Tips for your Input Videos

Here are a few videos that suggest tips for the input video that can maximize the effectiveness of ABC tracker.

1.Nest Preparation

Offers tips on how to prepare nests for filming.


Offers tips on what types of bulbs to use, and how to create the best lighting for the objects

3.Camera and Lenses

Offers suggestions on what type of camera to use with what type of lens


Offers tips on how to set up the camera over the objects and what type of focus to use


Getting Started

1. Initialization

This video covers the preliminary steps of ABC Tracker: how to upload and how to mark the objects.

For more information visit the Object Marking post.


2.Error Corrections

This video covers the post-processing steps needed to create the most accurate results.

(Error Corrections video soon to come)


3.Visualization Properties and Video Export

This video covers the visualization properties available to export along with your post processed tracking video.

For more information please visit the Visualization Properties post.

In-program instructions?

If you are stuck and have questions during the process, there are in program tutorials available along every step of the way located near the top left of screen. The “Instructions” button will help give information for the step that you are on.

How to install and setup the tracker program?

System Requirements                                

  1. 64-bit machine                                   
  2. Windows 7,8, 8.1, or 10                    
  3. Have atleast 4GB of RAM                  

Software Requirements

  1. Matlab [Link] – 2015a or higher
  2. Java [Link] – Windows x64 Version

Download Instructions

  1. Download the program. [Link to the download button page]
  2. Click on the file to take you to its location. (You can also find it in your Downloads Folder on your PC).
  3. By double clicking the file, it should display the file in a zip/extraction program; however, do not extract the file.
  4. Instead, drag/copy the file to a desired location on your PC.
    1. Important: Do NOT use complicated location paths or paths that contain spaces such as “C:My Documents/ABCTracker/” (Space between “My Documents”)
    2. Do NOT use location paths that have odd characters such as “%, *, #, !, @, =, +, {, }, |”
  5. Find the file and double click the file to open the ABC Tracker folder.
  6. Double click the ABC Tracker Application to open up the program.


What visualization properties can I add to my processed video?


Visualization properties are available to export along with your processed video. The properties that you assign to the video right before you click the export button, are the properties you will have in the exported video.


Shuffle Colors: shuffle the colors on all of the objects

Global Colors: make all the objects have the same color markings.

Show Markers: make the markings on each object visible or invisible

Interpolated frames: removes/add the dotted object markers

Marker Type drop down box: choose the marker shape

Track ID: shows the ID of the object throughout the video

Show Tails: using the bar, you can adjust the tail length which shows where the object has been


What format video does the video need to be?

ABC Tracker uses a MP4 video format for processing videos. However, if your video is a different format, the ABC Tracker Program can internally convert the video using FFMpeg.

Common video formats that we can convert:

  • .mp4 -> Best for ABCT
  • .mpg
  • .avi
  • .mov
  • .qt
  • .asf
  • .avchd
  • .flv
  • .swf
  • .wmv

The program can also convert many other video formats. Check out this link to see what format options are supported: [FFMpeg]

How long does converting take?

Many factors influence the speed of the conversion. Here are a few:

  1. Video length
  2. Original format (some compressions take longer to decode)
  3. The PC

Is there is a loss of resolution when we convert videos internally?

  1. Simple answer: If the video is larger than 1920 x 1080 (or a greater number of pixels than this), then yes – the video will be scaled to such.
  2. To be more specific, we are limited by the number of pixels in the video. The maximum number of pixels is [1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600]. Videos in an unusual width/height ratio will need to have less then roughly 2 million pixels to avoid resolution loss.
  3. Note: There is a slight quality drop with almost any conversion made internally (or any other conversion tool), but we have tried to make the difference virtually unnoticeable.

Finding the Perfect Object Markings

Incorrectly marked objects can cause errors in tracking the objects.

Important tips for good markings:

  • Good Marks: mark most of the object’s body and minimize the blue markings outside of the object 
  • Bad Marks: marks that are too big or too small cause errors

  • For curled objects, mark the object’s general angle
  • If your object is a permanently round object like cells, you can click on the same object in the same place three times. 


Remember: Use the “Brush Size” bar to change the size of the object markings!