Motion Tracking via Ethernet

  • I am looking to create a "Mortal Engine" like dance piece.  Is it possible to use a (security) camera connected via in Isadora to do motion tracking?  If yes, then is the following a good camera choice:

    Vivotek  IP8172

    Spec:  1/2  Progressive CMOS
    Resolution:  2560 X 1920
    Focal Length:   f = 2.8 ~ 12 mm
    Compression:  H.264, MJPEG & MPEG-4

    Image Settings:

    • Adjustable image size, quality and bit rate
    • Time stamp, text overlay, flip & mirror
    • Configurable brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance, exposure control, gain, backlight compensation, privacy masks
    • Scheduled profile settings

    If motion capture over ethernet is not an option, then given a distance from the camera to the computer of approximately 25' - 30' what is the best connection choice to transfer a camera image with the least amount of noise to the computer (MAC)?  (e.g.  Composite (RCA) to DV (USB) converter), BNC, etc


  • Dear thomasd,

    Isadora does not directly speak with Ethernet based cameras. But a good quality BNC cable will be fine for 25 - 30 feet. You can then choose the video input device of your choice. DV is usually the worst in terms of latency.
    Hope that helps,

  • I have not experienced limit with BNC cables. We have it on the drum, maybe 50m.

    We did run live video signal from 300m high tower + 200m to venue using fibre-optics for reliability and quality. However only rental for this setup costs arm and leg.
    I have used USB webcam 25m away with active repeaters great and 50m cat5 cable with baluns VGA(comp).
    Also good S-video cable is sure for 10m at least.
    I have not done much testing with multiple capture products, but Matrox MXO2 works very well quality and latency wise. Security cam connected via S-video at 720p runs with 2-5 frames latency to Isadora. (BTW even better to Modul8; 1-3 frames late good for lipsync).

  • Thank you both for the feedback.  After looking through the archives I saw Mark's post on using an old Sony which reminded me that I have an old Canon XL1S gathering dust.   Today I called Spencer Camera and they will convert it to an IR only camcorder for $300.  I did a test and Isadora sees the device and I also get a video signal in Isadora.  Once converted, I am hoping to use this camera as my IR input device for motion tracking.

    Question: If I use the Canon's composite signal (instead of dv out signal) into the Matrox MX02-- based on Vanakaru's reply-- this will have approx a 2-5 frame latency in Isadora.  Is it correct that this approadh will result in a smaller frame latency that going dv out to firewire in?
    Does anyone know if the Canopus ADVC-110 provide approx the same latency as the Matrox MX02?  

  • I have used security cams and DSLR(via HDMI) with MXO2 and Dazzle Firewire. The latency difference is clear. Same with iSight Firewire.Firewire DV is very CPU hungry.

    BTW when you convert your Canon XL1S let them check the capasitors. These tend to dry out over time. 
  • Izzy Guru

    If you are still looking to get a ethernet camera into isadora the IPCAM2SYPHON may help. But I can't tell about the delay you have there.


  • Try this, it has manual settings, is IR ready and easy to mount. You can get very cheap ultr wide lenses for it and it also does HDSDI OR Composite over BNC, much better than a camcorder with locking BNC connections and it never turns off. With a 150 dollar black magic capture you can get low latency SD OR HDSDI. I have used a few of these and they are perfect for tracking. If you are clever you can also remote the settings but I did this with OF not Izzy. Use a lens calculator to see what you need to use to get the width you need from the right distance. Grab a an IR Lamp and you can do all the tricks from mortal engine (although Izzzy might not pull them off). With all this your are still about the same price as the camera mod and you have some pro (ISH) gear. Best of luck