RGBD Sequences in Maya
Tuesday October 08th 2013, 9:22 am
Filed under: Kinect

This will be expanded soon. In the meantime—can you edit the camera position of an RGBD Toolkit sequence in Maya?

1. You have a virtual camera in Maya that you can place however you want, so the simple answer is: yes.

2. However! If you shot the RGBD scene with a real-life moving camera, then your material has real-life camera movement permanently baked into it. If you want to work in Maya and freely reposition a virtual camera, best to shoot the real-life scene on a tripod.

3. Unless! You want to be really clever and use match-move software (Maya and After Effects both come with trackers) to track the calibrated RGB video from the DSLR camera. (Kinect depth images are useless for that kind of tracking; way too weird-looking for match-move software to understand.) You could then create a virtual camera in Maya that matches the real-life camera you shot the scene with. Then anything you animate in Maya moves in sync with your original recording. (You’re still stuck with the original real-life camera move, however–remember that’s always permanently baked into the RGBD data.)

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Depth Camera Roundup
Tuesday October 01st 2013, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Kinect

Cameras that can use…

1. …either OpenNI (PrimeSense) or Microsoft drivers:

  • Microsoft Kinect 1 for Xbox (original version) … $80
  • Notes: You can’t beat the original on price and flexibility–although it has the noisiest depth data, and it always needs to be plugged into AC power. I’ve heard that it’s possible to open it up and cut the power to the little motorized platform, after which it’ll run off USB alone.

    2. …only the newest OpenNI drivers, or Microsoft drivers:

  • Microsoft Kinect 1 for Windows (revised version) … $250
  • Notes: Despite the higher price, the Kinect 1 for Windows is practically the same hardware as the Kinect 1 for Xbox. It comes with a license to sell commercial software written with the MS drivers, which isn’t really relevant to most filmmakers. Although the very latest release of the OpenNI drivers can work with the Kinect for Windows, many apps haven’t been updated to support this yet.

    3. …only OpenNI drivers:

  • Asus Xtion (all versions) … $150
  • Primesense Carmine (all versions) … $200
  • Notes: The Xtion gets cleaner depth info than the original Kinect 1 for Xbox, but I can’t recommend it for everyone because it has problems with Windows and USB3. The Carmine is supposed to be excellent, although I haven’t tried one myself yet–I will soon. Neither the Xtion nor the Carmine needs AC power; they can run off USB alone.

    4. …only Microsoft drivers:

  • Microsoft Kinect 2 (probably) … $400?
  • Notes: We don’t know much about the Kinect 2 yet, but it uses a completely different sensor than the one in the Kinect 1, Xtion, and Carmine. It’s supposed to be lower-resolution, but a lot cleaner.

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