Swim analysis tool

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bugkav

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Swim analysis tool

PostWed Nov 29, 2023 4:14 pm

Hi

Most of this is rocket science to me but i am learning. I built a swim analysis tool using Barlus underwater cameras (IP cameras 24 fps but the light sensitivity does not seem very high as a manual shutter speed of 1/100 is almost black). When the video is play back at slow speed there is lots of motion blur. The cameras are hooked up to batteries and each had a wifi extender connected to it--and I have managed to splash proof everything and get the cameras and wifi all connected to the router and the computer. The camera feeds are real-time and recorded by Blue-IRIS software. Blue iris will only capture up to 30 fps. It allows one to play back all the camera angles simultaneously and time synchronized on one monitors. So 4 channel playback in slow-mo. The combined synchronized 4 angle video shows up on the time line so you can capture/record for 60 seconds and then immediately play it back for the swimmer to see--even I can do it-so multiple coaches could likely do this. The idea was plug and play and simple.

Problems---camera fps limitation and shutter speed limitation. I have been trying to explore camera options---Barlus has a 100 fps camera --just 4 times the price---go pros might work at 60 fps--there's the underwater issue of wifi signals from the camera (not insurmountable but problematic) or you could use the HDMI out from the go pro to a HDMI transmitter receiver then to capture card and then into the computer. All these things are possible---I have no doubt with enough money I can get the video signal to the computer.

QUESTIONS NEEDS WISHES:
1) the most inexpensive way to get wireless swim video in real-time to the computer that combines a high enough frame rate and shutter speed to allow for non-blurry slow motion. My current thoughts are either the go-pro HDMI transmitter receiver capture card approach or the barlus 100 fps IP camera via wifi.

The above I can figure out with time. BUT the following is out of my league.

2) once i get the video to the computer --I need software that can be set up that easily allows for simultaneous playback in slow-motion of 4 (maybe 8 someday) channels. What would also be great is if you could move one view into a larger presentation format to look at it more carefully and then swipe in another view from the 4 (or 8 ) views on the monitor.

I know there is OBS and Vmix and all these mixer switcher toys but I don't know if what I envision can be done these gadgets and if it could be plug and play and not require a Ph.D in video processing.

think Real-time 60 seconds of swim--on the screen immediately after--discuss technique---view angles and videos (not having to find each video and bring it up etc.. ) Then do it again and write over what was just recorded. Something your 6 year old could do---wait no no---something you 70 yr old grandmother could do :)
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PhoenixRiddle

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostThu Nov 30, 2023 12:11 pm

If you ask me, I'd suggest getting a GoPro with an HDMI transmitter and capture card. It's a cost-effective and high-frame-rate solution. It's a good balance of quality and price compared to the more expensive Barlus 100 fps camera.
As for software, look into user-friendly sports analysis programs. They often have the multi-angle, slow-mo playback features you need without the complexity of tools like OBS and Vmix.

Cheers!
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke
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bugkav

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostThu Nov 30, 2023 3:27 pm

Thanks

The Go-pro approach is on the table for sure. Any Go Pro below 7 is going to need an HDMI connection underwater and a line up to the HDMI transmitter. One has to rube Goldberg an underwater housing to accomplish this. I giving a try right now with some inexpensive "dry-bag-like" housing for cameras. There are hard housings that would allow for power and HDMI into and out of the camera but they are not cheap--200 plus. Suptig makes a decent underwater housing that gives you access to the power in socket but not the HDMI out. Then you need 4 transmitters and 4 receivers (by my understanding) and the 4 channel capture card. It adds up. Gopro 7 and above you could consider a coaxial antenna on the go pro casing to get the wifi signal to a wifi booster above water and then stream at 60 fps via wifi to the computer---no capture card etc---which may be a cheaper way to go--trying that approach as well.

Its the software that really concerns me--any specific suggestions ??
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PhoenixRiddle

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostFri Dec 01, 2023 1:36 pm

If you're leaning towards GoPros, definitely consider the newer models with wifi - might simplify things a bit more than juggling HDMI connections underwater.

For software, have you looked into specialized sports analysis tools? They're usually more user-friendly and have the multi-angle, slow-mo features you need. No need to dive into complex stuff like OBS or Vmix for this.

Cheers!
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke
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bugkav

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostSat Dec 02, 2023 1:20 am

Thanks

Yes--agree with the 7 and above having the advantage of streaming ---one still has to get the signal out of the water and boost it to the router--but that's doable---just have managed it yet! :) there's also the limitation apparently that actually stream 60 fps one needs to also be recording to the SSD as well--other wise it looks like you are steaming at 60 fps but its really just 30. (so the youtube world has educated me) I am the least informed here!! and I seriously dislike the idea that you watch a couple Youtube videos and one thinks they are an expert--but that 60 fps 30 fps quirk is out there. I have a 3 + and 4 and thought I would test those with the HDMI--I doubt one can get much more than 60 fps out of that--but we will see--and if there are families of swimmers that want to donate their gopro 7 and above --happy to see if I can make that work

BUT BUT But ---what are these simple to use muti-camera playback sports analysis software that i should look for?

4 channel (hopefully 8 someday) simultaneous playback where one can easily move one of the views into a larger presentation format to look at it more closely and then move another view in---preferably with just swiping with your finger--VERSUS button pushing etc..

There are commercial systems and programs out there---just super expensive. I built the 4 camera one for maybe 5K. There is an Australian firm where 6 cameras are in 20 plus thousand range.

I think it I could find software that was going to work -I could redo this challenge again and make a better system and still get it under 6K.

Cheers

Jeff
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PhoenixRiddle

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 5:20 pm

For software, I would suggest to check out some sports analysis tools tailored for multi-camera setups. They're often more user-friendly and might just have the swipe function you need.

On a side note, your idea of using GoPro cameras sounds promising. Their newer models could indeed streamline the process by reducing the need for complex wiring underwater. I think it's worth experimenting with different settings.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke
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bugkav

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 5:54 pm

Thanks
The go pros will need underwater connections to the surface regardless of whether you were to go hdmi to a capture card or Wi-Fi streaming (Wi-Fi signal goes through about 8 inches max of water —would need a booster at the surface to get the stream Wi-Fi signal to the router.

The software packages for sports analysis for multiple cameras are all subscription based and not inexpensive. 8 cameras almost prohibitively costly for swim club use.

One could capture the video streams and use obs etc or even kinovea (although there are some capture limitations there) and post swim edit and draw angles etc.. but then the real-time immediate visual feedback is lost. Honesty blue iris would be great if it captured 60 fps.

Some of these sports analysis companies will give you an app for one camera and limited tools but mostly I imagine so you will buy their big toys.

I have a little budget for big toys :)
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PhoenixRiddle

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostMon Dec 04, 2023 11:17 am

I think that your alternative approach using OBS or Kinovea for post-swim analysis sounds promising. While it's true that you lose out on real-time feedback, which is invaluable for immediate corrections and learning, this method could still provide significant insights during review sessions. Maybe you could record the sessions and then have a quick review immediately after the swim, keeping the feedback loop as tight as possible.

It's a bummer that most sports analysis companies target the higher end of the market, leaving clubs like yours in a bit of a bind. However, have you considered reaching out to them directly? Sometimes companies are willing to offer trials, demos, or even discounts for educational or non-profit use.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke
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bugkav

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Re: Swim analysis tool

PostMon Dec 04, 2023 2:16 pm

Thanks


Yes--I think some kind of streamlined post production process ( of go pros recording straight to ssd card) is going to be the high fps slow motion component for review "after" practice.

and the real time playback we have at 24 fps with some serious motion blur with play back less than half speed, is the best we can do for immediate feedback.

. I think some of the blue iris problem is the max fps of 30---but I think the entry level barlus cameras have a pretty low-end censor and the shutter speed is probably longer the fps setting... if that's possible?

I think a higher sensitivity censor even at 30 fps but a shutter speed of 1/100 to 1/1000 would capture slow motion without blur and you would still be able to see body positions to some extent. just jerky.

I don't have a problem with them making money--I'd rather buy a program then pay for a subscription. The free-market is a great driver for innovation--and their tools are pretty cool--just spendy.

We will get by---was hoping someone else had done this and could keep me from encountering the same obstacles. Iteration is also spendy :)

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