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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:30 pm
Posts: 6
Hello, I' ve downloaded the free trial and tested the two softwares with the wiki sample files. I am a Max/Unity3D user and I was very pleased with the results.

I plan on buying the Basic (two Kinect 2) 3 month lisence, and if goes well I ll extend to 3 years. And of course buy 2 Kinects 2 and 2 PC adapters.
I have to ask these questions first though:

1)My studio is 31 square meters, blind (no windows) with basic lighting bolbs. Do you suggest me to purchase a special lighting setup?
2)What lighting device should I choose for optimized calibration?
3)What is the optimized placement of the two kinents? One in front of the performer and one behind? I need your guidance on this.
4)What kind of usb extension cord should I use for the adapter? Will I get jittery results if I exceed certain meter length? Inevitably one of the kinects will be pretty far away from the PC.
5)Are 2 Kinects 2 enough to capture finger motion? I need finger motion.

Thank you and I'm sorry for my bad english.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:46 pm 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 1934
Location: Moscow, Russia
Hi
Zazoum wrote:
1)My studio is 31 square meters, blind (no windows) with basic lighting bolbs. Do you suggest me to purchase a special lighting setup?

There are no special lighting requirements for depth sensors as color data is not used for tracking. However there are things that should be avoided:
  • Reflective surfaces anywhere in the scene
  • Certain materials in clothing seem to absorb emission which Kinect uses to measure distance. You can determine them when corresponding body parts appear as "missing data" (yellow color) on the depth image. Replace such clothing

Zazoum wrote:
2)What lighting device should I choose for optimized calibration?

If you plan to use PS Move to track head/wrist rotations, then you're good to use for calibration also. It produces a distinct light spot in a video.
If not, use any flash light in candle mode (when light radiates to all directions). Or make a light source similar to PS Move by placing a little light (like a single LED) into a ping-pong ball.

Zazoum wrote:
3)What is the optimized placement of the two kinents? One in front of the performer and one behind? I need your guidance on this.

Right. When area permits, the 180 degrees placement is usually optimal. Note that sometimes an ideal opposite placement (when sensors look directly to each other) leads to increased yellow noise on the depth picture. If you encounter such an issue, just turn one or both sensors a little bit until the noise vanishes.
Recommended placements for various number of depth sensors are listed in our docs
http://docs.ipisoft.com/User_Guide_for_Multiple_Depth_Sensors_Configuration#Calibration

Zazoum wrote:
4)What kind of usb extension cord should I use for the adapter? Will I get jittery results if I exceed certain meter length? Inevitably one of the kinects will be pretty far away from the PC.

It looks like you missed one important thing about Kinect 2. Due to limitation imposed by Kinect SDK each sensor should be connected to a separate PC. It should not be very powerful, just meet the hardware requirements for Kinect 2. Any relatively modern laptop with Core series CPU should fit.
Therefore, there is no need for USB extension cables for Kinect 2. If there are no power outlets near intended sensor position then better to use power extension cord to move a PC closer rather than USB extension. Extending USB 3.0 cable with Kinect 2 usually leads not to some noise in the data but to complete loss of signal.

Zazoum wrote:
5)Are 2 Kinects 2 enough to capture finger motion? I need finger motion.

Unfortunately, our software does not track fingers. Mocap Studio only has tools for manual key framing of finger poses.
Maybe you've seen finger tracking features of Kinect SDK. However, we don't make use of them as they are very limited and inaccurate for mocap.
If you absolutely need finger tracking then consider special glove-like solutions available on the market. You can use them side by side with our full body mocap.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:30 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks a lot for the reply. You got me covered except for this part:

vmaslov wrote:
It looks like you missed one important thing about Kinect 2. Due to limitation imposed by Kinect SDK each sensor should be connected to a separate PC. It should not be very powerful, just meet the hardware requirements for Kinect 2. Any relatively modern laptop with Core series CPU should fit.
Therefore, there is no need for USB extension cables for Kinect 2. If there are no power outlets near intended sensor position then better to use power extension cord to move a PC closer rather than USB extension. Extending USB 3.0 cable with Kinect 2 usually leads not to some noise in the data but to complete loss of signal.



If I get two videos recorded in two different laptops, how do I get them synchronized in MoCap Studio app? Do I have to edit them in some way manually?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:54 pm 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 1934
Location: Moscow, Russia
iPi Recorder supports distributed recording for multiple PC scenarios. You control recording process from a "master" PC over network, and recordings from all PCs are merged into a single one for processing.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:30 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you very much for the great support!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:30 pm
Posts: 6
Hello again.
Bought 2 Kinects 2.0, 2 PC adaptors, 1 PSMove, I have 2 good laptops, an Ethernet cable and two performers. Currently doing some work, setting up my studio. I want to buy Basic iPi mocap 1 year-license before 27 Nov.

1)Am I good to go?

2)Does the 1-year basic license cover for future software version, or I'll be stuck with the version I will buy?

3)Can you elaborate a bit more, on gloves for finger movement capture? Some product out there suggestions maybe or some documentation on possible pipelines on working along-side iPi mocap for finger capture?

Thank you again and forgive my bad English.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:45 pm 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 1934
Location: Moscow, Russia
Hi

Have you checked whether Kinects work well with these laptops? I.e. they are available in Recorder and have stable ~30fps.

Do you plan to capture both performers in a single scene? Be aware that multiple actors tracking is available in Pro edition only. You could track them one by one with Basic edition, but this process would involve more tracking errors than doing multiple actors tracking with Pro edition. Besides, in multiple actors scenes number of different points of view is crucial for minimizing occlusion issues. Thus 3+ Kinects are recommended (again, this requires Pro edition). Or better using PS Eye cameras to increase both the number of POVs and capture area.

During the period of subscription you can use the latest version of software, both minor and major updates are included.

Unfortunately, we don't have practical experience with any gloves. There are many options and prices vary greatly. Just google or maybe ask for suggestions at other forums.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:21 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:30 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks for the reply.
Both laptops are top edge gaming, one belongs to me and one to one of my performers.
The performers are friends of mine, both of them, and they ll perform for free. They are a couple, and beyond imagination of the people reading this, the guy is skinny and short (very short), and the female is an athlete and tall (very tall) XD
I won't capture multiple performers, so no need for Pro. I just need them, because they are two different silhouettes, and I ll do ONE performer captures only. Just different silhouettes.

I ll do a search for the fingers thing. I hope I ll find a solution.
Thanks again for the reply!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 736
Location: Florida USA
...

One PS Move won't do you much good for natural looking iPi tracking, (will only give one hand, or only the head), you will need 3 minimum for using Kinect v2 (XBoxOne), or v1 (XBox360), one performer both hands and the head for best results of actual natural look tracking/animation. You should be able to use the built-in Bluetooth of just one laptop to pair all 3.

The solutions available for finger tracking at a reasonable cost are few and those aren't very practical, being more of a PITA than it's worth, much easier to use 2 Moves in the hands, then make a finger pose library inside iPi Studio, or another 3D package that supports such saves, and you can always add to it very easily for any fingering positions imaginable.

In order to use dual sensor positioning at 180 degree (should be more of a 175 degree set up), each sensor 2 1/2 degrees off dead center, and pointing to center of capture volume, and (even though you state you have 32 sq m area), you can only set the sensors at most 7 m (21 ft) apart, or they will loose range of tracking to give the full 360 degree capability and actually lessen the accuracy.

You can also set them up in a roughly 120 to 150 degree angle both facing the performer in a wide V configuration, bottom of the V being the farthest point the performer can move backwards before out of sensor depth range (fully dark red) pointing the sensors so the performer when standing on this center mark will appear centered in each of the Recorders View ports, doing your calibrating from this dedicated center mark, half way between the sensors and the farthest point. Good calibration is very important and they will calibrate correctly in any of these scenarios, with both cameras set at the same vertical height.

This way you will get more performance volume up to about 15 ft (5 m) from the sensors and get within roughly 4 ft from the sensor standing straight up, with arms down using Kinect v2's, just make sure you don't loose much data from self occlusion at deepest depth, so you may have to watch what actions are performed at near and far depths.

You can of course try several other set up ways to see what works best for you, this is just a suggestion based on my knowledge of Kinect sensor tracking.

You can find many other Kinect references in posts using the Search function at the top of this page and use key words for your inquiries, or in the iPi Docs.

Good Luck!

...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:30 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you a lot Snapz for your advice!!! Really helpful, and cleared some things in my mind.


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