1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Built-in WiFi only.
aluminumwelder
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:31 am

1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby aluminumwelder » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:42 pm

First event using an iPhone 8+ with ipad pro 9.7" to take photos of a 30 person birthday party. Below is my review of using iPhone 8 camera.
Lighting was a ring light a couple overhead lights and some pendent lights.
This is the housing I made. I still need to 3d print a lens hood for the iPhone so it looks nicer than the rough cut out.
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I made a cut out on the back for the iPhone so I could change the background on the fly. I think it would be nice if changing backgrounds required less touches. Right now one has to deactivate and then reactivate green screen mode to choose a new background.
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Below are some sample images. The first thing guests realize is they need to be pretty far back from the actual iPhone, about 8 to 10 feet for group shots because the "telephoto" lens on the iPhone Is used (50mm equivalent). This is different from most cameras that use a wide angle lens. The end results is that I would constantly be telling people to step back and having to start the activation for them.
The magic screen works pretty well, but people moving a lot can cause them to disappear. People jumping in front of the camera also cause this.
Also people sitting down or kneeling often get cut off. And once in a while the algorithim just does something weird like cut off a pig tail of hair.
Overall I like it, but you really do need the live view of an ipad because other wise people would stand too close and be cut out of the frame.
this complicates it a little for professional use since to use the magic screen features one has to cut a hole in their ipad housing for the iPhone to peak through. Other apps allow magic screen just by using the front ipad camera, and another developer I talked to said he was excited about the new 11 and 12.9 ipads face recognition because it made virtual props possible.

I was surprised that no one was mentioned that the background was different though! Oblivious or just used to photo manipulation I guess.

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aluminumwelder
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:31 am

Re: 1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby aluminumwelder » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:55 pm

only technical issues is once during the event the router got unplugged and I had to recommend everything. I think a battery back up would of been good.
blueprint would crash when I tried to manually set the shutter speed to 1/60
and lastly
I got a long pause with a count down of about 50 seconds. I forget the exact the words, but the wifi app on ipad said something like waiting. would up just closing and reopening the app.

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tim
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Re: 1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby tim » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:20 pm

Hey these are great, thanks for posting the in-depth review! And cool to see the custom rig you made -- let us know when the hood goes on so we can see your handiwork. Nice job!

Re some of your feedback:

- "you really do need the live view of an ipad" --> but you are seeing live view on the iPad, right? You should see the live video stream from the iphone camera on the ipad's screen. Are you seeing that? (It will not have the green-screen effect applied, but is still perfectly usable for getting people to stand in the right place). Assuming you are: get a remote the guests can use to trigger the iPad -- this one works well: https://www.amazon.com/CamKix-Wireless- ... ra+trigger
Any trigger that sends the volume-up to the ipad over bluetooth will work, as Wifibooth is listening for volume-up and interpreting that as pressing the red/shutter button

- what are the other apps that you mention that do the background replacement (greenscreen) with ipad front camera? Are they relying on an actual monocolor (green) background?

- the crash in BluePrint has been "fixed" in the latest version (1.3.4 released yesterday eve), unfortunately it turns out that iOS doesn't support using dual-camera configuration (to get the depth data) and also specifying a custom exposure. So in green-screen mode there's no longer the option to set custom shutter speed

- the long pause with long countdown would happen if Wifibooth is expecting to receive photo(s) and they do not arrive (ie. your router got powered down or there was some wifi glitch etc). In this case Wifibooth will "reset" itself in about 60 seconds, which is what the countdown is trying to say (ie. "hey i'll wait at most this amount of time..."). In the future I might add the ability to cancel out but that won't be easy (because DSLRs get into weird states when you do things out of order) and i'm not sure how often people actually hit this (hopefully never)
Please write a review for Wifibooth on the Apple App store! Indie developers like me really need people like you to review their apps. Instructions on how to write a review: http://goo.gl/w8NsDI.

aluminumwelder
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:31 am

Re: 1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby aluminumwelder » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:03 pm

when I run events I typically want the customers to do everything.
Yes the attendant can see the iphoen screen, but the guests cannot unless the ipad is in front. You can't have the ipad on a table with other users designing collages IMHO.
I will probabaly make a little stand 8 feet away from the ipad with a start button on top, that way it forces them to be far away.

curator makes an app called pixbooth2 that has magic screen. Originally it required an internet connection, then they made the processing locally, and with the last update users on their facebook group have complained it doesn't work as well. You can sign up for a free account to test out.

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tim
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Re: 1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby tim » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:53 am

Hey thanks for the info. I checked out pixbooth2, as far as I can see like all the others it requires an actual green background for green-screen to work. Wifibooth doesn't -- what Wifibooth is doing is far more complicated (instead of traditional chromakey, Wifibooth is doing face-detection + depth-mapping + edge-refinement using neural networks, then some thresholding and compositing after resizing) ... in order that wifibooth does not need an actual background of any color.
However, this does mean that the dual camera is in use, so as you noticed, the telephoto length becomes the length you operate at, which isn't great for booths. I'd say that's the bigger drawback than the movement-related failures (IMO). I'm going to try a green-screen booth on friday, let you know my experience...

Re your comment "You can't have the ipad on a table with other users designing collages" --> you are right, but this is something I want to fix. This is only true because you need a live-view (always). So I want to build a 2 ipad solution to solve this: one iPad showing liveview, another ipad that guests can make collages on, print from, etc

Thoughts about 2 iPad functionality in the future
Right now the biggest limitation I have for building this is that the most straight-forward path would only work if everything (iPad one, iPad two, camera, printer) is connected via wifi. That eliminates Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, and Fuji camera users since those cameras cannot make outgoing camera connections and this path i'm talking about would not use Bluetooth. Bluetooth IS getting faster (rapidly -- as soon as all apple devices that people own have bluetooth 5, then that is some serious speed), but the main issue is that a representative of Apple has told me that the bluetooth approach I'm using, which is basically the only bluetooth approach that exists for transferring files as large as images, is not really supported. My guess - reading between the lines of what they wrote: this means it exists and there's no plan to take it away, but they will remove it if they find it takes serious effort to maintain it in the future. For example if they bring out new AirPods functionality (these rely heavily on Bluetooth) which breaks the codepaths I use in iOS, they might not choose to bother fixing them. So for this reason i'm loathe to build any serious/new functionality that relies on bluetooth going forward. Hence looking at the wifi-only path.

The wifi-only path isn't so bad: I think that moving forward, more people will choose to use their iPhones as the camera because the cameras are getting so good. There will always be photographers who want to sync their strobe flash, which definitely requires a real camera, and this is super important to me to support well. But the limitations of non-Canon cameras are at the point where I am getting ready to support a two-ipad solution with only wifi and not feel bad about it...
Please write a review for Wifibooth on the Apple App store! Indie developers like me really need people like you to review their apps. Instructions on how to write a review: http://goo.gl/w8NsDI.

aluminumwelder
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:31 am

Re: 1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby aluminumwelder » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:40 pm

pixbooth2 supports green screen AND magic screen. I just downloaded it again to verify.
I would guess that 90% or more of the photobooth rental companies use canon cameras, 9% use Nikon and 1% use sony. I have never heard of anyone using Panasonic or Fuji, except on this forum.

So dumping everything but canon would not be a huge loss IMHO.
There is a company called Breeze that used to make windows 10 software for canon and Nikon DSLRs. A year ago they just stopped providing support for Nikon. Obviously Nikon doesn't get used as much for them to decide to do that. Social booth is another windows 10 software company that does not support Nikon.

A two screen solution is nice and it has been implemented two main ways in the photobooth rental industry.
1. Ipad downloads pictures to a windows 10 pc which has social media sharing software.
2. ipad to ipad solution typically using dropbox or some other web file system

all of the current solutions use the 2nd screen for social media sharing. The main reason is to speed up the main line.
The ability to change the collages, or add props and stickers to peoples faces has never been a big bragging point with other apps, probably because it requires another expensive ipad and a lot of small rental companies do not invest in backups. I could be wrong, but I think social media will be most requested feature for a 2nd screen.

I think if wifibooth is to appeal to small rental businesses, then having a boomerang feature and having either preloaded templates or a bunch of tempaltes that can easily be downloaded and applied is key. A caption feature so people can enter in the event name and date would make it even more simple and then all the basic graphics can be done in the wifibooth app.

Being a photographer I applaud the inclusion of dslrs, but your average rental company knows very little about photography and just wants decent photos and an easy to use app. There is only one other ipad photobooth app that uses a DSLR and when I read their user forum it seems like most are still using the ipad camera only.

This is just my opinion, things could change, but the general trend I have noticed is that running a photobooth rental company has become easier because the cost of gear has dropped a lot in the past ten years and the learning curve is also much easier due to ipad and userfriendly apps.

aluminumwelder
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:31 am

Re: 1st Event done with iphone 8 and "Magic" screen

Postby aluminumwelder » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:43 pm

this is how far back for a group shot
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