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Thread: Ann: Ubercam 3 now available

  1. #1
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    Ann: Ubercam 3 now available

    I'm rolling out U3 as a series of updates. I know some of you need access to some of the new cameras pronto, and some of the other cameras, well, no one really uses anymore. So I'm starting with the most used cameras, and I'll be rolling them out one every week or two, depending on complexity.

    And I have a few new cameras and a few other toys I'll be throwing in the mix that as far as I know, don't exist at all in the industry *yet*. Those are all free updates for U3 owners.

    (U3 is a paid upgrade from 2.6, but it's cheap)

    These are ground-up rewrites, to address some conflicts between 2.x and LightWave 2018 and 2019, and in some cases I'm improving on some of the old algorithms with newer, faster ones, too. For example, at one point in the 2.x version, we were seeing forward only rendering around 3x faster than the standard render, and now it's closer to 6x faster.



    For more info, check us out here: https://liberty3d.com/ubercam

    Thanks!
    -Chilton

  2. #2
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    Thatīs great news, Chilton! Right now, if I understand correctly, only the basic VR Camera comes with 3.0, is that correct?
    Will the overhauled, possibly even in stereo, or at least functioning, with 20119 version of the "good old" spherical camera be part of 3.0 some day (soon...)?
    BTW, Am I the only one around here working on fulldome (planetarium projection) flicks?!?
    ______________
    lorenz

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    Hi Lorenz,

    That's correct, the basic VR camera is the one ready right now.

    And a planetarium projection camera is one of the new cameras! I'd like to ask you a few questions in private, if you don't mind.

    -Chilton

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    Medical Animator mummyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConjureBunny View Post
    Hi Lorenz,

    That's correct, the basic VR camera is the one ready right now.

    And a planetarium projection camera is one of the new cameras! I'd like to ask you a few questions in private, if you don't mind.

    -Chilton
    Awesome to know! I did one "convert" to planetarium. Which worked fine as far as I heard from the client. Looking forward to the upcoming news! (although till using 2015, but have 2019)

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    Yeah, the planetarium camera should be a huge money maker for LightWave users. I have to keep my mouth shut on the details for just a little bit longer though

    -Chilton

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConjureBunny View Post
    Hi Lorenz,

    That's correct, the basic VR camera is the one ready right now.

    And a planetarium projection camera is one of the new cameras! I'd like to ask you a few questions in private, if you don't mind.

    -Chilton
    Awesome!!! :-)
    Of course: shoot. I will see if I can be of help. Have to leave soon today but if you PM me I surely will get back to you...
    ______________
    lorenz

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    Quote Originally Posted by ConjureBunny View Post
    And I have a few new cameras and a few other toys I'll be throwing in the mix that as far as I know, don't exist at all in the industry *yet*.
    OK I'm interested in these camera features.

    As an Ubercam plugin, can you confirm it has these features (which I have in my other 3D application):

    - Camera Crane and other Camera rigs
    - Motion Camera / Handheld Camera
    - Camera Morph

    - Spherical / VR Camera with
    o- Lat-Long
    o- Cubic-Cross
    o- Cubic-3x2
    o- Cubic String
    o- Variable Long / Lat Min/Max

    - Stereoscopic Camera with
    o- Parallel / Toe-in
    o- Above-Under
    o- Side-By-Side
    o- Left/Right only
    o- Top and Bottom Pole Smoothing
    o- Eye Separation
    o- Eye to Neck Distance

    - Cylindrical Lens
    - Lens Distortion
    - Jolt & Shake system
    - Camera Focus Target, Auto Follow, Auto Align
    - Target Smooth and Overshoot functions
    - Overshoot Zoom, Zoom Drift, Zoom Speed, Zoom Smooth functions
    - Focus Drift, Focus Smooth, Focus Speed, Focus Overshoot functions
    - Keyframe baking
    Last edited by Marander; 09-03-2019 at 10:21 AM.

  8. #8
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    Hi Marander,

    Before I answer that, I need to do two things.

    First, I need to be clear about what Ubercam is. It is a variety of different types of cameras, not just VR cameras. Ubercam predates VR by several years, and there are only two VR cameras in Ubercam (stereo and standard).

    My statement earlier was regarding new cameras that are not VR related, that instead represent new fields that lightwave users will have access to. More on that soon.

    The second is to point out a little bit of history about the Ubercam Stereo VR camera. I'm making this part slightly smaller and you can skip it if you want. just historical info...

    The Ubercam Stereo VR camera was originally designed to be a simple interface to the best settings for some of these concepts.

    When I say best, I mean that based on months of testing, not theoretical best. For example, over/under performed significantly better in VR than side-by-side, on VR headsets that were based on Android phones, due to the way GPU memory was accessed on those. Over/under provided faster frame rates (up to 30% faster in some cases) and less stuttering, and that allowed the phones more processing time to do motion tracking.

    I built VR playback systems before I built Ubercam, and I helped design the MergeVR headset and invented the algorithms they used for their SDK, and that included everything from lens distortion to ground tracking. Merge's SDK predated Google Cardboard by a few months, and was significantly better than Cardboard. But I don't think it's around anymore. The SDK and playback engine, I mean. The Merge headsets are available everywhere.

    And some other things, like the algorithm for pole smoothing, were changed as the algorithms used in the playback systems changed. In fact, the reason I made VR Scientist was to try to help artists create better solutions for some of the problems the VR industry faced with regard to stereo.

    Unfortunately, pretty much everyone has standardized on the same algorithms now, so I am, too. The idea that there's a better way to do any of this seems to have fallen by the wayside, and now everyone expects images to just conform to some simple (but not as subjectively pleasant) math formulas. So I'm doing that, too, in the new stereo camera.


    Okay, on to your questions specifically...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    OK I'm interested in these camera features.

    As an Ubercam plugin, can you confirm it has these features (which I have in my other 3D application):

    - Camera Crane and other Camera rigs
    No, that's easy enough to set up in Layout, but I am curious if you would prefer this to be something the camera itself performs.

    - Motion Camera / Handheld Camera
    No, again that's probably better done by simulating it in Layout directly. For better or worse, I think the handicam effect was a staple of LightWave video for years.

    - Camera Morph
    I'm actually not sure what you mean here. Can you give me an example?

    - Spherical / VR Camera with
    o- Lat-Long
    o- Cubic-Cross
    o- Cubic-3x2
    o- Cubic String
    o- Variable Long / Lat Min/Max
    The Spherical camera, which is slightly different than the VR camera, does have some of these. If there's a need for all of them, I think they should be easy enough to add.

    - Stereoscopic Camera with
    o- Parallel / Toe-in
    That's funny--Ubercam was the first simulated camera to support toe-in. And oh man, did I ever hear about it. Some people hated it. Forced focus was "not to be done!" at the camera level. But yeah, it's in there. I even made a special tool for testing it, that I'm revising this week to do some additional toe-in changes at the poles.

    o- Above-Under
    IMO this is the only 'right' way to do VR, but what do I know?

    o- Side-By-Side
    No. I'm not sold on the idea that there's a market for this. It's inefficient on older hardware and I don't know if there's an actual need for it, or if people just want it for the sake of completion. A number of products shipped with this as their only implementation. Modo comes to mind. I offered to port Ubercam to Modo, and here's that discussion...
    http://52.212.144.219/discuss/topic/...postID=1016620

    o- Left/Right only
    No.

    o- Top and Bottom Pole Smoothing
    Absolutely.

    o- Eye Separation
    Like the interpupillary distance setting? Because I do have that.

    o- Eye to Neck Distance
    This was a thing in Cardboard viewers for a bit, but it didn't seem to take off. The general consensus (and I believe one of the Cardboard dev guidelines) is that video should be stable, at eye level, and that al motion should come from the user's actual head and not the simulated head, to reduce nausea.

    I am certainly open to supporting it, if needed though.

    - Cylindrical Lens
    Yes, that's a different camera though.

    - Lens Distortion
    There are a few algorithms for this, that all provide slightly different results. If you have a particular one you prefer, I would be happy to take a look. Ubercam has a simpler lens distortion that matches some pro camera system that was out when I was developing the stereo camera. I don't remember the specifics though.

    - Jolt & Shake system
    As a general rule, you're not supposed to do that

    But you can do it in layout easily enough. Same as creating jolt and shake for any other camera.

    - Camera Focus Target, Auto Follow, Auto Align
    We will have camera focus on a target, with heading and upright lock. I'm not sure what auto align would do, but that should address the other two issues.

    - Target Smooth and Overshoot functions
    Not sure on these. They're not part of Ubercam's stereo camera itself, and I'm not sure I understand how you'd use them in a VR context. Do you have an example?

    - Overshoot Zoom, Zoom Drift, Zoom Speed, Zoom Smooth functions
    This sounds like more of a transition than a camera setting. I know that for awhile, the recommendation for transitions was to use a fade to black, or keep some element of the interface on the screen to create a fixed frame of reference, to reduce nausea. I could be wrong, but an overshoot zoom seems like it might not yield ideal results for the viewer.

    - Focus Drift, Focus Smooth, Focus Speed, Focus Overshoot functions
    I have not considered focus changing in VR. Is that something you use pretty often?

    - Keyframe baking
    That's squarely in the domain of Layout. I don't think I want to override that from the camera itself, and I think it might only confuse people. If you have an example of where that would be preferred in the camera itself though, I'm happy to consider it.

    -Chilton
    Last edited by ConjureBunny; 09-03-2019 at 11:54 AM.

  9. #9
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    Chilton, I havn’t got a Quest yet, but how are you dropping the animation into the quest folder from your mac?
    I also notice it has an android symbol on the finder window, is this because your android phone manages the quest.
    I currently have a gear VR so am familiar with the oculus app.
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    Thanks Chilton!

    You really know your stuff and its great to see the effort and research you put into the plugin. It seems very capable for lots of VR stuff and I consider getting it.

    Thing is, I don't use VR much (yet) besides some experiments (had a Rift DK2 borrowed for some time).

    For me Non-VR stuff is more important (like overshoot, Jolt or Shake functions, Motion Smoothing, Drift, Motion Presets).

    With Overshoot I mean selecting a target object or Null, the Cam Rotation follows it but with an adjustable Delay, Overshoot, Zoom and/or Focus.

    With Camera Morph I mean transitioning (motion adjustable via curve / spline) from one Camera to another.

    The Camera Cranes I mentioned, yes that would also be nice to have, a couple of one-click Camera Rig presets (and option to store your own). Animatable HPB and Offset parameters for Base, Arm, Head, Camera, Handicam etc.

    I did experiment with the LW Relativity - Camera Shaker in the past and even found a bug in the expression evaluation. It worked, but not intuitive. However I just realized, that there's a Jolt! plugin included in LW2019, haven't noticed that before, seems to work fine!

    I'd just like to have a plugin like Ubercam, that does all camera related stuff in one UI. Maybe you could use the built-in plugin functions (don't know if they're accessible via SDK or if you can enable it with passing parameters).

    Just a personal wishist and I see it's more aimed towards VR currently. And for that purpose, as you mentioned, some effects can be unpleasant for the viewer.

    Great work Chilton and thanks again for the detailed answer! Cheers

  11. #11
    Is there an upgrade path from Ubercam 2.0 to 3, or is it just Ubercam 2.6 to 3?

    Interested in exploring more VR content, or at least VR headset previewing of half-dome work.

    Dome projection cameras were my main need in the past, as I did a large last minute chunk of a big internationally distributed show called "Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity" back in 2005 or so, creating 4K dome masters by stitching together 5 individual LW rectilinear views in Panotools. It was not fun at the time. Trust me on that. However, it was a heady rush to sit in the big dome and watch your work play out the way you intended.

    Here's a "forward view" (heck, I coined it "Pilot View" back then, no one to say otherwise) of my work, starting after the live action here, going though 6:40min... 4096 by 4096 final resolution. My team "competition" on this project was all the scientific rendering done by the super computing team at the University of Chicago. I held my own with LW and 3 Pentium D's, even though I had to come up with the workflow from scratch.

    https://youtu.be/lcptPH7GlHU?t=167

    I realize there are new easy ways of doing this, and LW has had native tools forever now and of course Ubercam original, but I'm always looking for easier ways of doing dome work without limitations.

    Regards,

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imageshoppe View Post
    Is there an upgrade path from Ubercam 2.0 to 3, or is it just Ubercam 2.6 to 3?
    Oh it's all the same, same upgrade price.

    Interested in exploring more VR content, or at least VR headset previewing of half-dome work.

    Dome projection cameras were my main need in the past, as I did a large last minute chunk of a big internationally distributed show called "Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity" back in 2005 or so, creating 4K dome masters by stitching together 5 individual LW rectilinear views in Panotools. It was not fun at the time. Trust me on that. However, it was a heady rush to sit in the big dome and watch your work play out the way you intended.
    Holy crap I think I saw that. Houston Museum of Natural History has an annex that did dome projection shows and they had a whole slew of Black How movies the last time I was there.

    Here's a "forward view" (heck, I coined it "Pilot View" back then, no one to say otherwise) of my work, starting after the live action here, going though 6:40min... 4096 by 4096 final resolution. My team "competition" on this project was all the scientific rendering done by the super computing team at the University of Chicago. I held my own with LW and 3 Pentium D's, even though I had to come up with the workflow from scratch.

    https://youtu.be/lcptPH7GlHU?t=167

    I realize there are new easy ways of doing this, and LW has had native tools forever now and of course Ubercam original, but I'm always looking for easier ways of doing dome work without limitations.

    Regards,
    Exactly! my plan is to make this a snap. Or at least a click.

    -Chilton

    Edit: yeah that's the one. I saw that at the museum annex, I think it's in Sugarland Texas. Great job!

  13. #13
    ack ack Markc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markc View Post
    Chilton, I havn’t got a Quest yet, but how are you dropping the animation into the quest folder from your mac?
    I also notice it has an android symbol on the finder window, is this because your android phone manages the quest.
    I currently have a gear VR so am familiar with the oculus app.
    No worries, did some googling and see you need android file transfer.....
    Will definitely be upgrading from ubercam 2......
    Mac Pro (2010) OSX 10.13 RX580 Pulse LW2019

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markc View Post
    No worries, did some googling and see you need android file transfer.....
    Will definitely be upgrading from ubercam 2......
    Crap I thought I replied earlier and I did not. I'm sorry about that.

    Yeah, that's all it is, just use Android File Transfer.

    -Chilton

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ConjureBunny View Post
    Edit: yeah that's the one. I saw that at the museum annex, I think it's in Sugarland Texas. Great job!
    Thanks Chilton, that dome show has been leased out everywhere there's a suitable dome, and an episode of Nova was created from/around it at the time.

    Okay, just upgraded Ubercam, will install later this week!

    VR hardware newbie question... from a fresh start, what is your recommendation? Oculus Quest? But don't you need a tethered Oculus to use the virtual tracking and viewing real time inside LW as demoed by Kat with Ubercam a few years ago? Is there a best of both worlds device with tether free support and can be hooked up to a PC?

    Thanks,

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