We’re pleased to announce that the official NI mate Cinema 4D plugin v2.0 has now been updated to include a fix for C4D v13 that prevented correct recording of motion data. Based on the positive feedback we’ve received from users we decided that with this fix the plugin now also exits the beta status.
Please note that due to a bug in the early C4D v13 plugin api you should update to at least v13.051 to ensure correct plugin functionality.
We’re really excited to announce the release of NI mate v1.18 from the annual Blender Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The release was done in conjunction with our talk, aptly named “Kinetic Bunny, meet the Virtual Bunny” – in reference to our original “Kinetic Bunny” video. You’re invited to watch the recording of the talk below. The video includes a fun moment when Ton Roosendaal, head of the Blender Foundation, picks up the Oculus and turns in to Big Buck Bunny.
Oculus Rift support:
If an Oculus Rift is connected to the computer when NI mate is started the full skeleton head orientation is automatically replaced with the orientation data from the Oculus Rift. If the Oculus Rift wasn’t aligned correctly when NI mate was started you can reset the orientation by clicking on the Reset Oculus Rift orientation button in the Skeleton paths subtab.
Dual feed view NI
Selecting a second live feed now shows the second feed next to the first live feed in the Live view tab.
OSC Triggers NI
Triggers now support OSC messages with the format “/layername/X”, where the X is the trigger number.
This means that the triggers are now also available in the Processing tab as predefined variables.
In addition to this if the layername contains spaces the first word is taken as the name and the rest is sent as an OSC string with an appended trigger number _X. This makes it possible to for example toggle Animata layer visibility by setting the layername to
as long as the Animata layer name ends with an underscore and a number (_X).
New OSC command NI to set the live view alpha mode:
Active user numbering options NI
The order in which the active users are numbered can now be changed in the User tab. The available modes are:
Order of activation (old mode)
Distance from sensor
Order from left to right or right to left
Around triggers werent drawn to live feeds.
OSC and MIDI controller tracking sometimes registered feet as hands.
In some cases OSC messages weren’t received in NI mate correctly.
When using multiple users the MIDI Controller message for the first user was an aftertouch message instead of a CC message.
Updated Blender plugin
In addition to all the cool things in NI mate the official Blender plugin for NI mate has been updated with some nice features:
Include an NI mate profile as a text file inside the .blend for easy loading of correct settings every time the game engine is started.
Support for OSC messaging back to NI mate.
Fixed an orientation bug.
You can get the new Blender NI mate Tools v1.1 and the Oculus_Bunny.blend demo for the game engine from the NI mate Blender page.
It’s been way too long in the making, but the first beta version of the new official Cinema 4D plugin for NI mate is now ready for you guys to try out! This plugin should work with at least R12-R14, but it is likely to be just fine with R15 as well. Let us know if you have any problems.
This version is much more capable than the previous one and some of the new features include:
Recording under different root objects allows for multiple motion captured animations in the same scene.
Joint rotation support.
Default pose support.
More accurate recording and better recording controls.
Semi-automatic constraint creation to quickly start moving a real character through the motion captured data.
We’re definitely still open to all ideas and especially bug reports on this new plugin as this is not necessarily the final version, but a work in progress which we decided would be useful to put out at this point. For any feedback, please use this forum thread. As a tutorial video will only be made once the plugin is finalized, to get most out of the new plugin I suggest you read the details about everything from the plugin help boxes, which are located at the bottom of each tab in the plugin.
This release is basically a bug fixed version of v1.16. We think that many of the instability issues people experienced with that version were related to a library that we introduced in hopes of faster loading times. In v1.17 we’ve reverted back to the old library and focused efforts in to fixing some other bugs as well as introducing much improved troubleshooting advice and crash report generation in to the program itself.
This week at SIGGRAPH was exciting and both NI mate and Z Vector were well received by members of the CG industry. A full blog post will follow on SIGGRAPH later. As last week saw our NI mate plugin being included into the Unity Asset Store, we decided it was time to do a proper video tutorial to get everybody started. The tutorial covers the basics of using the plugin as well as how to import the live feed in to Unity (if you’re using non-pro Unity, please check out this FAQ entry):
We’re happy to announce that the official NI mate Unity plugin has now been included in to the Unity Asset Store. The plugin makes it super easy to bring your unity characters to life with NI mate and show the live view feeds inside Unity!
To get started with the plugin follow these steps:
Once the “Importing package” window pops up simply click “Import” with all of the plugin items selected
Open the “Bunny Example Scene -> Bunny” Unity scene to open up the example scene provided in the plugin
The Camera object contains the NI mate Receiver and NI mate Feed components, which communicate to NI mate
If you have a full licence for NI mate you can simply run the Unity scene and NI mate should start up with the correct settings. If you don’t have a full licence you should start up NI mate at this point and import the “Bunny Example Scene/Bunny.nimate” profile to NI mate and after that run the Unity scene
For detailed information about the different plugin settings and usage, please see the “Delicode NI mate/Instructions” text file that comes with the plugin
Note: if you don’t have Unity Pro you have to go through an additional step to get the NI mate live feeds working.
It’s about time you say? To our defense we’ve been extremely busy the past few weeks and so wrapping up this release of NI mate took a bit longer than we originally hoped for. Anyway here’s NI mate v1.16 with some really asked-for new features.
Probably most prominent of the improvements is the new “Kiosk mode” (for full licensees). The mode (available from preferences) introduces a watchdog process that intently listens to a heartbeat from NI mate to see whether the software is responsive or not. If the watchdog notices that there is no heartbeat, it kills and restarts NI mate automatically (with all the settings intact). The other major update (only available for full licensees with a supported Asus or PrimeSense sensor) is the introduction of the 60FPS mode. This could be very useful for certain applications, although it does significantly lower the resolution of the input.
In other news the fully functional (and official) Unity plugin for NI mate seems to be stuck in acceptance limbo at the Unity asset store – something we will try to ask around to fix ASAP. Exciting times also as Z Vector is definitely getting closer to release (just a few weeks more – we’re in crunch mode). That’s it for now. As always, thank you for using NI mate!
Kiosk mode option available in preferences. This mode launches a watchdog that restarts NI mate if it crashes, this disables all crash reports also from NI mate (on OS X all crash reports are disabled while the watchdog is running).
Sensor infrared data is now available as an option in preferences. Note that this option replaces the RGB data in the live view tab with the IR data.
High speed mode available in preferences for Asus Xtion and PrimeSense devices. This mode reduces the sensor resolution to half, but updates the sensor speed to 60 fps!
OSC command “restart” optionally followed by a profile name or a file path restarts NI mate.
Command line parameter “-load” loads a named profile on startup.
OSC Controller message range can now be greater than 127.
Smoother trigger motion.
Triggers are now also drawn into the live view if the “feed 1″ option is enabled for a trigger layer.
Big things are happening for our small development team here at Delicode as we’re getting ready to launch our second software titled Z Vector (previously known as “The V”). The software, under development since February 2012, is a new breed of visualization software specifically designed for depth sensors. The original v0.1 was developed simply as an audio-reactive tool to make a music video for the Finnish electro act Phantom. We quickly realized that this real-time tool could actually make for a very cool asset for anyone in charge of visuals at a club or a party – even experimental film makers.
Inspired by this realization we’ve spent a good part of the last year ideating, developing and testing this application together: myself on the field, Janne at home base. After a long development and debugging effort (bugs mostly only ever appear on the field, right?), we’re finally getting ready to push our new baby out to the world.
Next week will be the culmination of these trips as myself and Janne are traveling to the most amazing venue imaginable – a real castle. This years MLOVE 2013 confestival (conference + festival) will offer a showcase for the software with some amazingly talented dancers. I will also be speaking at the event, eventually during my speech (woups) slipping out the official launch date for its open beta phase. Let me tell you that date is extremely close. Like with NI mate, we will be doing a fully featured open beta starting from v0.90 and ending in v1.00, at which point the software will go on sale (a trial license will be available).
Z Vector short feature list (full coming later):
real-time depth camera based 3D scanning and mixing
virtual camera and multiple person tracking modes
multiple geometry and texture modes, particle effects
full sound analysis and MIDI clock synchronization for animation
animatable GLSL shaders with integrated editor
fully animated UI
scalable output resolution
stereo rendering (side-by-side, anaglyphic)
full MIDI/OSC control (with metadata and programmable meta controls)
record and playback of depth camera material (.ONI)
Syphon support (in/out, Mac OS X only)
available for Windows 7+ / Mac OS X 10.7+
So what does this all mean in regards to NI mate? The eventual release of Z Vector only deepens our commitment to NI mate. The two software share a major part of their code between each other and we have full plans on making the two talk to each other as seamlessly as possible.
To put emphasis on our continued commitment to developing NI mate, we will be putting out v1.16 within a week. We think this release includes some of the best new features for a while (like the kiosk mode, which will introduce the NI mate watchdog process – potentially a huge decrease in NI mate downtime). Similarly we have finally put our Unity plugin to the Unity Store’s review process, where we will hope it be accepted and added to the store assets soon.
In all this we hope you’ll continue enjoying the software and invite you try Z Vector when we start the open beta. While we start our final preparations for the coming week’s onslaught, I thought you might enjoy a completely real-time, un-edited video clip I made with Z Vector about 1,5 months back. Do note that the capture forced the resolution down as the actual running screen resolution for this clip was 1024×768!
The trip started with South by Southwest – a good place for showcasing new stuff. We used this opportunity to release a new version of NI mate (v1.15) and a new Blender plugin. We also made some good contacts to industry players that should help us in launching the next things on our roadmap: our Unity plugin as well as a new, much improved Cinema 4D plugin. One of the most interesting panels I had the pleasure to watch at SXSW was definitely the Oculus Rift VR talk, where industry veterans like Chris Roberts (Wing Commander etc.) were talking about how they think NI/NUI based user experiences will be vital for VR to really take off. Definitely an interesting conclusion for all of us working on this topic.
About a week after SXSW closed (which I used to drive a car 2200 miles from Austin to San Francisco), it was time for Game Connection America. This time around I’d reserved myself a table at the event for promoting NI mate, but our NI mate based interactive children’s story Kinetic Stories was also running as one of the “Selected Projects” (meaning best game projects for GCA 2013). We didn’t win this time around, but it was still an honor to present the concept to a crowd made up of many of the brightest game designers on the planet.
Our flyer from Game Connection America 2013
After GCA it was time for the last trade show of the trip – the Game Developers Conference. We were graciously invited to show off our developments by the nice people at OpenNI and PrimeSense. We shared the booth’s company space with the awesome Faceshift – the makers real-time markerles facial motion capture tool. This year the GDC proved to be perhaps the most fruitful of all the events, with an amazing amount of game industry people (a total of about 200-300) taking the time to try out Kinetic Stories and NI mate.
All in all I consider the trip an outstanding success. We also ended up showcasing our up and coming VJ software “The V” at both SXSW (three nights with Silent Frisco, made possible by the talent of Austin based VJ and friend Joao Beira) as well as the Night Club and Bar Convention (a two day trade show at Las Vegas – an extra stop along the way). As a result, “The V” has now had it’s first official showcases in the States and although the software is still a few months away from release, it’s definitely getting there.
DJ Kentaro at the Silent Frisco event in SXSW. Visuals “The V”. Picture courtesy of Tiago Gama Rocha.
In celebration of this year’s South by Southwest 2013 festival in Austin, we’re releasing NI mate v1.15. This release of NI mate brings many improvements to the old features and some support functionality for even better plugin possibilities. We’ve also released the OpenNI v2 version of NI mate 1.15 through the OpenNI Arena.
The first plugin to get the support for the new features of NI mate is our Blender addon (see tutorial video below). We’ll be releasing an update to the other plugins within the next month. As the changes in Blender addon are quite big, we decided to call it “NI mate Tools” instead of just “NI mate”. This should keep all existing addon uses valid, while making it possible to use the new addon properly. Grab the new addon from here and the sample .blend and NI mate config to get started straight away!
All skeleton orientation data is now sent through OSC as quaternions (4 floats in the order w, x, y, z) as this makes the rotations easier to handle in many programs and reduces the amount of sent data at the same time. The orientations are now also smoothed using the skeleton smoothing value.
Activation area coordinates are now supported in the Processing tab.
The skeleton “Omni mode” OSC path can now be changed.
All of the main output modes can now be quickly toggled on and off with checkboxes next to the tab names.
Code folding in the Processing tab
Number of active users value for MIDI & OSC Controllers.
Full licence features/changes
The “Linear Depth” live view mode is now “Encoded Depth” and provides the full depth information available from the sensors. Read more about this change in the documentation.
A new special option to “Only send torso location” when “Basic & Orientation” skeleton OSC mode is selected.
“load” and “import” OSC commands now support the file name in the same string instead of two consecutive OSC strings, e.g. “load profile_name” and “import profile/path.config”.
Activation area “corner” mode, which allows for user activation at specific points instead of inside the defined area. In this mode the area coordinates also measure the distance to the corner points instead of being the barycentric coordinates for the area.
Area coordinates now include the “active user id” as a fift value.
Activation area coordinates were not sent properly.
Multilicence device detection crashed easily.
Skeleton orientation data wasn’t correct in mirror mode.
The UI layout was made more logical in many places.
The “Possible conflict” popup is now history. Only one instance of NI mate can run at a time and trying to start a new instance is handled correctly without warnings.
NI mate OSC commands now require the address “/NI mate” in order to be recognized correctly.
NI mate version is now correctly displayed in OS X Finder and Windows Explorer.
Introduction to the new “NI mate Tools” Blender plugin”