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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:42 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:20 pm
Posts: 5
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post but I have been looking at and setting up my workspace for quite some time. I now have everything setup but I wanted to ask a couple of questions regarding camera heights and lighting.

I have rigged up 5 cameras covering 2 sides of my garage and with a clear floor space of 4 x 4m. I have white sheets up on the opposite sides and the floor has been painted grey, when I remove the background all I get is green - but at the moment once I come into view I have light grey shadows casting in 3-4 directsions (I have 6 x 90 lumine LED bulbs on the ceiling in 2 rows of 3 covering a 2 x 4 m area of the floor.

My questions are - with 5 cameras should the heighest cameras be the furthest away? can I lower the 2 ends to ensure more floor space is covered by all 5 cameras as my understanding is I can only record within the space covered by all 5 cameras? The strips of wood were from me trying to see what floor I can use with my current heights which are included on the screenshot.

My aim is to record motions for a field hockey sports action computer game so I want the movements and the hand positions to be as realistic and as accurate as possible, I have 2 imotion records should I attach both of them too one stick or would one be sufficient and would it be better where one hand is or in the middle of the stick? Perhaps if anyone has done anything with a sord like prop they could share their experience.

With regards to the lighting is there anything anyone could suggest that i could do to diffuse the light so I can get rid of the shadows completely? I don't currently have any shades (as you can see in the picture could I use something similar to photographers lamps or would I be better o try up lighting, say perhaps some decking lights to cast the shadows up to the ceiling?

Any help suggestions would be greatly appreciated :) really hoping I can make this work really well :)

Thanks,
Simon


Attachments:
File comment: 5 cameras with their heights the measurement between each one is the distance (camera 3 is right in the corner, camera 1 & 5 are on the far corners ish)
layout-v1.jpg
layout-v1.jpg [ 132.85 KiB | Viewed 2230 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 830
Location: Florida USA
...

Nice start to the set up, but it looks like you have a few things off, these are just some of my personal suggestions below, so I hope you understand what I am trying to explain.

1) All cameras should all point toward a central point at chest height off the floor, not meaning the camera height all at chest height, just point them at the chest area of the performer, best to have a bit shorter performer to measure this, about 5 to 5'2" works well, or whatever that translates into for meters and have a clear highly visible center mark on the floor you can see in all cameras and this mark should be very close to the same position in each of the recorder view ports to each other.

If you aren't using a rear camera pointing forward, the set up in the image won't really work that well for 360 body rotation tracking, your capture volume only being 4m x 4 m between the cloth, you will only get max of 3 m x 3 m movement area, but you should use a more semi circle set up, with the 2 rear side cams about 1 to 1.2 m off the back wall and higher up pointing downward at about 2.3-2.4m and just slightly further away from the center mark, (this may be hard since you will have the cloth possibly interfering with their view, but you could angle the tops of the side cloth back to give more room if possible, because you want those cameras to always fully see at least the full head of the performer at all times), these 2 cams can be placed in the 2 rear corners, pointing slightly forward looking, but better if just slightly off the rear wall by 1-1.2 m, for better video depth and hip tracking, and so you can turn with arms fully extended out and clear the back wall easily and have less chance of loosing tracking on rotations, especially if the arms are close to the body when doing a motion.

The other 3 cameras should be one directly in front of the performer at a height of 1.20 m and the other 2 at a 45 degree angle in the front corners at heights of between 1.50 m and 1.70 m, but better if one side is a bit higher than the other, like R=1.50 m L=1.70 m, this little offsets helps for a slightly different view when tracking.

You should get one more camera if possible to use as the very high center front cam pointing down on the performer also, and just a bit closer to the center mark, do not worry of it doesn't view the full arm extension of an action, the other 5 cameras will handle that, this cam works for better foot to floor contact.

2) I personally don't think you have enough light yet, based on if that's all you will have during recording from that image.
Although, PS Eyes don't work well with intense light, so you need to find the sweet spot for them, so not to wash out the recording in the studio for tracking.

3) Those type lights aren't best as they throw weird shadowing and iPi tracking doesn't like shadows, so if you have to use those lights, make a ring, or rectangle with them around the outside area, between your central floor mark, (which you should have and use a visible marking), and your drop clothes, not really necessary to have direct overhead lights over the center or performers head.

4) Try not to have any lights where the camera will look directly at them, it will cause a washing of the colors and a white film look over the recording, PS Eyes are very touchy to this, but you can adjust the camera settings and reduce the exposure, but you have to know this before you record, or do several tests to find out, because you don't want to have to always play with camera settings before you record, the environment once configured should always try to remain the same, with the same equally ambient lighting.

5) All lighting should overlap one another, or you will cause dead space shadows between them and that isn't optimal.

6) You don't need to attach a Move controller to any props, the tracking doesn't really track props, but if the prop is too wide to block the tracking, it will cause issues, best to use the thinnest props you can, what you want is the hand locations on the props from the moves and the wrist rotations needed, not to track a prop, because iPi doesn't have extra bones to use for that purpose... yet, so you won't get any data from the Move to accurately use.

Of course all set up configuration is up to you in the end, but I hope some of this helps you understand and the reasons for it, but really too much to go through in just this one thread, but you can use the Search function in the forum to hep find more references and post.

Good luck and please post more once you get set up and tracking to your liking, it will be a trial and error mess for a bit since you are just starting with PS Eyes, but it doesn't take very long to get it working well. I will say that the calibration phase is very important, so get that as good as you can consistently.

...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:09 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:20 pm
Posts: 5
Hi Snapz,

Thank you for taking the time to write such an extensive reply. I am about to head off to your part of the world on Holiday but I will be looking at all this when I get back but I do have a couple of questions regarding what you have suggested/recommended.

I have an extra camera but I don't have sheets up on the other 2 walls (behind the cameras) so would I need to have them up or would the camera cope with a brick wall background? My understanding was you can only record in the area that every camera can see or is that just for the calibration process not for actually recording?

With the motions I am recording I should be ok with my feet not moving too much so I am hoping my 3m space is enough.

With the lighting what lighting works best? I could try reflective ceiling panels or up lighting or get some photography lighting to stand between the cameras? I have a bit of money set aside to get more equipment etc if I need too.

Thanks again for your input.

Simon


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:46 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 830
Location: Florida USA
...

I was taking it that wasn't your final set up anyway, just kind of to show your area in the image and what it looked like, could you state the actual usable inside size of the entire structure you are using?.

The 6th camera can be set up at least 2-2.5 m outside of the front of your capture area, it has to be at least 2 m anyway, with an unobstructed view of the floor.

It isn't shown how much actual room you have to utilize in the image, but if limited to what is shown with sheets at wall to wall and front open area being limited, you can have your computer operators area in view of the front camera, it won't, or shouldn't cause issue if the camera sees it, just have the operator, if using a 2nd person to remain still during the recordings, iPi is really good at determining to only track the colors selected for the performer, which is very important to use the right color scheme with deep saturated colors and a lot of black works well for me, I actually only use a medium blue T-shirt, bare arms, black every other color, but your scenario may be different.

You could use the lights you have now, I just feel you need more of them, or yes a different style would be better, those look pretty weak to illuminate to the floor properly, but they really don't need to be expensive studio style lamps, even shop style halides that you can actually make your own directional shields, if you have a little bit of mechanical ingenuity with stuff you probably already possess and get the lights up as high as possible, even up attached in the rafters is fine and direct the light downward more, to illuminate the sheets more, with the shields to allow each side of the light to at least make it to the bottom of the sheet on opposite side of the capture volume, understand? This will keep the bright lights more out of the cameras lens, and try to pull your sheets a bit tighter to reduce the wrinkle folds.

Basically, you want a completely lit ambient atmosphere around the performer, it really isn't that important to fully illuminate the performer with direct lighting, you just want enough light on them to show the actual color of the clothing chosen, without much self shadowing from the arms and legs as they move withing the scene, but you need the lights strong enough in wattage to maintain the energy to the floor, as the farther the performer gets away from mechanical lighting the dimmer they will appear, especially if the lights are weak, but I would not recommend up lighting at all, but it is up to you if you wish to try some 4 ft florescent at a lower output, just to see, but if above lighting is strong enough, I wouldn't waste the time.

I personally have never tried using reflective ceiling panels, like foil covered foam, or something similar and using up lighting, but it does sound feasible, as long as it was a highly reflective material, but a bit overkill to what would be "needed" to get good tracking from a recording to me.

To filter the light, you can use any type of white light filter, even plain white printer paper will work to knock the light halo around the lights, but there is actual cloth that can be bought also.

Everyone states, "I really don't need much area to move", but really if you can afford to not limit it, and get as much as possible you will like it more.

Well, when you get back and dedicated to the setting up again, hit the forum board again with what you came up with and some screen shots again are very helpful.

...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:13 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:20 pm
Posts: 5
Waiting for spring to come (garage is full of garden furniture :( )

This might be a bit cheeky but does anyone have just some basic walking Mocap data from iPiSoft that I could play around with in the meantime? So I can see how it works once you have recorded so i can make sure my processes are in place so once I start I can push things through efficiently?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:16 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 830
Location: Florida USA
...

Easiest way is to download the files iPi recently uploaded to their Docs using the C922 cams, their is no difference in the tracking between PS Eyes and C922, the video resolution is just higher and a bit better low light ability with the C922, with an increased camera cost of course and can get a bit more capture volume if have the space, but that has no effect when using PS Eyes within their space limits, as resolution isn't the basis for iPi tracking.

Files can be downloaded here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=9851

You should get the same tracking when using PS Eyes, if not exactly the same tracking, but your camera placement may be different in your space, depending on the area you have to work within, as no one but you can have the same set up as you for any recordings.

Hope this helps.

...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:50 pm
Posts: 24
White backrdop? Try going for the green or the blue backdrop. That will improve the results!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:07 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 830
Location: Florida USA
...

Yes, blue or green backdrop would work as well, as long as any performer is wearing contrasting colors to it.

I choose to wear black on all body parts, except for the T-shirt color and skin color as the arm and face color, using both the below mentioned backdrops as lighting scenarios with good tracking results, but that is a personal choice, not a recommendation for all PS Eye cam users.

Most users have easier access to white or off-white walls or sheets, and that being a neutral color that any saturated primary color will contrast against, it will work fine with iPi tracking, but if using cloth backdrop of any color, best to pull them tighter to remove as many wrinkle shadows as possible, or have enough light on the backdrop to offset shadowing, better with iPi recordings to light the backdrop with equal ambient light cast on the performer over the direct lighting of the performer anyway to minimize shadows thrown by the performer onto the backdrops and floor.

Good camera placement and calibration is most important, with keeping the capture view area more clutter free of colors used by the performer, especially if not using the background removal setting, which when used causes a bit higher recording file size, I personally choose to use the JPG setting at 85% to keep file size smaller.

I use a light colored wall area and sunlight as my primary lighting in a full 3 sided windowed area, that throws ample light onto the performer, filtering light with thinly slotted roll down shades, and those shades disappear in the recordings, just allowing a lit background without throwing floor/wall shadowing when recording during daylight hours, when recording without sunlight and using mechanical lighting on cloudy days, or night time hours, the shades appear as light beige, blending with the wall color and works well also.

If the users is getting constant loss of tracking results, something else is probably causing it, maybe skeleton proportions, or iPi Actors clothing size to thick on the arms and legs, using tighter performer clothing works best and matching the iPi Actors overall size to that, also looking at the Pose Tab and setting the iPi skeleton to resemble that within the performer will help greatly.

All users have their own set ups that work well for them I am sure, this is just a description of how I set up my capture area without a bunch of hassle of changing too much from the natural room state which is used as living space when not recording with iPi.

Mostly just more use and familiarity with the program and camera set up and the set up for tracking within iPi Studio 3 will improve any users tracking, just takes some time with trial and error to find the sweet spot for their specific needs, but once find it, the program works as designed with very good results and less clean up in post than other systems, because you can perform a lot of the clean up right inside iPi Studio pretty easily before exporting, test it right on a character inside iPi, export it to an external viewer like FBX Review and if see any issues, quickly go back into iPi Studio and make slight corrections if needed quite easily.

The use of the integral auto clean tools are very helpful, but some choose to use external 3D packages to filter their animations, that is personal choice as well.

I don't mind how the program is designed and the outcome of the animations it produces using a 6 cam PS Eye set up, but that is my personal opinion.

Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 3:51 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:20 pm
Posts: 5
Snapz wrote:
...

Nice start to the set up, but it looks like you have a few things off, these are just some of my personal suggestions below, so I hope you understand what I am trying to explain.

1) All cameras should all point toward a central point at chest height off the floor, not meaning the camera height all at chest height, just point them at the chest area of the performer, best to have a bit shorter performer to measure this, about 5 to 5'2" works well, or whatever that translates into for meters and have a clear highly visible center mark on the floor you can see in all cameras and this mark should be very close to the same position in each of the recorder view ports to each other.

If you aren't using a rear camera pointing forward, the set up in the image won't really work that well for 360 body rotation tracking, your capture volume only being 4m x 4 m between the cloth, you will only get max of 3 m x 3 m movement area, but you should use a more semi circle set up, with the 2 rear side cams about 1 to 1.2 m off the back wall and higher up pointing downward at about 2.3-2.4m and just slightly further away from the center mark, (this may be hard since you will have the cloth possibly interfering with their view, but you could angle the tops of the side cloth back to give more room if possible, because you want those cameras to always fully see at least the full head of the performer at all times), these 2 cams can be placed in the 2 rear corners, pointing slightly forward looking, but better if just slightly off the rear wall by 1-1.2 m, for better video depth and hip tracking, and so you can turn with arms fully extended out and clear the back wall easily and have less chance of loosing tracking on rotations, especially if the arms are close to the body when doing a motion.

The other 3 cameras should be one directly in front of the performer at a height of 1.20 m and the other 2 at a 45 degree angle in the front corners at heights of between 1.50 m and 1.70 m, but better if one side is a bit higher than the other, like R=1.50 m L=1.70 m, this little offsets helps for a slightly different view when tracking.

You should get one more camera if possible to use as the very high center front cam pointing down on the performer also, and just a bit closer to the center mark, do not worry of it doesn't view the full arm extension of an action, the other 5 cameras will handle that, this cam works for better foot to floor contact.


I have the garage clear again (ish) I have tried to map out what you suggested in photoshop before I implement it just to make sure I understood what you meant. I have a little more space than thought. If I really need it I can go into the patterned area by removing our bikes etc but it just means I have to pack up stuff every time I record with this setup I should only have to move D so we can open the garage door.

With your description of the rear cameras and the 6th "on top" at the centre point it felt like the 3 of them would be almost on top of each other but I have attached the PSD in case you have photoshop and then you can move them where you meant them to be if I have done it wrong? I really appreciate your input I will try to action this later this afternoon if I get a chance.

Attachment:
floorplan.jpg
floorplan.jpg [ 116.56 KiB | Viewed 665 times ]


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:41 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 830
Location: Florida USA
...

What you show isn't quite what I meant, but a very tight area for PS Eyes use for much performance area, I attached an image to better show my perception, but you can spin it in any direction to better accommodate you, it would be possible to also use a catty-corner positioning, just spin the image 45 degrees, but the heights can remain similar, that may even work out better, I just didn't lay the image out that way, but I think you can follow what I am saying to maximize the floor capture volume..

(Note: You can turn cams upside-down when mounting to get higher, then switch those cams using the upside-down setting in cam parameters)

I don't know your mounting process either, but if all will be fixed in position and left alone, mount them securely and secure the hanging wires to not tug on the cams.

Basically, you want to get as much ground area as you can visible to each cam, because the feet area will be the limiting factor for most actions, the arms extended in all cams won't be as critical, (referring to the 2 rear cams), but in the area shown, you can never get a fully centered performance area, you will need to be against one wall, or another, or in a corner when performing.

It isn't shown where the computer will be stationed, but it looks like only limited area it can be anyway to allow for full performer view in all cams, if it's only a laptop for recording purposes, that would help, but not sure 6 cams can be used on most newer laptops easily, so 2 laptops just to record defeats the purpose of even using PS Eyes.

I hope I made it a bit more understandable :)

Good Luck!

...


Attachments:
cam plan 1.jpg
cam plan 1.jpg [ 106.84 KiB | Viewed 660 times ]
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