Follow focus system with data output?

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Dazzer

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Follow focus system with data output?

PostMon Sep 14, 2020 7:30 am

Hi folks,

Does anyone know of a follow focus system that can in some with output the focus amount as digital data or control voltage?

What i want to do is have the focus amount read from the focus ring and sent as data into Unreal Engine for use in a virtual studio production setup.

So ideally it should be a wireless system (i mean the focus can be adjusted wirelessly), but the data output can be wired.

I'm aware of high end solutions like Ncam and Mo-Sys, but i'm looking for something considerably cheaper.

Thanks!
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Kim Janson

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostMon Sep 14, 2020 9:39 am

We used for Zoom a separate encoder, that just gets the zoom reading, 14bit encoder, so very accurately.

For focus we used absolute control via SDI (works on Micro Studio Camera)

IMG_2467.jpg
IMG_2467.jpg (92.83 KiB) Viewed 249 times


More about it in here viewtopic.php?f=4&t=66387&start=50
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com
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Jörgen Persson

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostTue Sep 15, 2020 4:03 pm

I found this when I researched encoders for Unreal and it looked like an interesting product:

http://loledvirtual.com/glassmark/
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Dazzer

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostTue Sep 15, 2020 4:18 pm

wow, that looks to be exactly what i need, great find!

I might be a leeeeeeetle bit worried about long-term support as this could be one of those here-today, gone-tomorrow companies though.........

Anyone around here have any experience with this product?

So if i understand right, no extra hardware is needed, only a computer equipped with a WIFI connection?
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Kim Janson

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostTue Sep 15, 2020 5:47 pm

I would not worry too much about the support. Just get one, and if it is good, get an other one for spares if you worry about support.

At this time when there is no standardised solutions, that is still inexpensive. Just make sure the interface is available and documented so that it can be used also on future.

On the first post you mentioned " or control voltage?" If you can use analogue voltage as input on your system, why not use a simple potentiometer. Sure it is some building stuff, but then you are the support :)
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com
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Dazzer

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostThu Sep 17, 2020 7:57 am

OK! ........... i mean software support ....... i don't know how it works with Unreal, but with Blender, addons need to be updated for every new version, and i believe this product needs a plugin for UE, so will it be updated for UE5 next year if the company goes belly-up or the guy making it loses interest? .... that would be my worry......
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Kim Janson

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostThu Sep 17, 2020 8:39 am

If they have the interface definition available and can provide example code, someone else can easily take over if needed. You probably will need someone anyway who knows Unreal?

We do custom projects and have done gimbal and lens integration to Unreal engine. :D

At this point though we do not have the lens encoders as standalone product, but can provide for a project, or even use the above linked, if they provide the interface.
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com
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robedge

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Re: Follow focus system with data output?

PostThu Sep 17, 2020 10:07 am

Dazzer wrote:wow, that looks to be exactly what i need, great find!

I might be a leeeeeeetle bit worried about long-term support as this could be one of those here-today, gone-tomorrow companies though.........


There’s a link on the web site to the developer’s page and this project on GitHub. I haven’t looked at the details, but it appears that he’s being very transparent about the software: https://github.com/madlyfx

MadlyFX is his special effects company. The credits on the MadlyFX web site, if accurate, suggest that he’s been around for awhile and knows what he’s doing: https://www.madlyfx.com/
Camera: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes

Aids: Miller fluid head, Arri follow focus, Lee-Panavision/B+W/Heliopan filters

Sound: Schoeps & DPA mikes, Sound Devices 702T & MixPre-6ii recorders

Editing: Final Cut, Logic, iZotope RX

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