The Mobotix D24M camera is a feature rich professional grade camera and I highly recommend studying the 292 page Software Camera Manual – Part 2 that explains the wealth of camera features & functions, but that can be a challenge to figure out when you’re a newbie. Until then, this tutorial explains how quickly configure continuous recording with video motion event detection.
If you missed the prior installment of this series, click here.
Video Recording Requirements
My recording requirements are:
- Continuous Recording on a 24x7x365 basis at 4 frames per second (fps).
This conserves camera memory while capturing images before- and after a video motion event. It also provides a time-lapse video history in case something of interest occurred outside a video motion window.
- Maximum frame rate video recording when triggered by a video motion event – best for viewing full details of what was going on.
This concept is illustrated in the Mobotix Software Camera Manual – Part 2, Chapter 8.2.5 on page 214. Also see Chapter 4.4.3 “Recording Modes”, on page 34 for an overview of the four recording modes.
The video will be saved automatically to the microSDHC flash memory card if you followed my flash memory tutorial. When the flash memory card is full, the circular buffer algorithm will overwrite the oldest images with the newest images for a running video history. I found that a 16GB flash memory would hold about 1-1/2 days of video at QXGA 2048×1536 resolution with these settings.
Continuous Recording – Quick Control Menu
The simplest method to begin continuous recording is the Quick Control menu in the web browser live image view. To begin continuous recording:
- Click the Image Settings drop-down menu and select the Recording option.
- Click the Image Parameters menu and choose either 1 fps, 4 fps or Maximum Frame Rate.
The Image Parameters Quick Control will now show “Recording On“, REC and the red status ball are displayed.
You must save the new configuration to the camera’s flash memory if you want the camera to begin recording after a reboot or power-on restart:
- Click Manage Settings in the Quick Control menu (center drop-down menu).
- Click Store Complete Configuration.
Video Motion Windows
Video motion windows are areas of the live image that the camera will monitor for pixel changes to trigger a “video motion event”. The video motion event can do several things, such as switching to full frame recording and/or send you an e-mail with the video image. Video motion windows are denoted by a dotted white rectangle and a window ID number (1, 2, 3…); the window frame momentarily turns red when motion is detected.
See Chapter 7.6.2 Video Motion Detection on pages 159 and 160 of the Mobotix Software Camera Manual – Part 2 for instructions on defining video motion detection windows. The best advice I can give is experiment with the Shift-Click → Click mouse sequence to draw the yellow video motion windows and Add Rectangle button to see how it works. A few minutes of practice will have to doing it like a pro!
You can add, modify or delete video motion windows at any time, so don’t worry about messing up.
Video Motion Event Recording
To configure video motion event recording in addition to continuous recording (reference Chapter 8.2.5 on page 214), do the following:
- Click the Setup Menu button on the left button bar.
- Click Event Settings
The Recording dialog is displayed as shown below. In this window select the values indicated by the red arrows:
- Arming: Enable
- Recording (REC): Continuous Recording
- Start Recording: VM – Video Motion
Note you must have at least one video motion window for this event to be available.
- Choose your desired frames per second (fps) and recording length, e.g. Max fps and 10 s.
- Stop Recording: None (i.e. the event isn’t canceled by another event)
- Click Set and Close to save the new camera configuration.
The camera will now:
- Record continuously at 4 frames per second (fps)
- When a video motion event is triggered, record at the maximum frame rate for 10 seconds
- Return to continuous recording at 4 fps
The Event Player with the Mobotix ActiveX control in Internet Explorer (IE8) is shown in the photo below. I’ve defined a small video motion detection window (small windows are more sensitive than large ones) along with two Exposure Exclusion (see Chapter 5.7.9 on page 129) windows to block out the street lamp and garage flood light at night. The minivan has triggered the video motion event as indicated by the red window outline.
Exposure Exclusion Windows
The Exposure Exclusion windows (see above image) to factor out the glare from the street light and garage flood light are defined by the Shift-Click → Click mouse sequence to draw a yellow rectangle on the live image, followed by clicking the Add Rectangle button. This transfers the coordinates of the yellow rectangle to the box. I’ve added the two comment lines # – to label the purpose of each window.
The exposure exclusion window really makes a difference for improved viewing after dark:
I explain how to use the Mobotix Event Player and download video clips in the next part of this series.
Hope this helps,