Decapod Training Module 2 - Decapod Project Overview

What is Decapod?

Decapod is an open source, low cost software and hardware solution that allows digitization of fragile material in a safe manner and outputs the results in a flexible format.

  • Open source: Freely available, community supported, and free to modify, adapt and extend. Decapod runs on Ubuntu OS - a freely available operating system, and is licensed under Apache License Version 2.0 (,
  • Low cost: Decapod uses widely available consumer electronics which helps lower cost of investment and maintenance. With an easy-to-use interface training time and cost is also reduced.
  • Digitization of fragile material: Using 3D modelling camera-based capture and algorithms being researched, fragile material can be digitized without having to flatten using a flatbed scanner or a glass plate.

What can it do?

1. Camera-based dewarping and distortion correction
2. Full start-to-finish material digitization workflow software
3. Output to multiple PDF and Image formats

1. Camera-based dewarping and distortion correction

Decapod software creates a 3D model of the material’s surface, then flattens it in software by referencing a known baseline. 3D model is created using either stereo 3D photography (or “stereocopy”) or structured light.

See (insert reference to additional material) for more information on Stereo 3D and Structured Light.

2. Digitization Workflow Software

The software will allow the user to work on multiple books, capture from supported cameras, import images from disk, process images (crop, rotate, brightness / contrast), reorder / delete / recapture images, and export to different formats.

3. Output formats

Decapod will allow output to 3 main formats: image based, image based PDF with OCR text, and computer generated fonts and text.

1. Image based formats:
PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and PDF (text in PDF isn’t selectable or searchable).

2. Image based PDF with OCR text:
PDF where text is searchable and selectable. Accuracy of OCR results depends on the quality and complexity of the original source image. Currently Decapod's OCR supports only Latin-based characters, but the software can be expanded and trained to recognize other text.

(warning) Is this true? How is it done?

3. PDF with computer generated fonts and text:
Scalable PDF format where text and content scale with the user’s view. Zooming in or out maintains good quality. Smaller displays (i.e. mobile devices) will get same quality as on larger displays. Text can also be searchable and selectable using the OCR option.

How it fits into a digitization workflow?

Decapod helps fill the role of digitizing materials for preservation and distribution. It imports image files, captures images from supported cameras, provides tools for quality control, and outputs the results in multiple formats of varying size, fidelity, and functionality.

For managing materials, workflow, quality assurance, and storage, it is recommended to consider other solutions. See (insert reference to print material) for additional information.

What kind of materials can it handle?

Decapod's camera capture system is designed to handle small to medium sized material that is too delicate to be pressed by a flatbed scanner, or by a flattening mechanism found on other camera-based capture systems.

Capture support

Decapod will support a number of digital cameras. The specific models has yet to be finalized as the functionality is still being developed.

Post processing features (includes 3D dewarping)

Decapod will feature advanced 3D computer vision techniques which will make it possible to "flatten" curved page surfaces without needing to physically flattening it. This helps reduce potential damage to fragile material and makes digitization hardware setups much simpler.

To take advantage of this technology, images need to be captured using Decapod's Stereo, or Structured Light methods. Regardless of which method is chosen, the results are similar - page curves and distortions are removed.

For more information on Decapod's 3D features, see (reference printed material).

Support / community overview

Decapod is an Open Source project and is supported by a community of users, designers, and developers. The community is open to anyone interested in Decapod, and everyone is free to join, discuss, and help each other.

To join the community, please join the Decapod group on Google:

User support for Decapod is offered through this community and is a good first place to start if looking for help.

Additional reference material supporting video (i.e. more detail on PDF export types etc.)

Technical info: space and hardware considerations for decapod.

Support and community information (links etc.)

Current release information

Printed Resources

  • Transcript / summary of video
  • Additional reference material supporting video (i.e. more detail on PDF export types etc.)
  • Technical info: space and hardware considerations for decapod.
  • Support and community information (links etc.)
  • Current release information