Hardware requirements

Computer hardware

Minimum specifications

Depthkit Core requires the following minimum specification to run successfully:

  • Intel Core i7 Quad Core CPU or higher
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM or more
  • Any of the following graphics cards:
    • Radeon Pro 555 or AMD Ryzen 5 APU or faster
    • Nvidia GeForce 1060 or faster
  • A dedicated USB 3 port for the sensor

We recommend Windows 10 with the latest updates. Depthkit is incompatible with the macOS operating system, but if you have an Intel-based Mac, you can install Windows on your Mac using the Boot Camp Utility.

USB ports

🚧

Sensor-specific port and cable recommendations

Not all USB ports and controllers are compatible with the Azure Kinects. See more information below in the Azure Kinect > USB Ports & Controllers section.

Most computers will have a mixture of USB port types and generations. Using the right port is critical when connecting a depth sensor that requires a high data transfer rate, so use a port with the most bandwidth. In most cases, this is a USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 port. Most USB 3.0/3.1 ports are blue, or have a "SS" in the icon next to the port itself.

How do I know which USB ports I have?
On a PC, go to your Device Manager and expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section. This will reveal the USB ports available on your computer.

  • If your USB port name contains "Universal Host", your port is version 1.1.
  • If it contains both "Universal Host" and "Enhanced Host", your port is version 2.0.
  • If it contains "USB 3.0", your port is version 3.0.

Here you can right click on each port to learn about type, version, and location of the port.

You can identify the ports by their iconsYou can identify the ports by their icons

You can identify the ports by their icons

Depth sensors

Depthkit is designed to access a variety of hardware to capture volumetric depth information. Our recommended sensor is the Microsoft Azure Kinect.
Supported Sensors include:

We have experimental support for Intel RealSense D400 Series as we have observed stability issues as well as lower than acceptable data quality. Please use at your own risk and not in a critical production setting.

Experimental Support

  • Intel RealSense D435
  • Intel RealSense D435i
  • Intel RealSense D415

❗️

Due to the experimental support of RealSense depth cameras, we strongly suggest that you capture with the Kinect until further development.

Microsoft Azure Kinect

🚧

The Azure Kinect is available for use with Depthkit Core (formerly known as Depthkit Pro), Depthkit Cinema, Depthkit Studio, and Depthkit Evaluation only. It is not available for use with Depthkit Record.

Welcome to Depthkit's latest depth sensor integration, the Azure Kinect! Check out the device's key features:

  • High resolution depth
  • High resolution and quality video
  • Manual control of white balance and exposure settings
  • Selectable field of view

Sensor Settings

With the help of the Azure Kinect's high quality depth and video streams plus manual control of video settings, this device emulates a traditional camera in a way that no other depth sensor has done before. Explore the wide range of capture configurations available for the Azure Kinect in Depthkit Core (formerly known as Depthkit Pro) and Depthkit Evaluation.

Color Resolution Options

Color Resolution

Aspect Ratio

Field of View

1280x720

16:9

90°x59°

1920x1080 (Recommended)

16:9

90°x59°

2560x1440

16:9

90°x59°

2048x1536

4:3

90°x74.3°

3840x2160

16:9

90°x59°

4096x3072

4:3

90°x74.3°

🚧

Resolution & Performance

Resolutions above 1920x1080 will decrease performance on some computers.

Depth Mode Options

Depth Resolution

Depth Mode

Field of View

Capture Range

320x288

Averaged

75°x65° (narrow)

0.5 - 5.46 m

640x576 (Recommended)

Raw

75°x65° (narrow)

0.5 - 3.86 m

512x512

Averaged

120°x120° (wide)

0.25 - 2.88 m

1024x1024 (15Hz)

Raw

120°x120° (wide)

0.25 - 2.21 m

Depthkit offers narrow and wide field-of-view depth configurations in two modes: averaged and raw. Averaged depth frames are processed to reduce depth noise, however they can also reduce depth details and over smooth your data.

📘

Recommended Depth Mode

640x576 Narrow raw provides maximum depth resolution and maximum quality at the highest available frame rate.

Hardware & Power Requirements

Due to the impressive video resolutions available with the Azure Kinect, the sensor may require a more powerful computer if recording above 1920x1080. Beyond requiring a sufficiently powered machine, Azure Kinect also has some restrictions on its USB compatibility. See details on hardware recommendations in Microsoft's Azure Kinect documentation.

🚧

Always Test Your Hardware Before You Shoot

There are many variables with performance across different hardware. While we try our best to give you the best recommendations, your results my vary. There is no better guarantee than testing all your hardware prior to going into a production.

Sensor power recommendations

For capturing on location, you can power the device with a USB-C to USB-C cable verified to supply both the power as well as the data transfer.

If you connect the Azure Kinect to a computer via a USB-A cable, you'll need to with power it separately using the included AC power supply and power cable.

USB cable

If powering the Azure Kinect with a USB-C to USB-C cable, ensure you are using one that can sufficiently power the device and is compatible with the Azure Kinect. Otherwise, use the provided USB-C to USB-A cable.

USB extenders

It's often convenient to extend the USB cable long distances between the capture computer and the sensor. We recommend using an active USB cable, meaning one that can maintain the data transmission with the help of a powered chip inside the cable. Cables without this chip are considered passive, and should not be used if the cable is longer than a 1.5 meters, as this may result in a drop in performance or power. Please note that not all USB extenders work well with the Azure Kinect. We recommend the following:

Cable Matters #200010 Active USB 3.0 Extension for data extension.

USB Ports & Controllers

The Azure Kinect is incompatible with certain types of USB ports. This incompatibility is determined by the chip inside the USB port. More information is available on Microsoft's Azure Kinect SDK documentation.
The Azure Kinect is compatible with the following USB host controllers:

  • Intel
  • Texas Instruments (TI)
  • Renesas

This device is not compatible with some ASMedia USB host controllers, for example ASM1142 chipset.

Unsure of what USB controller you have?

  • Connect your sensor to the computer and open the Windows Device Manager.
  • Select the Azure Kinect 4K Camera in the Device Manager.
  • Under Cameras, select Azure Kinect 4K Camera.
  • In the View menu, select "Devices by connection". This will expose the USB host controller that you are using.

Some computers more than one USB host controller. In this case, you can plug the sensor into different USB ports on your computer to understand what you have available.

Power Indicator LED
You can also verify your USB connectivity and performance with the sensor's power indicator LED, located on the back of the device. See the chart below to learn what these indicators mean.

LED Status

What this means...

Solid white

Sensor is working properly and powered on

Flashing white

Sensor is powered on, but may not be connected to a suitable USB port

Flashing amber

Sensor is not receiving adequate power

Amber + flashing white

Sensor is powered on and updating or being reset

Sensor Troubleshooting

Running into issues with your depth sensor? Please see the troubleshooting page for sensor specific troubleshooting and known issues.

Microsoft Kinect for Windows v2

📘

Required

Installation of the Kinect For Windows SDK is required to run Depthkit with a Kinect.

Kinect for Windows V2 vs Kinect for Xbox One + Windows Adaptor

These two Kinects are identical in how they function. Since the Kinect has been discontinued, the Kinect for Xbox One is the sensor that is still readily available to purchase. You will just need the addition of the Kinect Adapter for Windows, which usually needs to be purchased separately.

Sensor Specifications

Range

The Kinect has a range of around .5m and 4.5m (1'8"-14'6".) We also find that based on the brightness of the IR illuminators on the Kinect V2 that when objects are close to the near range, they're often too bright for it to sense.

Resolution

The Kinect V2 has a depth resolution of 512 x 424 pixels with a field of view (FoV) of 70.6° x 60° resulting in an average of around 7 x 7 depth pixels per degree. Due to the use time-of-flight as the core mechanism for depth capture, each pixel in the depth image contains a real measured depth value (z-coordinate). Read a more thorough breakdown.

Field of View

The depth camera on the Kinect V2 has a FoV of 70.6° x 60° and the color camera has a resolution of 1920 x 1080px with a FoV of 84.1° x 53.8°, resulting in an average of about 22 x 20 color pixels per degree. There is a great interactive representation of the Kinect V2 FoV here.

Body Index

The Depthkit app allows for body index segmentation, or the detection of one or multiple bodies in the depth data. When generating your assets, this acts as a body mask, allowing you to simply hide the background for clean exports of your subjects. This can be a quick and easy way to remove the background of your scene without a green screen, however for higher quality, we recommend using a green screen and the Refinement workflow.

The body index is non-destructive, meaning you can export a take with the background hidden and then immediately export the same clip with the background included in the clip by simply disabling the Apply Body Index toggle.

When capturing with Kinect’s body index, you can confirm a body is detected when it appears illuminated in the 3D preview. You will also notice this in the depth preview.

🚧

Note that the Kinect cannot detect body index if the Kinect is rotated to shoot vertically or if the subject is only partially in the frame.

Verify Kinect Performance

We strongly recommend that you plug your depth sensor in to a USB 3.0 or faster port to ensure the most stable capture. For the Kinect for Windows v2, you will need a USB-C to USB adapter to connect your sensor to this port.

We recommend downloading the Kinect Verifier Tool and running it while your Kinect is plugged in to your computer. For stable performance with Depthkit, all sections will be checked in green if successful, with the exception of the USB Controller. You can disregard the yellow warning here.

❗️

Important

You cannot run the Kinect Configuration Verifier while you are running Depthkit, as you will find that the depth/color streams may not show up in Depthkit when both apps are active. With this in mind, once your Kinect performance is confirmed, close the verifier before you open Depthkit.

Troubleshooting
Running into issues with your depth sensor? Please see the sensor troubleshooting page for sensor specific troubleshooting and known issues.

Intel RealSense

❗️

Due to the experimental support of RealSense depth cameras, we strongly suggest that you capture with the Kinect until further development.

Depthkit provides experimental support for the RealSense D415, D435, and D435i. When we refer to experimental support, this means that we do not recommend relying on these sensors for production.

What RealSense depth camera is right for me?

The primary difference between these two models is the sensor's effective distance. They also have different resolutions, fields of view and the shutter types. Learn more about sensor differences. The D415 also has higher pixel density, making it more accurate than the D435. On the other hand, the D435 has a smaller, min z. This is the distance from the depth sensor to the object being captured. In other words, you can get closer to your subject with the D435.

RealSense D415

RealSense D435

RealSense D435i

Long Range Sensor

Short Range Sensor

Max Range 10 meters

Rolling Shutter

Global Shutter

Global Shutter

Min-Z of 0.3 m

Min-Z of 0.1 m

Min-Z of 0.105 m

Known Issues with RealSense

  • Sensors exhibit a high rate of dropped frames and inconsistent backlog activity.
  • Sensor data quality is very poor.
  • Sensors will occasionally not be recognized by Depthkit. To address this, unplug-and-plug the sensor in again, or restart the computer.
  • Sensors may stop streaming data unexpectedly.
  • If unplugging the sensor from the computer while using Depthkit, you may experience a frozen 3D viewport. You may also see this when switching between RealSense sensors in Record Settings. When this happens do not attempt to record. Instead, restart the app and verify that the 3D preview is active before recording.
  • The 3D preview may freeze during recording. If this occurs, stop the recording and restart the app. If unresolved, you may need to restart your computer.
  • If you unplug your sensor during recording, your 3D preview will freeze and you will need to restart the app. Most likely, your output files will be intact, even if the take does not show up in the library.
  • Some have experienced an error when updating the D435 firmware where the sensor becomes recognized as a D430. Depthkit will not capture with a RealSense that is not a D415 or D435. See what this looks like below.