[Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.7.2 UPDATED May 23, 2013

[Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.7.2 UPDATED May 23, 2013

Postby Chris Fullmer » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:13 am


UPDATES v 1.7 Nov. 19, 2009
  • Added the ability to export frames to scenes
  • Script now remembers user settings from SketchUp session to session

This plugin will record your navigation movements and export them as a series of images. You can then put them together into a movie using something like Quicktime Pro.

[flash=1024,768]http://www.youtube.com/v/8d90--LV9FI&hd=1&fs=1[/flash]

It is installed in Plugins > Chris Fullmer Tools > Camera Recorder
It also installs a toolbar - sorry to everyone who has toolbar frustrations.

Usage:
Start recording
Navigate around the model
Stop Recording
Erase recording if it is not what you wanted.
Export recording if you want to keep it.
Play animation if you want to see what was recorded before exporting
Draw Points - adds construction points to the model that represent the camera and target for each frame. There is no way to edit these yet.

Exporting asks you to paste in a folder path, an image basename, and select either jpg or png.

I'll try to get a video put up soon that explains it better.

The export folder MUST EXIST already. This plugin will not create a folder for you, and it does not check if it exists. If it does not exist, the script will not export the images succesfully.

UPDATES v 1.5 Nov. 11, 2009
  • Fixed the lag bug that occured in the beginning of each recording
  • Added more user feedback when buttons are pressed in the wrong order
  • Added the abilty to control image output height, width and anti-aliasing
  • Added better file names so that more software will correctly order the image frames
  • Added a recording playback button, so that recordings can be played back before exporting.
  • Added a tool to place constructions points at the location of each frame, with another construction point where the camera is pointing.
  • Added some new icons, but they still need help.
UPDATES v 1.7 Nov. 19, 2009
  • Added the ability to export frames to scenes
  • Script now remembers user settings from SketchUp session to session

1.7.2 2013-23-2013
  • Extension Class Compatibility

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Last edited by Chris Fullmer on Thu May 23, 2013 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Ecuadorian » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:20 am

Chris, I appreciate very much that you chose to hang around with us instead of accepting that job in the NASA.

Thank you! :thumb:

UPDATE: Here's my first try with it:
output.gif
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Chris Fullmer » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:39 am

Cool, glad it worked.

And Nasa....if only they offered me a job! That would be cool.

In the script, I think I have noticed that it lags in the very beginning, no matter how fast I start navigating after pressing the record button.

That might be a bug I'll need to look into.

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby TIG » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:02 am

Chris

Thanks - this tool is a great idea...

I noticed the initial 'lag' too - if you know how long it is then why not simply ignore the first NNN frames ?

I know you name the images with an integer +e.to_s and increment it... but if you added a suffix to the image name, e.g. and then use .next to increment the string... then the files sort by name properly...
Code: Select all
img_name=img_name+"0000"
### inside do loop...
  img_full_name = File.join( imgfolder, img_name+"."+img_type )
  imag_name=img_name.next ### makes "image0000" into "image0001" etc etc
###...
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Mike Lucey » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:21 am

Thanks Chris for sticking with Camera Recorder. This will be a ruby that I will use a lot as it will be a great way of taking am SU model to the iPhone.

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Rich O Brien » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:46 am

This script is exactly what i need. Was considering 3D pdf plugin but this will work even better for what i do

thanks so much for all your hard work :thumb:
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Chris Fullmer » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:57 pm

@Everyone - Thanks! This was a fun script to write. Glad you like it so far.

@TIG - Good to know about the .next method. I have not used that before. That would make for better filenames. I know quicktime is smart enough to figure out my file names, but I don't think Photoshop is (unless CS4 finally figured it out).

So that will be a good fix. And I'll have to look into the initial lag. I'm not sure if it is always the same amount of lag.

Thanks for looking at this one,

Chris

PS - the icons are just placeholders. But I don't know when I'll have time to make decent new ones. If someone wants to make a few, feel free. Otherwise you'll all have to live with the ugly ones I put in.
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby pilou » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:18 pm

Metro Goldwyn Maeyer ;)
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby plot-paris » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:28 pm

great little tool. now at last I can put my space navigator to some real use :)

I especially like the fact, that the plugin only saves the camera position and orientation, but ignores layer visibility, shadow settings etc. thus one can switch off everything that slows down the model, record the camera motoin, then switch on all the fancy stuff and export the animation.

I have got two ideas to make this tool truely powerful (kwistenbiebel would love it):

- option to export the camera motion as a path - camera path and target path, either with a vertex for every frame or as a 'smoothed' version via splines...

- a replay button to review the camera motion, ideally with the option to take changes to the camera path into account

like that one could create an animation (e.g. with space navigator) intuitively and then refine it manually by accessing the camera path...
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby modelhead » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:24 pm

Icons for you.....
example.jpg
Give them a try...if they are not suitable just toss them...cheers!!
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Chris Fullmer » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:32 pm

Great Modelhead, thanks! I'll include those in the next release.

As for exporting the path, etc. Yes, that would be cool. I can export the path easy enough. Its just creating an intuitive, useful way to edit it, and then have the plugin recognize it to update the recording. So I'll keep thinking about it.

And a replay button is in order here I think. I'll see if I can get that included in the next release also.

Thanks for the comments and encouragement folks.

Also, a big thanks to Jim for a bit of help with the folders and paths!

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby TIG » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:59 pm

Here's some button pngs - they'll need renaming...
Recorder Icons.zip
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:04 am

Well its coming along pretty well so far. I've got the filename improvements implemented - thanks for the code TIG!

I've got it so it can replay the animation in SU. I fixed the pause at the beginning of the animation. I even made it export a series of construction points for the location and target of each frame.

But I still don't have a great way to make it so that you can alter the animation by moving the construction points. I have some ideas, but most seem like overkill so far.

Anyhow, we'll see if I come up with something that works before bedtime. Hopefully I'll have a new version posted, with a video within 6 or 7 hours.

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby solo » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:37 am

Dang!!

Thanks a bunch, this is why SU still rocks.
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0

Postby plot-paris » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:25 am

wow, that sounds brilliant, Chris. can't wait for the update! :bounce: (would you mind posting the date of the update in the title of this thread? that makes it easier to check).

about the path editing thing: it probably doesn't make too much sense to edit the position points one by one (if you've got 24 fps, that would mean a lot of work).

one solution might be to employ fredo's cubic bezier curve (with the necessity of installing that plugin though) and place control vertexes at a chosen interval (like once per second, setting the precision of the curve to fill in 24 edges between the control points).
that would of course result in a smoothing of the path and might lead to unwanted results, when the camera motion changed speed quickly at some point (because then the bezier curve will create weird loops).

maybe there could be different options (the smoothed path output via cubic bezier curve or a true path output with every vertex unchanged (e.g. polyline)).

would definitely be interesting to see the influence of the smoothing process on the final output. might make the whole animation a bit nicer (like steady shot with physical camera). on the other hand one might lose the particular feeling of the 'handmade' animation...

I have to say I am really excited about this plugin! thank you so much Chris, for doing this :thumb:
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:29 am

Yeah, all those thoughts about path smoothing are going through my head too. How to smooth it, but not too much, but a little.....etc.

Well for now I've added an option to show construction points at each frame and target. Its interesting to see for sure.

I don't know how to make the recorded path editable in a useful way...I'll keep thinking though.

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:32 am

UPDATED Nov 11, 2009
UPDATES v 1.5
  • Fixed the lag bug that occured in the beginning of each recording
  • Added more user feedback when buttons are pressed in the wrong order
  • Added the abilty to control image output height, width and anti-aliasing
  • Added better file names so that more software will correctly order the image frames
  • Added a recording playback button, so that recordings can be played back before exporting.
  • Added a tool to place constructions points at the location of each frame, with another construction point where the camera is pointing.
  • Added some new icons, but they still need help.

As promised, I got a chance to update this script tonight. The icons are silly. I added more icons to the toolbar since Modelhead and TIG provided some icons, so their packs didn't quite work entirely. So its a mish-mash of icons for now.
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby thomthom » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:11 am

Wow. You're steaming! :thumb: :thumb:

(p.s. maybe update the thread title to reflect 1.5?)
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.0 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:16 am

thomthom wrote:Wow. You're steaming! :thumb: :thumb:

(p.s. maybe update the thread title to reflect 1.5?)


Thanks Thom, Title updated! I've had a little down time at work and free time at night, so I've been able to spend some time on this. Its been fun to write.

I also made a video right now, but it is still processing on youtube. So in the morning I'll try to get it posted to the first post in the thread. Or it might be up in an hour or so if anyone wants to see it beofre I post it:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisFullme ... d90--LV9FI
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby plot-paris » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:29 am

hey Chris. I am afraid, the buttons of the toolbar end up blank.

the zip file, you posted contains a ruby file called 'clf_center_on_origin.rb' and a folder with the Camera Recorder files.
within this folder there is the camera recorder ruby, several images and an empty folder called 'images'.
but no matter, where I placed the images (within the images folder. or the images folder directly in the plugins folder) it doesn't seem to be working :(
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Pixero » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:34 pm

Brilliant. Thanks! You know I've been ranting about the lack of animation tools in SU. What a great start.
Create curves looks very interesting. A lot of potential there.
Could you add a w,a,s,d key flying/walking camera tool since the walk tool is so bad? ;)
Also adjustable playing speed to watch it in slowmotion for finding problems or quirks.
Another way of getting precise camera movement would be to be able to position the camera for "key" frames and then have the script to add the inbetweens based on a given speed (meter/second). As I said LOTS of possibilities there...
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Ecuadorian » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:43 pm

I like where this is going. :D :thumb:

Pixero, I don't think this plugin is about new navigation controls, just recording what you see, at least for now.

But if you do implement new navigation controls, Chris, perhaps C. Philips could contribute some game controller code from SketchyPhysics. :P
1019xbox360controller550x50.jpg
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby modelhead » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:14 pm

Here are the path and replay icons to match....
example2.jpg
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:56 pm

Hey, thats great Modelhead!

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby modelhead » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:47 pm

Last....I gave the start (green button)and stop (red button) a bit of shape so they are not so flat....cheers!
example3.jpg
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby TIG » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:54 pm

It motoring... :ecstatic:
What next ?
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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:09 pm

Next will be to save, export and import animations from one model to the next. I'm planning on writing simple csv files that can be easily written and read.

I'd love to improve the file save dialog window.

@Equadorian - Sketchyphysics has game controller code? If you install SP, you can control SU with a game controller? If so, then I would'nt need to include it in the script. You can start recording and then navigate with his controller and my plugin will still record it.

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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Mike Lucey » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:44 pm

Thanks for the video Chris. Hey you have quite a talent for voice overs, very natural with a nice flow and easy to follow :thumb:

Its looks like you have excellent colaborators coming on board for CR that will make it a super easy to use animation output tool.


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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby ely862me » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:07 am

Impressive!! Well done!

Thank you!


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Re: [Plugin] Camera Recorder v1.5 UPDATED 11-11-09

Postby Ecuadorian » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:27 am

Chris, the game controller code is there but the user must implement it. There are entire videogames made using SketchyPhysics.

Now I regret having sold my XBOX 360 wired controller. Oh, well.
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