Using Spotter Cameras to direct a PTZ where to look in an NVR or Blue Iris and setting a spotter cam as a priority in Blue Iris

wittaj

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We get this question from time to time, so I thought with the recent addition to BI, it made sense to have a thread we can point to.

Previously in BI, if you had more than one spotter cam, you could not make one a priority, so if spotter cam #1 triggered the PTZ and it starts tracking and spotter cam #2 is triggered, it would then take the PTZ off of spotter cam #1 tracking and move to the preset for spotter cam #2.

Now with BI 5.5.6.0, you can go into the PTZ tab in the Camera setttings and go to the preset that you want to have priority and check the "cancel alerts when the camera is focused on specific PTZ presets" box and then if it is tracking on that preset then another spotter cam will not override it.

As far as setting up a spotter cam, you can use any camera as a spotter camera. If you see the video in BI, it can be used.

Just set up the triggers to trigger the other cam. Not hard to do in BI.

On the PTZ camera, set up a group containing just that PTZ - it should be the only camera in the group so call it PTZ for example.

In the camera GUI for the PTZ, make a preset(s) for it to move to when triggered which gives the view you want. You can have several spotter cams each triggering a different PTZ preset, but you need to set those up first.

After you are done, redo in BI the find/inspect for the PTZ to ensure it pulls all the presets

On the Trigger tab for the fixed camera, under "When triggered" select "Move to preset" and select the preset number you just created for the PTZ.

Check the Trigger camera group option and hit select and pick the group name the PTZ is in.

Then check the move camera groups and hit select and then the camera group.

Hit ok and then that fixed cam will call up the PTZ whenever the fixed cam sees motion.

1637330197683.png




You also have to set a schedule up for the PTZ so that it will go back to the preset once it is done with the trigger.

Open up the camera settings and select the Schedule tab.

Then at the bottom right is an "Events Schedule" button. Select it.

Then you get a menu where you can tell it to go to different presets based on time of day or with sunrise/sunset. If you don't have different ones, then just enable a schedule that is the same preset, or you can do as I did and have different presets for different times of days.



1650570162159.png



Then when something triggers the fixed cam, it will move the PTZ to the assigned preset. You can use the "Trigger Now" to test.

There are a few other ways to do it as well.

And this works for a non autotracking PTZ as well.

Before I got an autotrack PTZ, I created a poorman's tracking PTZ using clone cameras in BI. My wide angle overview camera was cloned 7 times and I created a zone for different areas of the field of view and then would call up the PTZ to move to the preset number for each of those areas. It wasn't as good as a tracking PTZ, but it worked surprisingly well. As someone would walk up my driveway, the PTZ would follow them just by going to the preset number based on which zone they were in.



With BI update 5.7.5, it started the process of allowing us to see the IVS rules being triggered in the camera that is being fed to BI.

1697153033960.png



So it is close, but still not quite check box ready. But if you have the time, this thread talks about how to go about figuring it out:


EDIT:
BI version 5.8.5.6 has added a lot more flexibility and getting us very close to this goal. Actually I think it is probably as close as it can get unless BI sets up a section just for Dahua IVS cams.

Before this version it still didn't do what I wanted (wouldn't allow me to have a camera trigger for BI motion and then allow me to alert based on different IVS rules and wouldn't allow it to trigger different functions based on which IVS rule was triggered) without the use of clones, which can get messy and complicated and remembering what does what later.

It is now possible!!!!

With my 180 camera I was able to set up different IVS rules and have it send the PTZ to all these different areas.

So I can set up a zone one one side of the street with a PTZ preset zoomed in tighter to that side of the road and a zone on my side of the street with a PTZ preset zoomed in tighter to this side of the road instead of my before just generally more wide PTZ preset to get either side of the road.

Takes a little bit of work and isn't plug-n-play, but wow is it a game changer.

Here is how it is done.

Under the ONVIF Triggers comes up all of the camera events it listens to. Each one corresponds to something in the camera - motion detection, SMD, IVS tripwire, IVS intrusion, etc.


1707346290728.png




There is no need to figure out which is what if you are using IVS rules, so you can turn all of those off.

Instead, either keep track of what each IVS rule is named (IVS-1, IVS-2, etc.) or rename each rule in the camera GUI.

Then simply hit the + sign and in the Contains block put in the name of the IVS rule (IVS-1 or if you renamed it something else) and then in the memo you put down what it is for.


1707346729163.png




As they populate, they will show up in the Listen for:



1707346565911.png




Then you go into the alerts tab and the stuff you put in the Memo field can be used for the required AI:


1707346880280.png




Then you go to the spotter camera in BI and go to the Alerts tab and select one of the bottom two depending on your use case.

Use the "New zones/sources only (additive)" option if you are going to have several IVS rules being used in one camera and want to be able to do something with each rule separately.

The "New zones/sources only (exclusive)" option is a cool feature if you want to primarily use IVS rules for triggering your alerts, but you want to use BI motion to capture wildlife and other things. Prior to this option, you would need to use a clone because if the motion triggered first, then the IVS wouldn't trigger. Now you can use one camera and this trigger option and the object can trigger BI motion first and if it then triggers IVS, it will alert you of the IVS trigger.


1707346981408.png










And for those with an NVR, courtesy of @bigredfish, here is how to set it up with a Dahua OEM NVR:





AUTOTRACKING SETUP FOR DAHUA CAMERAS:

It is the camera that is doing the autotracking, not BI or the NVR.

To set up a Dahua autotracking with the new GUI, here is a video on how to do that:


For the older Dahua cameras, this is the method:

You need to set up a preset.

Then you need to set-up the Smart Plan with Deep IVS for the presets you want to track.

Then select the object filters you want.

Then go to Deep IVS Rules Config page and you should see Track Time under alarm and Tracking Target size slider.

When setting up IVS rules, I strongly recommend you use intrusion box with appears and crosses instead of tripwire. And less is more. One IVS rule.

Leave min size as 0,0

Make sure that Motion Detection and Smart Motion Detection are turned off.

I repeat, make sure Motion Detection and Smart Motion Detection are turned off LOL.

1670008525943.png







And then you will find that one of the biggest complaints about any tracking PTZ (regardless of manufacturer) is that if an object stops, so does the tracking. You cannot change this timing.

You can usually get it to not loose tracking so quickly if you change the target ratio a bit or turn PFA off, and I think this thing learns LOL. If the target ratio is too large, it will miss faster moving objects and lose tracking faster when an object stops.

My 49225 when I first got it would immediately lose track if someone stopped. Now it will hold at least 10 seconds if someone stops.

I do think they learn though as my Dahua PTZ seems to linger on for 10 seconds or so. Part of that can be by not having it zoom in so tight that you don't give it much to work with. Mine zooms in tight enough that I can see the whole body, so when they stop for their dog doing its business, there is usually a tapping foot or something that keeps it tracking.

Once the tracking stops it will either return to the preset it started at or with a VMS system you could tell it to go somewhere else. It is why many of us use spotter cams to help get it looking the right way if an object stops and starts again.

With Autotrack PTZs once the motion stops, there is nothing for it to "track" and then it is sitting at a field of view with no Smart IVS rules telling it what to do, so it reverts back.

That is why a robust system is set up with spotter cams and multiple presets so that it can start to pick it up again.


Here is a great thread by @bigredfish that shows how spotter cams can be used to get the object, whether the camera lost track of them or they stopped and it lost track.



Here is a cool video put together by @Ri22o that shows the spotter cam being triggered and showing the PTZ spin to the location just ahead of the person so that it is ready to go once the subject steps into the field of view.

 
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Flintstone61

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Im gonna watch " The Hook Up" review some PTZ's....
OMG he put the ( Hikvision) compatible AKA Jidetech compatible AKA horrid interface over the other cameras. based mostly on Price. Then i go to the VIZVIK Amazon site and see dissapointed buyers who gave a negative shout to "The Hook up" as recommending this camera from a PTZ review and are stuck with that thing. It's not easy to compare all these PTZ's i get it. But after a 2 year relationship with a " Hikvision" compatible PTZ....I find i agree with the weakpoints other people mentioned on Amazon.
But it still works after 2 Winters in Minnesota. It does have some function as just a regular cam. I think stationary cams are probably more suited the task of capturing video evidence. They'll always be right where you left them.
 
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We get this question from time to time, so I thought with the recent addition to BI, it made sense to have a thread we can point to.

Previously in BI, if you had more than one spotter cam, you could not make one a priority, so if spotter cam #1 triggered the PTZ and it starts tracking and spotter cam #2 is triggered, it would then take the PTZ off of spotter cam #1 tracking and move to the preset for spotter cam #2.

Now with BI 5.5.6.0, you can go into the PTZ tab in the Camera setttings and go to the preset that you want to have priority and check the "cancel alerts when the camera is focused on specific PTZ presets" box and then if it is tracking on that preset then another spotter cam will not override it.

As far as setting up a spotter cam, you can use any camera as a spotter camera. If you see the video in BI, it can be used.

Just set up the triggers to trigger the other cam. Not hard to do in BI.

On the PTZ camera, set up a group containing just that PTZ - it should be the only camera in the group so call it PTZ for example.

In the camera GUI for the PTZ, make a preset(s) for it to move to when triggered which gives the view you want. You can have several spotter cams each triggering a different PTZ preset, but you need to set those up first.

After you are done, redo in BI the find/inspect for the PTZ to ensure it pulls all the presets

On the Trigger tab for the fixed camera, under "When triggered" select "Move to preset" and select the preset number you just created for the PTZ.

Check the Trigger camera group option and hit select and pick the group name the PTZ is in.

Then check the Move to preset and change the number to the preset on the PTZ you want it to move to.

Then check the move camera groups and hit select and then the camera group.

Hit ok and then that fixed cam will call up the PTZ whenever the fixed cam sees motion.

1637330197683.png




Then when something triggers the fixed cam, it will move the PTZ to the assigned preset. You can use the "Trigger Now" to test.

There are a few other ways to do it as well.

And this works for a non autotracking PTZ as well.

Before I got an autotrack PTZ, I created a poorman's tracking PTZ using clone cameras in BI. My wide angle overview camera was cloned 7 times and I created a zone for different areas of the field of view and then would call up the PTZ to move to the preset number for each of those areas. It wasn't as good as a tracking PTZ, but it worked surprisingly well. As someone would walk up my driveway, the PTZ would follow them just by going to the preset number based on which zone they were in.
ok... you got your wish :)
Gave this a shot. Using 2 spotter cameras + PTZ for testing. Was actually pretty easy to setup. I initially thought it was HTPP curl requests that initiated spotter camera talk to PTZ but the Blue Iris GUI window made it a breeze.
One issue: the PTZ does in face move to a preset upon spotter camera trigger. However, it stays at that preset forever until a next trigger comes along. Is there is a way to have to go back 'home' after a period of time?
 

wittaj

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ok... you got your wish :)
Gave this a shot. Using 2 spotter cameras + PTZ for testing. Was actually pretty easy to setup. I initially thought it was HTPP curl requests that initiated spotter camera talk to PTZ but the Blue Iris GUI window made it a breeze.
One issue: the PTZ does in face move to a preset upon spotter camera trigger. However, it stays at that preset forever until a next trigger comes along. Is there is a way to have to go back 'home' after a period of time?
Glad to hear you finally got around to it LOL. And that it is working.

So I have noticed that some people have had that issue. It is supposed to go back after the break time maximum duration. Mine works as intended as does it for some, but I have noticed some recent folks setting up it doesn't.

1650901845889.png


So what you can do as a workaround is go into the alerts and add a wait time for the duration and then tell it to go back to the preset.

1650902049540.png
 
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this worked too :)
I'm also an idiot. Never could get this PTZ to track 100%...not even 50%...barely 25%. And then, only for 10-15 seconds even though via IE, I have it set for 300.
Little did I know... for every preset PLAN, you have to make new rules, under "Smart Plan". For over a year, I only had 1 plan thinking that was enough. Now I see I had to add a plan for every preset to make the intrusion box rule. duh!
 
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this worked too :)
it appears I am in error. Though "logically", the PTZ/Function/Idle Motion "should" move back to a specific preset (in my case...Home) after an idle time of 1 minute... that only happens rarely as in not consistent. I do not know why. I wonder if this interferes with my Blue Iris MAKE settings or some other settings. Or if this relates only to the Motion Detection of the PTZ itself (which is turned off due to using IVS rules).
But was does work 100% of the time is a different menu option. Time Task. After 301 seconds (301 because I have auto-tack on for 300 seconds), it will goto the preset I enter. I'll have to play around with all these settings but at least I found an easy way to reset the PTZ to HOME present.
Untitled.jpg
 

Flintstone61

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Book marking this thread as I have only unboxed my 49425 PTZ or whatever number that is......and am in for a big learning curve.
 
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Book marking this thread as I have only unboxed my 49425 PTZ or whatever number that is......and am in for a big learning curve.
just take note of making multiple plans for each preset, as I just found out after 400 days of use with this PTZ :) I did not exactly read instructions or videos of using a PTZ as I treated it just like any of my static cameras.
 

wittaj

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Lot's of different ways to get the PTZ back home if for some reason BI doesn't return it. Not sure why it works for some and not the others.
 

Dixit

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I agree with our issues. I’m seeing same issue with my PTZ.

I used this thread to set it up using my spotter cams but the PTZ definitively isn’t returning home like the idle time option. I for now just gave up on that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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I agree with our issues. I’m seeing same issue with my PTZ.

I used this thread to set it up using my spotter cams but the PTZ definitively isn’t returning home like the idle time option. I for now just gave up on that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
use that 'time task' menu. it works (at least for the last 24hours). More testing to be done.
 
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something goofy is going on. Maybe I do not understand the logic procedure.

I assume:
1.) spotter camera is triggered.
2.) Blue Iris notifies PTZ.
3.) PTZ moves to programmed preset.
4.) after the break time from the Blue Iris camera trigger page is set (example: 20 seconds)...Blue Iris sends another request to the PTZ to go home after no triggers have occurred.

I've been dabbling with Wireshark. I watched both Blue Iris Server IP and the PTZ IP.
I can see when the spotter is triggered. For my testing purposes, I was manually triggering via Blue Iris and not relying on the spotter camera IVS to initiate the trigger.
I can see the HTTP ONVIF packets leaving Blue Iris to the PTZ and telling it to move to preset 2, which it does. For those curious about the ONVIF commands/responses when using Wireshark: specifically, GoToPreset command.
Since I have break time set to 20 seconds, I expect to see Blue Iris contact the PTZ again after 20 seconds to command the PTZ to go back to HOME preset. It does not. I let Wireshark run for 128 seconds and there was no further HTTP ONVIF packets.
Might have to escalate this question about why the PTZ does not return home after the break time to the Blue Iris forum or to Mike himself.
 
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