OctoPrint Camera Setting Rabbit Holes and lighting...

So I have been dusting off the 3D printer to back into the swing of things and getting back into the blog. With getting back into the blog I want to take things slow and do it right and improving the quality for any videos.

Camera Setting Rabbit Hole:
As for the story of Rabbit Holes and Lighting. I have been going down the Rabbit Hole of trying to improve the video quality of time lapse videos. what I am trying figure out is how to get the the Photos in Octo-Lapse either in RAW or something as close as possible while staying on a tight budget, so no fancy DSLR is in the budget. So instead of using my previously reviewed webcams I figured I pick up one of the Raspberry Pi cams that uses a CS lense. I picked up the Arducam 5MP OV5647 Camera Board /w CS mount Lens [Amazon, Arducam] to be able to play around with and try out different lenses. The reason behind this particular camera was primarily due to price and it has a raw supported format "8-/10-bit raw RGB data" [Arducam]. Going down the rabbit hole I start looking into the setting needed to figure out how to get the photos into the desired format. Unfortunately OctoPrint and OctoLapse use MJPG Streamer for the live feed and time lapse photos. This is great for majority of users but I like to be difficult. Also on top of all this I am still getting comfortable with the Linux OS environment but working on MacOS all day definitely helps. 

Here is a brief list of setting I have tried.
  • Tried editing raspicam.conf based on these plugin setup settings but ran into a few hurdles.
    • setting resolutions/frame rates wrong and making a bad image
    • haven't been lucky on finding a lot of information for options that can be set for the "bcm2835-v4l2" in the raspicam.conf
    • not 100% sure of the variable formatting and if this is related or not.
    • Did find the driver parameters but still not sure of the proper formatting.
  • started tweaking the settings for the mjpg-streamer and have found options that are good for now but still want to figure out the RAW format options.
  • Tried Jermey Morgan's configuration guide at Hackernoon but ran into the MJPG-streamer still taking over the camera and havent figured out how to stop that.
The Realization... it was the lighting.
But through all of this trial and error I was still plagued with a rolling flicker on the camera feed. I tried longer than I would like to admit in trying to solve it in settings but then I realized a few things. It does the same thing on my Mac mini with the ZKinLine 2k Cameras and it stopped when I pointed it away from my work bench. Then I remembered it was LED lights and it was picking up the LED flicker so for now I think I am going to put the Camera settings project on hold and focus on building an awesome enclosure that has controlled like Cam Shand has on YouTube. Here is his video on the Custom LED lighting (flicker free/video safe) and his 3D Printer Enclosure DIY build.


Moral of the story make sure you have your lighting correct before chasing down an issue with software that can be fixed with hardware.

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