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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:00 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:52 am
Posts: 3
Hey everyone! I am looking to purchase the IPI system for the college I work for. I was hoping to get some advice on the items we will need before I put together an order and leave something out!

What I have on my list so far with questions...

Software obviously

Cameras - Either Playstation Eyes or Kinects. Does anyone have a preference between these systems? Is one better than the other? Do I need to purchase the "Kinect for Windows" or will the regular xbox version work?

Tripods - We have tons of tripods around here so that shouldn't be an issue

Motion controllers - thinking about 3 playstation move controllers.

USB cables - enough cables and extenders to hook everything up.


Am I missing anything important? Thanks all!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:08 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 2085
Location: Moscow, Russia
Mekeri wrote:
Cameras - Either Playstation Eyes or Kinects. Does anyone have a preference between these systems? Is one better than the other? Do I need to purchase the "Kinect for Windows" or will the regular xbox version work?

See comparison of Kinect vs PS Eye in our wiki:
http://wiki.ipisoft.com/Dual_Depth_Sensors_vs_Sony_PS_Eye_Comparison
Both Kinect for Windows and Kinect for XBOX are supported. However, only Kinect for Windows is officially licensed by Microsoft for use on PC. Besides, Kinect for Windows has a slightly better color image quality, and also allows to make adjustments to color picture (like contrast, brightness etc).
Note.Kinect for XBOX One is not and won't be supported, as it is intentionally made incompatible with PC. Microsoft will release Kinect 2 for Windows in the beginning of 2014, which will be supported by our software.

Mekeri wrote:
Motion controllers - thinking about 3 playstation move controllers.

Be aware that for smooth operation of motion controllers you need a Bluetooth adapter compatible with EDR v2.1 and having Class 1 (100m range) or Class 2 (10m range). Ones that have prooved to work well are ASUS USB-BT211, TrendNet TBW-106UB.

Mekeri wrote:
Am I missing anything important? Thanks all!

  • Powerful graphics card (ideally, NVIDIA GTX series) for processing
  • In case of PS Eyes there are additional requirements to the storage for recording because of the heavy video traffic: either dedicated HDD (not system drive), or SSD, or RAM drive.
  • Tools for calibration: foam board (0.5x0.7m size or larger) for dual Kinects or flashlight with candle mode (like Maglite) for PS Eyes. Dual Kinect configuration also supports calibration with the light marker (flashlight), though it may be a bit trickier to get a good calibration result than using a foam board. Also, PS Move may be used instead of a flashlight (you can light it up with selected color in iPi Recorder, white is preferred for calibration), you just need to ensure it's on a large distance from the cameras (2m or more) during the calibration.
  • Something to mount the cameras to tripods, because they do not have built-in mounts. Specially designed mounts for Kinects or PS Eyes (there are some available online), sticky tape, reusable adhesive or whatever you find out useful.
  • Something to mount PS Moves to the head and hands. Again, it's up to your fantasy. There are some ad-hoc samples here in the forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:24 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
VMaslov covered most of the answers. Here's a little extra info:

There are tripod adapters for Kinect that work well. This one is very similar to what I use:

Monprice Kinect Wall Mount

All you need is the front part that attaches to the Kinect. You can discard the rest.

For my PS3 Eye cameras, I modified the base to accept a tripod screw. If you peel away the label, you'll find a hole in the base, which can be tapped. Then, you use a Helicoil kit to insert threads that work with a standard tripod mount. I made a video a few years ago that shows how to do this but I keep forgetting to post it. I'll try to get it online this weekend.

IMO, dual or triple Kinect is much easier to use and the results are generally quite good. Dual can get a little flakey is there is occlusion, so you'll need to adjust your performance to favor the device POV. I usually shoot at 90 degrees because I think the motion is more stable but sometimes you'll need the near 180 setup depending on the action you want to capture. I haven't worked with the triple Kinect setup much yet--plan to do so as soon as we finish our current 2D film production and get back to working on 'B2'.

If you need your motions to cover a lot of ground, PS3 Eye is definitely the way to go. Be warned that setup is a lot more involved though, and there are special lighting and special clothing requirements. I only use this configuration when absolutely necessary because of the setup and space issues. Directional shadows are to be avoided so lighting needs to be fairly even and flat. I use a couple softboxes to light the environment, which projects almost no shadows when used properly. Some users shoot outdoors on overcast days or very early in the morning to avoid hard shadows.

Kinect, on the other hand, is practically 'plug-and-play', which works well in our small studio. Normal fitting slacks and shirt is all that's required for Kinect capture. The one lighting issue with Kinect you need to be aware of is that you want to avoid IR pollution from the outdoor sun. If you're shooting during the days in a room with a lot of windows, you'll want to cover the windows. With Kinect, the actor's feet tends to get subtracted, which can cause feet tracking issue. If you run into this, you can minimize the problem by wearing shoes or boots that give your feet more volume and height. (The bulky hiking shoes I wear during capture really help a lot.)

Regarding extension cables, be sure to get repeater cables, also known as active USB cables--these are powered USB cables that can send stable data streams over great distances. Regular USB extension cables will not perform satisfactorily. Also, be sure to get one for your Bluetooth device--the controllers are more reliable with the device is closer to the capture space.

Finally, avoid shiny surfaces, like polished floors, glass cabinets, computer or tv screens. Reflective surfaces affect both PS3 Eye and Kinect devices. If the floor is shiny, you'll probably want to roll out a carpet to cover the ground under the performer.

Hope this helps.

G.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:52 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies everyone! I think we are pretty well set then. I am adding to my order the ASUS USB-BT211 Mini Bluetooth Dongle to help with the Move controllers.

I am ordering the Monprice Kinect Wall Mount suggested by Greenlaw for the Kinects.

Thanks for the suggestion about the bluetooth adaptors vmaslov. I ordered the ASUS USB-BT211 you mentioned. I also got 16 foot active USB extensions for both kinects and the bluetooh adaptor. Plus an extra for good measure.

We have plenty of old foam core or boxes around here we can commission for the calibration board.

Our video cards are all Quadros. I read that gaming cards are preferred/suggested but the school won't allow me to buy new video cards when the ones we have are currently working :( I saw several people on the forums use the Quadros even if they don't give as good of results. So we are going to use what we have. Perhaps if we can prove we need other cards later down the road we can buy one.

Thanks again everyone!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:48 am 
iPi Soft

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:12 am
Posts: 2085
Location: Moscow, Russia
Mekeri wrote:
Our video cards are all Quadros. I read that gaming cards are preferred/suggested but the school won't allow me to buy new video cards when the ones we have are currently working :( I saw several people on the forums use the Quadros even if they don't give as good of results. So we are going to use what we have. Perhaps if we can prove we need other cards later down the road we can buy one.

Yes, the gaming card of comparable price to Quadro is a way better for use with our software. Quadro is optimized for rendering quality, gaming card - for speed.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:18 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:52 am
Posts: 3
vmaslov wrote:
Mekeri wrote:
Our video cards are all Quadros. I read that gaming cards are preferred/suggested but the school won't allow me to buy new video cards when the ones we have are currently working :( I saw several people on the forums use the Quadros even if they don't give as good of results. So we are going to use what we have. Perhaps if we can prove we need other cards later down the road we can buy one.

Yes, the gaming card of comapareable price to Quadro is a way better for use with our software. Quadro is optimized for rendering quality, gaming card - for speed.



Yeah I saw that. I'm hoping we can hobble along with the Quadros until I can present a better reason for needing to order at least one new card to the Dean. They barely are letting us get the rest of the equipment! I'll let you all know how it goes! Probably will be ordering at the beginning of January.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:58 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:01 am
Posts: 1
Thanks for the replies everyone! I think we are pretty well set then. I am adding to my order the ASUS USB-BT211 Mini Bluetooth Dongle to help with the Move controllers.

I am ordering the Monprice Kinect Wall Mount suggested by Greenlaw for the Kinects.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:09 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
Hi,

This is a really old thread, and the link referenced is pointing to I don't know what. In fact, the page says the item isn't available anyway. But in general, any mount with tripod compatible screw hole in the bottom should work.

BTW, Kinect 2 has a compatible mount already built-in.

Regarding the BT dongle, if you're running in Windows10, I think almost any modern BT dongle should work. Currently I just use the built-in BT in my laptop and it works fine. The built-in BT in my old Windows tablet worked fine too.

Before purchasing anything, I would reference more recent forum posts and the wiki for current info.

Good luck!

_________________
Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

Image
Watch a one minute excerpt on Vimeo now!


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