Kinect Skeleton Recorder Documentation

skeleton

 

This program is designed to simply record animation sequences from the XBox 360 kinect and allow the user to save the animation to an xml file.  A GDI+ windows forms display makes it easy to view your animation before saving.  Saved animations can also be loaded again.

User Requirements

  • XBOX 360 Kinect Devicekinect

It is possible to run the software without having a kinect.  You can load xml animations, edit animation xml files and then use the program as a viewer to display the xml joint locations as if you had recorded the xml from the kinect.  But in order to record a kinect signal, you will need a kinect device.

You do not actually need the XBOX 360 itself.  The kinect connects directly to your PC.

 

  • Adapter

KinectAdapter

  • Newer Kinect models connect to the XBOX 360 using a single, high powered USB cable, rather than a separate USB cable and a power supply.  In order to connect the device to your PC, you will need the adapter.  
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  • Buy on Amazon

 

 

 

User Guide

This program is designed to simply record animation sequences from the XBox 360 kinect and allow the user to save the animation to an xml file.  A currently 2D windows forms GDI+ drawing of the skeleton being captured is rendered to a control so that the user can see the skeleton being recorded.  In the initial version of this software, this view is limited to the direction of the camera, and centered on the center of the camera view.  However, a scroll wheel scaling utility has been added to help ensure you can see the entire skeleton in the view. 

KinectSkeletonRecorderApp

  • Record

To get started, press the record button.  If you don’t get an error message, then in a few seconds as long as you are in front of your kinect you should start to see a skeletal representation of yourself appear on the screen.  You should be standing at least a meter away from the kinect or it might not be able to track you.  When you start to record, the record button becomes a stop button.  After you have recorded what you want, press stop to stop recording.  Once you have finished recording, assuming that you have captured any snapshots, the play button will be enabled and you will be able to use the play feature.

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  • Play

The play feature will allow you to play back the recording.  The recording is time agnostic, but the playback mechanism is designed to wait around 30 milliseconds between frames.  This may play back faster than it was originally recorded.  When the play button is pressed (if there are any snapshots to play) the play button will turn into a stop button.  Pressing stop will stop the playback at the current location.

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  • Track Slider

The track slider allows the user to easily drag the play position to the desired point in time.  This is only functional after you have recorded or opened an animation sequence.  As you slide the slider, the skeleton will change to represent the current animation position.  This allows careful review of specific portions of the animation.  As of version 1.0.2, the track slider is redesigned to support dragging a selection rectangle using the left mouse button on the control.  The selection rectangle specifies a range of frames that can then be deleted with the delete button.  As of version 1.0.4, the track slider selection will enable the user to copy, delete, or cut the selected range.  The paste feature will insert content either replacing the current selection, or in the position of the slider.  As of version 1.0.4, the slider will not show the selection and the slider handle simultaneously, but instead works more like the selection and cursor in MS Word or other applications.

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  • Track Slider Context Menu

Right clicking on the slider opens the context menu giving another access point to the edit functions that are explained later under the edit section.

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  • File

The file menu has basic tools for creating new animations, opening existing animations, or saving the current animation.  It also has a list of recently opened or saved files to make file access easier.

 

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  • New

If you have already opened or recorded an animation, you can use the File->New menu item in order to clear the animation and start over.

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  • Open

If you have previously saved an animation, you can re-open the animation using the open tool.  This will deserialize the XML into objects again so that you can play back the recorded animation sequence, or use the track slider to view a particular frame in the sequence.

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  • Open File Dialog

In order to allow you to select the file you wish to load, the open menu item will launch an open file dialog that will allow you to select the animation file.  The file filter is set to only read xml files.  Since XML is a  common file format, it will be possible to see xml files that are not animation files in the view.  Loading non-animation xml files will not work, and will almost certainly throw an exception.

 

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  • Save As

Once you have recorded an animation sequence, you can save your animation sequence.  This will open a save file dialog, giving you the opportunity to save the joint locations to an xml file that can be read by other applications.  This option is only available if there is a current animation to save.

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  • Save

If you have already saved the document, giving it a name, or opened an existing document, the Save utility will save the file using it’s existing filename.  This option will only be available if the current document has changed from it’s original configuration.

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  • Save File Dialog

The save file dialog will encourage you to save the file with the xml extension. 

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  • Recent Files

The recent files section lists files that have been used recently.

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  • Edit Tools

All the edit controls save the Undo, Redo, and Select All functions are accessible from both the edit menu and from the context menu shown when right clicking on the slider.  All the tools are also able to be triggered by keyboard clicks.

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  • Copy

The copy function can be accessed by typing Ctrl+C, by using the Edit menu item, or by using the right-click context menu on the slider itself.  The copy function is not enabled unless a region has been selected on the slider.  Copying will copy the animation frames corresponding to the slider selection to an internal clipboard (not the Windows clipboard) where it can be used in coordination with the paste tool.  Copying does not affect the current selection in the slider.

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  • Cut

The cut function can be accessed by typing Ctrl+X, by using the Edit menu item, or by using the right-click context menu on the slider itself. The cut function is not enabled unless a region has been selected on the slider. Cutting will both copy the animation frames corresponding to the slider selection to an internal clipboard (not the Windows clipboard) where it can be used in coordination with the paste tool.  This tool then also removes the selected frames from the animation and removes the selection from the slider.

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  • Delete

The delete function can be accessed by typing the delete key, by using the Edit menu item, or by using the right-click context menu on the slider itself. The delete function is not enabled unless a region has been selected on the slider. Deleting removes the selected frames from the animation and removes the selection from the slider.

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  • Paste

The paste function can be accessed by typing Ctrl+V, by using the Edit menu item, or by using the right-click context menu on the slider itself. The paste function is not enabled unless a selection has already been copied to the internal clipboard.  Pasting will copy the content to from the internal clipboard to the current slider position.  If the slider is currently selected, the selected region is replaced by the content from the clipboard.  Pasting will not modify the contents of the internal clipboard.

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  • Select All

The select all function causes the slider control to be selected, effectively selecting the entire animation sequence.

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  • Redo

The Redo action can be activating by typing Ctrl+Y or through the Edit menu, and Re-does a previously undone action.  If an edit method like Copy, Cut, Delete, or Paste is performed, then the information necessary to repeat the operation, and the information necessary to reverse the operation are stored in the undo stack.  Once an action is undone, then it will become possible to redo the action.  Once the state has returned to the top of the stack, the Redo feature will become disabled again.

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  • Undo

The undo method can be activated by typing Ctrl+Z or through the edit menu.  The Undo feature reverses the most recent Edit action like copy, cut, delete or paste.  As actions are undone, the program works it’s way back through the undo history.  When it reaches the beginning of the history, this item will be disabled.

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  • Help

The Help menu item includes tools to get more information about the application.

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  • About

The About menu item under the Help menu shows a dialog that gives some version information about the program.

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  • Documentation

The documentation menu tries to open a web browser to this documentation page.

 

  • Zoom

When the cursor is placed over the skeleton viewer control, the mouse wheel can be turned in order to zoom in and out of the view.  This allows the scale to be adjusted.  Scrolling forward will “zoom in” and make the skeleton appear larger, while scrolling backward will zoom out, making the skeleton appear smaller.

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Last edited Jun 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM by Shade1974, version 3

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