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What are the different settings in the new Turntable configuration?  And how do I set up and use my turntable?

Background Information

Starting with the beta version 4.1 and later versions, Iconasys has made some drastic changes to the turntable SDK, which makes controlling any Iconasys supported table significantly easier to use from an SDK programmer's point of view or an end user.  First, here's what is new in the new configuration

  1. Whether a continuous AC/DC motor or a stepper motor, the interface is now the same.  If the hardware does not support certain features, then those features will not work.
  2. The controlling SDK is now multi-threaded.  This is extremely important in making sure that the software is not locked while controlling the turntable and also that we can possibly stop any turntable action while the turntable is in the middle of performing a certain action.  For example, being able to cancel out of a continuous spin.  
  3. The new SDK makes installation of the drivers more seamless than previous versions.  We're now using native libraries for the hardware, which means that on Mac you no longer have to do any enable/disable of drivers and on Windows 10, the system will automatically download and install the latest drivers.  On Windows 10 there should no longer be a need to install the drivers manually (you may still have to manually install drivers for earlier versions of Windows).

Step-by-Step Guide

First, let's look at the turntable control panel, which appears after you select the 360 option from the upper-right corner of the main screen. 

UI Update For Encoder Tables

 

If you are using a turntable made of plastic please make sure you select the Standard USB model.

Please note that it is extremely critical the advanced settings are set properly. If any of the settings in the advanced section are off, the table will not function properly.

  1. The first thing we'll focus on are the "Advanced settings" in the middle of the screen, shown in black in the first image.  By default, these settings are disabled so that users don't make any changes inadvertently.  However, for the first time setup you will need to check the option for "Change advanced settings" so that you can enter the hardware specifications for your turntable.  The second image shows the state of the "Advanced settings" after you check the change settings box.  These settings will need to be provided to you by Iconasys and they are dependent on the hardware you have purchased.  They consist of:
    1. Steps per revolution.  This number varies widely with turntables and can even be configured post purchase -- in some cases.  Numbers will range from 72 to more than 20,000.
    2. Clockwise signal.  This information will be provided to you by Iconasys.  Leave things as in the screenshots, if you're not sure.
    3. Motor signal.  Again, this information will be provided to you by Iconasys.  Leave things as in the screenshots if you're not sure.
  2. Towards the bottom of the dialog we have:
    1. Speed option.  If your turntable supports variable speeds, then a zero will generate the fastest turn.  A better name is "Pulse width" and we'll change that in future releases.
    2. Lock option.  When enabled the table won't turn freely when idle.  It will turn freely when unlocked and the table is always locked during the actual turning.  Having the table locked will use more power and will keep the angle positions more accurate.
    3. Direction.  This allows you to control which way the turntable turns.
  3. Preview.  When this button is pressed, the turntable will make one complete rotation.
  4. Continuous spin.  Here you can let the turntable run non stop and then stop it with the stop button.  This is good if you want to make minor adjustments to the position of the table.  It will use the settings you select for speed, lock and direction.
  5. Number of frames.  Going back on top of the screen, this option allows you to select a pre-defined number of frames for a complete 360 spin.
  6. Custom angles.  If the pre-defined number of frames is not enough, or you want different, customized angles, then select "Custom angles."  Currently, the number of custom angles is limited to steps of 5 degree increments, but this will be fixed in future versions, to allow any increment, including sub-degree – if the table supports it.
  7. Number of turns.  This option is useful if you want to shoot a 360 product view from multiple camera positions, sometimes called rows.  For example, a 360 row from eye level and a second 360 row from a top level, with the camera looking down at the object.  For the two rows case, select two number of turns and the turntable will make a 360 turn twice.  The first 360 turn which will generate the first row.  The software will then stop and ask you to move your camera to a new position.  It will start capturing the second row when you click the OK button.