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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:30 pm
Posts: 34
So I'm running ipi Recorder on two machines (two laptops) and what I'd like to do is have the merged file go directly to my network drive (so I can then process it later on my desktop, where iPiStudio is). Not only do I not see anywhere to specify where the recorded files go (I must be an idiot because I'm sure there is someplace I can specify this) I don't see any place to tell it where to stored the merged files.

Any help would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:05 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 1996
Location: Moscow, Russia
Hi
You can find (and edit) a template for the path of recorded files in the toolbar on the RECORD tab. See a screenshot in the User's Guide.
When doing distributed recording, this template is actually used for a merged file path. Locally recorded file is placed in the same directory but with ".master.iPiVideo" ending, and files from slaves are downloaded to this directory with "slaveN.iPiVideo" ending. There is no separate setting for a merged file destination.
Anyway, I think it's more efficient to merge locally and then copy to a network drive/folder than merge straight to the network.
Why merge+copy workflow does not suit you? One reason I can think of is you do not want to stay near the laptop waiting for the merge process to complete to start the copying. Maybe in this case you could do the opposite - share a destination folder on the master laptop and copy from there while you're working with the desktop.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:06 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:30 pm
Posts: 34
Well, it takes around 15-20 minutes to merge a video for a long session -- and then it takes that long again to save it to my network drive. So having an option to merge it to the network drive would save quite a bit of time for me. It's not a deal breaker, but it sure would be helpful.

I suppose I can just set the path to a USB thumb drive, as long as the speed of writing to that drive isn't something that will slow down the recording process. I'll give it a shot -- then I can just take that drive with me to the desktop and process it from there.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Los Angeles
Are you using WiFi? I find merging is way too slow over WiFi. If you don't have the option for ethernet, better to wait till after you've completed the recordings, and then transfer the files by drive or connect to ethernet.

I tried WiFi for Recorder once back when I was testing a mobile-only setup system, but I decided it wasn't practical for me. While it's not necessary to merge your data during a capture session, I do like to check my calibration and run quick motion tests before committing to a long recording session; also run spot checks during a session to make sure nothing got bumped or moved.

I wound up getting long ethernet cables that I can run out from our computer room. This setup is no longer 'mobile' of course but since merging over ethernet takes only a few seconds to a couple of minutes for a long capture, it's totally worth it.

Tip: Try not to record too much footage in one take. It's much easier to manage and track shorter clips, and of course the data transfers much more quickly when you stop recording. If you have a Move controller, you can use it to start and stop recordings while you perform, and Recorder will automatically save your file for you so you can start the next one.

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:30 pm
Posts: 34
Yeah, I don't have a move controller but I don't mind doing long recordings.

I found out a long time ago not to use Wi-Fi. When I had both of my Kinects in my computer room it was easy, but I've moved them out to our dining area (unused) and have cables to both of them hard wired, using 1mb controllers. The transfer speed between the two computers isn't bad, but because neither of these are the machines I have to use Studio on (which is back in my computer room) I then have to perform the transfer again. So I do think I'll use a flash drive.

On an unrelated topic -- I'm now wondering if using two Kinects at 90 degrees won't be better. In my computer room it was fairly easy to have them positioned directly opposite each other, but after trying to calibrate them in this other room and failing I'm getting frustrated. Anyone know what I will give up by going the 90 degree route? I had originally thought that doing them 180 degrees was better to avoid occlusion, but perhaps not (I really don't intend to perform a lot of fast turns or anything anyway).


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:37 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Los Angeles
When I was using Kinect for XBox 360 I typically shot mocap using the 90-degree setup (near-90 actually.) IMO, it depends on the motion you wish to capture and I find 90 works surprisingly well for many actions shot in our living room space, and I think 90 is quicker and more reliable to calibrate when using the board method.

90-degrees works reasonably well with turnarounds too, but if you have complex turning motions where self-occlusion is obviously going to be a problem, 180 is better. That's when I switched to that setup.

In my case, I also find the capture area is different between the two configurations because of the layout of our living room, and that may determine which config I'll use. For example, If I need a longer continuous walk that I intend to loop, I'll use 180. If I'm just taking a few steps and performing a more 'roaming' pattern, I might go with the 90 setup.

The trick is to visualize what each device is 'seeing' from its POV, and then optimize their arrangement for the type of motions you want to capture.

I haven't done a comparison test for this with Kinect One, but I've primarily been using the near 180 setup. Because the Kinect One data is cleaner, I think it may work better. I'll see if I can test specifically for that this weekend.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:04 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:30 pm
Posts: 34
I'd be interested in hearing any test results you get.

For the space I have I think 90 degrees will work much better -- I have the Kinect Ones and the kind of stuff I'm doing I doubt whether I'll have too many occlusion issues. I was *trying* to do this with one Kinect but even facing almost completely forward I was having issues (like if I happened to move my arm slightly behind my body, or even just make a crossover move with my legs).

I'm going to test myself this weekend to see, but if you have any insights one way or the other I'm always keen to hear.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:37 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Los Angeles
Two Kinect sensors at 90 degrees is definitely better than using a single sensor.

Way back when we made Happy Box, I started out using a single Kinect for XBox 360, and to perform the 'chainsaw dance', I had to fake it by standing in place and spinning the rig. This worked okay because I wasn't showing the feet.

However, that version was not used because shortly afterward, iPi released dual Kinect support and I took another shot at it.

With the dual Kinect setup, recording the scene with actual turning motions worked almost perfectly. From what I recall, Mocap studio lost track may have lost track of an arm once or twice, but there was enough coverage present that correcting the error only took a second. (Mind you, this was the first beta release for dual Kinect. It works even better nowadays.)

The first version with the fake spinning would have been acceptable but the second one with the real spinning motion looked so much better.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:59 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:30 pm
Posts: 34
Yeah, that's kind of what I thought.

I started off with one sensor a few years ago, and then quickly changed to the two sensors at 180. But my room is just SO small that it just doesn't allow me much movement at all, even just standing around. So when our dining area opened up (we moved the table out of it that we never used) I thought I'd try it there. But it's just not a good space for 180, although I think 90 will be fine. I've just never tried 90 (in my original computer room that wasn't an option at all).

I've also kind of hated doing the light calibration thing, so I went out and bought a foam board and I'm hoping that it will make that PITA a whole lot better for me. We'll see.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Los Angeles
Yeah, I understand your situation well. The 90-degree setup seems to give me more 'wandering space' in our living room, so definitely give it a try.

One thing to watch out for when recording in a small space is to not get too close to bulky furniture, like sofas, or too close to the walls. This can create 'blobby' errors in the actor's points cloud. This is true for either 90 or 180 setups.

Hmm...just had an idea. We have one long hallway in our house, technically the length of our house if I put the Kinects in the rooms at each end. I wonder if I can increase the length of my walking captures this way. My ethernet cables won't reach that far, so I'll need to try a mobile setup for this. I'll add that to my ever-growing To-Do list. :)

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