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Video Capture

Started by KinzuaKid, February 14, 2022, 09:32:48 AM

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KinzuaKid

First off, I'm digging this plugin. I have a few projects I'm working on where this is a game changer. Has anyone else played with the Video Capture plugin? I've got it working...ish, and I'd love to compare notes.

JonB256

While I see an image in the Preview window, I don't have a matrix of any kind attached to check the output (yet).
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user

CaptainMurdoch

Quote from: KinzuaKid on February 14, 2022, 09:32:48 AMFirst off, I'm digging this plugin. I have a few projects I'm working on where this is a game changer. Has anyone else played with the Video Capture plugin? I've got it working...ish, and I'd love to compare notes.

What kind of issues are you running into?


Quote from: JonB256 on February 14, 2022, 12:44:22 PMWhile I see an image in the Preview window, I don't have a matrix of any kind attached to check the output (yet).

HTTP Virtual Display....   ;D

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Chris

KinzuaKid

Quote from: CaptainMurdoch on February 14, 2022, 12:54:43 PM
Quote from: KinzuaKid on February 14, 2022, 09:32:48 AMFirst off, I'm digging this plugin. I have a few projects I'm working on where this is a game changer. Has anyone else played with the Video Capture plugin? I've got it working...ish, and I'd love to compare notes.

What kind of issues are you running into?


Quote from: JonB256 on February 14, 2022, 12:44:22 PMWhile I see an image in the Preview window, I don't have a matrix of any kind attached to check the output (yet).

HTTP Virtual Display....  ;D
Not really having any confirmed "issues" at the moment, but I'm curious what variations people have tried with the setup. I have it running on a Pi3 with the latest FPP patched up all pretty, with a Logitech C920 webcam. I did find some tweaks on the Logitech camera configs specific to Debian that appear to help lagging, but the getting started was...painful. I couldn't get camera output at all until I reduced the input resolution from its native 1080 to a more sedate 640*480, and performance seems best the lower you go on the input side. Currently using 160*90@30FPS. That's a good fit for my 2*2 P5 setup. But I think I need to go a little bigger to really make it pop.

Video still likes to freeze randomly, which I'm attributing to the 60% CPU video capture seems to consume with nothing else going on. So a Pi4 is definitely in order. I'm curious if others have tried using a Beaglebone, seeing as how there's no standard USB input (could certainly try an adapter for that USB-B type plug), or something other than a webcam, since high resolution capture doesn't buy anything for me unless I replace my P5 matrix with a screen. That said, has anyone put an actual screen on the thing and what are the results? Has anyone used video capture in their show with the matrix already in use for other effects? If so, how did the overlay look? Did it return to normal operations cleanly when done? Has anyone already developed scripts for their own event handling? Does the functionality work as expected, or are there some "gotchas" discovered along the way?


This is a really nice little feature I wanted to try to implement last season but didn't have the time to devote to what I thought was going to be a long process. It wasn't, so it's definitely going in this year. Seeing as how documentation isn't particularly...widespread, I figure I'd take the pulse of those who have played with it more.

Kensington Graves

I just installed a Colorlight S4 sender in my rack that (I hope) will output the video capture to a 7x14 P5 matrix.  I'm still assembling the matrix, but I finally got the frame on wheels.

KinzuaKid

OK, so I did run into some trouble, but I suspect this is by design. I can get the video capture plugin working pretty well with a USB webcam, though it does suffer from periodic freezing on my 3B+. I'm chalking that up to high CPU usage on that older model.

Where it bombs spectacularly is when trying to use a PiCam (v1, the original 5MP version) connected to the camera port. In order to get that even detected by the system, I need to install the libcamera package(s), since the PiCam doesn't use the legacy v4l libraries. As soon as I do that, FPPD doesn't want to start. I'm guessing this is because the plugin goes the v4l route and v4l+libcamera cannot run at the same time on Debian.

If that's expected behavior (USB webcam support only), I can work with that. I do like the little PiCams though. That sensor is perfect for a built-in camera port cutout on a marquee. Additionally, it looks like v4l is replaced entirely by libcamera in the next version of Debian. FPP uses "Buster" (v10) and "Bullseye" (v11) installs libcamera by default. That might mean the plugin breaks under Bullseye without some tweaking. Will keep poking around with other webcams. Might need to pay a visit to the thrift stores for some older gear. I think the lower resolution webcams will be better for this application.

CaptainMurdoch

I found some good code examples at https://github.com/raspberrypi/libcamera-apps and we are switching to Bullseye for FPP v6.0, so I added a note to my ToDo list to look into converting the plugin to use libcamera.
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Chris

KinzuaKid

Quote from: CaptainMurdoch on February 21, 2022, 08:52:32 PMI found some good code examples at https://github.com/raspberrypi/libcamera-apps and we are switching to Bullseye for FPP v6.0, so I added a note to my ToDo list to look into converting the plugin to use libcamera.
That's pretty amazing. There's really nothing for me to do now but write some scripts and start building the new marquee. Guess I'll be first in line for 6.0. Can't wait!

dkulp

I've updated the plugin to use libcamera, but it also is COMPLETELY different than the old version.   Thus, it's not a simple update.   

Basically, instead of outputting the data to a specific channel range, it is now a Pixel Overlay Effect and will stick its data onto a PixelOverlayModel.   To use it, you will need to define a pixeloverlaymodel for whatever you are targeting.   To turn on/off the video capture, you need to configure the "Video Capture" Pixel Overlay effect.    

Anyway, libcamera  is VERY different than libv4l (in a lot of ways, way more limiting) and I'm not sure how well it will work.
Daniel Kulp - https://kulplights.com

KinzuaKid

Quote from: dkulp on March 05, 2022, 12:55:30 PMI've updated the plugin to use libcamera, but it also is COMPLETELY different than the old version.
I really to pay attention to notifications; I only saw this reply 4 months later because I was browsing. This is GREAT NEWS! I will be trying it in some interactive marquee prototypes here over the next month. I'm supremely confident we can make it work. I was able to get the dedicated camera interface mostly working by manually installing the modules before- though of course that meant FPP functionality wasn't quite there. Thanks a million!

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