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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
UPDATE 8/18/09:
TrackSkull RELEASED!!!

Visit here for details:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/annou...motion-capture-animated-props.html#post706567


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So I've decided to reveal what I have been working on.

I've called it TrackSkull and it allows you to use an IR camera (with funny head piece) and record your head's motion and transfer it to VSA.

The best way to describe it is to just show you... so here is a demo video. I'm a bit camera shy, so I had my dead friend stand in for me.
YouTube - TrackSkull Demo by MonkeyBasic.com

IR Camera: TrackIR 4:pRO - Premium head tracking view control immersion for flight racing and action simulator
Software: My own - (In progress)

Thanks go to evilbob and kennyw76 for their help, ideas, and suggestions.

So what does everyone think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice job. Nice to have a simple user interface for this.
I looked into all the head tracking stuff about a year ago and developed my own system for free based on a cheapo webcam. The TrackIR was the first thing I looked at but I decided to find a cheaper way. There is a ton of open source stuff out there to choose from coming out of virtual reality controls for flight simulator programs. Basically just face or head positions translated into joystick or mouse movements. Mine looks for a single black dot (sticky) on my face.
I looked into a bunch of different suggestions (one suggestion was even to try using the Wii remote hack). Only problem I found was that most systems only did a X,Y,Z translation. Which I'm sure with a bit of work, I could get to work. The TrackIR has built in Yaw, Pitch & Roll tracking which made my job very easy. Plus you can't beat the free SDK!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree that this would make programming my skulls oh so much easier. I would for sure be interested. What about jaw movement, don't suppose that is captured also? That would make it completely over the top.
I'm open to any ideas... I personally just re-sing the song and let VSA interpret it.
Very Nice!
How much?
The software is FREE, but the TrackIR is going to cost you.
The best price I found was here: TheHumanSolution.com - Natural Point TrackIR 4 Pro Head Tracker Mouse for $114.00 (price changes daily) plus you can $10 off with coupon 'ergonomics' and free shipping.
So you would pay $104.00 shipped!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is really quite exciting (and not too expensive, either)!
So what does this software do in relation to VSA (ie: does it gather the information and then you import the info into VSA, or something else)?
When (roughly) do you think the software will be ready for download?
It is similar to parlay (if you have used that). It will create a text file that can be imported into VSA. You will set the servo limits and channel when you export the data.

Hope to be done in a month or so... I'm open to have people beta test as well before the offical release (if they don't mind some bugs :) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Haha... I've seen lots of Johnny Lee.

I could have used any IR camera (including the Wii remote), but it would have required more development, especially trying to interpret the 3 dot image. (You need 3 dots to do Yaw, Pitch, and Roll). TrackIR came with what I needed already included. Less work for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So what is the trackIR ?I see the pictures but what does it do?it just records/tracks the movement and puts it in data form?or is it a powered mount that makes the head move?And why does your guy remind me of Ron Howard?
TrackIR is a hardware system consisting on an IR Camera and the head piece (with 3 reflectors) that you see on the Wii hat. It is used to track the movement and send to data to my software. A person would typically be wearing the hat.
As far as Ron Howard... yeah, don't see it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Very Nice ! if your taking Beta tester requests, I would like to give ya a hand! and hopefully some good feedback.
I can always use additional testers. Send me an email at the address at the end of the video.
What I don't understand is what makes the TrackIR camera different from any other camera. All cameras see IR, so what does this system do differently?
It's not just the camera that makes it different. It's more of the product as a whole. The hardware behind the camera allows for 120 frames per second capture rate. As well has all of the software to interface with it to interface with easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
That depends on how flexible the SDK is. Is it hard wired for three reflectors?
I haven't attempted to add additional points. I believe you can go down to 1 or 2 points, but how well would ja person's jaw movement translate to a skulls jaw movement? (Sitting in a meeting right now) I can see how a person's jaw actually doesn't move very much as they speak. Hmmm....

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Just got my TrackIR in the mail also. I can't wait to see the final results of this! If it works even half as well as I'm hoping, I'll definitely have to send a donation your way for the hard work and creativity of this idea! I'll keep my eyes open...:D
Shoot me an email (the address is at the end of the video) and I will you a copy of the Beta version for you to try out.

As far as the idea, I can't take credit for it. Systems like this have been out before. I (hopefully) just simplified things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
TheHumanSolution.com - Natural Point TrackIR 4 Pro Head Tracker Mouse for $114.00 (price changes daily) plus you can $10 off with coupon 'ergonomics' and free shipping.
So you would pay $104.00 shipped!
Looks like they dropped the price to $99.99, which means you can get this now for $89.99 shipped with the above coupon!!!

The reason for the price drop is they have just released the TrackIR 5. Both TrackIR 4 and TrackIR 5 "should be" fully supported by TrackSkull, since the SDK that I use is written by the same company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Differences

If I were you, I'd save your money and go with TrackIR 4... here are the differences:

Horizontal Field of View
TrackIR 4 = 46°
TrackIR 5 = 51.7°

Raw Sensor Resolution
TrackIR 4 = 355 x 288 *
TrackIR 5 = 640 x 480

Sub-pixel Resolution
TrackIR 4 = 1/20th pixel
TrackIR 5 = 1/150th pixel

Reporting Resolution
TrackIR 4 = 7,100 x 5,760
TrackIR 5 = 96,000 x 72,000

Resolution/Horizontal Field of View Degree
TrackIR 4 = 154 subpixels/degree
TrackIR 5 = 1850 subpixels/degree
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I just wanted to give everyone a quick update. The project is coming along very well... Plenty of bugs have been fixed and even more have been added. :) I'm continuously expanding the possibilities of TrackSkull with features I never even thought of adding. I have a great group of people beta testing right now and would not be anywhere close to finish without them. I'm looking to have a release candidate available soon (I really have to put a stop to new features). So keep your eyes open.

Also, I have some other projects in the works... should be a busy year. :)
 
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