Capture : The logic

The hardest part of building a working capture system is the control interface. Camcorders have physical rec-buttons to mark start and end of storing data from the sensor. In an automated system a more complicated solution is required. Software interface is necessary. The interface needs to be able to control the basic recording on/off-functionality, but there are plenty more variables that have to be adjusted on the fly.

Even a basic modern camera has to be able to adapt to the operating environment. Current situation demands adjusting to light conditions and field depth. Most cameras have auto-focus and auto-iris processing units with motorized lens control. Additionally image quality can be improved using algorithms for pixel correction and motion compensation. Today’s cameras are complicated systems as is, but in the future control interface will be directly integrated into even more advanced signal processing.

For the professional user differerent kinds of tripods, rigs, dollys and cranes are available so getting just the right angle is possible. A motor pack can be used to accelerate the movements of the camera head and the rig arm. To integrate footage more easily to 3D effects in post-production rig motion data is captured or a 3D model used to control the camera movements. To use the technology for unrehearsed documentary style shoots the crane movements could also be controlled real-time with motion analysis algorithms.

The simplest application of motion analysis in movie production would be to use a motion sensor to start and stop capture when activity is detected in a specified zone in the picture. A more advanced system would follow the subjects movements with a PTZ head or other type of camera rig. Even more special system would actually crop the image according to rule of thirds automatically. Combinations for motion controlled capture systems do not really have limitations as long as there is an easy way to model the rules.

Again for the purposes of automated systems there must be easy to use tools for modeling all of the above specified functionality. In order to build such software the controlled interfaces should be available. That is often not the case as standardization has not been the priority of most of the broadcast vendors. Most storage devices can be controlled using RS-422 based control protocol, but other than that there really is mostly propriatory solutions available. It is understandable that the vendors and even the clients have preferred building barriers of entry rather than embracing open standards that would bring down prices and make more enhancements available.


Fideocam concept

Fideocam is a pioneer in automating video tools for personal experience capture.

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