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Newbie questions: live camera view with composite image + capturing images

Hello all,

I'm not certain if this is the best place to ask my newbie questions,
but if it isn't, I hope that someone here can at least point me in the
right direction.

I'm building an image processing system for medical purposes; simply
said, it's designed for monitoring wounds and their healing process.
Most of the actual processing will initially be done with the
ImageMagick library -- but we need to capture images to process, of
course, for which we ordered an industrial-type camera (the DBK 31BU03
from The Imaging Source, wich apparently has V4L2 support).

We don't have this camera yet, but expect it to arrive within a week --
right now, we're working with another camera on a Windows machine, but
that's sheer hell: lousy picture quality, buggy camera firmware, buggy
camera control software, and then there's Windows itself giving one
nasty surprise after another. So we decided to try and make things work
under Linux, over which I have considerably more control than Windows.

The goal for now is to have a live streaming camera view in a GUI
window, overlaid with a pre-existing image (composite, I believe it's
called); this image has the same dimensions and resolution as the camera
picture, but must of course be (partially) transparent.

We also want to take image captures from this stream, without the
composite image though.

Are there simple tools to accomplish this? I found a camera viewer
application by the name of Camorama, which seems to fit the bill nicely
(it can also create captures), but I can't see if it's capable of
creating the composite live image we absolutely require.
I found some other viewer apps out there (e.g. camE), but most seem to
have become obsolete long ago.

Or am I better off diving into the V4L2 sources right away, and code my
way towards a solution? I'm afraid that my C programming skills are
rather rusty after two decades, so it would be preferable to at least
start off with some crude solutions -- any refinements can be made in
the course of the following months.

We're also pondering to hire someone with better skills than me in this
respect, so anyone interested may apply -- although we're primarily
looking for someone here in the Netherlands.

Anyway, thanks already for any hints and replies, and I hope I'm not
asking too much right away.

With best regards,

Richard Rasker

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