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Author Topic: Software Feature Requests
Pacific
Administrator
Posts: 14
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Post Software Feature Requests
on: June 6, 2012, 11:39
Quote

These are in the order of my personal preference. This list does not necessarily represent reality.

1 ) Duplicate Keyframes - The ability to create identical keyframes next to each other.

2 ) The ability to define the time of a keyframe by right clicking it. On the screen where you set dwells, I would love a box that allows you to enter a time for the keyframe.

3 ) Copy/Paste - The ability to right click on a keyframe and copy it, then past it as a new keyframe anywhere on the timeline.

4 ) Enable/Disable button for track, telescope, and every other axis - to completely disable that axis within any move.

5 ) Enable focus and zoom controls on both hand unit and console, with a button to select either or both as active.

6 ) Save setup - ability to save a setup file containing all the rig information including CGI data export settings, axis speeds, rocker speeds, wheels speeds, etc.

7 ) View Graphs.

8 ) Ability to set constant speeds between keyframes - Needed to make multiple shots hook up.

9 ) Edit graphs.

Garritt

Marc
New Member
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Software Feature Requests
on: June 14, 2012, 06:13
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Hey Garritt, some good ideas there. I do have a couple of questions 🙂
With respect to number (2): When you say "time of a Keyframe" do you mean its position on the timeline? At the moment you can already define the time between KFs easily by a right click on the screen and changing the time value between any two or more KFs. R clicking the KF allows you to set the time the TD pauses on a given KF via the dwell checkbox. How would this new proposed feature be different?

Features 7,8 & 9 would definitely be near the top of my wish list.
I am constantly being asked for the ability to alter and finesse the move with greater flexibility by inputting data directly (ie) editing graphs and movement curves. Just the other day a DoP i was working with commented that he loved the rig but really missed a feature like this. He suggested having two modes. The Keyframe interface as it exists and another more advanced (geek) mode which allows for more intricate adjustment of move parameters. This would ideally include graphical views that would impart data like acceleration and velocity against time and frames per second that could perhaps be adjusted in a bezier curve like way.

In the meantime i would love to see the facility to create a straight line move between two KFs that are not dwell frames without having to go through the present work around technique (which involves creating a dwell frame just beyond the point in the timeline where the TD is curving its movement and then sampling just before the newly dwelled frame and then undwelling that frame). A more elegant solution would be great.
Hopefully the point of interest software will go some way to addressing this somewhat clunky method for solving a common place move and other simple common moves like the facility to move directly down the optical axis (push in on the mag).

For me also the ability to align the nodal point of the the head with the nodal point of the lens (at least with primes) via accurate displacement data would be a feature worth developing.

Pacific
Administrator
Posts: 14
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Post Re: Software Feature Requests
on: November 30, 2012, 11:34
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Our Technodolly has been quite active lately, giving me and our operators some time to reflect on its performance. All-in-all, I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with it. For the most part, crews LOVE it and it usually makes for very fast work. The ability to record live moves is fantastic and the very low noise of the Technodolly finally gives us the ability to do big "motion control" moves on sound sync sets.

I have been keeping a list of things that still need to get worked out on the rig and in the software, and I figured it would be helpful to reexamine my original list of desired software features.

1 ) Duplicate Keyframes - The ability to create identical keyframes next to each other. - This is still my most desired feature! We make due by using a dummy iris motor to add "duplicate" keyframes, but this REALLY needs to be addressed in software. Can I get an amen?!?

2 ) The ability to define the time of a keyframe by right clicking it. On the screen where you set dwells, I would love a box that allows you to enter a time for the keyframe. - This would have made our Wrigley job much easier. Timing complex moves is a mess, and adding dwells or adjusting times between keyframes usually makes the move uglier that it was before the change. DUPLICATE KEYFRAMES would fix about 25% of this issue, but I want the ability to right click on a keyframe and enter an absolute time (in seconds and/or frames).

3 ) Copy/Paste - The ability to right click on a keyframe and copy it, then past it as a new keyframe anywhere on the timeline. - Still needed.

4 ) Enable/Disable button for track, telescope, and every other axis - to completely disable that axis within any move. - This has been addressed in recent software updates. Thank you Jan! This feature was used extensively on our recent "Wizards" job. Track was disabled or slowed way down so that the crane operator could operate the arm live without the track going crazy.

5 ) Enable focus and zoom controls on both hand unit and console, with a button to select either or both as active. - Still much needed. Focus control and motors must be plugged in before the rig is powered up, or you have to go through a full power-down/reboot to get the computer to see the controller. Please give us radio buttons to select our controls at any point.

6 ) Save setup - ability to save a setup file containing all the rig information including CGI data export settings, axis speeds, rocker speeds, wheels speeds, etc. - Much needed. To this I will add the need for proper operation of the "Transform" funtions. "Match this Keyframe" button does not work correctly. "Rotate" transformation does not work correctly (Head compensates, rather than the whole move rotating).

7 ) View Graphs. - Added in most recent software update. Thanks Jan. Rob used this feature on his recent "Sealy" job and said it was pretty helpful.

8 ) Ability to set constant speeds between keyframes - Needed to make multiple shots hook up. - Still needed. Without this feature and fully functional "Transform", the Technodolly can not be used for hookups.

9 ) Edit graphs. - Still needed, but less desired than the ability to set constant speeds and absolute times and to set duplicate keyframes, all of which would make timing moves and building nice looking moves much easier.
_____________________
NEW ADDITIONS

Here are a few new things we have found that are needed.

1a) Return to previous folder when saving /opening. - Please make the software remember the folder you are working in and return there until a new folder is created or specified. This small change will make the operator's job simpler and quicker.

2a) Software should be serial number independent so we can share, and so every rig has the same version. Current and previous software versions should be available on the Technocrane.com website. - On our recent "Wizards" job our Technodolly software died (I will write about the cause in the "Bugs" section). This left us using our backup hard drive (which worked fine). Our software had been updated by Tomas on his last visit, and I didn't have a copy of the current version of the software, so I had no way to re-install the software and fix the first hard drive. This left me with no backup on a VERY BIG job with 3 more shoot days to go. It took approximately 36 hours to get a copy from the Czech Republic, and another 12 to get a copy from Germany. If the software was serial independent I could have had it in a few hours from any of the other shops with Technodollys, and if it was posted on the Technocrane.com website I could have downloaded it in minutes.

3a)Focus lags on fast pulls - This proved to be a problem on "Wizards". The response between the focus knob and motor needs to be 1 to 1.

4a) Ability to set telescope limits - Yes Please! Motion at the ends of the telescope travel tends to be the least smooth. It would be nice to be able to set limits so that the crane operator doesn't have to watch so closely on full extensions and retractions.

That about does it for me, but Marc's last few requests are still important too.

In the meantime i would love to see the facility to create a straight line move between two KFs that are not dwell frames without having to go through the present work around technique (which involves creating a dwell frame just beyond the point in the timeline where the TD is curving its movement and then sampling just before the newly dwelled frame and then undwelling that frame). A more elegant solution would be great.
Hopefully the point of interest software will go some way to addressing this somewhat clunky method for solving a common place move and other simple common moves like the facility to move directly down the optical axis (push in on the mag).

- Straight lines need to be decoupled from dwells. We need the ability to specify a straight line or a curve between any two keyframes.

For me also the ability to align the nodal point of the the head with the nodal point of the lens (at least with primes) via accurate displacement data would be a feature worth developing. - Nodality please. When we enter all of the Data Export numbers, the rig knows where the head, lens, and film plane are. Please give us the ability to build moves with the camera moving (nodally) around a point of interest. This and the previous point, and points 1,2,3,7,8, and 9 all illustrate how hard it is currently to precisely shape and time moves - exactly what we are supposed to be able to do. As we have found, crews think that the Technodolly is "Motion Control" and as such, they expect the rig to do the things that other motion control rigs can do. While sometimes we can properly shape their expectations, the simple ability to create nice moves that happen in defined times should be the first thing we can do.

Garritt

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