Webcam Watcher Online Help

Chapter 3 - Controlling and Viewing Webcams
Starting and Stopping Webcams
Selecting Webcams to view
Viewing Saved Pictures
Finding Webcams
Image Enhancement
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Starting and Stopping Webcams

TIP To select more than one webcam, use shift-click or control-click


When the AutoUpdate button is down, any new pictures arriving are automatically shown. If the button is up, only new pictures for the current webcam are shown. You can toggle the Autoupdate button by pressing the Insert key.

Selecting Webcams to view

The drop-down box above the webcams panel lets you choose which webcams you want to see visible. Apart from the normal All Webcams, you can select

Viewing Saved Pictures

You can scan back and forward through the pictures that have been saved for a webcam by pressing the Left and Right arrow keys. If you hold the keys down you can get a high-speed slide show of the pictures.

Shift-left-arrow will take you to the first picture; Shift-right-arrow will take you to the last picture.

The controls on the lower toolbar can also be used to scan through the pictures.

Finding Webcams

Click the Find button (or press control-F) to find one or more webcams.

Enter the text you want to find and click the Find button. This will match the Description or the Picture URL of the webcam. You can also select which categories of webcam you want to search using the top drop-down box.

Double-clicking on a webcam will display that webcam.

You can select several webcams, as shown above. When you click OK these webcams are selected and shown in the webcams panel.

Or you can click Select All. This shows all of the webcams in the webcams panel.

Image Enhancement

Webcam Watcher includes an intelligent Image Enhancer that can be used to correct webcam images. Webcams often make less-than-perfect pictures, especially under poor lighting conditions. This is not surprising as they are usually low-cost devices and they don't have much time to create and compress images.

How it works

The basic idea of the Image Enhancer is to make the most of the information in the original image. It does this by correcting the "spectral spread" of the image. Look at the picture below to understand. The dark picture is an original webcam image. Below that is a graph showing the distribution of light and dark - as you can see, most of the picture is dark.

The original image

The light/dark distribution of the original image

Webcam Watcher enhances the image by making the distribution more even, like this:

The light/dark distribution after enhancement

...and the resulting image.

Note that not all images show such a dramatic improvement. Usually the most improvement is seen with pictures that are poor to start with.

How to use Image Enhancement

You can turn Image Enhancement On and Off using the button on the top toolbar : (down is ON, up is OFF)

You can adjust the Image Enhancement Settings by right-clicking on the button. This opens a small floating box like this:

The two sliders control two of the parameters in the enhancement process. They are called Level and Depth , although it's not easy to describe exactly how the controls relate to the process. You will find that they have very different effects depending on the original image.

Some things to note about the Image Enhancer:

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