional modules to be used with the product?

The following modules can be used with Aphelion: 3D Image Processing Extension, 3D Image Display Extension, and 3D Skeletonization Extension, Image Annotator, Image Registration, Classifier Builder, Color Extension, Virtual Image Capture and Virtual Image Stitcher, Multifocus Extension, VisionTutor, and much more. These modules can be purchased from your local dealer or rep.

Is Fuzzy Logic Toolkit an optional module?

No, Fuzzy Logic Toolkit is delivered free of charge with Classifier Builder, but with the restriction that Aphelion Dev has to be purchased. On the other hand, Neural Network Toolkit is an optional extension, and has to be purchased separately.

What is meant by Image Understanding?

Image Understanding is not Image Processing. Image processing deals only with pixels. Image Understanding groups pixels into objects and then works with the objects and their related attributes.

What is Segmentation?

Segmentation is a process of separating areas of an image into separate components. Two basic types of segmentation are region-based, where groups of similar pixels are grouped into regions or blobs, and edge-based, where edges or lines are placed between areas of the images that are dissimilar. The Object Extraction task available in Lab and Dev is proposing a basic set of segmentation tools.

What are the benefits of Aphelion's Morphology Operator Library?

Aphelion's Operator library contains the latest state-of-the-art morphology Operators developed at Ecole des Mines de Paris.

What is the benefit of installing Aphelion on a 64 bit machine?

Very large 2D images and 3D images can be processsed on a 64 bit machine without any size restriction.

Can Aphelion operators be called from other applications?

Yes, using the .NET environment, Aphelion operators may be run from any other Microsoft application. Stand-alone applications can also be developed in any Visual Studio language (i.e Visual Basic, C++, C#). Aphelion Dev macro languages can be developed in BasicScript, Python, and C#.

Can Aphelion do color-based segmentation?

Yes, color-based segmentation is available in Aphelion Dev. It can be accessed in the Object Extraction Task of Aphelion Dev, after invoking the User Assisted option. Aphelion Dev also supports 10 different color spaces.

Is the Aphelion ISR file format the same as the one used by the KBVision System?

Yes, both file formats are the same.

How are overlapping objects detected?

Detecting overlapping objects is a difficult task. One solution is as follows. Use the Aphelion Operator "ImgRegionGrow" to segment the objects from the background data. This algorithm starts with a seed and grows a surrounding region based on pixel values and stops growing when a set limit is reached. This method will retain each object's unique identity. The Color Extension includes an interative function implementing Region Growing

Can Aphelion process and display more than 8 bit deep images?

Aphelion can process images of any size, digitized on 8, 16, 32, 64 bits. Integer and floating-point images are supported, as well as gray-scale, color, and complex images. For image display, Aphelion supports the notion of display context, which allows to display more than 8 bit images on the screen, with graphic overlay if required.

Which camera can be used in Aphelion?

By default, Aphelion Dev is proposing two drivers: IEEE1394, and DirectShow. Other image acquisition device interfaces are available as optional extensions. Please contact us to get the list of the currently available interfaces.

Does Aphelion support only TIFF images?

Aphelion support TIFF, BMP, JPEG, KBVision, and other formats. The list of image formats is available in the Aphelion Imaging Suite User Guide. An operator is also available to import uncompressed raw data images. Most of non-supported images can be imported in Aphelion via the import process.

Can measurements be exported from Aphelion into Excel?

Yes, measurements are easily exported to Excel or CSV files from the measurement grid or the contextual toobar.

Does Aphelion support 3D image processing operators?

Actually, most of the Aphelion operators have been ported from 2D to 3D, and are all gathered in the optional 3D Image Processing Extension. The format of a 3D image is the VTK format from Kitware, Inc. Aphelion has tools to generate a 3D image from a series of 2D TIFF images. The ISR (ObjectSet) format has also be extended to 3D. Measurements such as volume, sphericity, intercept numbers, are available for 3D images. In addition to the 3D Image Processing Extension, there is a 3D Image Display module based on the VTK 3rd party product from Kitware, Inc.

As an application developer not familiar with Visual C++, I would like to use another programming environment calling for Aphelion libraries. Is it possible?

Aphelion libraries are available as DLLs which can be called from Visual C++ or other environments, and as .NET components.

Developing an application in Visual Basic, I would like to have the same kind of image display capabilities than the ones available in Aphelion. Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible. the set of Aphelion .NET components includes components to display images, annotate images, display charts, etc.

Is it possible to control the stage of an optical microscope from Aphelion?

There is an optional extension available with Aphelion to control the stage of a microscope. Contact your local representative for more information.

How can Aphelion be used in conjunction with an optical or electronic microscope?

In optical microscopy, Aphelion will usually be used with a camera mounted on top of the microscope. The Aphelion Stage Control extension allows to control the motion of the stage in X, Y and Z directions. Aphelion has also been successfully interfaced to scanning electron microscopes. Contact your local representative for more information.