... Home of FOSS, open hardware, professional digital cinema and imaging tools.
If you're unfamiliar with the project then AXIOM Beta is the first cinema camera built around FOSS licenses. Other hardware devices such as AXIOM Remote and software like the RAW processing suite OpenCine are also being developed alongside. All software and hardware are made open source and open hardware.
AXIOM Beta was used to conduct research, development and testing throughout, and the sensor was showcased at the 2019 SPIE Photonics West optical conference in San Francisco. Reading more about why this is significant at:
Preliminary meetings with respect to mass production runs of the AXIOM Beta hardware were undertaken across January. Things are still in the planning stage so there’s nothing definite to report but both parties (apertus/Tele) are happy with the potential for collaboration at this point. If you’re unsure what this means we showcased their facilities and the factory hub where our current office resides in Team Talk 14.1.
After careful consideration we’ve decided to abandon promotion across Facebook and, instead, promote more privacy aware and open alternatives. A full account of the reasons why has been documented here:
We've just completed the Google’s Summer of Code 2019 organisation application process and should be notified on the 26th of February if we are going to be part of the program again this year. If you're interested in participating as a student then feel free to take a look at the following links:
In the first week of the new year we held an AXIOM Beta firmware hackathon with Vup, Anuejn, Bertl, Sebastian and Andrej during which we completely revamped the cameras internal Linux structure. This firmware is now automatically compiled (nightly builds) and packaged up with every new commit through continuous integration. A few issues still need to be fixed, but in general this is a huge leap forward as it allows programmers to contribute to development more easily.
Collaborating on software development that runs on specific hardware has been quite tricky up to this point. Andrej now developed an AXIOM Remote Visualizer Software. This software emulates the buttons, knobs and LCD display from the actual hardware in software but otherwise runs the original AXIOM Remote software. This means that AXIOM Remote software can be developed and emulated on any PC, from anywhere - no special hardware required.
In January we ordered samples from manufacturers of hard cases. This has seemed like the best, most conscientious way to ship cameras to users, when ready, as the solution has a potentially long, useful, lifespan. There are still some challenges involved, e.g. the inside needs to be filled with ESD safe (optimally conductive) foam and this is a relatively uncommon demand for makers of such cases. Nevertheless we feel that it's important to add an additional security layer for the devices. Finding the best solutions for this will be next on the agenda in this regard. In the coming weeks we'll also be working on general package design.
Following the same procedure surrounding how we began development of an SDI interface for the AXIOM Beta (with an off-the-shelf FPGA development board) Bertl has now created the very first SATA interface prototype hardware. This should allow us to connect solid-state recording media like an SSD directly to the AXIOM Beta in the future. It’s too early to know if, and how well, it really works, but the first prototype PCB has been ordered and will be forwarded to Florent (an FPGA logic developer based in France) once it has been received and populated.
The company that produced the trimmers used on the AXIOM Beta Power Board was bought up by Bourns which resulted in the components being discontinued. Now eventually Bourns has released new products with a similar footprint allowing us to start producing ABDK Power Boards again.
A number of WiFi sticks have been acquired. These will be tested over the coming month to determine which is the best one to create a camera hotspot for communications between the AXIOM Beta and laptops or tablets.
If you're looking for a task to get into AXIOM Beta development you might consider the following a good starting point (we're happy to support you on getting started and answer any questions - get in touch with us):
Lens Mount Shimming
We started defining and evaluating the process of shimming our lens mount. There are still a few unknowns though - like if photography lenses are actually manufactured accurately enough to benefit from shimming at all or if it's something only expensive PL mount lenses require. If you're knowledgeable about this or if you have an opinion or ideas please get in touch.
Functional emulation of the AXIOM Beta hardware in QEMU
We want to develop a QEMU based system to emulate the hardware in the AXIOM Beta in software meaning we can boot and test the firmware running on the camera on any PC. The task is to extend the Xilinx branch of QEMU to support AXIOM Beta hardware and setup in a way which allows to run and test the existing Kernel and Userspace without AXIOM Beta hardware. If this is something you can help with head on to read more in the apertus° Lab.
AXIOM Remote: miscellaneous drawing and management tasks
We collected quite a few small tasks that are waiting for love from contributors related to the GUI on the AXIOM Remote. As mentioned above with the help of the AXIOM Remote visualizer this development can now be done independent of the actual hardware and will provide immediate graphical feedback.