Hello and Hardware Advice
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Author:  Snapz [ Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice


If you are going to capture 2 or 3 performers at the same time, 8 or more cameras will most likely be needed, especially if actions are in very close proximity to each other, 6 cams will do ok if actions are not very close in most cases.

(Remember each performer needs to wear different colors)

A head mounted Move works better for slower actions where the performers head doesn't move much, slower and more consistently moving. (jumps, bounces, rolls may not work as well)

It doesn't work as well for fast actions, like fighting, or dancing, as unless it is very stable mounted on the head, it can bounce, or move without notice and throw off the whole recording, as the data is captured during the recording, and if this changes a lot during performance, it will show in the tracking also and cause more clean up, or possibly a complete loss of usable tracking unless manually edit the head in post, not fun.

If you don't use a Move on the head, you should keep any performers hair, high collars, or anything from blocking the back of the neck, this will greatly help in the tracking process with PS Eyes, or the neck bone can and probably will not follow the video well at all and cause issues.

It basically takes 3 cameras minimum always being able to see all body parts for better results in tracking, but the tracking view port only uses one camera at a time to track, so it is possible and you may have to switch the cam view at times if you loose tracking, but then always try to switch to a main tracking camera, a head on camera works best, it doesn't matter what camera number it is.

Also only one camera can detect and use the colors, (so if you switch cams during tracking you may need to re-evaluate the actor colors if getting bad tracking and re-evaluate again when switch back to main cam), this would be based solely on your particular light set up, why it is best to have consistent ambient lighting set up, doesn't need to be overly bright, just adequate and equalized around the performer(s) and direct overhead lights should be avoided, it may look fine on the video itself, but they will wash out the colors once in the Studio tracking.

Each camera you add will impact the tracking fps speed by approx, .3 with a higher end graphics card, possibly more on lower end cards, I have a GTX 970 FTW and each cam adds .3 to the processing speed as a comparison, just something to be aware of.

If you are into modification of a Move to be lighter for head use, I show a post for the gloves I made and the same process can be used to attach to a headband.
Post is here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9665

You are going to have additional clean-up anyway in post, but the tracking should be fairly consistent throughout the capture if done with consistency each session.

Good Luck with your projects!

Author:  Wallenstein [ Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice

Thanks a lot, I appreciate the tips. I will experiment with and without motion controllers on the head. Your gloves are certainly a good idea, that way you dont have to hold the controllers all the time.

I will start with this next year since I have to finish the coding first before I can redo the animations, but I'm looking forward to it

Author:  Greenlaw [ Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice

Oh, yeah, Snapz brought up a good point. The Move controller does need to be fixed firmly to the head. The hard hat I use has an adjustable head band, which locks it firmly to the head. I also have a chin strap but I don't rely on it because it's 'stretchy'. It's just there for a little more stability and I didn't want a non-stretching strap the 'locked' my jaw shut.

I haven't used a GoPro strap but the same rules apply.

FYI, the controller doesn't necessarily need to be centered over the head since all it records is rotation, not position. It just needs to be attached above the neck.

Also, the same is true if you use Move for wrist rotations. If you hold the Move, it needs to be gripped firmly--don't let it roll or flop around inside your grip, or it will cannot record the wrist rotation accurately. This may take some practice to make it look natural but it's really not that hard once you understand it.

Alternatively, you can attach the Move (or just its guts) to the back of a glove. Just be sure it's attached firmly and not able to bounce or flop. A velcro strap can work well for this. I also suggest putting a dense foam pad under the Move for added stability. (I have a small dense foam pad on the top of the hard hat under the Move--this helps keeps it properly aligned and prevents it from 'rocking' against the hard surface.)

Author:  Greenlaw [ Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice

I was cleaning out my bookmarks when I stumbled on an idea I forgot about. I haven't actually tried this but here's another possibility for a Move controller headgear.

https://www.amazon.com/ProForce-Lightni ... r=1-3&th=1

I think this could be a solid option, at least as far as stability is concerned. It fits snugly around the head and the chinstrap doesn't lock your jaw closed.

Additional thoughts: Black will interfere with Kinect's IR system and white might be too bright for PS3 Eye. Gray might be the better possibility. Shininess could be an issue with any color, so you may need to spray a matte finish over it. I'm not sure how the shape and bulk of the headgear will affect tracking without the Move.

It's only $15 so I might give it a try. Will follow up when I have results.

Author:  Wallenstein [ Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice

Cool. My own schadule is now more mid 2018 because I have to do a lot of programming work before I can focus on animations, but it would be good to know if it works or now, I'm already buying parts like the sony controller or the Startec USB card

Author:  Greenlaw [ Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice

Greenlaw wrote:
I'm not sure how the shape and bulk of the headgear will affect tracking without the Move.

Of course if you're not using the Move, you don't need the helmet. Duh! I just re-read that and realized it sounded silly. :)

What I meant is that if the Move head tracking failed, I'm not sure if the helmet's bulk or 'non-human' appearance interferes with non-Move head tracking. TBD.

Author:  Snapz [ Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello and Hardware Advice


I finally broke down and attached a Move to a cloth head wrap, nothing fancy just a black cotton biker type one, after breaking down the Move like on the gloves, except I placed the battery to be flatter to the head and fixed the whole unit over the ear with thin zip ties, was the most stable location and it's not to overbearing for the performers to wear, as I think a head gear type attachment would be, but with Kinects you would have to use a color other than black I guess, if wanting to turn head tracking ON while tracking also.

You could cut the top out of the head wrap, or use just a tie type head band, but that would expose the hair color and may confuse the color system, unless band color is close to the same color of the performers hair, which would just cause too many issues for me and women's hair colors, as I still set head tracking to ON while tracking, so I left it alone and have performers with longer hair put it in a rear bun and tie the wrap under the hair, which works fine no matter the color hair, but longer hair covering the rear of the neck is bad for neck bone tracking with PS Eyes IMO.

It works fine, absolutely solid mounted and no bulk, performers just have to remain aware it is there, so not to catch a hand on it, or hit it if falling down, but not too hard to remember, as I have worn it myself also.

It definitely makes the head tracking more stable throughout, should have probably done this sooner, as long as the head jitter removal is set to 5, or the neck will still jitter if not, but I always have set it to 5 anyway with PS Eyes, that is up to user preference though.

Just a follow up post on the glove mounted Moves I wanted to try since the gloves worked out good with the PS Eyes, so far so good for the head mount also, although gloves aren't really needed with Kinect use, the Moves are needed for best tracking, gloves can be used though and keeps the hands/fingers free for other uses during recordings.

When made properly, there's no worries if your grip is inconsistent, as the Moves are not dictated by hand grip, although, the glove fit should be tighter for better stabilization, (but I solved any stability issues by running a thinner strip of cloth sports tape criss-crossing the glove palms and around each end of the boards), also, all components must be all be one solid color, with a velcro type wrist strap works best, long/thin strip velcro can be bought cheap, which is what I used, glove doesn't have to have straps made onto them, you will understand why, if you make them.

It may sound like a lot of fuss to make them, but really it's not once you do it, they just have to be affixed properly, as I explained fully in the Move Gloves post and the use is much better, especially if using a performer, but you will loose other functionalities on the Moves, which really aren't much needed anyway for the tracking capabilities of iPi.

This can also be done without breaking down the Moves, they are just a bit more bulky and need a foam riser on top of the wrist, if this riser isn't used you will soon find out why it should be there :)


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