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Getting data from flex13 cameras

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:01 am
by ohanoch
Hi all,
I will start with saying that I am new to this world and as such might be missunderstanding some very basic things, so please correct me if I am way off the mark on things.

Recently my workplace found 4 old flex 13 cameras with an optihub 2 that haven't been used in a while and wanted to start a project tracking drones with them. Other than the cameras and hubs existance I don't have a clue of anything that has to do with them.
Basically as mentioned I want to be able to track drones, get the data from them in order to get my drones location and be able to reprogram the drone. I do not need it for graphical work or animations or anything of the sorts.

From looking around it seems like I need the NatNet SDK (or maybe the Camera SDK)? And I understand there is a way to link the information to MATLAB, which sounds like that is what I need (though if there is a way to get the information easily with python or C++ I would prefer that) but I didn't really understand how that works.

Also most of our workflow here is in Linux. As I see it everything on the website indicates that this works with Windows only, but I was wondering if there might be something I am missing that will allow me to work on Linux, though that isn't a deal breaker.

As you can see I am basically lost and looking for a place to start, like which SDK I need and how to get started with that SDK to be able to get the data I need. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Re: Getting data from flex13 cameras

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:51 pm
by joe.lee
Hello Or,

Welcome to the 3D tracking word. I hope you find it exciting.

We have a comprehensive setup documentation on our wiki:

I would suggest following the Getting Started guide to setup the tracking system first: ... ng_Started

The guide provides step-by-step instructions on setting up the system. If you need more information, each workflow is explained further on respective workflow pages (e.g. Calibration, Data Streaming, etc.).

From Motive, you can either export or stream tracking data. Recorded tracking data can be exported into other files (CSV, FBX, C3D, etc.), and both the recorded and live tracking data can be streamed onto client applications in real-time using the plugins or the NatNet SDK.

The NatNet SDK is our client/server networking protocol which is used to stream tracking data onto client applications that use the NatNet library. The SDK includes sample projects (C++, C#, matlab, python) for demonstrating the use of NatNet for receiving tracking data from the server application, Motive. NatNet is free, so you can just download it from our website and check out the details.

You can find more information on other SDK/API on the following page: ... oper_Tools

Motive, the tracking server, works only with
Windows, so you will need to have an access to a Windows machine in order to operate the tracking system. In the upcoming release of NatNet, 64-bit Linux platforms will be supported, and you will be able to build client applications in Linux and use it for receiving streamed tracking data. This support, however, is pretty new, so I would recommend using Windows also for building the client applications if possible.

I hope that answers your questions.Please let me know if you have more questions. Otherwise, have fun tracking!


Re: Getting data from flex13 cameras

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:18 pm
by ohanoch
Thanks for the speedy reply.
This is a dumb question but I want to make sure that I am not missunderstanding anything. I think because it is so basic I can't find it explicitly mentioned that I need motive:tracker in order to have natnet sdk work. I just want to make sure that that is indeed the case?

If that is the case is there any way of replacing a lost hardware license dongle without buying a new license? I am 99% certain that we had a license when we perchased the suit of products but I can't find it, is there a way to supply my products serial numbers (like the optihub2 or flex13) and obtain the license that is linked to that shipment?

Thanks again,

Re: Getting data from flex13 cameras

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:19 pm
by joe.lee
Hello Ohanoch,

NatNet SDK includes the client class for connecting to the tracking server (Motive), receiving tracking data, sending remote commands, and more.

The NatNet SDK can be downloaded for free, however, it can connect to OptiTrack server only. So, you will need to have Motive (Motive:Tracker, Motive: Body) in order to track and stream the data into the client application.

If you lost the hardware key, you can simply purchase a new USB hardware key and submit a support ticket with the serial number on the new hardware key to have it linked to a license. If you could provide the serial number on the cameras, we can track down the license information for you.

Thank you,

Re: Getting data from flex13 cameras

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:02 pm
by ohanoch
Thank you Joe, I contacted your license department and a very nice guy called Steven helped me out and I am ordering the missing HW license.

Once I receive it I will have more of a look at the NatNet SDK and will report if I run into problems.

Thanks again for all the help,