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It is magic: Utilizing an IR digital camera and Raspberry Pi to scan an invisibly marked card deck throughout a magic efficiency: Digital Images Assessment


Card methods can be loads simpler if the magician knew the placement of each card. Paul Nettle created a Github challenge, ‘The Nettle Magic Mission,’ that makes use of particular markings and a digital camera to establish and find each card in a deck.

Every card within the deck is marked with a singular barcode. In fact, if the playing cards had been marked in conventional ink, that will disrupt the phantasm, so the playing cards are marked with ink solely seen below particular IR situations. Nettle and Van Goey designed a Raspberry Pi system with a NoIR digital camera to see the marked playing cards.

The system runs a scanning server, and it is related to an iOS shopper utility, Abra, that reveals what the server’s digital camera sees and the decoded deck. With the expertise, magicians can know the ordered record of each card within the deck, which card(s) are lacking, and even which playing cards are face-up within the deck. The system will be run whereas performing as it may scan/decode a 1080p picture to an ordered deck in ‘as little as 4ms.’

The testbed functions offered are written for macOS and iOS, though there’s additionally help for Linux and the Raspberry Pi platform. There presently aren’t Home windows or Android variations. The complete documentation outlines the testbed utility intimately.

There’s additionally a high-level overview of how the system works. Whereas velocity is vital, right outcomes are crucial. An error throughout a reside efficiency is problematic. Whereas scanning outcomes can be incorrect, it is most unlikely. Efficiency is improved by scanning a number of video frames reasonably than a single body. The outcomes of a number of frames are analyzed and mixed. Nonetheless, effectivity issues are vital, because the system will seemingly be hidden on a magician’s particular person and may’t change into too scorching or run out of energy.

Excessive-level overview of the Nettle Magic Mission system and its steps

There’s an enter video body augmented by configuration parameters and a deck definition. The deck is searched, decoded, resolved and analyzed earlier than a report is generated for the person. Every of those main steps consists of secondary and even tertiary processes, that are extensively outlined right here.

Every enjoying card is about 0.3mm thick, and so they’re scanned below low-light situations utilizing a narrow-band IR digital camera. Additional, playing cards change into worn, and a few playing cards are held in somebody’s palms, so the scanning course of is not excellent. Nonetheless, it is ‘typically’ dependable. The ‘analyze’ section tries to beat a insecurity by combining outcomes from scans which might be ‘largely’ right with scans that ‘may very well be’ right to generate a single ‘assured’ consequence.

The Abra shopper reveals the total outcomes of the scan. We will see that this scan generated a excessive confidence worth (98).

Totally different eventualities produce failures, together with the deck not being within the body or too small, the readability examine failing as a result of the scanned video is not sharp, there being too few playing cards or simply another extra generalized failure. There are additionally totally different success situations, together with high and low confidence outcomes. As soon as all steps are full, the ultimate result’s despatched to the Abra shopper.

Considered one of these decks is marked. Are you able to inform which one?

The documentation additionally reveals how you can generate marks utilizing a Sharpie or a custom-printed stamp. The part on UV reactive inks is not full but, however there are some attention-grabbing particulars about making a marked deck that appears regular to the bare eye.

When you like card methods, you’ll be able to attempt the Nettle Magic Mission for your self. All packages, instruments and documentation can be found on Github.


Picture credit: Nettle Magic Mission / Paul Nettle and Jeroen Van Goey / Github

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