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Need suggestions for documenting art installation

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Need suggestions for documenting art installation
« on: 22 / March / 2010, 12:41:44 »
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My city is about to drop some serious change on a new art installation at the Convention Center:

http://www.tulsaworld.com/articleimages/2010/20100318_courtyardart0000318.jpg

They are thinking about documenting the installation of this project in some way, possibly with a time lapse video.  I've been in touch with the head of the Arts Commission, and would like to see if something relatively simple could be done using CHDK that would operate unattended for the most part.  At this point nobody knows how long it will take, but I'm betting several weeks at least because each of the tiles has to be mounted exactly right, and there are lots of them.  I'm thinking a picture every 30 seconds.

I'm assuming AC power would be available, but even so, the camera would need to shut down on nights, weekends and holidays, or at least retract the lens.  If someone was available once a day in the morning to put in a new memory card and start things up, what would be the best way to shut it down at the end of the day?  Of course I could put the AC adapter on a timer, but I think that would leave the lens extended, which I'd rather not do.  Can CHDK retract the lens?  Can it shut down the camera via script?

At this point I don't know what camera would be used.  I have an A590, but they may want to use something else.

Well, I would appreciate suggestions on how this might be done.

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Offline fudgey

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Re: Need suggestions for documenting art installation
« Reply #1 on: 22 / March / 2010, 16:28:46 »
Yes, you can shut down the camera cleanly from scripts. There's the shut_down command (I think...check wiki, that was from the top of my head) and events can also be used to send power off button commands from scripts. You can program the script to shut down according to date/time if you like.

You can set CHDK to autostart the script upon power on for easiest startup. Don't forget to duplicate all the empty SD cards so that you have the same CHDK config and script every morning!

Depending on your setup, you may need to do some camera setup at the start of the script -- e.g. manual focus setting isn't remembered between power cycles.

Re: Need suggestions for documenting art installation
« Reply #2 on: 22 / March / 2010, 19:01:49 »
Thanks, fudgey.  I'll go look over the site and see if there's a protected place with AC to shoot from.

Manual focus isn't remembered, or zoom position, or metering mode on my camera.  I figured it would be necessary to change the memory card once a day anyway, so it would make sense to change the card and start up the camera and script early in the morning, and have it shut down automatically at the end of the day, unattended.


 

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