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How to set up motion detection in a Mobotix network camera

March 3rd, 2010 by James Drinkwater

Although having a reputation for creating powerful and robust security cameras, Mobotix also tend to be a little harder to configure than most other IP cameras. The motion detection function is one such feature that many people find difficult. This article describes how to set up motion detection in a Mobotix camera and provides some tips on getting better results.

We have assumed that your Mobotix camera is running and that you can access it using a standard web browser.

Mobotix events overview

The event system in Mobotix cameras works differently to most other IP cameras. In other cameras, motion detection and the functionality of what to do once motion is detected are tied in together, often on the same page. With Mobotix cameras, the detection system and action system are both entirely separate. This provides flexibility for combining events but also makes configuration harder for beginners.

Again, in a different manner to other IP cameras, motion is not detected across the entire captured image. Instead, you create image windows on which to check for motion. This allows you to only trigger events only on areas that you want to monitor, reducing false alarms.

Now that you have the basics, let’s begin the process.

Turn on events

To start creating motion detection events you need to first turn on the event system. To do this, Click on the Setup Menu button at the top left of the main camera view. Click the “General Event Settings” link.

Mobotix interface to turn on events system

The only setting you need to worry about in this page is the “Arming” option at the top of the page. This is the master on/off switch for any form of events or recording and needs to be set to “Enable” in order for all other settings to function.

Click “Set” at the bottom of the page once you change the setting and then click the back button at the top of the page. Now click on the “Event Settings” link.

Event Settings page

This page contains the settings for each of the events that can be triggered from within your camera. These are different throughout the range but include motion detection, microphone inputs, time tasks and button presses. Each of these is enabled or disabled by clicking the respective tick box. Ticking each box will list a range of new options for each event type.

Be aware that you may not be able to see all event types. If you can only see three or four, click the “More” button at the bottom right hand corner of the page. This should show all event options which are available to you.

Click the tick next to Video Motion Window (VM) to see the motion detection settings.

Setting Motion Detection Windows

Mobotix Event Settings Page

In order to create motion detection windows, you need to have the camera view open in the background and the Event settings page open in the foreground. We recommend you set the resolution on the camera to be 800×600 or less so that the entire image fits easily on your screen. To do this, click the middle drop-down options above the image and select “Image size”. Following this, click the right hand drop-down and select “SVGA (800×600)”. The screen size should now change. Don’t worry about disrupting the motion detection settings later when you change the resolution later as the camera is intelligent enough to adjust the motion detection windows to match.

In order to create a motion window, go to the main image page. At the top left of the area you wish to select, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and left-click. A yellow dot should appear. Now, move to the bottom left of the area you wish to detect and left-click the mouse. A yellow-edged box should now appear between the two points you selected.

Now, go back to the Event window screen and click the “Add Rectangle” button on the right hand side of the page. The yellow box on the main page will now disappear and a new line will appear in the “Video Motion Definitions” window. We’ll take a quick look at what the added line actually means.

0,540,380,200,200,s=20,a=25

The first number is the lens that the event corresponds to for use on multi-lens cameras such as the M12 or D12. For anyone using a single lens camera such as the M24, this is always 0. The next two numbers are the X and Y positions of the top corner of the box. The following two numbers are how wide and tall the box is, in this case 200×200. The S value is the sensitivity to changes and is a value between 0 and 99. You can try adjusting this to be higher if objects are far off or events are not being triggered by objects in the window. Finally, the A value is the minimum area of the window that needs to change in order for an event to be raised. Again, this is between 0 and 99 and can be adjusted to fit your location.

You can set more than one window at a time to trigger an event. Once you have set your windows scroll down to the bottom of the window and click “Set”.

Adjusting windows

Adjusting or deleting a window is very easy. In the Video Motion Definitions you can simply alter numbers in the text for each window. Alternatively you can just delete the text for the window and re-add it using the method described above.

Checking your motion detection settings

Just below the Video Motion Definitions box on the Event Settings page you will see a box marked “Video Motion Style for Group 1”. By default this should be set to “On and highlight on event”. This means each motion detection window will be shown in the main view as a dotted box. Once you have finished setting up the motion detection it is wise to turn this to “off” but for testing purposes leave this on.

To test each box, have someone walk through the camera view, making sure to walk through the box locations . If the box is configured correctly, the box should flash red to indicate that an event has been detected. If no event is detected, try increasing the sensitivity of the window and lowering the minimum area. You can see the extent of the motion detected in the bar at the top of each window. As more motion is detected in the window, the bar will grow. The white line on the bar is the trigger level over which an event will be triggered.

Using the detected motion

Once you have the events being triggered by motion you need to use them for something. There are a few options available.

Assuming you have already set up a file server in the admin menu, you can set the camera to record only when motion is detected saving a lot of space over continuous recording.

To set this, go to the Setup menu, click on “recording”. Beside Recording (REC) select “Event Recording”. Specify how long you want the event to last for and the frame rate before hitting “set” to store footage.

Recording Settings Page

Alternatively, you can set up an FTP event so that once motion is detected, images are transferred to a remote server across the Internet. We will cover this in detail in later articles.

Tips

With a wide area and far-off objects, a single large detection window can often not be sensitive enough to pick up motion. In this case, try creating multiple smaller windows for further away objects with larger windows for closer objects.

Also, with many boxes on the screen it can be difficult to keep track of which entry in the Video Motion Definitions box corresponds to which window. However, in the top-left hand corner of each window there is a number which corresponds to the order that each window is entered. This can help you to remove or alter the correct box amid many similar boxes.

You should now have a firm grasp of how to set up motion detection on a Mobotix camera. If you have any questions or comments, let us know below.

7 Responses to “How to set up motion detection in a Mobotix network camera”

  1. James Drinkwater says:

    @TBlade
    There's no built-in cross-line detection. That tends to be limited to video analytics systems with object detection. Sony DEPA cameras have this. You can also add it to Axis cameras with the Axis Camera Application Platform.
    You could set up lots of small boxes which trigger events, but there would be no differentiation between standard motion and a crossing object.

  2. TBlade says:

    Is it possible to define instead of boxes a line, that when trespassed triggers an event?

  3. toddels says:

    @James Drinkwater – as of the last few weeks, Mobotix added crossline detection and heat map analytics as part of the OS of the Mobotix Q24 Camera. It works really well and is a free update to the firmware. Hope that helps!

  4. Ardy2 says:

    Je veux configurer une m12 mobotix pour détecter lorsqu'un véhicule gare sur le parc et envoyer un mail quelques secondes après son stationnement. Merci de m'aider.

  5. CCTV Center says:

    These a great quality cams but sooo complex to work with. I like the M12 which is hard but managable but for some reason the Q24 doesn't use the same menus and settings. I can never find what I'm looking for.
    Here I am looking for the menus to change the detection zones in the Q24 and I'm running out of patience.

  6. Henric says:

    I got the motiondetection to work but it seems to only save 1 or 2 pictures for each event. I set fps to 12 but I newer got any video. Just 1 picture for every 10s. I record on a SD-card.

  7. Emanuele says:

    Dear Henric, I have the same problem: one frame each 10 seconds is recorded by motion detection. My camera is a dual lens d14.