MATLAB tools for digitizing video files and calibrating cameras

data viewer 2

  • Reads from AVI and mp4 movie files
  • Zooms in or out to any degree
  • Configurable automatic marker tracking
  • Displays up to 9 video streams
  • When in calibrated mode, displays the line of zero residual for the 2nd point given a 1st point
  • Allows user-specified video stream offsets
  • Change the gamma of the video images
  • Load, view and modify previously digitized points
  • Export camera view information to Maya
  • Requires MATLAB 7 or newer (full or student version) up to and including R2016a; the Image Analysis toolbox is required for marker centroid identification
  • Latest version requires a MATLAB distribution with the mmreader or VideoReader function, an older version using aviread() is also available

Citation – a description of the digitizing package and some of the inner workings is published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics; please cite this paper when you publish work using this software.

Downloadable package with the MATLAB code and some documentation  – Last updated (Dec 18, 2017), now compatible with MATLAB R2017b. Thanks to Delyle Polet, Dimitri Skandalis, Elliot Immler, Kenneth Welch, Yoojoong Choi and Suzanne Kane for contributing bug fixes! –

Development version – to get the latest version in development see the DLTdv BitBucket repository.

Here’s an older version that works with MATLAB versions that have aviread() instead of mmreader() or VideoReader():

Sample data: Calibrated video of a bat flying in a wind tunnel (29 megabytes)


The mp4 versions of these should play on most recent computers, if they do not then a recent version of Quicktime player should work for the Quicktime versions or an AVI player with the appropriate codecs available for the files in AVI containers.

Tutorial 1: basic operations and 2d tracking: mp4 (31 megabytes) -or- Quicktime (31 megabytes) -or- DivX5 avi (29 megabytes)
Tutorial 2: 3D digitizing: mp4 (31 megabytes) -or- Quicktime (31 megabytes) -or- DivX5 avi (35 megabytes)
Tutorial 3: 3D calibration: mp4 (40 megabytes) -or- Quicktime (40 megabytes) -or- XviD avi (35 megabytes)