[ANSWERED] PTZ Cam and Isadora
laurentR last edited by laurentR
Back with my PTZ Cam story...
First about my previous post, for different reasons but mainly the lack of rehersal time, I decide not to take the risk of trying the full NDI set on this project... The other reason been the lack of money ! So I finally bought a much cheaper PTZ camera, the Marshall CV610-U3, wich should be good enough for our use. But now I am trying to control it from Isadora, wich is another story!
I am using a USB to RS232 converter that I already own, plugged to a RS232/RS485 converter I just bought, plugged 2 wire to the bottom of the camera not really knowing what I was doing, and surprisingly a little software call " HuddleCamHD Control " is perfectly mannaging the camera without any complicate settings !
But in Isadora, I am not that succesfull. As I said before I have used long time ago a nice User actor for Canon VC-C4, but it does not seems to work, and Javi puted here his own but for Visca control.
I am thinking, if this HuddleCamHD software is managing it, means my connection is good, and there should be a way to do it with Isadora.
I guess I should send the right Serial Data to get an action from the cam, but don't know where I can find the " List" of commands needed...
laurentR last edited by laurentR
I update as I progress ! :
After searching for the magic " list of command lines" I quickly realize it was a kind of " dynamics commands" needed, and found a good tutorial about Pelco protocols, and understand now more or less the meaning of this mysterious lines like "A0 00 00 04 20 00 AF 2B" !!!
I am now able to move up and down an zoom my camera! Champagne!
I believe I should soon be able to create a patch and also record and call Presets...
Hello, I am back with my story...
I finally managed to control PTZ moves and presets records and call in Pelco-P, wich is really cool, but I can't find why I am failing with Focus and Iris control.
For focus far, I believe I should use A0 00 00 80 00 00 AF 2B and for focus near A0 00 01 00 00 00 AF 2B . But as a result, I get nothing with focus far command, and focus near command do just the contrary, focusing the infinite...
And about Iris control, I can't find any information about command lines.
However, the physical joystick is controling perfectly both of these functions, connected the same way with same protocol, so there must be a clue... If anyone has an idea?
I was in a similar situation: I wanted to control the OSD menu of a CCTV camera with Isadora and the camera had the option of two protocols (Pelco-D and Pelco-P). The information I found on both protocols was not very detailed and finally I bought a remote control compatible with the Pelco D protocol. For the control of the camera I had acquired an IP to RS232 adapter and what I did was connect the remote control through the adapter to Isadora and use the TCP actor. In this way, through the monitor I could see the message sent by the remote. Maybe you can connect the joystick to Isadora through the serial port and see what messages it sends.
Also in zoom and focus you have to take into account the speed byte.
In case it helps you, I leave you a file about Pelco-P
Thank you Jandraka. It's funny, the morning before your post, I had this idea of plug my joystick directly on the serial port and use the Isadora monitor window to watch wich message was sent. As usual, I feel very stupid not thinking about that sooner! So I am now able to control all the function thru Isadora! I still need to study about speed and other subtleties, but the main function I need are there! I also realize that Pelco-P and Pelco-D can actually both working and cohabit, and I think in my case, with only one cam, it does not change that much to use one or the other...
You're both brilliant :)
Maybe we could use a Knowledgebase Article on this topic, eh? I'll add it to our list.
Thank you Woland ;-)
If my PTZ control actor seems good enough to share in the end, may be I can put it here if it can help someone, cause it can work with any cam able to deal with Pelco protocol...
I contacted Marshall hotline to try to find some more informations about Pelco protocol, Iris and shutter speed control, they nicely answered by sending me the user manual of the camera... Wich I already examine of course! I answered explaining again and more precisely, I'm waiting for a answer...
I don't know what you mean by "iris and shutter speed control" but for iris control I have the commands. I think the speed parameter is for pan and tilt basically. I hope this helps.
A0 00 08 00 00 00 AF 07
A0 00 04 00 00 00 AF 0B
Thank you Jandraka. Yes, that's the command I was using for iris, but the reaction of the camera Iris is quite strange... Anyway that's also the same information that Marshall hotline finally answer me, and they also told me " Pelco doesn't have commands for shutter speed control " . I think I red somewhere that Visca protocol was controlling it... But I will do without for this project, what I got is good enough!
I have to find a PTZ camera that can be used by the actors (with no technical knowledge) so I would like to program it into Isadora so they just have to press spacebar and that's it.
I see a lot of options of PTZ camera's.
In your experience what was the most stable one and the easiest to debug if there is a problem. (I won't be able to tour with it)
Are there camera's you would never use again? And why?
With kind regards
liminal_andy last edited by
@gertjanb one of the things we are looking at right now (quite literally, the controller is in my lap) is the transmission of VISCA over StreamWeaver (specifically StreamWeaver Lite, which is about to launch). This would allow you to forward your control commands to remote systems. Even if we decide this isn't the way to go, you could potentially have the remote patches controlled by a master Isadora sending OSC to progress the scenes, for example, versus having your actors do the progression. I've been trying to verify the VISCA-IP transmission, can keep you posted on how that goes. We know it can work on some higher end controller camera pairs, but I'm looking into full compatibility in the general case. Because StreamWeaver does not require a port forward, it can be nice to do this versus running PTZ gateways through the public internet.
I would prefer a system as described above where you send serial messages to the camera. With OSC I would need an other software so that is one extra step where it can go wrong.
This is a show where the actors stream from home. and there is no technician around. (it will be a show for schools and will be streamed multiple times a day but there is no budget to pay for a touring technician. So I have to make it as simple as possible)
So I want them to just connect everything and open Isadora. The settings and position of the camera will be programmed for every scene so they just have to worry about pressing space bar to go to the next scene.
so that's why I'm looking for a camera that is reliable and easy to use for them. (= Isadora does the work)
liminal_andy last edited by liminal_andy
@gertjanb Makes sense. The dream in my mind (in general, not for your specific use) is to get Isadora transmitting VISCA-IP out to LAN (and thus StreamWeaver), then having remote StreamWeaver on a different LAN locally rebroadcast the VISCA-IP commands to local cameras, giving remote operators the PTZ control in a fully decentralized workflow. The result could be non-linear using whatever inputs the Izzy patch is using, or fully serialized from the single Izzy cue list. I will need to learn more about how Isadora would need to be configured for that use, as the main issue I'm having is with the various controllers and the unique ways they interface with LAN.
@gertjanb Can't tell a lot about PTZ cam. My previous experience was years ago with Canon VC-C50 and VC-C4 and I am now about to use for a show a Marshall CV610-U3W-V2 , wich I choose mainly because it was the cheapest I found ( 1200€) with the features I needed , like a 10x zoom. It can be control in Pelco P or D, and Visca thru a USB link direct to the computer that also transport the video. But I was not able to detect the port in Isadora even with the driver they provide, and the video has a slight delay that I can't bear. I was anyway planing to use serial port adaptater, paired with a joystick, to use both Isadora and manual control.
About stability, I can be wrong but I have the feeling that this king of surveillance camera in this range of price ( above a 1000 €/$ ) are made to be strong and reliable, and I don't see what kind of bug can happen... But I may be change my opinion within 2 weeks of intensive rehersal and will come back to tell you!
mark last edited by
Because I want Isadora to be a strong player when it comes to remote performance, this is something I am interested to support with new modules, comm protocols, etc.
From what I've ready above, VISCA seems to be a widely used standard -- though I can see how a serial connection as @GertjanB mentioned would be in many ways easier and just as powerful.
But what cameras, realistically, will people out there be using for this? The Sony cameras are pretty pricey, though maybe that's the way to go because the image quality would seem to be very good.
In any case, I am following this thread with great interest. Let's see if we can zero in on a means to support this kind of performance.
@GertjanB -- since you have a pending project, I invite you to write me personally about this. Maybe we need to have a video-call to talk it over.
mark last edited by
So the least expensive VISCA capable PTZ camera. It seems that the company PTZOptics is a kind of go to, and is used for broadcast applications, but even the cheapest model (US$1599) is still quite expensive for lower-budget shows.
When I search B&H for VISCA, the cheapest entry -- AViPAS AV-1080 3G-SDI -- comes in at US$650.
I see various security web cams for as little as US40, but none of them use VISCA and generally they use a non-open protocol that isn't even published in the manual. So I would rule those out.
Am I missing something? Are there less expensive PTZ cameras out there that our users could use? I'm ready to commit to getting a VISCA capable camera so that we can add VISCA control to Isadora. But I'd love some input from anyone who knows more than me.
I also found the Logitech PTZ camera. (±900€) But I haven looked into depth into it to see if it is controllable. (I'm currently working on two other projects)
@mark We are now writing the dossier and looking for money for the project. When we found the money and I have one I'll let you know. If all goes well we start in December.
bonemap last edited by
PTZ cameras are one device option to look at. I am thinking perhaps the proliferation of gimbals is another - somewhat related device - that can be considered for Izzy plugin development. I have a DJI Ronin M and a Ronin S gimbal and just a quick comparison of cost suggest these possibly provide good value and flexibility compared to the PTZ camera lineup - admittedly they are a BYO camera option. The PTZ cameras appears to have some shared protocol, but the diversity of gimbal makes and models are likely all proprietary. Still I would definitely use an Isadora Plugin that implemented gimbal control as an alternative to acquiring a PTZ camera. Specifically because the gimbal allows any number of camera types to be mounted and offer comparable functionality to PTZ.
Just a thought.