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Dual 6G SDI Plugin Module First generation Dual 6G SDI Development prototype based on an off-the-shelf FPGA module Previously, across Winter 2017 together with at 34C3 in Germany, we showcased a first generation AXIOM Photon-SDI development prototype - this was based on an off-the-shelf Xilinx Artix FPGA module. The team got together in Vienna a week before Christmas 2017 for a hackathon. The aim was to focus on SDI related FPGA software development and to make preparations for... » Read more
Moving Offices For the last two years the AXIOM headquarters has cohabited from the modest Amescon facilities in the 15th District of Vienna, Austria. This is where most of the electronics manufacturing for the AXIOM Betas has taken place. This spring we began the process of moving to a new, bigger and better shared office called Factory Hub Vienna - this was quite a challenge as the pick and place machine was built and assembled inside the old office and so it wasn’t clear whether or not the... » Read more
AXIOM Beta USB 3.0 plugin module If you've been following the project you'll know that, where recording data is concerned, the AXIOM Beta has relied solely on external, off-the-shelf, HDMI recorders and all the pros and cons that are known to be inherent with those devices up to now. With the USB 3.0 plugin module, however, any computer with USB 3.0 connectivity can be used as an AXIOM Recorder. This will allow us to define format/container/metadata/etc. of uncompressed raw 4k footage for the... » Read more
Last week, apertus° community member davidak , from Germany, visited Vienna and participated in a number of AXIOM related activities in the course of one week ranging from hardware assembly, software development and building ergonomic enclosure evaluation prototypes, to shooting with the AXIOM Beta. Davidak on various AXIOM duties in Vienna. Shooting the Signs of Autumn in a Vienna Park Of course, nobody wants to work on the AXIOM project without taking the camera for a spin, and so, even... » Read more
Coding Period completed This was our first time participating in Google’s Summer of Code program and it came to an end with our student’s final evaluation period across late August to mid-September 2017. As you may or may not remember we received around 30 applications/proposals (many of which were very good), narrowed this selection down to around 5, and gratefully received 3 slots from Google in the end. After some preliminary work the students got to grips with the camera’s operating... » Read more
We know a lot of people are waiting for news about hardware production and we are doing production and development in parallel. Our most recent article talked about progress with electronics manufacturing - in this article and Team Talk we want to share news about new ongoing developments though. AXIOM Beta Dual 6G SDI module in development When choosing between HDMI and SDI we have so far given HDMI priority as, for developers working with the AXIOM Beta, it meant a larger and more affordable... » Read more
Developer Kits have been shipping for some time now and we are aware that the most pressing question for many of you is "When will the AXIOM Beta evolve from a Developer Kit to being a production ready camera?" This article should help to answer that question, but keep in mind that the camera has been carefully designed to evolve constantly. For a detailed itinerary of outstanding tasks and a statement on expected timeframes please see Mission Briefings on the project's Wiki. Metal Full... » Read more
For this year’s Summer of Code, Google awarded apertus° three student slots. This is significant as new mentoring organizations are warned that they’re likely to receive a maximum of 1-2 slots in their first year. We set out to choose the best of the best from almost thirty project proposals - a difficult decision as all were of a very high standard. The chosen students have already started reading up on the required documentation and have been familiarising themselves with development tools as... » Read more
Development History in Images These clips were shot over the course of around 18 months of development. Some of the periodic developments improved image quality eg. by reducing noise, but some tweaks didn't make the image noticeably better to any significant degree so please be aware that this collection of clips demonstrate technical snapshots relating to software and hardware development only. Nothing was shot to highlight specific aspects of the camera's development, rather, we wanted to... » Read more
We are very proud to announce that apertus° has been accepted as a new mentoring organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) . As only a small number of new organizations are allowed to join each year and the majority already in the program have been participating for many years, this is especially exciting. For anyone not familiar, GSoC is a program where students are paid to contribute to selected open source projects between June and August. Project Overview apertus° GSoC... » Read more
Small Hardware Changes/Upgrades here and there In this team talk, Sebastian gives a brief rundown of some recent hardware changes to the AXIOM Beta development kits. Changes include; different chips to reduce the Lattice FPGA programming time, a new connector to attach the main cooling fan (which is now held in place by noise reducing nylon screws), some schematic changes relating to the JTAG interface FTDI chips (to reduce power feedback), a new onboard sound buzzer. Also, to reduce mechanical... » Read more
As you have probably read in our AXIOM Beta Manufacturing Report , we are still building all the early adopter AXIOM Beta developer kits completely manually. Obviously we need to increase our production speed to grow the project and to be able to deliver a reasonable amount of cameras any time soon. So in the last four months, we have put a considerable amount of time and resources into automating our production processes. The most time consuming aspect is picking and placing components onto... » Read more
Socket based CMV12000 Image Sensor Frontend SFE CMV12000 THT V0.16 PCB Top SFE CMV12000 THT V0.16 PCB Bottom The current batch of AXIOM Beta development kits use a Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) Sensor Socket to connect the image sensor to the PCB. The socket type is the discontinued CPU Socket 604, which is only intended as a temporary solution to allow developers to easily swap out sensors. But it has some drawbacks as it covers a hole in the PCB, designed to accommodate a metal plate through to... » Read more
New Team Talk Naming Scheme With the recent Team Talk releases, people have asked us if we really wore the same set of cloths for several weeks - as we looked the same in Team Talk 10 and 11 . The answer, shockingly, is no! We don't wear the same outfit all the time - we shot these two Team Talk episodes back to back on the same day! To make it easier to see which blocks belong together in the future, we’ve come up with a new naming scheme. From now on, Team Talks shot on the same day will be... » Read more
As promised, Team Talk 11 is all about AXIOM Beta enclosures. It covers the manufacturing process of the Skeleton enclosure (see second video below). We share pictures and CAD files of the Simple Enclosure which is designed as a shell around the Skeleton enclosure and can be entirely 3D printed - so it can easily be adapted and modified by the community. You can also get the full CAD files of the Full Enclosure and review the current design - which combines laser cut, bent and CNC milled... » Read more
We're back! Max and Sebastian sit down again in this brand new Team Talk episode 10 - recorded at our new AXIOM shared office space mini studio. In this episode we give a brief update of what's been happening and what kept us from releasing any Team Talk episodes in recent months. As a special topic in this episode, we cover the AXIOM Remote and Remote Plus (a Raspberry Pi and Touchscreen based device) progress and developments. We value your feedback! Do you like Max and Sebastian trying to be... » Read more
We've recently returned from an exciting trip to the Maker Faire Berlin 2016 where we exhibited three AXIOM Beta development kits, an AXIOM Gamma prototype and also showed our recent developments and production progress. But let's start at the beginning; the logistics involved were quite a challenge as we wanted to fill an entire booth with interesting things to play with and look at, so we ended up stuffing our car to the roof with cameras and other material at our offices in Vienna and then... » Read more
Some time ago, we received an email from Behnam Moghaddam - a musician with Iranian roots living in Germany. He explained that he would love to join the team and acquire an AXIOM Beta voucher, but unfortunately can barely afford to buy food - "a starving artist" so to say. So we thought about how Behnam could pay for his voucher... a colleague shouted from behind: "I know Behnam from TV! He sings and has an incredible voice!". So the idea was born that Behnam could pay with a song. The AXIOM song, the AXIOM Anthem. And Behnam accepted! » Read more
In mid July, the AXIOM Gamma team packed our bags and headed to the the European Commission headquarters in Brussels for the final review of our EU backed innovation development grant. We already had a technical review in spring this year in Vienna where we showed progress and developments, but this final review was different as everything had to be finished. As always in such projects, when the end gets near the stress levels and long days at the office increase drastically. In Brussels, we... » Read more
CMOSIS CMV12000 image sensors in tray Currently, most of our local team is assigned to the camera assembly facility. That unfortunately means that this website and new team talks will receive a bit less attention than they deserve and be less frequent as we focus all our time and energy on building new AXIOM Betas. So far, eleven full cameras have been assembled and shipped to the community of early adopters. We build 5 to 6 PCBs for each camera. The simpler boards have around 15 components on... » Read more
At the end of May, the global open hardware community met in Vienna, Austria (only the second meet-up to be held in Europe - the 2014 summit was in Rome) to give talks about new aspects, new methods and lessons learned for the open hardware movement. The keynote was held by David Cuartielles - co-creator of the Arduino and was followed by talks from Katherine Scott and Michael Weinberg from the board of the Open Source Hardware Association. Herbert and Sebastian presented the AXIOM project and... » Read more
Color recovery concept from the AXIOM Alpha and the basis for packing raw data inside an RGB image in the AXIOM Beta For the AXIOM Alpha, we came up with a method to output a color image at 1080p over HDMI from the 4k raw sensor data. We recorded that video feed on an external recorder which defined container and maximum possible resolutions (at the time there were no external UHD capable recorders available yet). With the AXIOM Beta, we maintained this approach but thought about how we could... » Read more
The 19th of May 2016 marks the starting point for Coded Cultures: Openism. The festival center is located in a former police inspection in the heart of Vienna and lots of events will take place there between 19th-29th of May 2016. Within this center AXIOM hosts the AXIOM Open Cinema Lab. So what is this event? Coded Cultures: Openism is an art festival without an exhibition. It invites people to interact, discuss and get involved. The focus of this years issue is to debate concepts of openness... » Read more
About On the 17th of March, our office in Vienna was unusually crowded and maybe even more so — unusually tidy. We happily, yet a little nervously, hosted the AXIOM Gamma Intermediate Technical Review with the participation of all consortium partners, our project officer from the European Commission and two independent reviewers. It was a very busy day, with various presentations all centering on the AXIOM Gamma developments. After a brief introduction, we led the group through an exhibition... » Read more
This is the first Team Talk filmed with the AXIOM Beta and shot in experimental 4K RAW, thus it covers the topic of color calibration and raw processing. This Team Talk was actually shot quite some time ago but because the RAW post processing was being developed at the same time the Team Talk was filmed, we had to reprocess it several times due to continuous software improvements and results that kept on getting better and better. This Team Talk was shot with the first generation experimental... » Read more
Is the world dragging you down? Introducing the latest apertus° product: The incredible RELAXiom will give you a chance to step into the shoes of your favorite movie heroes! With the latest advances in microwave technology you can experience something that is more immersive than Virtual Reality - your entire body will breathe and live this new cinematic reality: RELAXiom. Introducing RELAXiom! The story behind the RELAXiom Don't feel square - feel ultra widescreen! Your browser does not support... » Read more
The Phase 1 for the AXIOM Beta has been completed in the first week of February and in total we received the funds of 123 Phase 1 payments (unfortunately not all 500 crowdfunding camera supporters followed through). This will not allow us to get the 500 pieces volume deals, but the 100+ volume order will still give us quite significant discounts for a number of key items - such as the sensor, which is by far the most expensive single component. The estimated price increase of the at-cost prices... » Read more
Over the course of the last few months, A1ex from the Magic Lantern team has been leading the efforts to capture tens of thousands of still images with our AXIOM Beta prototype to measure and analyze a wide range of image sensor characteristics. To get the most out of the image one has to really understand what is going on inside the silicon and how all the different aspects influence each other. We have learned a lot and were able to draw a number of conclusions and methods for improving the... » Read more
A while ago we announced our development of a Blender-based industrial design visualization system, codenamed "Elmyra". Elmyra will aid us to automate visualization tasks for our rapidly iterative and parallel camera hardware development. Time flies, so we want to give you a short review of what we've been up to and where we're headed now! Two months ago we were at the Blender Conference in Amsterdam to provide a first glimpse of the system, giving some essential background information of our... » Read more
Paypal recently informed us that our company account has been frozen and after some failed attempts to contact them they explained that our phased payments system processed through Paypal is violating their terms of service. Apparently Paypal forbids any kind of pre-selling activity when payment and delivery of goods are more than 20 days apart. Also they imposed a funding reserve on our account effectively preventing us from actually buying image sensors and Microzeds with the Phase 1 payment... » Read more
We have reached a major milestone: The hardware designs for the AXIOM Beta are complete! This means that the electronics and the PCB designs have passed all tests so far and everything is working fine. There is still a small chance though that we will discover minor problems with certain components in the future. Upgrades and replacements of certain boards are still planned for adding new dedicated features and increasing performance but these will be future projects and not something we will... » Read more
In October, some members of the apertus° team held a two-day AXIOM workshop at the Louis Lumière cinema school, Paris. This is their report (photos by Kevin Théard): As mentioned in the report of the previous workshop , Louis Lumière is a unique school for upcoming cinematographers, where students and teachers work on a deep level of (physical) understanding regarding their tools - investigating both the technical and creative aspects. The latest workshop was organized by Alain Sarlat (... » Read more
apertus° now community and company at the same time The apertus° project has successfully transformed itself from a community-only project to a company-community project. Of course we still are a community but with more responsibility and clearer role definitions. Yet, public perception apparently changed as people primarily perceive us to be a camera manufacturing company when we approach them. Furthermore, the Open Hardware Summit in Philadelphia drew our attention to something rather... » Read more
We traveled to Amsterdam and attended OSCON , the O'Reilly Open Source Convention. The convention took place at RAI, a huge location where Europe's biggest broadcast convention - the IBC - is held every year in September. OSCON was established in 1999 and brings together people from all kind of backgrounds related to open source. This year's conference took place from 26 – 28th of October 2015 and we showcased our AXIOM Beta prototypes. » Read more
The secret of the two missing colours Do you know that two thirds of your digital image information is not recorded, but calculated by algorithms? And this is happening right in the beginning, during the first step of image processing. It is called De-Bayering. Classic 3-chip camera design with a prism to split the image into the three colour primaries D e-Bayering is one of the the first steps of digital image processing of a raw image. Back in the old days, most (broadcast) video cameras with... » Read more
In this Team Talk Episode: AXIOM Bridge Introduction Watch Video Chapter We applied for an innovation grant to advance a sideproject that we funded as stretch goal in the AXIOM Beta crowdfunding campaign. An open hardware and free software digital video capture PCIe card to stream high bandwidth 4K raw video from an AXIOM Beta to a connected PC - we call it AXIOM Bridge . Update: Unfortunately we did not get the grant. AXIOM Ecosystem Introduction Watch Video Chapter The AXIOM Ecosystem is a... » Read more
Some members of the apertus° team attended the 3rd edition of the Festival Cinema Libre in Hamburg, Germany, to present the apertus° project and the opportunities provided by an open source camera for independent filmmakers. The Cinema Libre Festival, as described on their website , is independent from the film industry and focuses on movies which are self-produced, crowd-funded or were created with no money at all. It offers a very diverse panorama of short and feature films, in various genres... » Read more
In this Team Talk Episode: AXIOM Early Beta - Hardware Report Watch Video Chapter A new AXIOM Beta prototyping hardware generation is here and we want to provide insight into all the technical details. We show each PCB in the stack up and what changed from the early plans to where we are today, what additions are still pending and what each board is doing in full OSHPark purple technicolor. AXIOM Gamma vs AXIOM Beta - Two Generations? No! Watch Video Chapter We admit it. It is confusing: Why... » Read more
In the realm of digital imaging, there are many questions artists have regarding the nature of digital imaging. How do the scenes we look at get captured and transformed into meaningful colored and black and white images? How do the complexities of post production pipelines interact with data? How much should an artist need to know about color and color spaces to elevate their work? Color is called a psychophysical phenomena; a portion of color relies on the physics outside of our eyes and a... » Read more
Last week we asked all voucher holders for their opinion and feedback regarding the 3 Phase payment system proposed last week . A good deal of people responded and now we want to share some insight on the results. We asked if voucher holders approve the AXIOM Beta 3 Phase Payment concept: Result: We consider the 3 Phase payment as accepted (~85% in poll). Some said they prefer to pay the entire amount upfront, which is fine too. This means we might need to ask for a small additional payment... » Read more
Higher Volumes - Lower Prices Good news everyone! As the crowd funding campaign reached significantly more supporters for the AXIOM Beta than originally anticipated we renegotiated the prices of key components in the Beta with our suppliers. (We are now in the final stages of component selection.) The result is that even though the complexity of the designs, the number of boards and general number of components increased (as we added more features and modularity to the Beta, based on supporter... » Read more
In this Team Talk Episode: Open Cine- Raw Video Development Suite Status Report Watch Video Chapter OpenCine is currently being developed by one team member and we wanted to share his progress and show the current status of the software. The developer longs for feedback, concepts and ideas that motivate him to continue improving the software in the apertus° Lab . AXIOM Gamma Kickoff Meeting Impressions Watch Video Chapter All five partners in the AXIOM Gamma development consortium met in Vienna... » Read more
Answering the demand for visualization Internally and externally the AXIOM camera projects provides ample opportunities and also a definite need for visualization. Our decentralized teams are iterating over rapidly evolving designs for circuit boards, sockets, handles, enclosures and soon with the production of the AXIOM Beta also packaging and possibly expansion components, and all of this needs to be communicated between our team members, to our backers and the public. Having only limited... » Read more
In may, a part of the apertus° team gave an AXIOM presentation at the Louis Lumière cinema school. This is their report: It’s a unique school where - as you may call it - they teach “image architecture” (a mix of cinematographer and engineer). We made a two part presentation about open source and its benefits for filmmakers, the AXIOM camera roadmap, followed by a hands-on workshop with the Alpha prototype. We received great feedback from the attendees. It’s really interesting to notice that... » Read more
At its heart the AXIOM Gamma is modular, similar in design to a PC (different cards can be plugged in, swapped or replaced) Planned architectural choices and design: Many things outlined here are in the process of refinement and evaluation, this overview serves not as a set of results but rather show a current snapshot of the work-in-progress development. Pre-Processing Module The Pre-Processsing Module captures the raw image data from the sensor and is responsible for general “raw” processing... » Read more
As explained in Team Talk 3 and based on the feedback we received after our 42-minute Team Talk 2, we decided to release shorter episodes from now on. Hopefully fewer topics-per video and more frequent releases will make things a bit more digestible! In this Team Talk Episode: More NAB Stories Watch Video Chapter We talk about people we have met at NAB and the quite memorable event of being interviewed On-The-Couch by Cinema5D together with other "camera-underdogs": Black Magic Design and... » Read more
AXIOM Ecosystem launched You are part of the AXIOM ecosystem in that it features development, experiments and feedback, with time professional services will be on offers. Rentals or repairs, but also things like thoughening of body housings, individual modification or something you come up with. Services are offered locally, as well as on a European and worldwide level, adjusting to where the demand is. For now it serves as an overview of expertises provided by the community, mostly educational... » Read more
Current Status New revision of PCBs received, succeeding hardware demonstrated at NAB and Linuxwochen in Vienna. Fixes all tiny problems manually patched in previous version. This first generation hardware is mainly targeted towards hardware and software developers and not recommended for filmmakers yet. Upon assembly we will know if indeed all the problems are taken care of by the new design. Provided such is the case, a number of development-prototypes will be produced for further software... » Read more
The hardware complete AXIOM Beta prototype which we showcased at NAB for the very first time has "opened its eyes", and we are receiving first image data from the image sensor. We use the same defect sample image sensor (that did not pass quality controls) in the Beta prototype for these first tests as we used in the Alpha prototype . You can see the defect coloumns on the left and the right of the image. Also keep in mind this image lacks calibration and white balance and does not apply any... » Read more
It was apertus’ first appearance at NAB, the Las Vegas trade show originally named after the National Association of Broadcasters. We only had vague expectations of what would happen at the world’s biggest trade show for cinema gear and film industry supplies. We started our journey with a real ‘American road trip’ after arriving at Los Angeles International from Europe. Our anticipation for the show stretched out during our crossing of the desert after a (naively) unexpected five hour traffic... » Read more
Under the slogan “Reclaim Control of your Craft!” the EU project to develop the AXIOM Gamma officially kicked-off in Vienna in the last week of March. Project partners traveled to Vienna from different EU countries and it was the first time all at once met each other personally. The kick-off started with a public presentation at the University of Applied Arts Innovation Laboratory and included a lot of discussion with the community and event guests. The partners then spent a day at the Artistic... » Read more
In the tradition of claiming something ridiculous on April 1st last year we announced that the AXIOM was bought by a Japanese gaming console company and is to be turned into a 4K retro gaming device sporting Pong . This year we tried to increase the ridiculousness-level even further by claiming we gave up the project to form a death metal band called AXEÖHM. And before you ask: the delays in the AXIOM Beta development were not caused by us having fun making videos all the time instead of... » Read more
Topics Insight into AXIOM Beta Hardware/Software Development Process Watch Video Chapter The AXIOM Beta hardware and software development is iterative. It's a rather smooth transition and a largely parallel process. Also there will be several stages of hardware where new revisions replace older ones. Same goes with new software/firmware. If you receive one of the earlier batches of the Beta, it will be different from what the last backers will receive. Stay tuned for further updates and follow... » Read more
Some of the apertus° team attended the 37th edition of the International Short Film Festival Clermont Ferrand in France to showcase the AXIOM Alpha prototype and the apertus° project in general. As the recently crowd-funded AXIOM Beta is still in development, people attending the festival were able to put their hands on the AXIOM Alpha prototype and become familiar with the concept of sharing the entire technology as open source. Clermont Ferrand Festival Flyer Design From the 2nd - 6th of... » Read more
Watch Video on Youtube In this first big update video after successful crowd funding we give an overview about the current development status of the AXIOM Beta open source camera and further plans as well as answering some of the most pressing user questions we received. Please note that we received more questions than we could answer within reasonable broadcast time so we added all the ones we could not answer on video to the official FAQ Topics 01:21 - Development Purchases 03:37 - All... » Read more
The majority of perks for crowdfunding backers who did not choose to get an AXIOM Beta voucher (note there is no physical voucher delivered as we maintain a central list of voucher holders) have shipped by now. Be it buttons, stickers, thank-you letters, personal thank-you videos, T-shirts or limited edition posters, we all produced and wrapped them up just like Santa's North Pole factory would have done it. Some of the packages might arrive in time for Christmas. Some will arrive a bit... » Read more
The European 8th framework program "Horizon 2020" encourages projects to aim high - not just doing research and innovation for the sake of it but seeking game-changing innovations that solve the challenges our society and our world is facing today in a sustainable way. This spring we dedicated considerable efforts to bringing a huge grant application that outlines the plan to develop and pilot the AXIOM Gamma and submitting it to the European Commission together with 4 partners in other EU... » Read more
Image cc by Horiavarlan
We are the community As we have repeated countless times already: the key of how we build the AXIOM Beta is THE COMMUNITY. A lot of people have sent us emails about ideas and feature requests for the AXIOM Beta. We read them all and replied with our own thoughts to each and every one of them. But this is a very one-dimensional communication so we have looked into how we can make this process broader and more transparent, giving everyone a chance to participate - after all the community is a... » Read more
We've just finished the Schematic and Layout for three new AXIOM Beta Boards and updated the Sensor Board. \o/ The purpose of the Beta Test Board is to allow testing integration between MicroZed and the Interface Boards with various external power supplies and level shifters. It can be considered a specialized breakout board. The Dummy Interface Board allows us to connect the Sensor Board with the Beta Board without intermediate processing. Naturally this limits the number of LVDS channels... » Read more
AXIOM timeline
The AXIOM project has surpassed a number of milestones, and yet there are still new and exciting things happening right now. In order to visualize everything that's taken place in parallel throughout the AXIOM Alpha development, we've created an interactive timeline illustrating the first part of the AXIOM Saga: From the announcement of the AXIOM in Geneva, Switzerland to the commencement of the crowd funding campaign - marking the beginning of the AXIOM Beta development and the end of chapter... » Read more
Last month we got an invitation from Alexander de Villa Robinson to join one of the most important technology festivals in Mexico and present the AXIOM Alpha camera to a Latin American audience at TAG CDMX 2014 . We had some trouble making it happen because the AXIOM Beta development was already ongoing and a lot of work needed to be done. Fortunately the people around the TAG event, notably Cecilia de los Rios and Paulina Torrescano, organized everything including flight, transportation and... » Read more
First Image Sensor Module PCB design draft finished We've just finished the schematic and layout for the AXIOM Beta 4K Super35 (CMV12000) image sensor board. Yay! The design features a few new ideas we gathered during the crowdfunding campaign from input and feedback to the existing design. Those are as follows: The sensor board contains an EEPROM to store sensor model, voltages and unique identifiers. The sensor board can be rotated by 180 degree and still work with the same interface board (... » Read more
“Help, I missed the campaign deadline by 10 minutes! Is it still possible to get an AXIOM Beta?” As we received countless emails from people who missed the end of the campaign we decided to extend the AXIOM Beta Super35 at-cost-voucher for an additional two weeks for a €500 development contribution plus the estimated €2300 when it ships. This will be the 5th batch of Super35 cameras with an ETA of August 2015. While all transactions will be handled via Indiegogo’s “forever funding” program, don... » Read more
Our indiegogo campaign is finished and was a huge success, thanks again to everyone involved, and particularly to all the backers who trusted us and joined the AXIOM Beta community. If you add the money for the over 450 at-cost cameras to be built to the money raised in crowd funding (€ 174,520) we now have a virtual final balance of the insane amount of € 1,210,420 (yes that’s 1.2 Million Euros) contributed in the 4 week campaign. Campaign Stats: Contributions by country: Contributions per day... » Read more
Late last night we crossed the € 100.000 line which marks the incredibly important moment of reaching the crowd funding goal. As it is an all-or-nothing campaign (fixed funding) we would have received nothing at all if we reached just € 99,999 and all backers would have their contributions refunded. But now we have the required funds to develop and build the AXIOM Beta. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed and became a part of this! Today we've already reached the first stretch goal!... » Read more
Since the crowd funding campaign has started, there have been a number of quite interesting developments regarding AXIOM Beta and we thought it might be time to give you an update on the technical side. The day after the campaign started, Avnet announced the PicoZed , which is basically a MicroZed with the minimum number of onboard components and interfaces, with a very interesting twist. PicoZed Parallella Boards in the apertus° lab Now while the board itself wouldn't be very appealing for our... » Read more
We have been working towards this moment for almost 3 years now. We had ups and downs but never got to a point when giving up was any of the valid options. A number of people suggested we should find another, proper job instead, after hearing what we were up to. We managed to build a prototype from a shoestring budget because of a team that has been donating their hearts and souls to get closer to the ultimate goal of putting power with cameras back into the hands of their users. Now it's time... » Read more
AXIOM Beta takes shape (literally) When we first announced the AXIOM Beta camera , we had a pretty clear idea of how the camera would be designed from a technical point of view. Nevertheless, it was still quite difficult to show people this vision as it existed only within our imagination. Now we have begun turning our ideas into actual design studies, to be accompanied by illustrated concept images. The first of these concepts is showing the PCB Stack concept for the AXIOM Beta and allows for... » Read more
Particle Collisions We had a couple of great days in Hamburg, heard talks about interesting topics and met a lot of inspirational people. And we were also given a grand tour of the particle accelerators that we were all so "physically attracted" to :) . DESY's primary task, since the research centre was founded in 1959, has been to investigate the smallest particles known at that time.. Over it's five decade operation history, DESY provided essential information and data for solving some of the... » Read more
At the end of this week we will be traveling to Hamburg in order to attend the "Exceptional Hardware & Software Meeting" (EHSM) . It would appear that makers and hackers tend to be physically attracted to large particle collider installations, given that we had our first apertus° first apertus° community meeting in Geneva near the CERN Large Hadron Collider , and now EHSM is held at the DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron - German Electron Synchrotron) operating a particle accelerator... » Read more
While it may seem like AXIOM development is currently on summer break - it is true that the planned crowd funding got delayed - there is a lot going on behind the scenes. So I thought I'd give a short update on what is currently cooking on the technical side. We made an initial design for the AXIOM Beta power supply for testing, which basically consists of a two stage regulator, where the first stage is a switching regulator to accommodate a wide range of input voltages, and the second stage is... » Read more
The rather unfortunate wiring of the HDMI encoder chip on the Zedboard of AXIOM Alpha makes it impossible to use any full (4:4:4) color mode, because there are just not enough data input lines to transfer a complete pixel. The only modes we can use are those where partial data for two pixels is transmitted and the missing parts are interpolated by the encoder (ADV7511). The mode we started with was the rather strange RGB 2:4:2 mode where pairs of red/green and green/blue are sent and both red... » Read more
Join the early adopter community, subscribe to the AXIOM Beta mailing list: Crowdfunding soon The time has come! As described in our recent news post, the AXIOM Beta crowdfunding campaign is about to happen! During the next weeks, we are going to be extremely busy shooting videos to properly present the AXIOM Beta , creating sample footage with the AXIOM Alpha and explaining in depth exactly what we are planning to do. We also need your help in preparing the campaign. If you want to help us... » Read more
At more than hundred pages, our extensive EU Horizon 2020 application seeks to raise a significant amount of money which we require for developing the AXIOM Gamma with four partners in 2015. This is in no way related to the ongoing Axiom Beta efforts , which will hopefully, with your help, be completed before we even get feedback from the EU as - after submitting our application - we now have to wait approximately five months before we are notified of the outcome of the expert review process... » Read more
Join the early adopter community, subscribe to the AXIOM Beta mailing list: Last NAB without apertus°? We would really have loved to visit Las Vegas this year in order to demonstrate our AXIOM Alpha prototype in front of an audience outside of Europe - in fact, we even had invitations to do so in two separate booths there. Unfortunately, we are not in a position where we can afford the cost of flying several people to the United States of America and cover one week's accommodations for them. We... » Read more
Let me start by saying we are very sorry in case we managed to scare you for a second (or maybe a bit longer) :) I hope we did not do any permanent damage to your opinion of us. We did not sell the company and we have no plans to do so. We were actually pretty sure our proposals were considered extreme enough that nobody would take them seriously. So let's summarize what we pulled off this year at the one time of the year when there are no rules (April 1st). On April 1st we posted the following... » Read more
When applying for an EU Horizon 2020 call , a project needs to find partners - at least three parties from three different EU member states are required to apply together. We have now found 2 partners to accompany us and we'd like to briefly introduce them. Whilst we are still in negotiations for additional partnerships, we're glad to see that the essential requirements for an EU Horizon 2020 call are now fulfilled. DENZ - Präzisionsentwicklung DENZ is a Munich based company (founded in 1971),... » Read more
We have now resolved the issues we were facing with HDMI video recorders . It turns out that monitors are capable of synchronising to whatever frequency you are supplying them with, making them very tolerant and usable straight out of the box - even with non standard signals. Recorders on the other hand are a lot less flexible when it comes to the frequency of the supplied input signals. It appears that they will stubbornly refuse to do anything unless the supplied input frequency is perfect... » Read more
Last Friday in Vienna marked the first public presentation of our functional Axiom Alpha prototype. (Ok, so we did actually showcase our prototype earlier at the Photoniks Congress in Berlin , but that was for a predominantly members-only audience). What better location could we have hoped to do so other than at Austria's first hacker/fablab, the Vienna Metalab . Our attempt to summarise our project - the theory surrounding the Axiom camera plans and the prototype - lasted roughly one hour,... » Read more
A report by Oscar Spierenburg We arrived in Berlin the day before the Photonik Congress started, where apertus° proudly presented the biggest development of the AXIOM prototype at the "Make Light" exhibition. I had never visited Berlin. In fact, I'd never visited Germany before. My impressions were quite similar to the image that lots of people had enthusiastically described to me: a youthful, vivid and very dynamic city. Left: Berlin Altes Museum ("Old Museum") | Right: Berlins typical yellow... » Read more
We have made a major development breakthrough enabling real-time Full HD video output via the AXIOM Alpha prototype’s HDMI port. (The final AXIOM camera is planned to have 3G-SDI instead of HDMI interfaces, but for now we are using what is available on the Zedboard development platform). Our current prototype allows us to output progressive 1080p video at up to 60 FPS downscaled from our 4K Super35 image sensor. This represents the completion of a major milestone on our path to the crowd-... » Read more
As you have probably noticed, we had a significant website downtime over the weekend with our entire web-server, including all sub-domains and services running on it, being inaccessible. Fortunately, all files were backed-up and we were able to resume operations on Monday. Many thanks to Fritz Ledl from for the quick solution and supporting us from now on with a sponsored server. Image under creative commons by U.S. Pacific Command » Read more
What does "open" mean? There has been an ongoing community discussion around the level of openness to which apertus° will be willing/able to go with the Axiom. This discussion has lasted for several years up to now. On our website (See: “Why Open Source?” ), we have detailed the problems that openness can introduce with proprietary interfaces. In most cases, developers are forced to sign binding non-disclosure-agreements (NDA) before any technical documentation may be acquired. With this in... » Read more
We have been invited to showcase the Axiom Alpha prototype at the Photonics Congress in Berlin on February the 20th, 2014 . The event itself does not seem to be open to the public but if anyone in that area is interested we can surely schedule a meet up time/place while we are in Berlin (from the 19th - 21st). » Read more
The European Union has just launched a massive initiative to support sustainable innovation throughout the next 7 years, working with the tremendous total sum of close to 80 Billion Euros (no, that's not a typo). The goal is to enable open scientific research, leading to innovative new products that tackle the social challenges we are facing today. Can you already see where this is going and why we're posting about it here? If you've been following our twitter activity recently, you might have... » Read more
The Extended Extension In our first post about the Axiom Open Module Concept (made in Fall 2013), we proposed a solution explaining how different modules could be combined behind the camera head to form a wide range of camera hardware compounds. Now we have prepared an extension to this concept, dealing with the same issue surrounding the components in front of the camera head. Here, it's not so much about allowing for new combinations but rather to allow for easy access to these parts and for... » Read more
Romance with the Big Camera Looking at this "behind the scenes" image from Romance on the High Seas , one wonders how people managed to create entire feature films whilst working under the limitations imposed by professional cinema technology in the 1940's and 1950's. Today we are used to carrying around greater processing power in our pockets than the fastest supercomputer (the Cray 1 from 1979) was capable of more than 30 years ago. Times have changed dramatically! Behind the scenes on "... » Read more
This year you can open one present early: First 4K RAW DNG image from our Axiom Alpha prototype: As we've previously stated, please keep in mind that our sensor calibration and tuning- alongside our image conversion logic development- have just begun and this image represents a camera in a very early developmental state. For example, the image has had no fixed pattern noise corrections or hot pixel compensation applied amongst other things that we just have not had the time to implement yet... » Read more
The second Axiom Alpha prototype unit, now containing a full grade image sensor, is complete and ready for further calibration testing. Please remember that this prototype- housed in a custom enclosure made from laser cut acrylic glass and a wooden base to provide the assembly with greater strength around the tripod mounting plate- is a proof of concept, designed to test the electronics and allow us to capture images in the same manner as with a real camera, under proper lighting conditions... » Read more
This is a combined news update regarding both our hardware and software development progress. As you can see, our work with Axiom Alpha prototype is coming along quite nicely. We’re sure you’ll all be happy to hear that raw still image capture has been working well on our testing board for quite some time now. However as we are still finishing the prototype enclosure, we have not yet carried out many other calibrations and tests - especially considering that the image sensor we’ve installed in... » Read more
On the Road to Pixeltown After a seriously busy month spent programming VHDL for the FPGA (we had a backlash when we discovered a bug in the provided memory AXI slave interfaces, which required a workaround), creating Linux drivers and scripts, testing and establishing workflows, our Zedboard is now fully communicating with the CMV12000 image sensor . We knew this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, and to explain how complicated it is getting data from the sensor (which probably isn't that... » Read more
Introduction With our effort to build a feature reduced Axiom camera prototype (Axiom Alpha) nearing completion , we're testing variations of our concept and designs for the full Axiom camera system. Whilst the official announcement for the Axiom camera occurred back in July 2012, the world has since changed: New technologies are now available, with prior hardware difficulties and bottlenecks now much easier to overcome. In the last twelve months, the apertus° team has also grown and evolved-... » Read more
After receiving our PCBs for the prototype , we have now started assembling them. Doing so has required a series of complex procedures and multiple runs of hand soldering tiny components or reflow soldering on a hot plate. This has been immediately followed with connectivity testing and interface communication tests. At present, all components have been properly installed and testing/verifying electrical connectivity has indicated that everything is in good working order. On the software side... » Read more
Whilst operating on a super tight schedule, we were able to meet up with a good range of contacts from various companies including Xilinx, P+S Technik, LockCircle, Ikonoskop, Silicon Imaging, Atomos, Altera, Cinema5D, Redsharknews / Editshare, and IntoPix. After generating some interesting discussion with the aforementioned players regarding our project and the future of Axiom, we will be sure to incorporate their high quality feedback into our designs (in the appropriate areas). We... » Read more
IBC ( International Broadcasting Convention ) is an annual event for audiovisual professionals. This is the first year in which apertus° members will be present at this event. Whilst we will not be running our own booth, we have planned to meet up with business associates, colleagues and friends who shall also be in attendance. If you wish to meet us there on Saturday 14th September, please notify us quickly so that we may factor this into our schedule. » Read more
It's about time Today is a major milestone on our path to having a working Axiom Alpha prototype ! After months of designing, routing, checking, double-checking and then revising our designs, we have now placed an order for the final version of the printed circuit boards (PCBs) we will be implementing in our prototype. The Image Sensor Front End (SFE) PCB Top Side. PCB Bottom Side. This 4 layer PCB will act as the bridge between our image sensor: the CMV12000 (providing a native resolution of... » Read more
apertus° is opening up all the internal discussion about the Axiom Alpha prototype to the public and is currently seeking additional hardware developers. Read on to learn why and how. Release Early - or even before that On his blog, Philip Bloom recently wrote : “Please stop bringing out new cameras and stop announcing them. Just go back into your top secret bunkers and concentrate on refining and perfecting your current ones and ideas for your future ones. [...] I am a big fan of announcing... » Read more
We are toying with the idea of forming a team to develop and maintain a news website about open source film making related topics. Basically a website like or but with a focus on the free/libre/open source/DIY side of film making and media creation which is currently not being covered anywhere. Outline The idea is to create a news website and maintain it with content like news/blog posts and articles about open source film making, related current events/... » Read more
Every first week of the month, apertus° publishes a newsletter issue in English that is translated to several other languages - Spanish, French, Portuguese and Catalan. The bulletin is sent to around 600 subscribers worldwide and covers the most relevant activities of the apertus° association and apertus° company. How is the development of Axiom Alpha? What are the plans for the future? What are people digging up in their basements that can be helpful in the path to an Open Souce Cinema? And... » Read more
The apertus° project will be at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2013 , an international meeting gathering developers, builders and users of Free, Open Source and Open Hardware projects for Graphics. This year it will happen in Madrid, Spain from the 10th to the 14th of April. Moreover this years topic emphases on the evolution of our tools with a sub-title which fits the apertus° project perfectly — Future Tools . Most small and big projects in the Free/Libre Graphics world will be present: Synfig,... » Read more
The apertus° project will be present this weekend for the Digital Week at Bordeaux, France. Before the Digital Week kicks off there is the "Video with Free Software" day on the 23rd of March 2013. The event will last all afternoon (2 PM - 7 PM) with several interesting talks about independent cinemas, usage of Free Software for video production, movie production, Open-Hardware and a talk presenting the apertus° project. So if you are in France around Bordeaux do not hesitate to come! » Read more
After more than a year in development and several design approaches with a few damn-thats-not-good-enough-lets-start-from-scratch moments the new apertus° website is finished, online and awaiting to be discovered by you. It has more content, better readability, a new structure that should provide better overview and I hope you agree it just looks so damn much better - also optimized for viewing on mobile devices. I want to name a few of the people who this would not have been possible without:... » Read more
apertus° presentation at the Ars Electronica Everyday Rebellion Forum – Digital Communities
For February, the shortest month in our calendar, we’re bringing you fresh updates and exciting news regarding what’s taking place with apertus°. 1. The Current state of Axiom Alpha development Our engineering team have been busy working on Axiom Alpha’s Image Processing module, and the Field Programmable Gate Array (short FPGA) for doing the real time image processing of choice now is a recently introduced Xillinx Zynq (FPGA + dual core ARM CPU combination System on Chip [SoC]). We have... » Read more
You probably know that Brussels in Belgium is the capital of the European Union. What is new is that Belgium is now also home to the capital or let's call it headquarter of apertus° as company. Project Founder Oscar Spierenburg has set up the "Apertus Open Source Cinema" company in Antwerp. This company will become the backbone of our future with Axiom and a first step for apertus° to bring open hardware and free software together in a sustainable business plus community. » Read more
A Happy New Year from apertus°! What could be a better ending to an incredible year for us than launching our new Axiom website? Well there is one thing: Launching our new Axiom website AND announcing our Axiom prototype efforts entitled "apertus° Axiom Alpha"! Head on to the new website to dive into the details: This unfortunately also means - as some of you might have already guessed - that we will not be able to run crowd funding in 2012. But 2013 will also be a year of... » Read more
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