Multiple projectors and live cameras
I am knew to this forum and fairly novice with Isadora.
I am working on a dance production that would utilize 3 projectors and 4 cameras.
What kind of cameras should I use and what kind of set up?
The control will be a Mac pro with 8GB ram.
Thanks for your comments.
Colour CCTV cameras are your best bet and best value for money.They have BNC outputs and then you need a capture card; blackmagic or similar.
First, you should be aware that there is a known limitation to using multiple cameras in Isadora: they cannot be of the same make and model. Furthermore, any DV camera (regardless of make an model) is considered to be "of the same type." So that means you can't connect four DV cameras into the system. I'm afraid that's not a very friendly limitation, but there it is.One solution for the four inputs is the Active Silicon LFG-4\. It has four video inputs built-in to the card, which is compatible with your Mac Pro.You must also consider that inputting four live streams at once is going to be relatively heavy on your CPU. You'll need to also consider if you can do full resolution or something less.
As far s the multiple video projectors, you'll need to install enough video cards in your system to give you four outputs: 1 for the Isadora User Interface (at least that would be a good idea) and 3 for the video projectors. Usually video cards have two outputs these days, so you'll probably need two video cards in your Mac Pro in total.I hope that helps,Mark
Thanks for all the wonderful advices.
I was not aware of the make/model limitation of the cameras.
At home as a test, I was able to connect 4 Unibrain Fire I cameras (same make/model) on my IMac . The cameras have not the greatest resolution, but it is still 640x480 and 30 frames per second.
Following Skulpture advice, using CCTV cameras, would each need to be from a different make/model?
Would boosting the ram (right now at 8MG) on the Mac Pro better support the 4 imputs?
I will look into the Active Silicon LFG-4.
Thanks again, and I am sure I will have more questions,
Dear Vincent,Increasing RAM won't help. Basically it's a CPU limitation, as the four streams need to be read from USB (or whatever source is being used), then decoded into a form that can be used by Isadora. This can be very heavy at high resolutions.Best Wishes,Mark
You would not need different cameras when using a capture device.That is only for DV and USB cameras.
Thanks! I will check the CPU to see how much power I have.
What would you consider High Resolution? 640x480 used to be high resolution but not anymore.
I contacted the company who makes the Active Silicon LFG-4, waiting for a quote.
Thanks for the support,
Thanks a lot.
In your opinion and experience, should I be better off using the Active Silicon LFG-4 with the CCTV cameras?
I appreciate your feebacks,
sohan last edited by
I am attempting to set up a system with 4 cameras in and 3 projectors out and am now looking in this direction because of budget.LFG-4 in an Sonnet PCIe thunderbolt expansion enclosure so that it can be used with a laptop.Anyone tried this setup with the LFG-4 running external?If you have some cash to spare...There is also the black magic decklink which accepts 4 x SDI inputs gracefully.or there is a Gigabit camera option, routing them through a 4+ port Intel NIC, which may be cheaper.Skulpture - have you any recommendation on CCTV's with interchange-able lenses?
Hi,I don't own any internal (or external) capture devices i'm afraid. I have only used the Blackmagic Quad a few times on show machines but not had access to the LFG-4 so I can't really comment. I know few users have used it in the past but I am not sure about the latest OS, etc.As for CCTV cameras I didnt know you could get them with interchangable lenses if I am honest. I've just used basic colour ones with BNC out. I used them mostly for IR tracking so as long as it had a manual focus I was happy.I will have a nosey online and try and find a few good ones.
One note on the LFG-4: I think they no do not support Windows 64 bit -- make sure to check with Active Silicon if you intend to work with the LFG-4 under Windows.Best,Mark
Mark & Skulpture
I just got a quote from active Silicon - $850 for the LFG-4.
I have contacted my IT department and working on getting a Mac pro quad core.
One question from them:
"Could you ask Mark if Isadora will recognize cameras that are inputted into the computer with an "AJA Kona" video capture card". That would alleviate the expense for the LFG-4 since we already have the AJA kona hardware.
Im pretty sure that the AJA Kona line doesn't support four simultaneous inputs like the LFG and BM products do.
I'll check with the IT people since I never seen the hardware.
I have a feeling MatthewH is right. I have heard of the name but have never read or seen anyone using them in the VJ or theatre/dance/interactive scene - this is probably the reason why.
Dear vbosseau,I have no idea about the AJA Kona. Maybe you should write them and ask if QT Player can capture from it. If it can, then it should work with Isadora. If not, then it most definitely won't.Best Wishes,Mark
I will look into it, and let you know what I find.