Used as you would a digital level on a camera, Align Of Sight™ turns the iPhone into a Position, Heading and Sun Angle database, with the added function of allowing you to "line up" matching shots to previous ones.
Inherent in the design is a workflow concept for use in location based photography.
1. FREEZE all nodal, position and time vectors in relation to geodata. This is the sight vector.
2. ADD appropriate sub-records, and sight vector detail via database input. Variables are designed for basic camera and shot management needs. Also assumes the device must calculate basic photographic formulas during data entry.
3. SAVE RECORDS to the local device.
4. SEARCH for previous records by any variable.
5. OVERLAY (Lineup) previous sight vectors to current camera positon. Includes THEN & NOW sun tracking.
6. UPLOAD, EMAIL or SERVE the records, directly from the device.
DOF: The Depth Of Field readout is directly under the Focus and T-Stop input fields. DOF is calculated for you and in this case, the default CoC (Circle of Confusion) for the Depth Of Field calculation is set to 0.025mm which assumes 35mm 4-perf or a similar lens-to-image relationship. Every camera lens system has its own CoC value and can be obtained from this online DOF Calculator. Find your camera's CoC value and enter it in the COC field of the Align Of Sight Global Settings Panel. Your iPhone will calculte the DOF for you as you enter Aperture, Focus and Lens data.
||Depth Of Field is calculated automatically and displayed in green. (left) All values (Focal Length - T-Stop - Focus) must be entered in the input fields on the Sync Panel. Changing the CoC value is done in the Settings Panel and is camera specific.
FEET / METERS: Switching between the and buttons next to the Camera values will calculate the conversion and display the results instantly.
SHUTTER ANGLE / SHUTTER SPEED: Digital Shutter Speed to Shutter Angle in degrees is displayed in the Global Settings panel. Entering either will update the other.
SUN AZIMUTH and ELEVATION offsets to current postion.
TRUE NORTH vs. MAGNETIC NORTH: The App defaults to True North, however, in the absence of a GPS signal, the compass will revert to magnetic North. Your position on the planet will determine your offset.
ACCURACY STATEMENT: The iPhone intruments provide a reasonable level of accuracy for location and terra based sight alignment applications. Align Of Sight™ is not a full site survey tool. The weakest link is the digital compass instument, which based on magnetic interference is possible to be a degree or two off.
ALTITUDE vs. HEIGHT: Altitude is an automatic function using the GPS and a Digital Elevation Model. Height is a measured distance from the ground to image plane. This is manually entered after using a novel device called a tape measure. KML camera position data will default to "Relative to Ground" Mode and will use this measured distance. In the event the Height (HT) field is left blank, the ALT reading in Meters will be added to the KML. The each database record and XMLfile includes the manually input data such as Height From Ground as well as the Altitude from Sea Level via the GPS and lookup tables. The Altitude derived from the instruments is good for basic positioning, but does not take the place of a precisely measured distance from Ground Plane to Image Plane. Therefore, the KML output default to GoogleEarth is "releative to ground".
TILT / ROLL: Tilt and Roll are calculated using the internal Accelerometers. A calibration function allows you to Zero-Out the level at any time to aid in positioning relative to the camera or device.
THE FULL SHOT RECORD:
Each shot record combines FROZEN instrument data with manually entered data related to a camera or other sighting device.
Each record is delivered as an XML File and can be Uploaded, Emailed, Downloaded from the AOS server on the device, or sent via FTP to any server. The XML file format and tags can also be used for parsed into any production pipeline:
USERNAME: As you want it to appear in the database record. This is separate from the login username.
PRODUCTION NAME: Movie title, Job Location, production or any description you like.
SHOT NUMBER: Originally designed as a VFX Shot number. This can be used for any special designation, independent of the Slate information.
SCENE: The scene number.
SLATE: As it appears on the slate. A separate Take field is provided below. If the take number is included in the search string here, it is only for reference.
DATE: The date and time are based on XML Schema and the values are expressed as follows
TIME OF DAY: The TOD string includes the UTC (Coordinated Unversal Time) offset for your locaiton. for instance, a timestamp of 17:50:08-07:00 indicates 5:00 PM UTC, minus 7 hours which is the offset for your particular location. UTC is based on zero degrees longitude, which passes through the Greenwich Observatory, is based on atomic time and includes leap seconds as they are added to our clock every so often.
CAMERA: A, B, C...
REEL: Camera Roll as FILM, REEL or MAG number in the case of digital cinematography.
CLIP: Pertains to the Recorded Clip Number, often sequential for each Mag in a digital camera scenario.
TAKE: Take number This is a searchable function, independent of the take number if entered in the slate field above. In both cases, Take Numbers DO NOT auto-increment.
FPS: Manually input. Defaulted to 24 frames per second.
SHUTTER ANGLE: 180 Degrees.
SHUTTER SPEED: A fraction such as 1/48th. Shutter Speed and Shutter Angle are internally calculated to relate. Change one, the other updates. See description in Global Settings Below.
LENS: Enter Focal Length in Millimeters.
T-STOP: Enter Camera Aperture.
FOCUS IN FEET: Enter focus distance to subject in feet. Toggle the F to M calculates and displaysFocus in Meters.
FOCUS IN METERS: Enter focus distance to subject in meters.Toggle the M to F calculates and displaysFocus in Feet.
DEPTH OF FIELD IN FEET: Align Of Sight™ calculates the DOF for you! In order to do this, the program factors in your input values for Focal Length, T-Stop, and Focus Distance to subject and combined with the CoC (Circle of Confusion) for your specific camera, will give you the near limit and far limit both in the database record and instantly on screen in the Sync Panel. The Circle of Confusion for your camera is entered at the bottom of the Global Settings Panel and is currently defaulted to 0.025mm ie: 4-perf. You can select your camera's Circle of Confusion Factor here. AOS running on the iPhone will calculate DOF in the same manner.
DEPTH OF FIELD IN METERS: Same as above, but converted to meters from input above or vice versa. Toggling the M and F buttons next to the records determines their unit value.
TILT: Ranges from full down tilt, (-90) to full up tilt (90). Note that the iPhone sees level as 0 degrees. However the KML export to GoogleEarth represents level as 90 degrees, straight down to the ground as 0 degrees and straight up as 90 degrees. See the diagram on the home page. This conversion is done for you when you output a KML for review of the sight vector in GoogleEarth.
ROLL: Ranges from full left roll, (-90) to full right roll (90).
HEADING: Compass heading in degrees.
ALTITUDE IN FEET: This value is obtained from the GPS instrument combined with digital elevation models.
ALTITUDE IN METERS:This value is obtained from the GPS instrument combined with digital elevation models. METERS will always be the Altitude default unit of measurement.
HEIGHT IN FEET: This is a manually measured and entered value in relation to the camera image plane and ground plane. NOTE: By default, this measured distance from the ground is used to generate the KML files as a "ground relative" position. If no Height (HT) is entered, the the GPS altitude is used and the KML is changed to an "absolute" mode of placement.
HEIGHT IN METERS: This is a manually measured and entered value in relation to the camera image plane and ground plane. NOTE: By default, this measured distance from the ground is used to generate the KML files as a "ground relative" position. If no Height (HT) is entered, the the GPS altitude is used and the KML is changed to an "absolute" mode of placement.
TILT / ROLL STATEMENT: 23.44 deg. Up and 1.07 deg. Right
NOTES: User input or pasted shot notes. For XML data delivered via FTP, Email, or downloaded, this text area is unlimited. Note that the AOS server account is limited to 10K, (10240) bytes.
USER PRESET #1: R1-MX Boris
USER PRESET #2: 4480x1920 4.5 WD
A note about User Presets and the extended Sync Panel window: If you scroll down the Sync Panel to the UPLOAD and EMAIL areas, you'll notice two input fields labeled User Preset #1 and #2.
As an example, you may want to list the lenses and even serial numbers of lenses that are previously mapped. Or This could list the format and resolution of the media or film stock you are using. Or it could simply be a list of all the locations and their variables.
- Text entered in these two fields will become available in the pull down windows represented by the large bar in the Sync Panel above.
- You can DELETE any record in the pull down menu by simply swiping your finger sideways across the item. A Delete button will appear next to the item.
- Both of your custom text presets will appear as an item in the pull down menu bar, next to the LCD clock. New presets appear at the bottom of the list.
Repeat the same process for User Preset #2 and select the text string on the right side of the preset bar for the pull down menu that lists your preset values.
- VISUAL EFFECTS: This App was originally designed for Visual Effects "match-movers" and plate photographers, as a tool to log camera setups quickly and place each slate in space and time. The biggest issue isn't that there aren't any tools to do this, in fact the amount of tools available were the problem. Digital Levels, Compass, Clipboard, Azimuth and Sun Elevation calculaton, DOF calculator, and of course the good old Tape Measure. Not to mention the laptop to organize and upload the data. Whether the recorded data is used to setup the scene to create matching CG elements and environments or simply line up a foreground element to a background plate and get the correct sun in both - it is essential to know the view vector.
- TIMELAPSE: Timelapse Photographers can now return to the scene on various days or times of day and match the camera view angle and sun direction. Align Of Sight™ even has a camera function that collects and saves alignment data even when you snap a matching picture using the camera panel.
- GEOGRAPHICAL STUDIES: Environmental and Animal documentarians have found this tool helpful in returning to the scene of study and precise POV.
- AERIAL SIGHTING: Spotters can instantly transmit their sight vector from their position to the objects or event on the ground.
- SCOPE SIGHTING: Record Field Scope and Telescope view angles. Instantly transmit your sight vector to other field specialists. Perfect for spotting and tracking geographic events
- LOCATION MANAGEMENT: Location Scouts not only need to find it, they need to get the company back there at the right time. Lighting studies are often done in exact positons, many times across a few days. Sun studies are further aided by exporting a KML view vector for use in GoogleEarth™ to accurately determine times of day to shoot.
- DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY / GAFFERS: Directors of Photography are constantly chasing the sun. Align Of Sight provides a head start with the Target Compass which quite accurately displays the sun's movement and elevation. Align Of Sight™ can even overlay a previous setup to help plan the day.
- ARCHITECTURAL: Site Planning and Architectural studies.
- ACCIDENT/INCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Investigators can record the postion, heading, time and place of all scene vectors such as projectile tracking and angles of attack with a button click and duplicate the data in the lab.
ONLINE DATA MANAGEMENT
Currently we support the upload of data to our server and allow users a "free of charge" account to manage and export data. Of course data can also be extracted from the device with the email function, the onboard http file server or uploading to your favorite FTP account. Since the device has an extensive search and tag function, data can be customized into email packets representing the search variable. Before uploading or emailing records, the user has the option of searching according to any input variable.
FREE ONLINE TOOL - http://alignofsight.com/dataports
GOOGLE EARTH™ KML EXPORT
KML Files can be sent directly from the iPhone or iPad via Email. It is also possible to select a group of records in a user's online management account. In either case, simply open GoogleEarth, turn on 3D terrain, Buildings and Sun. Then double click the KML or just open in the File menu of GoogleEarth.
In most cases, simply clicking on the link will launch GoogleEarth. But you will have to remember to turn the SUN on as it defaults to the off state upon launch of GE.
Following is a simple field test of the line-of-sight vector capture function.
Use like a digital level
With every instrument, precision is a factor. The iPhone is quite good for exterior applications such as these though not suited for precise stage work. Our upcoming iPad with remote camera sensor addresses the stage tracking functions.
Having said that, were were quite suprised how accurate we were able to get with the iPhone instruments. NOTE: By default, this measured distance from the ground is used to generate the KML files as a "ground relative" position. If no Height (HT) is entered, the the GPS altitude is used and the KML is changed to an "absolute" mode of placement.
The movie to the left is a quick demonstration of how the KML was generated for the above image. Below is the shot from the RED One at 20mm.
Creates a KML to import the view vector into GoogleEarth. Camera Tilt, Roll, Heading, Altitude, Time Of Day, Height and Sun Position.
(left) Cropped Detail, GoogleEarth
Google Earth displays a horizontal field of view consistent with a 20MM lens, on this RED One camera.
(left) Cropped Detail, RED One 20MM lens
KML files refer only to the Geographic and Time based data. Except for SLATE, SHOT #, SHOT NOTES, no other information is stored in a KML file. For more information regarding the GoogleEarth KML output using the Camera Panel, refer to the KML via CAMERA demo.
Keep in mind, the GoogleEarth KML file only displays view and time (sun position) data. Except for SLATE, SHOT #, CAMERA and HEIGHT (or GPS altitude if height is left blank,) the KML file will not include the full record.
THE AOS XML FILE is a simple but unique xml camera report & floor-sheet namespace. The file lists the full AOS data set and can be Emailed or uploaded to any server.
|<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<!-- Use with Align Of Sight App. www.alignofsight.com-->
<vfxlog user="user name" prod="movie title">
<slate>50A Tk 3
<trsmt>23.44 deg Up and 1.07 deg Right</trsmt>
<notes>START OF SHOT</notes>
<usr02>4480x1920 4.5 WD</usr02>
The XML format for multiple camera positions per take, or START and END positions of the same take, are represented in the MULTIPLE CAMERA tag format. Both the extended XML record and the GoogleEarth KML record (simply a namespace of XML formatting) can list multiple sight vector positions per slate.
USERNAME: Device user as it will appear in the database record.
PRODUCTION: Show, event or industrial application.
SHUTTER ANGLE º : The program converts Shutter Speed to Angle Equivalent using a simple formula. Equivalent Degree. = (Shutter Speed x Frame Rate x 360)
SHUTTER SPEED: The program converts Shutter Speed to Angle Equivalent using a simple formula. Equivalent Shutter = (1 / Frame rate x 360 / Angle)
TARGET LOCK º DELTA: Defaulted to 0.5
ACCEL. SAMPLE FREQ: Defaulted to 30 Hz.
LOW PASS FILTER: Defaulted to 0.05. This is used to filter out noise on the iPhone 3GS. It is not needed on later iDevice models. (It is nice to have it on the iP4, but it is not needed. The red ball will bounce around while moving, but will stabilize quickly as the internal API remove the noise using the gyro data.)
CLEAR TEXT ENABLE / DISABLE: When Enabled, the text input fields will empty their contents. When disabled, the previous text remains, waiting to be edited.
DELETE SEARCHED RECORDS: Select while in Search mode to Delete all records in the search set from the device memory.
DELETE DATABASE RECORDS: Will delete all records in device memory. This also deletes any pictures associated with the records.
DIRECT / PREVIEW CAMERA MODES: Toggling the two modes Direct Mode and Preview Mode configures the Camera Panel actions. When this button is toggled to Preview Mode, the user is prompted with a thumbnail and asked to Save or return to camera. See Camera functions below.
IMAGE BASE NAME: The base name for the images saved from the Camera Panel.
COC: Circle Of Confusion is a camera specific setting and is used in the Automatic Depth Of Field calculation. We have defaulted this to 0.025mm. You can select your camera's COC setting HERE.
NETWORK SETTINGS: Select this Icon to go to the Network Settings panel.
RINGER ALERT: When the WARN light is illuminated, the program reminds you to silence your ringer each time you start the program for when using the device on set.
START SERVER: This starts the onboard HTTP file server. In your browser, enter the LAN or WAN URL that appears in the popup window on your iPhone. The serve module will create a zip file with any records not yet downloaded. After the first download, the records will be available only from Seach Mode.
To enter the Network Settings Panel, first select the Global Settings 'Gear' in the upper Nav Bar.
Then select the Network Settings Icon.
AOS ACCOUNT SETUP: Setup your Free Align Of Sight™ data account.
UPLOAD FROM DEVICE TO: Choose between your AOS account or a private FTP server. Upon selecting either upload method, the login information will appear in the fields below. Entered information will be saved with the Active button and can be edited at any time.
USERNAME: Enter your AOS or FTP username.
PASSWORD: Enter your AOS or FTP password.
FTP PATH: ftp://myserver.com/field_data/021210/
TEST CONNECTION: Returns a SUCCESS if logins validate and CAN'T CONNECT if not.
When downloading records from the search set, note that ALL records in the current search will be archived and prepared for download. Searches can be run using any input variable.
Identical to the FREEZE / ADD TO RECORD cycle in the Sync Panel, the Camera is capable of locking all nodal and positon variables, and it will combine each photo record with the last Manually Input variables after leaving the Sync Panel. Basic operation of the camera and its modes are described below. For more information regarding the GoogleEarth KML output using the Camera Panel, refer to the Appendix Here.
BASIC CAMERA OPERATION
The camera is designed to be fast and accurate. The Button is a bubble lens centered on and against the left edge of frame. Easy to find without looking.
Each camera record is stored according to the current shot or location descriptions in the Sync Panel.
If you select the Camera tab while in search mode, (just as you would the Level or Compass to line up a current shot to the previous) thumbnails of all the images pertaining to that search set are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
In PREVIEW MODE, clicking a picture will freeze the image and the clear SNAP Button turns RED and asks if you want to save the image. Touching outside the button anywhere on the screen will release the image from memory and return you to shoot mode. The back arrow returns you to the previous screen.
Selecting a Thumbnail in the horizontal scroll beneath the view window will load it into the viewer above. Images can be downloaded via Align Of Sight's internal web server and can be uploaded via FTP. Images are not uploaded to the AOS Server.
IMAGE CAPTURE MODES
These modes are toggled in the Settings Panel.
In Direct Mode, the image and sensor data is saved immediately and you are returned to the camera interface to take a picture as quickly as possible. In this mode the screen will flash but will not prompt to save.
In Preview Mode the camera will process the captured image and display an appropriately sized image on the screen. You will be given the opportunity to cancel the capture. When you cancel the capture the image and sensor capture will be discarded. In our testing, this process took an average 3 seconds on an iPhone 4.
Enter any of the Panels to the right from Search Mode. Then place the device back on the Camera, Scope or other sighting device and Pan, Tilt, and Roll until the THEN and NOW readings lock.
In the case of the Camera Panel, all Images pertaining to a search set (if applicable) can be scrolled and viewed within the App envirionment. Images are Uploaded via FTP of by dowloading from the onboard HTTP File Server.
Selecting the Magnifier Glass will call up the Keyboard and display the Searched Records window. Step through the records using the forward and back arrows in the Nav Bar. You can search by ANY yellow input variable. Note that a '*' is a wild card. As you step through the records, the panel updates all values related to that record. Minimize the keyboard by clicking the Nav Bar icon above to see the full record.
SCROLL the Sync Panel up to reveal the UPLOAD and EMAIL buttons. In each case, all the records in the current search set will be archived for upload.
While in Search Mode, select any of these Panels to review saved records and in the case of the Level and Compass, actually overlay Live vs. Previous readings for alignment.
Though the Compass, Level and Camera work independently as stand alone tools, they will only display the "NOW" coordinates. It's only when these panels are entered from Search Mode, will they display the THEN & NOW overlays of previous positons to current ones.
Target Level, Target Compass, GPS and Camera records are now overlayed to allow lining up current lines-of-sight to previous ones.
The GPS function is simply a mapping and Camera Spot marker. A Camera Pin is placed in the Database for every Shot record.
Tapping the Pin in the GPS window will bring up the Shot Label, Slate and Camera Designation.
Flat view in this panel are available in Satellite, Standard and Hybrid mode.
Everytime the ADD TO RECORD button is pressed, a GPS marker is added to the map. Though this is a simple GPS marker for the panel to the right, when the full KML record is Emailed or created on the AOS site, it will contain full GoogleEarth Pro Views.