I bagged a nice “why-not” eBay bargain on an old Kinect-a-like motion-capture device. Yes, there are still a few real low-price auction bargains from real people to be had there, among the vast herds of re-listers and ‘gadgets from China’ sellers. The Asus Xtion Pro depth-sensing camera is arriving soon. Unlike the early Kinect it’s Windows-friendly and can do good face capture, and unlike a luxury iPhone it doesn’t require a small mortgage and a contract-shackle.
But until it arrives, after much search/research, here are some useful files for getting an old Asus Xtion Pro depth-sensing camera running on Windows. The links and notes may help others.
2. Get the ISO unzipped and mounted. WinCDEmu is a good free driverless mounting utility, if your Windows baulks at driver-based ISO mounters. It’s important to note that once installed the firmware will require you also have the Primesense SDK Version 188.8.131.52 installed. The firmware-patched camera can only use OpenNI 2.x with this present. The installer from the ISO should get you this, as you’ll see by checking Uninstall…
Here there seems to have been some slight confusion, that now needs clearing up. I’m pretty sure that this “Primesense SDK Version 184.108.40.206” is what the official drivers page slightly misleadingly calls the “SDK OPEN NI Package 220.127.116.11 or higher”, from the Asus Xtion Pro’s sensor maker Primesense. There does not actually appear to have been a “OPEN NI Package 18.104.22.168″… and I think OpenNI Windows x64 22.214.171.124 and Primesense SDK Version 126.96.36.199 were confused and conflated by the person writing the driver listing. Easily done.
3. After the ISO install, check in Windows Uninstall to see the above version number is correct. Then connect the camera to a USB 2.0 port. I’m not yet sure what order the following two steps are to be done in:
i) install the updated firmware. Your original model Asus Xtion Pro should now work with OpenNI 2.0 and most motion-capture / robotics / 3D scanning software that requires 2.x.
ii) install the OpenNi 2.x drivers, presumably from your new C:\Program Files\OpenNI2\Driver folder. Possibly Windows will auto-install a driver as soon as the camera is plugged in, in which case you may need to ‘Update driver’ later.
On removing and then plugging back in your camera, the Primesense drivers should then — judging by screenshots from an old Windows 7 install guide — become visible in Windows Device Manager. The device shows as a “Primesense Carmine 1.08” (branded at retail as Asus Xtion).
OpenNI Cookbook has three pages which may help with this part of the process.
4. But the ISO appears to only install OpenNI 1.5.5. Now then… why does the drivers page say it contains the 2.x version? For the moment I’m guessing that the answer is that the Primesense SDK Version 188.8.131.52 may actually contain OpenNI 2.2.0.x within it or perhaps even 2.4.4.x. That would sense for a SDK (software development kit).
But if not, then as I’ve done here, also install OpenNI 2.2 from OpenNI-Windows-x64-184.108.40.206.zip at Stucture.io. This is a worthy community archive and so far as I can tell this appears to be the ‘last good’ version, before evil megacorp Apple stepped in and snaffled all the patents for use with their luxury iPhone.
5. Ok, you may then have something that will enable the camera to work when plugged in. If you look under C:\Program Files you should see these new folders.
If you get conflicts between OpenNI1 and OpenNI2, I guess you just uninstall version 1.
Note that there is also a firmware patch to take the camera’s USB 2.0 to 3.0, though one firmware patch will be enough for me for now. There are also various 32-bit installer versions of the above, if your old software requires 32-bit.
Note also that the Asus Xtion Pro is not to be confused with the Asus Xtion Pro LIVE version, which came out a year later and added an RGB camera to what is otherwise 99.9% the same model. Some old software appears to require Asus Xtion Pro LIVE, and I’ll test if it can run from a ‘firmware-updated Asus Xtion Pro capable of OpenNI 2.x’.
I’ll keep readers informed about progress, and if all this works when the camera arrives and is plugged in.
The original Xtion Pro works with:
* Unity (via various plugins and projects, or DIY your own)
* iPi Recorder + iPi Mocap Studio (body only, round-trips .BVH from Poser and DAZ)
* Visikord (motion-controlled music for VJs, art installations, haunted houses etc).
* UNREAL4MIRROR (Virtual fitting / dressing mirror plugin for Unreal Engine 4).
* “The Claw is an arcade machine with futuristic controls. We replaced the traditional joystick and push button” with the Asus Xtion Pro.
* iClone 5.1 + one of three MoCap Plugins then offered (the latter now deeply unavailable).
* Blender (human motions automatically laid along timeline, to control a water surface).
* Artec Studio (scan 3D objects to meshes).
* Should work with most other object-scanner software. No textures, as that would also require the slightly later Xtion Pro Live’s added RGB camera. But ArmorPaint would do the job on the mesh fairly easily.
* Faceshift (Facial mo-cap. Defunct now, purchased and killed by Apple. Later versions required(?) Xtion Live. But at 2015 they stated “All available cameras which produce good tracking quality are publicly supported by us or will be shortly. In 2015 you could get “a perpetual licence for non-commercial use for $150”, and don’t you now wish you did?).
* Matlab (for science/data analysis).
* GV-3D People Counter (counts the number of people entering a space).
Can also save a capture to an .ONI (OpenNI) file that appears to be .BVH-like… in that it packs all the frames as prerecorded skeleton movement data. This can be loaded to Unity via OpenNIContext. In addition, the .ONI timestamps can be queried with code, it’s said.
Also used in various robotics, medical, science projects etc. It has even been used in farming, as a “3D cow scanner” to detect lameness.
Fitted to some drones by ambitious drone-ers.
Also natively “supports push, wave, and tap gestures” for control of Windows software, and at launch shipped with the Kylo Browser (gesture-based Web browsing). Make “simple rotation gestures to zoom-out and zoom-in”, which sounds like it could get interesting with large digital maps.
At launch in Spring 2012, the list of compatible games included…
* SEGA’s Virtua Tennis 4.
* EA’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.
* Capcom’s Street Fighter 4.
* Rovio’s Angry Birds.
* Beatbooster was a slightly later flagship sci-fi racing/exercise game for the device. Judging by YouTube videos, not one for gamers who dislike motion-sickness. Seems to have vanished.
* Related to games, the TurboTuscany demo. World’s first VR headset with full-body tracking, which used the first Xtion.