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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Los Angeles
McWannabe wrote:
They still claim 1280 x 720 for 30 fps.


If this is accurate, my guess is that the specs are for one camera on one system. Logitech probably did not anticipate people wanting to use four cameras on one laptop system. :)

Greenlaw

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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:57 am
Posts: 107
Greenlaw

1. Logitech may be fudging, and saying their degraded quality (by the photos on that thread) delivery IS 30 fps.

2. Yes, I'm hoping that this varies according to the operating system, etc.

I'm going to be running Win7 with a 4 core i7. I'll also try the RAM disk I mentioned.

BTW - this might really help you, as laptops generally have slower hard drives - and your data streams have to compete with normal hard disk reads and writes on the system drive as you only have a single drive). They have a free trial, what's to lose?

http://www.farstone.com/software/virtual-hard-drive.htm

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Have you done any measurements with any test pattern shots? How do they look at diff resolutions, diff frame rates, and do they vary if you have 1, 2 or 3 cameras connected? What operating system are you using? I gather that Vista can really slow you down compared to Win7. Here's what someone sent me today on another forum:

--
W7 is so much cleaner & quicker - particulaly in it's sensible 6 minute wait before starting to tie up your HD by prefetching into memory the stuff it thinks you might want (Vista can slow you to a sluggard speed for many minutes with that trick)
--

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Michael - how does this affect us? Can we get decent results with the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000's? I can probably return mine if I have to switch.

I've got a catalog from these folks http://www.northernvideo.com/ and they seem to have a lot of cameras. I wonder if any would be better?


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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Los Angeles
Hi McWannabe,

McWannabe wrote:
BTW - this might really help you, as laptops generally have slower hard drives - and your data streams have to compete with normal hard disk reads and writes on the system drive as you only have a single drive). They have a free trial, what's to lose?


This sounds pretty good, and I'll look into this as soon as I get a chance. My only concern is that I only have 2GB of RAM in my laptop. FWIW, the setup I have now is working very well for iPi Studio as far as video capture is concerned. I'm currently capturing from 4 cameras at 320 x 240; the cameras are connected directly to the laptop (the laptop has six ports), and the video is being recorded to an external eSATA RAID connected through an eSATA PCI ExpressCard. Also, I'm using the recommended Morgan MJPEG codec, a bargain at $20. I havg to say I'm impressed; so far iPi Recorder is not reporting any dropped frames, even after fairly long sessions.

McWannabe wrote:
Have you done any measurements with any test pattern shots? How do they look at diff resolutions, diff frame rates, and do they vary if you have 1, 2 or 3 cameras connected? What operating system are you using?


Not yet. I know I will want to eventually, but this isn't a priority for me at the moment as so far I'm not having problems with my current setup.

McWannabe wrote:
I gather that Vista can really slow you down compared to Win7.


Yes, I anticipate that Win 7 will improve things, but I'm running XP Pro on my laptop, which seems to be fine for Recorder. I'll eventually upgrade the workstation to Win 7 for iPi Studio, but I'm not going to do that until I'm confident that all the software and drivers I need are updated. (Updating software and drivers was a nightmare when I upgraded to Vista, and I had waited a three years before upgrading; I just don't want to go through that mess again so soon.)

Greenlaw

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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:57 am
Posts: 107
Well, the Morgan site doesn't list Vista or Win7 (which are my only choices) and never responded to an email requesting info about how they would work on 64 bit (Vista or Win7).

BTW - Logitech does have Win7 64 drivers - and I think the driver situation is going to be a non-issue.

Michael - do you know that answer to this question (64 bit Win7 with Morgan)? And to a few of my other questions in this post a few msgs back?

I'm concerned that the Logitech QuickCam 9000 may not be workable - but only you can really tell us - as you're dealing with their data streams and know what you require.


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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:19 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 804
Morgan indeed has a problem on Vista (and probably on Win7). It works great, but not with .NET applications. With .NET apps, Morgan codec keeps failing with message "Trial has expired" even though I have a properly registered codec. This is apparently a bug of their copy protection system. The same version of codec works fine on WinXP. The funny part is the fact that on Vista, the codec does work from under Visual Studio Debugger with Visual Studio Hosting Process enabled (but fails if Visual Studio Hosting Process is disabled).

For Vista/Win7, I think MainConcept MJPEG ($30) should work:

http://www.mainconcept.com/site/prosume ... n-797.html

I only have an evaluation version of it but it seems to work fine.

The best MJPEG codec (fastest/best supported) is PICVideo ($99), many people use it for professional video editing:

http://www.accusoft.com/pvmjpegpricing.htm

Please note that you only need third-party MJPEG codec for compression, because MJPEG decompression comes with DirectX 9 (so you should already have it).

I did some more testing with Logitech webcams. It seems like Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 camera delivers true 640x480 picture at 30 fps, despite some strange visual artifacts. Compared to it, 320x240 image up-scaled to 640x480 (using Lanczos resampling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanczos_resampling) does not have enough details.

Anyway, I still highly recommend Logitech QuckCam Pro 9000 webcam. No Microsoft or Creative webcam can actually deliver true 30fps or comes close in configurability, image quality and developer tech support. I think the problem with visual artifacts at 640x480 @ 30fps is actually a bit exaggerated.

As a possible alternative, Philips produces some fine webcams that can do 60fps at 640x480 which is great for motion capture. At this point, we only have one old camera model (SPC900NC) in our collection and it misses some handy features like programmatically configurable image settings (you can only set them via Philips control panel which is not very convenient in multi-camera configuration). We'll get some new Philips webcams soon and I will publish testing results.


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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:20 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 804
This forum discussion thread lead to a surprise discovery. It appears that Logitech webcam slightly distorts image aspect ratio either at 640x480 or 320x240 (hard to tell which one is incorrect without accurate measurements). This apparently causes certain bugs in calibration. We will investigate it and will publish a fix.


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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:36 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 804
McWannabe wrote:
I've got a catalog from these folks http://www.northernvideo.com/ and they seem to have a lot of cameras.


None of cameras they sell seem to be even remotely suitable for motion capture. They all are either analogue, or 15 fps (too low framerate), or IP (hard to control and sync). Webcams are still the best for MoCap.

We currently experiment with Point Grey (http://www.ptgrey.com/) cameras and I am not very impressed. Point Grey cameras are good but are not that much better then webcams. Framerates are similar for USB models, image quality is a bit better then webcams, prices are ridiculously high because of relatively low-volume production, and you have to order all optics separately from third-party vendors. Some of their FireWire cameras can do 60fps at 640x480 and have multi-camera synchronization over FireWire. But prices are so high that you can as well just buy a complete Vicon system for the same money.


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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Los Angeles
Hi,

FYI, the Morgan MJPG codec is working on my Vista x64 workstation at home. I've been using it in Vegas Pro 9.0b to export cut-downs of my capture video (originally recorded from the latop with Win XP Pro x32.) The only hitch was that I must use the x32 version of Vegas since the codec is not compatible with the x64 version. Not a big deal; Morgan works very well in Vegas x32, which runs runs well on Vista x64. (Conveniently, you can install both x32 and x64 versions of Vegas on the same machine.)

Greenlaw

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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:26 pm 
iPi Soft

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 804
Greenlaw wrote:
FYI, the Morgan MJPG codec is working on my Vista x64 workstation at home. I've been using it in Vegas Pro 9.0b


Morgan MJPG codec on Vista still has a problem with .NET applications, including iPi Recorder (on Vista 32-bit and Vista 64-bit) and iPi Studio (Vista 32-bit). Non-.NET applications work fine. Morgan Multimedia support is not responding on this. So for now we recommend MainConcept MJPEG codec for use with Vista.


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 Post subject: Re: FOV
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Los Angeles
That's very strange as the Morgan codec seems to be working on my x64 system under Vista Ultimate. I'm not running Recorder on this system, but I am running iPi Studio on the Vista machine, and importing video encoded with Morgan captured from my Laptop (XP Pro).

Then again, I suppose iPi Studio may be using something else to decode the video other than Morgan on this system.

Greenlaw

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