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 Post subject: WHATS BEST.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:17 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:49 am
Posts: 1

I'm looking into Ipi motion capture and looking to invest in some new equipment. Im currently using the kinect V2 on its own but want to get a more accurate and robust system.

What is the best system currently available to run of one computer?



 Post subject: Re: WHATS BEST.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:27 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 2044
Location: Moscow, Russia
The more powerful option for a single desktop PC is 6-8 PS Eye cameras combined with 2-3 PS Move controllers (for hands and probaby head). This brings larger capture area, higher frame rate, higher freedom of motions and increased accuracy. However, this comes at the cost of lower processing speed, higher requirements for environment and actor appearance (even lighting, more space, solid colors for clothing).
You can find comparison table of different camera options in our docs:
Also, look at the discussion here at the forum:

 Post subject: Re: WHATS BEST.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2300
Location: Los Angeles
Are you using a single Kinect 2 or multiple devices?

I've been using a dual Kinect 2 setup for a few years and it's worked well for me. Using a dual setup is significantly more accurate than a single Kinect 2 setup. I've used dual for digital stunt double and creature effects in a couple of feature films. I also use it for personal animation productions.

I'm about to start testing a triple Kinect 2 setup. I'm not sure the quality will be much higher but I'm expecting even fewer occlusion problems. Will post more info once I have actual results.

The above requires multiple computers of course.

Previously, I had a triple Kinect v1 setup. This setup works with a single computer. Kinect v1 data can be pretty noisy though, so motions can be a little 'wiggly' unless you really hammer it with jitter removal; then it might look a little robotic though. (Which was fine for some giant robot effect I had to do a few years ago.) :)

All this said, vmaslov is correct about PS3 Eye being the best option for quality.

With either setup, you'll want at least two PS Moves for the hands. A third for the head is good too--I get much better results with the third Move controller than I do with the software-only option.

What it all comes down to is:

1. How much space do you have to work in. Either Kinect system/setup can work in a smaller room space. PS3 Eye works well in a larger space. I've pretty much stayed with Kinect because I prefer to record mocap inside our house instead of our garage, and I don't have the space in the house for a PS3 Eye setup.

2. How many computers do you have access to. Either PS3 Eye and multiple Kinect v1 can work with a single computer. Kinect 2 requires a separate computer for each device.

3. How much control do you have over room lighting. Kinect isn't too picky about this; it's more important to avoid shiny, reflective surfaces. Kinect v1 can be compromised by too much sunlight so you'll want to shutter windows or shoot at night. Kinect 2 is quite a bit better about this. PS3 Eye requires good even lighting on the subject, no dark shadows.

4. Will you invest in special clothing? PS3 Eye requires contrasting colors to get good results. Typically, this would be a black t-shirt over a long sleeved green or red shirt, dark pants and shoes. Kinect doesn't care about color, just avoid 'shiny' materials. With either system, you want fairly close-fitting clothing, no-baggy pants or large boxy shorts, or long t-shirts--the tracker is looking for a recognizable human form to track, and large clothing will obscure what it needs to see.

Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: WHATS BEST.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:13 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 879
Location: Florida USA

The replies by Maslov and Greenlaw pretty much explain the differences, but what really matters would be "What's Best" for your particular needs based on their description.

I will add my own description as well, what's the hurt with one more opinion:

Firstly, will your PC configuration optimally handle 6 PS Eyes at a constant 60 fps camera recording, this is mandatory if choose 60 Hz - 640x480 recording and will the PC achieve good tracking process speed with a higher end graphics card, (an SSD is recommended for the recording process for best results), as PS Eyes recordings are more demanding on a machines graphics card during the tracking than dual Kinects to achieve a higher tracking fps speed and the file size of the recordings is much greater, but this can be set up in the Recorders recording folder option to be Saved to another larger storage drive, or HDD or SSD external drive after recorded to limit the space used on the OS drive.

If you are satisfied with the results achieved with a Single Kinect v2, 30 fps recording/tracking process, barring the single sided occlusion issues, then Dual Kv2 would help this effect, (although you wouldn't know the difference for 6-PS Eyes really until you had each set up to try it and compare), but if Dual Kv2 set up would achieve the quality you are happy with, then users should work with that system, as it is a much easier system to repetitively set up with less recording requirements, even though it takes 2 machines, (as of now), to operate it, but the more important consideration would be the room size you plan to set up in, PS Eyes aren't optimal in rooms roughly less than 5 m x 4, or (13 ft x 12 ft), and the capture volume for motions will suffer greatly in such smaller areas, the lighting and clothing needed is less of a concern, but still quite important for best results.

If a user isn't interested in setting up a facsimile of a mocap studio with enough acting area, (optimal open area recording volume, proper lighting, proper clothing and a more permanent camera mounting system), then the use of PS Eyes may not be the best choice, since breaking down and re-setting up each time isn't optimal for their use, much easier to set up and plug in 2 Kinects v2, though costs a bit more initial investment for the appropriate second machine to run a Kinect v2 and transfer the recording files optimally, (at least until the dual sensor driver mentioned is working on a single machine and released for use).
(Note: Dual Kinect 360 will not give the same results as Dual Kinect v2, not even close IMO).

To me personally, the use of Dual Kinect v2 wasn't an optimal choice, I have tested both models of the Kinect dual sensors, (Kinect v2 is still the best choice of any sensor with iPi), but to other users any 3D sensors may be more than effective for their needs, simply user choice, but since I have a permanent setup of 6 PS Eyes and the area set up to use them properly, (day or night), I have no need for 2 system configurations in my home studio.

It takes me only 5 mins. to plug in my cameras, set up the Recorder including 3 Move controllers, (usually no need for re-calibration for each session either, because my cameras are fixed and never moved, unless I see a noticeable error on refit in iPi Studio, and the calibration of cameras can be done at any point in a session, it isn't required to be a first step, just done within the session recorded time), Evaluate the Background while dressing, then start recording, so for me it is far less time needed than to fully re-set up Dual Kinect v2, or PS Eyes each per session.

A PS Eye set up isn't a simple plug-n-play system, especially not the first time, or if it is required to break down the set up after each session, and more consistency of recordings is required with PS Eyes, or the results will suffer, so fair warning if choose the PS Eyes set up, there is more of a learning curve, and consistency of correct set up every time required to get the most optimal tracking results.

Both systems do basically the same thing, although as mentioned, a PS Eyes set up can be more accurate with less occlusion tracking issues when set up and used in an optimal setting, 3-Kv2 may help with self occlusion, but another suitable machine is required for recording, and I have never tested this set up to comment.

All comes back to "What's Best" for each user and the environment they will have to set up in, or how much ease of set up and operation differences a user wishes to deal with, which you haven't explained much about in your original question.

For a so called "budget system" iPi will compare with any other lower cost systems, though not real-time, if you have a bit of patience the results will be just as good, if not better and smoother than "real-time budget systems" recordings, you just can't get the range of an IMU strap, or suit system, if you can deal with the tracking quality of such lower cost systems, especially with complex, fast actions or extreme motions, which are lower quality overall.

Reply is solely my opinion and based on my requirements needed, your mileage may vary :)


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