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Chapter 3  Usage

3.1  Profile Management

Every parameter concerning the Motion application or the captured pictures are stored into a profile. the profile contains the list of parameters for each camera which permits to setup the archive picture viewer (see chap. 3.1) , the WebCam (see chap. 3.1) , the timing configuration (see chap. 3.1) , the list of function available (see chap. 3.1) and the remote control of Motion (see chap. 3.1) . A profile should be created pro camera and needs to have an unique Camera Name as identifier.


The features provided by XMotion is depending from the Motion configuration (activation of XML-RPC or the WebCam interface) and the Linux configuration on which Motion is installed.

Figure 3.1: Archive of Picture Viewer configuration Example

To provide the "Archive Viewer", XMotion needs a possibility to read the directory on which the pictures are stored. This can be on the local file system or via FTP (see figure 3.1). XMotion does not handle every file name layout: only the "oldlayout" and the "newlayout"1 (with directories) are supported (see chap. 7) .

Figure 3.2: WebCam configuration Example

To provide the "WebCam", Motion needs to be configured with the WebCam interface activated. The control of the Tilt/Pan of the camera can only be used if the XML-RPC or HTTP-API is configured (see figure 3.2). The XML-RPC or HTTP-API is recommended for this interface for retrieving the first picture of the camera ( XMotion modify some settings to force Motion to send the first picture).

Figure 3.3: Remote Configuration configuration Example

To provide the "Motion Remote Configuration", Motion needs to be configured with the XML-RPC or HTTP-API support (see figure 3.3).

Figure 3.4: Motion Tuning configuration Example

To provide the "Tuning Interface of Motion", Motion needs to be configured with the WebCam interface activated and with the XML-RPC or HTTP-API support (see figure 3.4).

Archive Configuration

Figure 3.5: Profile - Archive Configuration

The "Archive Location" part contains the communication parameters necessary to view the archive of pictures which where captured by Motion 23.
For the FTP access it is possible to use an authentification mechanism (login+password). In this case, the login need to be entered into the profile. The password can also be saved into the profile or, if not saved, a prompt will ask for it on the connection.

WARNING: The password is saved in clear text into the profile.

Remote Control of Motion

Figure 3.6: Profile - Remote Control

The "Motion XML-RPC" part, is used for the remote configurating of Motion (see chap. 3.4) . The Motion-XML-RPC protocol need to be enabled.

WebCam Configuration

Figure 3.7: Profile - WebCam Configuration

The "WebCam" part, is used for the configuration of the WebCam feature of Motion (see chap. 3.3) . The Motion-XML-RPC protocol and the WebCam Http server need to be enabled. The check box Tilt/Pan Camera permits to enable the interactive modification of the tilt and the pan4. The check box Pictures when a movement is detected permits to upload only a picture when Motion detect a movement. Additionally, XMotion can play a WAV audio file (check box Play sound on new Picture)5 or let the background blinking (check box Blink on new Picture) when a new picture is uploaded.

Timing Configuration

Figure 3.8: Profile - Timing Configuration

The "Timing Synchronization" part, is used for configurating the archive picture viewer.
Synchronization Time
this parameter is use for displaying the pictures with the same timing as their were captures. This happened only for pictures which are captures in time frame of "Synchronization Time" seconds. (see chap. 3.2.2)
Skip Time
this parameter is use for the fast forward () and rewind button (). Clicking on this button will force XMotion to find the next (resp. previous) picture which are captured in a time frame greater than "Skip Time" seconds. (see chap. 3.2.3)

Windows Configuration

Figure 3.9: Profile - Windows Configuration

Remote Configuration:
This option permits to hide the " Motion Remote Configuration Sheet" menu entry (see chap. 3.4) .
Tuning of Motion:
This option permits to hide the " Motion Tuning" menu entry (see chap. 3.5) .
This option permits to hide the "Archive" menu entry (see chap. 3.2) .
This option permits to hide the "WebCam" menu entry (see chap. 3.3) .
WARNING: XMotion hides menu entries only if this function is globally enabled (see chap. 3.6) .

Miscellaneous Configuration

Figure 3.10: Profile - Miscellaneous Configuration

The "Working Directory" is a directory which is used for saving the viewed pictures (see chap. 3.2.4) . If this directory is not defined, saving pictures on the local computer is disabled.

3.1.1  Creation

Click on "Main->New Profile" to create a new profile.

Enter first a "Camera Name". This name is used as identifier of the profile.

3.1.2  Removing

To remove a profile click on "Main->Remove Profile->Selected profile".

3.1.3  Modifying

Modifying a profile works exactly as creating a new one. As long as the "Camera Name" is not modify, the parameter of the selected profile is modify. If the "Camera Name" is modify then a new profile is created.

3.2  Picture Archive Viewing

XMotion is able to display the pictures captured in a "media player" look and feel.
This function require: All buttons which permits to interact with the archive viewer are located in tool bars. Use the menu entry "Tools" to display it.

3.2.1  Connection

The connexion parameters are specified into the profile. Is a password is needed for the communication, a input window will be popped up on each creation of a new instance of the archive viewer.

3.2.2  Playing a picture sequence

If pause button () is off, XMotion starts to play a picture sequence. It is possible to play the sequence forwards or backwards.
If "Time Sync" is checked, the sequence is playing respecting the capture timing. If unchecked, XMotion plays the sequence pictures after pictures as fast as possible.

Pause mode

If pause button () is on, the pause mode is selected.

The current sequence is freezed and all navigation operation (fast forward, jump to a date,...) are showing only one picture.

Time-sync mode

The synchronization is activated if the check box "Sync-time" is checked.
In this mode, XMotion tries to display the video sequences with the same timing as for the capture. This means: if a picture is captured every seconds, XMotion will display every second a picture.
It is possible to force XMotion to display the current picture by clicking on .
In the profile (for configurating (see chap. 3.1) ) it is possible to define the maximal time between 2 picture under which the synchronization is activated.
Date Pictures Captured
22-01-2000 12:00 pic1
22-01-2000 12:02 pic2
22-01-2000 12:03 pic3,pic4,pic5
22-01-2000 12:15 pic6
22-01-2000 12:18 pic7
The maximal synchronization time is set to 10s.
XMotion will play back the sequence as follow:
display pic1
wait 2s display pic2
wait 1s display pic3
wait 0.33s display pic4
wait 0.33s display pic5
do not wait display pic6
wait 3s display pic7

Synchronization-less mode

In this mode, playing a sequence of pictures will simply display one picture after an other, as fast as possible.

3.2.3  Search functions

Fast forward/rewind

The fast forward () and the rewind button() can be used to jump to the previous/next sequence. A sequence of pictures is delimited between a blank (no pictures captured) of Skip Time seconds. (see chap. 3.1)

Date Pictures Captured
22-01-2000 12:00 pic1
22-01-2000 12:02 pic2
22-01-2000 12:03 pic3,pic4,pic5
22-01-2000 12:15 pic6
22-01-2000 12:18 pic7
The skip time is set to 10s.
If the current picture displayed is pic1, XMotion will jump to pic6 if clicking on , because the time between pic5 and pic6 is greater than 10s.

Selecting a date

To view the pictures from captured at a specific date process as follow:
  1. Change the date in the input field.
  2. Click on the button "Date".

Checking for new pictures

The check for new pictures button6 () permits to check if new pictures are captured and set the current position to the last captured picture.

3.2.4  Recording viewed pictures

It is possible to record the pictures viewed when a "Working Directory" is defined. (see chap. 3.1) If no "Working Directory" is defined, the save button is hide. When the save button () is "on" every pictures displayed will be recorded into the working directory. The format of the file is: <profileName>-<date>-<time>.jpg.

3.2.5  Preferred Picture Type

The "Miscellaneous" tool bar permits to select the preferred view of the picture sequence. This option permits to switch between the "camera view" (normal output from the camera) and the "motion view" (motion output which permits to see where the movement was detected).

WARNING: If the "motion" picture is not generated, this setting does not have any impact.

3.2.6  Cache handling

XMotion uses 2 kind of caches:
Picture Cache:
this cache is a global cache which store a copy of the JPEG files read. This permits to reduce the necessary bandwidth when replaying a sequence. The maximum size can be configured in the global options.
Directory Cache:
this cache is created per profile, and contains a copy of the directory structure. This cache is build "when reading some items are needed" to avoid to read the complete remote directory7.

3.2.7  Shortcuts

Icon Shortcut

3.3   Motion WebCam

XMotion is able to display in the tool bar the actual picture of the camera. This function require that Motion has a configure WebCam Http server activated. Clicking on the picture will open the corresponding archive viewer and show the last captured picture. XMotion can play a sound8 or blink on incoming picture. This is useful if Motion is configured to upload only pictured when a movement is detected. If activated, it is possible to modify the tilt and pan of the camera.

The general configuration (see chap. 3.6) permits to define the maximal size of the picture displayed.

WARNING: The Tilt/Pan support is an untested feature.

3.4   Motion Remote Configuration

The configuration of Motion can be interactively modified if Motion have the XML-RPC activated. The XMotion profile must contain the server name and the XML-RPC port number.
It is possible to modify directly the parameters from the table. Each modification is committed immediately. "Read" will re-read all parameters. "Write" will write the changes to the initialization file.

3.5  Tuning Motion

The "Tuning Window" permits to modify some tuning parameters of Motion interactively. Each modification of the parameters are committed immediately to Motion . The "Write" button permits to write the configuration into the configuration file of Motion . The "Restore" button restore the settings made until the "Write" button was clicked or until the "Tuning Window" was opened.

3.6  Options

The option dialog contains options which are related to the whole application.
Application language. This option need a restart of the application.
Picture Cache Size:
Size in megabytes of the picture cache.
Reconnect Timeout:
When a connection is closed, XMotion perform a reconnection after "Reconnect Timout" seconds.
WebCam Width/Height:
Maximal size of the WebCam pictures.
Show Profile Management Tools:
This option permits to hide all menu entries which permits to create, modify or delete a profile.
Enable Hiding of Menu Entries or Windows:
Global enable for all hiding function.

The newlayout is the preferred format.
This archive can use the old or the new name formation
It is generally better to use the new name format due to the directory structure used. This permits to ready only partially the list of captured pictures.
If supported by Motion
Only available is Qt is compiled with sound support
This manual operation is needed due to the cache management. (see chap. 3.2.6)
This works only if Motion is configured to support the new file format. For the old format, the complete directory tree of the archive need to be read, this can cause some performance issues.see motionsettingnew file format
This require Qt configured with sound support.

This project is sponsored by CoverageMeter - Software Test Performance Measurement

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