There are time-lapses, and then there are Octolapses. If you want to acheive the best Octolapse, keep reading; this is the guide you're looking for!
Have you ever seen those viral videos, where 3D printed objects appear out of thin air, with no nozzle and no moving elements to disturb the view? This is called an Octolapse.
We all know that 3D printing is a time-consuming process, but it’s still worthwhile to watch. Instead of manually recording the entire printing process in real-time, a time-lapse video would be a better choice. This way, you can view the whole hours-long process of printing a model in just a few seconds. However, a normal time-lapse would still show the moving nozzle and print bed, with the movement somewhat distracting to watch.
Here is where Octolapse comes to the rescue. Octolapse is a plugin that runs on OctoPrint. Developed by FormerLurker, this plugin helps you take some cool time-lapses that are very visually appealing. In an Octolapse, the picture is taken at a specified position during each layer. The result is a clean video, with no moving parts and just the object in focus, which makes for a very smooth viewing experience.
The following sections will be all about how to get the best Octolapses through some tweaks and settings.
In OctoPrint, not all settings have been enabled by default. The “mjpegstreamer” is one such setting, which is disabled for security reasons. This function lets you control the additional settings for your camera from within OctoPrint, which is imperative for getting the perfect Octolapses. No worries, enabling this is a breeze.
Note: If your OctoPrint setup is accessible via the internet, enabling this setting will let unauthorized users access your camera settings such as exposure and brightness.
These are the steps to enable mjpegstreamer:
Before perfecting your Octolapse settings, you’ll need to establish a good starting point. This section explains the default settings that need changing. These are beginner settings, which have been proven to work well.
After opening the Octolapse tab in OctoPrint, you’ll get a configuration menu. Here’s a breakdown for each of the settings:
These settings will need fine-tuning to get an awesome Octolapse. Each camera needs to be tuned to the environment in which the video is going to be recorded. Hence, the time put into these settings is well worth it, and the results truly justify everything.
As explained earlier, you first need to enable the camera settings through the browser (with mjpegstreamer) to have access to them through OctoPrint. You’ll also need some test objects on the print bed in the position the Octolapse is going to be taken. In short, you need a test setup, with lighting as though a real Octolapse was being made.
Some prerequisites you need to know:
Now let’s look at the settings:
Aside from these settings, there’s one other setting that plays a vital role in perfecting your Octolapses. In the section “General Options”, look for Snapshot Delay. This controls the length of time before an image is taken. If your Octolapse seems wobbly, try increasing the snapshot delay. Note that a higher snapshot delay might lead to more stringing. We recommend starting with a value of 100 ms and going from there.
For any additional issues that you might be facing, here’s a troubleshooting guide that may help.
(Lead image source: OctoPrint Community Forum)
License: The text of "OctoPrint Time-Lapse: How to Find the Best Octolapse Settings" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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