|Please note that this is a BETA version of the document. All information presented is correct but we are working on improving the details.
Back to Tracked Camera Compounds
In this document, we discuss how to set up external and internal input using TrackedCam compounds.
- External input is usually live input coming from a studio camera, but it can come from other sources as well (e.g.: tracking device, audio device).
- Internal input comes from inside Aximmetry after importing a source file, therefore no external hardware is required for it. These are usually pre-recorded videos and tracking data, though they can be audio recordings as well.
For all Tracked Camera compounds, you will find the INPUT panel on the INPUTS control board, after importing the compound.
In the below example, we imported the following compound:
INPUTS Control Board Content
After navigating to the INPUTS control board, you will see a lot of panels.
Each row of panels starting with an INPUT # panel corresponds to a single Input. Additional panels - without numbers in their names - correspond to all the inputs.
In this article, we will discuss the INPUT # panel.
If you are looking for other panel settings on the INPUTS control board, these articles will be helpful:
Or just simply follow the Tracked Camera Workflow category.
INPUT # Panel
You can turn each input On or Off with the power button icon on the panel. This will save your PC's resources, for example, if you have eight INPUT panels, but for the production you only need six, then you can turn off the other two.
External (Live) Input
External input can mean any input that is received from external hardware (e.g. camera, microphone, tracking device, another computer) preferably via cables (e.g. via SDI, SMPTE2110, NDI, etc.).
On the INPUTS control board, if the INPUT # panel is selected, you can see the input options on the right side of the screen in the Pin Values tab.
In the case of TrackedCam Compounds, the most important input devices on the INPUT # panel are the Camera Device and the Tracking Device.
By default, Mapped #1 is the default input for both of them, but this will only work if you have mapped any input to the #1 ID.
More on mapping devices here.
More on supported inputs here:
Select AUTO for Aximmetry to automatically learn the input resolution and framerate. You can specifically set an arbitrary resolution and frame rate if you need to.
NOTE: With older capture card models the AUTO feature may not work. If you are using AUTO mode, and cannot see any video input, then you can try manually specifying the input resolution and framerate.
The correct order of setting up a tracking device is as follows once you already finished setting up your Camera Device:
- Define the Tracking Device
- Define the Calibration Profile in Aximmetry - if needed - (more on this at Calibration Profile)
- Check and set the Tracking Delay for the Tracking Device (more on this at Delays)
If you've used Aximmetry Basic Calibrator or Aximmetry Camera Calibrator to calibrate your camera lens and or tracking device, then select the calibration profile file you've created here.
If your Professional Camera Tracking or Object Tracking system offers calibration solutions and you choose to use their solutions, then you do not have to specify the Calibration Profile parameter.
Zoom Device is a secondary tracking device that provides additional tracking data in combination with the Tracking Device. There are three use cases for this parameter:
- specifying third-party zoom encoder devices to receive additional lens data,
- specifying PTZ cameras' tracking data stream when PTZ cameras are tracked with additional tracking devices to determine their position,
- specifying the same tracking device that is specified at the Tracking Device parameter to be able to independently adjust the Tracking Delay and Zoom Delay parameters for it.
You can share tracking data input between multiple computers by forwarding it to one or more computers (e.g. in the case of a Multi-Machine setup).
Turn the Tracking Forward parameter On to forward tracking data from your computer to another.
Tracking Fwd Port
To receive the tracking data forwarded from your computer to another, you need two pieces of information: your computer's IP address and the UDP port number specified by you at this parameter.
Use Audio Device
Turn the Audio Device parameter On to receive an audio input.
Select here your audio input device.
Turn this ON if you would like to set Aximmetry's timecode master to this input.
In Color Space
Aximmetry will automatically detect the color space, but If there is a specific color space you would like to use, you can select it here.
In Gamma Curve
Same as Color Space, but for Gamma Curve.
You can generate and import Vignette masks to compensate for the Vignetting of the camera lens and improve your keying.
To learn more about this, please refer to How Vignette Correction could be useful for you.
No Input Image
The default no-input image is this:
You can browse your PC for a different image with this option.
Manual Lens Parameters
Manual Lens: by turning this parameter On, you can manually overwrite the lens data received from your tracking device or lens encoders.
Manual Zoom: by adjusting this parameter, you can manually adjust the field-of-view \ focal length values of your tracking data.
Manual Focus: by adjusting this parameter, you can manually adjust the focus distance value of your tracking data.
NOTE: For it to take effect, the render compound has to support this feature and the virtual camera has to have a shallow focus depth.
You can specify delay values for various inputs. Values are in frames.
Camera Delay: sets a delay value for the video input. Do not adjust this parameter, unless it is required.
Tracking Delay: sets a delay value for the tracking data.
Zoom Delay: sets a delay value only for the lens data.
Please refer to this point in the document to learn more about its use case scenarios: Zoom Device
Audio Dev Delay: sets a delay value for the audio device's input.
Using Auto Delay
From version 2023.2, Aximmetry offers a new feature: the ability to automatically detect the correct tracking (Detect Tracking Delay) and zoom delay (Detect Zoom Delay) values.
You can find these features among the INPUT# control panel's Pin Values.
To use it, you will need a red, blue, or green reference point in your studio. It could be any flat object or detail of even red, blue, or green color. In the example, we chose a red circle as our target.
NOTE: It is recommended to use a flat target for reliable results.
NOTE: It is recommended to choose a color different from our background.
NOTE: It is recommended to use a higher shutter speed to avoid motion blur.
NOTE: It is recommended to place the target at a reasonable distance from the camera (avoid placing it too near, i.e. less than a meter away).
You may use one of these 3 images as reference points: (Click on one of the 3 circles for the full-resolution image).
You can show the image on your smartphone or on any other screen. Or print it out like in the example below.
Choose the color of the target in the Detect Target Color dropdown.
Switch On the detector you want to use. (Detect Tracking Delay, or Detect Zoom Delay)
A message will appear.
After the target is detected by Aximmetry a new message appears depending on if you are making Tracking Delay detection or Zoom Delay detection.
When it detects the delay value the following message appears and the value of the delay will be set automatically for the corresponding pin.
When using a multi-machine setup, you can select if this input should be a local one or a remote one.
More on the Multi-Machine setup here.
Internal (Pre-recorded) Input
Internal input means that instead of a live input from an external device (e.g. studio camera, tracking device, audio device), you use pre-recorded footage (e.g. video, tracking data, audio, image, image sequence, etc.) inside Aximmetry. This can be helpful for different reasons. For example, there is no need for the presence of your talent(s) for setting up the virtual scene, lights, etc.
Aximmetry is capable not only of using a wide range of pre-recorded footage and data but also of capturing them for various purposes (e.g. post-production).
You can learn more about pre-recorded footage and data here: How to Record Camera Tracking Data
Setting Up Internal Video and Tracking Input
In order to use a pre-recorded video input and tracking data with a TrackedCam compound, go to the PLAYBACK control panel on the INPUTS control board.
Select your pre-recorded video file on the Pin Values tab. Here you can add pre-recorded video inputs for every INPUT # control panel you have.
NOTE: You only have to add the video file. Aximmetry will automatically import the corresponding tracking data from the folder of the video file based on the video file's name (the video file and the tracking data file must share the same exact file name).
Once you are ready, press the Play button on the PLAYBACK control panel.
Navigate to the FLOW editor in the Menu bar.
With the right button of your mouse click on the Flow Editor's background, then select Insert Module... and add a Sequencer module.
Make the following connection with the TrackedCam compound:
Connect the Tracks pin of the Sequencer module to the TrackedCam compound's Playback Seq # pin. (In our case it is Playback Seq 1.)
Double-click on the Sequencer module to open the Sequence Editor panel. Use Space to start and pause the video.
Here you can learn more about the use of the Sequencer and Sequence Editor.
This will start playing the imported video and its tracking data on the Billboard.
Of course, the same exact steps should be done with the pre-recorded video as if it were a live input, for example, checking and adjusting delay values, keying, setting up the studio mask etc.
Continue to Keying
Once you finished setting up your inputs, you can move on to the Keying: