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About Vicon Shogun 1.5

Shogun 1.5 is the fifth point release of Vicon’s entertainment market software.

It includes new features such as compatibility with the Vicon Vantage+ firmware update and improvements to existing functionality, such as tracking of props at high speeds.

For a more detailed description, see New features in Vicon Shogun 1.5 or watch the Vicon Shogun videos:

On YouTube: What's new in 1.5 - Shogun Live and What's new in 1.5 - Shogun Post

 

This release also benefits from ongoing maintenance, with a number of issues having been addressed (see Addressed issues in Vicon Shogun 1.5).

For information on requirements for installing and running Shogun, see PC requirements in Installing and licensing Vicon Shogun.

For detailed information on PC requirements, visit the Vicon website FAQs and select Operating systems and PC or contact Vicon Support.

New features in Vicon Shogun 1.5

For descriptions of the new features in this release of Shogun, see:

Shogun Live 1.5 new features

These are the main new features in this release of Shogun Live:

Vantage+ compatibility

Shogun 1.5 supports the use of the Vantage+ firmware upgrade (Firmware 725 and later), enabling you to use High Speed mode with your Vantage cameras without having to change the field of view (FOV) or lens. When you capture optical data, subsampling (selectively reducing the pixel count) enables you to run at high camera frame rates without reducing the FOV (frame size). 

Previously, to run Vantage cameras at higher frame rates while maintaining their maximum resolution, windowing was used, which reduces the size of the FOV.

Now, in new High Speed mode, you can run your Vantage cameras at higher frames rates while maintaining the FOV. You can change frame rates during capture and you don't need to set up your cameras again when you increase the frame rate, as the FOV is unchanged.

Note that because the higher speeds are achieved through subsampling (removing some pixels from the frames), some reduction in resolution is incurred. For details, see High-speed mode in the Vicon Vantage Reference Guide.


To select high-speed mode:

  1. In Vicon Shogun Live, in the System panel, click in the Frame Rate list and set the system frame rate to the speed you want to use in High Speed mode.
    A warning may temporarily be displayed, alerting you to the discrepancy between the requested frame rate and the actual system frame rate, until you select high speed mode for all the relevant cameras, as explained next.
  2. In the System panel, select one or more cameras.
  3. In the camera properties below, ensure the Advanced properties are displayed and in the Optical Setup section, click the Sensor Mode menu and select High Speed.


    In the Cameras view pane, notice that the High Speed mode icon is displayed in the top left corner of the view, next to the other camera details .

Realtime video compression

You can now capture direct to .mov file format, using one of five preset quality settings, enabling you to balance the file size against the required quality.

To select .mov format for capture:

  1. In the System panel, ensure the relevant video camera is selected (both Vue and SDI are supported) and in the Capture section, click in the Container Format list and select MOV.
  2. To change the default quality setting, click in the Video Format list and select one of:
    • Lowest (lowest quality very small file)
    • Low (low quality, small file)
    • Medium (medium quality, medium size file)
    • High (high quality, large file)
    • Best (best quality, very large file)
    File sizes can be much smaller, depending on the chosen quality setting.

Improvements to tracking fast-moving props

  • Props are tracked without discontinuities, even fast-moving ones.

    For best results, choose a reasonably high frame rate (100–120 Hz ) and ensure the rate of dropped frames is minimal.

4 * 4K video playback

You can now use up to four SDI video cameras (including sound).

Improvements to the System and Processing panels

The System panel has been improved for 1.5, making it more responsive and providing more helpful feedback, especially for large systems.

For more information about the status of your system components, hover the mouse pointer over the relevant icon.

The Processing panel now offers a search facility and other controls that determine the visibility of the component properties.

To use the search, display the Advanced properties and enter the first few letters of the property you want to find.

Occlusion fixing improvements to match Post

Real-time occlusion fixing in Live and occlusion fixing with Post now give the same results.

Scrub timeline with middle mouse button

You can now scrub the timeline by holding down the middle mouse button in the same way that you can do this in Post. You can use this shortcut in both the 3D Scene view and the Cameras view.

You can adjust the behavior of the middle mouse button with options in the Preferences dialog box.

To change the settings for the middle mouse button or wheel:

  1. Open the Preferences dialog box (Shift-P).
  2. On the User tab, go to the General section and select/clear the required settings.
    Note that the effect of changing the Middle mouse button scrub sensitivity (or the Mouse wheel jog in frames) option is exponential and is the same as the equivalent setting in Post.

Load subjects via .mcp file

For an easy way to quickly load subjects and props from an existing scene, you can now load an .mcp file directly into Shogun Live.

To quickly load subjects and props from an .mcp:

  1. At the top of the Tracking panel, click the Load tracking configuration button .
  2. From the Load Tracking Configuration dialog box, select or browse to the required .mcp file.
    The subjects and props are displayed in the Tracking panel as normal.

Shogun Post 1.5 new features

These are the main new features in this release of Shogun Post:

Animated retargeting

To key constraint weights over time:

  1. In the Subject Setup panel, click the Regargeting tab.
  2. To enable you to immediately see the changes you're making, in the toolbar at the top, ensure the Enable interactive retargeting button  is selected (green).
  3. If you want to automatically copy your changes to weights from one side of the skeleton to the other, ensure the Mirror Weight Changes option is also selected.
  4. In the Constraints section, edit the weights as required.
  5. To add keys, select the relevant line(s), right-click and select Set Key.

To fine-tune keyframes, you can use the controls in the Graph view. For example, you can now use the right-click (context) menu in the Graph view to to cut or insert sparse keys. You can also change the time of a key by clicking and dragging on the Graph view.

Interactive solving and retargeting

You can now see changes that you make to the solver in real time.

To use the new interactive solving feature:

  1. Load a scene with a solved character in it.
  2. Make sure interactive solving is turned on. To do this:
    • In the Subject Setup panel, click the Solving tab and on the toolbar at the top, ensure the Enable interactive solving button is selected (green).
  3. Adjust the solve, for example by rotating a joint.
  4. Notice that when you release the rotation widget, the solve updates and the rest of the limb updates.

Note that you can use interactive solving for both solving and retargeting skeletons. To use interactive solving for a retargeting skeleton, use the same procedure as above, but click the Retargeting tab and on the toolbar at the top, ensure the Enable interactive retargeting button  is selected (green).

For information on the relevant HSL commands, see New HSL scripting commands.

Mirror weights

You can now use a new mirroring option, Mirror Weight Changes, when you're adding or editing weights.

To mirror weight constraints:

  1. In the Subject Setup panel, click the Regargeting tab.
  2. At the top of the Constraints section, ensure the Mirror Weight Changes check box is selected (the default setting).
    When you adjust the weight values  between the source and target skeletons on one side, they are automatically mirrored on the opposite side, so that weight values adjusted between, for example, the left lower arm on the source and target skeletons, are mirrored on the right lower arm of the source and target skeletons.

Mirror constraints

To make the creation of retargeting constraints faster and less error prone, you can now choose to mirror the changes you make to one side of the source and target skeletons onto the other side.

The same option enables you to mirror edits to retargeting constraints.

To mirror retargeting constraints:

  1. In the Subject Setup panel, click the Regargeting tab.
  2. When you create or edit retargeting constraints, at the top of the Constraints section, ensure the Mirror Creation check box is selected (the default setting).
    The constraints created between the source and target skeletons on one side are automatically mirrored on the opposite side.

Mirror joint manipulation

When posing a target or source skeleton during retarget setup, you often need to make the same adjustment to each side. To speed up pose adjustments, you can now automatically mirror the change you've made to one side to the other side. You can use the same mirroring option when setting up a solve to mirror changes to the pose or bone length. A new button in the manipulator toolbar enables you to do this.

To mirror changes to the pose or bone length of a skeleton:

  • In the Manipulator toolbar on the left of the view pane, ensure the Mirror manipulation button  is selected (green).
    When you create make changes to one side of the subject, they are automatically copied to the other side.

MOV to MOV batch-processing

You can now batch-process auto compressed MOVs in Post to un-distort the video and add the timecode as an overlay.

For information on batch-processing video files, see Transcode video files in Getting started with Vicon Shogun.

Maya video workflow improvements

Shogun 1.5 introduces several improvements to the workflow for exporting an FBX file for use in Maya® software.

If a timecode is used in Post, the FBX export now writes out a JSON file to the same location as the exported FBX file.

In the Preferences dialog box, the Export data starting at timecode offset frame option for FBX export also enables you to choose whether the exported data starts at the timecode start or from frame 1.

When the option is selected, the exported data starts at the timecode start.
When the option is cleared (the default), the exported data starts at frame 1. By running a supplied Python script, you can then use the exported JSON file to set the timecode in Maya, provided a timecode was used in Post.

To use the FBX in Maya:

  1. In Maya open (don't import) the FBX file.
  2. With the file open, run the CleanupFBXImport.py script, by default found in:
    C:\Program Files\Vicon\ShogunPost1.5\Scripts\Maya\
    The script sets the scene in a number of ways (see the following list) including setting the correct timecode and linking the MOV file to the correct camera.

    Tip
    To get Maya to show the video as time changes, you may need to click in Overlay view or show the texture in the Attributes panel.

In total, the script does the following:

  • Sets the timecode start in Maya using the JSON file that is saved with the FBX if timecode was present in Post.
    This allows the animation and video overlay to start at frame 1, yet maintains the timecode.
  • Switches image planes to movie mode.
  • Switches image planes to point to MOV files instead of image sequences.
  • Switches image planes to only show when looking through the camera.
  • Locks the transforms of image plane cameras.
  • Sets the Frame Offset attribute on video texture to account for video starting at frame 0 and the start offset from the JSON file.

Scrub timeline with middle mouse button

In the Cameras view, you can now scrub the timeline by holding down the middle mouse button.

New HSL scripting commands