Introduction to Lispix version Lx04q6

      by Jeffery Paulsen  6/24/02

 

General Notes on the Tutorials

 

      The tutorials are intended to give a user a start on lispix

and illustrate the use of some of its major tools.  Please also keep

in mind, lispix is constantly being modified and updated with new

features (though many of these versions are not available on the

website).  Thus, these tutorials are by no means comprehensive and

they may be a bit off in describing what happens on your version.

Typically I'll write the version I currently used while writing at the

top of each tutorial.  (For this given tutorial I used Lx04q6.)  Also,

as a general convention I will place a button or menu label in single

quotes while exact text from some other part of lispix in double

quotes.  Now, get ready to learn lispix.

 

Introduction

 

      Lispix is an image processing, but mainly analysis, utility

for researchers who have to analyze image files in ways generic image

programs will not do.  The program is written more for doing unique

and specific tasks than as a program for general use.  Thus, its

appearance and interface can be quite different at times from typical

windows programs and can even be counterintuitive.   However, Lispix

is still a powerful tool for image analysis and, with a little

practice, can be learned.

In general, help can be found in these tutorials, under the Lispix

help menu and on the website.  If you need to know what a specific

button or function does, click on it while pressing the control button

to obtain a description of it.  If you haven't already figured out how

to install lispix, please go to that tutorial first.

 

The Main Menu

 

      Through the main menu all of the lispix functions may be

reached.  Functions, once selected from the main menu will either

immediately execute, form a dialogue box, or form a tool window.

Clicking on the '+' button on the far right hand end of the menu

toggles the menu between 3 possible states.  The initial state has the

typical windows pull down menu within which are the majority of

functions.  The second state adds a series of buttons for commonly

used functions such as zooming, and toggling drag mode on and off.

The third state adds another area allowing for the modification of

read, write, auxiliary, and blob directories.

The series of pull down menus found in the initial menu state are

ordered similarly to a standard graphics program such as photoshop.

Under the file menu, there are the typical opening, saving, importing,

exporting and exit functions, but there is no capacity for printing.

The image menu allows basic modifications to an image's properties,

the window menu allows for the control of the various windows open

within lispix, the help menu allows access to basic lispix help files

and so on.  However, the color, palette and tools menus are little

different from those in other graphics programs.  Color only lets you

pick a color tools can use.  Often, such a setting is for a tool color

on an image where color selection is convenient in order to obtain

optimal contrast between the picture and tool.  Palette, other than

recording and loading palette information, also contains various

sliders.  These sliders allow you, and certain lispix tools, to view

images with various thresholds, intensity, gamma, color, etc.  Another

slider allows the selection of direction, which is useful in viewing

direction dependant functions like the gradient filter.  The tools

menu is unique in that it contains specialized functions that do not

fit well under any of the other categories and many of these tools are

designed to address specific needs.

 

If you have not already done so, try to take a look around the main

menu.  Take note of functions that you might want use and if you are

not sure of what one does, control-left click on it for a brief

description.  Remember to also click on the '+' button to see all of

the menu states.  Do not worry about keeping track of all the

functions, typically you will only be using a few of these and will

thus quickly learn their locations.

 

Opening Files and Setting Default Directories

 

      Before you can do much of anything with lispix, you have to

open a file or make a new one.  Lispix does have some shape and

fractal drawing capacities, but its main use is for analyzing digital

images so opening an image file will be our first task.  Click on file

and then open.  The typical Window's dialogue box for selecting files

should appear.  Select a file as you normally would and click open.  A

window containing the image should now appear.

Before looking any closer at that image, let us examine the other open

functions, and lispix's default directories.  Click on 'file' and then

on 'select & open' (from now on such procedures will be represented as

file->select & open).  You should see a listing of images from the

directory of the image you just opened.  Selecting an image file and

clicking on 'ok' will open that image in a new window, but there is no

need to have another image open right now so just click on 'cancel'

instead to get rid of the window.  Click the '+' button until the menu

is in its third state and thus shows a series of default directories.

Now, look to the line with "image read directory" in it.  To the left

is a button 'R' and to the right is the current directory setting.

This should be set to the directory containing the last image you

opened.  The file->select &open function, like some other functions in

lispix use this setting for a directory setting.  This is why you saw

the list of files in that directory when you used it.  Click on the

'R' button.  You should see a pull down menu with the choices 'clear,'

'demo images,' 'set' and 'from temp.'  To set the default read

directory click on 'set.'  A generic windows dialogue box should open

allowing you to select a folder.  Select a different folder and click

on 'ok,' "image read directory" should now be set to the folder you

picked.  Also note that "temp" is also now set to this directory.

The other options under the 'R' button do the following: 'clear' sets

the directory to "nil," 'demo images' sets the directory to one

containing some lispix demo images and 'from temp' sets the directory

to the "temp" directory.  The corresponding buttons next to the other

default directories work in a similar manner as for "set read

directory."  However, these other buttons lack the 'demo images'

option and for setting the "image write directory" there is the 'new'

option, which creates a new directory and set the "image write

directory" to it. Also, with these 'set' functions you are only

allowed to set it to the current "image read directory" or farther

down the directory tree.  To go higher, you must set "image read

directory" to "nil" before being able to change the setting to any

directory.  The "image read directory" 'set' function in turn will

only let you set the directory to the "image write directory" or

lower.  The "temp" setting is different from the others.  Under "temp"

is stored the directories that you have previously selected.  Clicking

the arrow buttons next to it will cycle through these directories so

that it is easy to set your default directories to a previously used

one.  Clicking on these arrow buttons now will result in it switching

between the directory you just set the read directory to and the

directory containing the image you opened.

 

Viewing Files

     

      If you have been following along so far, the main menu should

still be in its fully extended state.  If not, and a 'zoom' button is

not apparent, click on the '+' button until it appears.  (Once should

be enough since 'zoom' is in the secondary portion of the main menu.)

The 'zoom' button and the three buttons to its right all have a light

blue background and perform various zoom functions.   The smaller '+'

button here zooms in, the '1x' button sets the picture to a 1x

magnification and the '-' button zooms out.  If these buttons fail to

do anything, try clicking on the picture first and then zooming.

Also, keep in mind that zooming out to magnifications less than 1x

will take the computer considerably more time than zooming in.  Under

the zoom button are listed various zooms and other special zoom

functions.  If you want find out what these do try them out.

      Many times the image you will be looking at will be larger

than its window and you will need to look at different portions of it.

Lispix does not have the typical Windows scroll bars to move around,

but does provide other methods.  To the right of the zoom buttons is a

gray one labeled 'drag.'  Click on it.  The button now says 'drag is

ON.'  With drag mode on, left click on the picture and hold the mouse

button DOWN.  With the left mouse button down, moving the mouse with

cause the picture to move.  Lispix will not stop you at the edge of

the image but simply shows white past the image's location.  To turn

drag mode off, click on the 'drag' button a second time.

Another way to look around at pictures is with the navigator.  To open

up the navigator go to View->Navigator.  In a small window, a zoomed

out version of the image should appear.  There should be a rectangle

representing your current viewing area of the picture.  To move around

the picture using the navigator, left click inside the navigator

window where you want the center of view to be in the image window.

The navigator should center the image window's view to the

corresponding point you clicked on.