Sunday, April 12, 2020

WU style time lapse with Blue Iris

I've been exporting the occasional video at 60x but I wanted a more automatic and less resource intensive method and would let me do full of half day videos. Something akin to what Weather Underground used to create from uploaded pics or Bloomsky still does. Neither supported higher rez images though and I really wanted to be able to use Hikvision ColorVus to support night shots that you could make out constellations in when the skies were clear.

I was kind of surprised this was not as simple as I thought. Or I should say the first posts I found using the Alt/time lapse frame rate looked like they should work but what you get is a video that plays in real time but only updates the frames based on this setting.

Then there are those that suggest post batch converting which would work in theory but consume a ton of resources.

But what seems to get you closest to a frame every X minute with a "normal" playback uploadable to to YoutTube is the "Periodic, each" recording.

The simplest way to do this is clone a cam.
You will probably want to disable audio and motion detection

Setting the rate to a frame every 15 seconds for 0.1 seconds yields a file at 22.07 fps the runs about  4 1/2 minutes for a 10 hour recording.

The result looks like this though this is not quite 12 hours long. YouTube seems see this as a 50 fps video yet the run time has not changed. Note their docs say this frame rate is not supported so some more experimenting will need to be done to get it into a supported frame rate but it is working for now.
Since it is a clone of another cam you will probably want it to be hidden as well.

Update 7/25/2020 issue stitching.

I was doing second attempt at a merge but this time with time lapses. (see first attempt here using exported video)  It seems the way Blue Iris is creating the time lapses, despite the identical settings, can have two of the above style time lapses out of sync be as much as 30 minutes even after syncing start time and adjusting the fps of the longer one to match the sorter. I was planning on moving my 4 sky cams onto a pole to better capture sunrises and sunsets anyway. Now that I see time lapse merges it not going to work I have added motivation the get that done. Though for the comet time lapses the direction was perfect. Though again would have been nice to be a bit higher.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Weather on Blue Iris

Updated from the instructions in this post, which is outdated now.

First, please note that to display an animated GIF image as a camera, your Blue Iris must be version or above. Images here are from Blue Iris 5.

The method below is used to determine the URL for an animated 'PNG' of the desired weather radar loop on Intellicast as follows:

1) Go to this URL: Intellicast - Current Radar in your browser
2) Go to the dropdown menu to the left under 'Region' and select the desired region to be displayed.
3) Toward the right, click on 'Play Animation'.
4a) In IE, right-click on the image and select inspect element to see the URL. You are looking for something like this

4b) In Chrome, just right-click and select copy image address.

5) In Blue Iris, create a new camera configured as in the images below using the URL for the PNG file obtained above.

 Add done

Note it does not visibly affect the load on the server either.

You might also want to look at Trafficview cams though most of the feeds in my area were down when I checked. There may also be feeds from your local DOT, like this one for Texas. You might also find some feeds by searching for the town or highway name like these for Cedar Park.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

ColorVu supplemental light off/on axis tests

As I mentioned in my review HikVision ColorVu cameras the supplemental light is really too bright to use in most cases but it is also lights up pretty much 180 by 180 degrees, which is also an issue if anything is close, so enabling it on a sky cam might be helpful to other near by cams.

Off axis test. 

It is raining with heavy clouds taking the moon out of the picture. The supplemental light settings at times (bottom time stamp) are:

  • 8:47 change from 10 to 50
  • 8:48 change from 50 to 100
  • 8:49 change from 100 to 10

The ColurVu is mounted on the edge of the roof above the bird feeder.
The trees seen to light up on the edge of the view are about 50 feet from the cam on the left to about 33 feet center. The rain helps show some of the limitations of illumination from a camera instead of off axis. Camera is 2.8mm OEM of the Hikvision DS-2CD2347G1-LU I bought off Amazon. (video)

The Amcrest is mounted on the barn 43 feet from the ColorVu. Camera is a IP4M-1026 pushed to the max 1/3 second exposure and max gain. (video)

Dahua mounted about 4 feet behind the ColorVu on the soffit.  Camera is a IPC-HDW4631C-A also pushed to the max 1/3 second exposure and max gain. (video)

No light test.

Cameras are all in the same places as off axis test but ColorVu is angled down to roughly match the view form the Dahua. Also since there is more light I also tested motion with my black dog and me moving about. Moon would have been down to about last quarter but as the lack of any shadows shows it was pretty much obscured by clouds.

The test starts with the back door light on and a ladder in view of the Dahaua cam. The following happens at these times (the lower timestamp):

  • at 8:43 the back door light is turned off and after a few seconds the ColorVu light comes on auto. Note black dog near far corner of house and the kind of purple tint the IR floods give the ColorVu video before the supplemental light kicks in.
  • at 8:44 I turn the ColorVu light off. A few seconds after that I come out to get the ladder with a hat light on so I can see what I'm doing. Note the blur and low frame rate.
  • at 8:46 I go back inside then come back out to walk carefully past with the hat light off
  • at 8:47 I come back, ( I forgot my keys) with the hat light on cause it really is too dark to be walking safely with it off, then go off to feed.
  • at 8:48 my white dog appears at the far corner of the house and wanders about for around 5 minutes. 
  • at 8:53 I come back from feeding, turn my hat light off and wander carefully into the yard a bit to test for motion blur. Note I have to turn my hat light back on to see where I'm stepping part of the time.
  • at 8:55 go back in triggering the back door light to come on.
  • at 8:56 I come back out to do another motion test with the back door light on. Then plug a hole something dug next to the bird feeder.
  • at 8:57 I go back in. Not the cats lurking on the walk way.

ColorVu video
Amcrest video
Dahua video

On axis test

Cameras are all in the same places as off axis test but ColorVu is angled down to roughly match the view form the Dahua. ColorVu camera has the supplemental light set to a fixed value of 10. For this view 10 seemed to be the max I could run the supplemental light at without causing glare that would diminish the view of the stars and distance trees.

22:21 to 22:25 White dog starts by the back door and then wanders the yard.

ColorVu video
Amcrest video
Dahua video