How to start with image processing and analysis?
Sun, 05/31/2015 - 12:00 pm
I am a mostly novice at the image processing part of "data analysis". I suspect that I will need edge detection algorithms, length and area mapping algorithms, and multi-level grayscale thresholding algorithms. I also have to bring two master-level graduate students up to speed with me (it will be the quality of their work, not mine, that matters). Finally, I have a rather short time to try to establish that we have made a reasonable start. Basically, I want to approach this by defining a "milestone" for my students. On hand the images they will acquire, I would like to have recognized success with them setting the hardware and software methods in about two to three weeks (of focused, graduate-student time :-) ). After that, I would hope their further efforts would be to streamline their practices rather than to continue to have to learn yet new techniques.
With this in mind, I have two starting questions. The first is a rather blunt market-level query (with apologies that I have no intent to start "software XYZ is better" wars). How deeply should I commit to Igor Pro versus ImageJ (or something else??)? I have the financial resources for Igor Pro, the full appreciation of its power at the wave level of data analysis, every ability to program code in Igor Pro as needed, and all faith in Igor Pro to do whatever is needed. My graduate students have to brought up to speed from ground zero in Igor Pro (or ImageJ or whatever). They will have to do graphical and regression analysis anyway, so they will soon have to "get their feet wet" with Igor Pro regardless. I absolutely do not want that we have to program anything to do what we need. The best answer is a strong recommendation on a set of tools they can sit in front of, apply systematically, and learn to master toward producing reliable results. Ultimately, my question is about the ease of use of Igor Pro versus ImageJ for the sake of my graduate students (not for my sake). Answers may be best posted to me directly as appropriate.
My second question is a general one. Where might I go for the best general tutorials on principles and best practices on image processing? In a nutshell, what ONE Web site should I (and my graduate students) read and what ONE most appropriate resource book should I buy?
Assuming that I do go with Igor Pro, I will post later to ask for insider tips and tricks.
I would especially appreciate comments and suggestions from the community of folks who do image processing routinely using Igor Pro. Is what I have in mind really not as hard as I might otherwise imagine?