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*** Latest: 2013-08-26: Project Update *** 


Acacia Optics screen

Introduction

Acacia is a film-maker's and photographer's app for the Android platform.  It is free, displays no ads, and requests limited permissions (As of the 0.7.3 release, Acacia now asks for permission to use your phone's camera to run the digital Director's Viewfinder.  Other permissions will be required for future planned features, but Acacia will never ask permissions it does not need).

It aims to be a Swiss-army knife of tools for film-makers. Currently, it provides an interactive Depth of Field (DOF) calculator, equipment and media management, shot logging, and a virtual slate (or clapper).  The 0.7.3, "Audrey" release also just added a rudimentary digital Director's Viewfinder as an experimental feature.

Other major features (and stability improvements across a wider range of devices!) are planned as time allows.

Acacia supports film (8mm, 16mm, Super 16, 35mm...) and digital formats, and is designed to be helpful in both cinematic and still photography contexts.


Proper documentation will follow as it is written, but that is not currently the priority.  Some introductory material follows.

Depth Of Field Calculator

Acacia's Depth of Field calculator aspires to be more than the conventional; it also helps cinematographers visualize how focus quality varies as a function of distance.  Will your subject look sufficiently isolated when you pull focus?  Are those background lights sufficiently blurred to give you the bokeh you wanted?  These are the types of questions you really want to address; "how deep is my acceptable focus field?" can be just as easily answered with a printed DOF table printed a hundred years ago.

Director's Viewfinder

The Director's Viewfinder has been fixed to preserve the proper aspect ratio.  It also now features a compass and inclination overlay for reference.  A couple of new overlays are planned for the near future.... stay tuned!

Slate

Acacia features a simple slate, or clapper, which is linked to shot logging facilities and media management.

Device Support

Acacia was designed as a smartphone app, but clearly is very useful on larger devices, particularly for the slate function. Somewhere around mid 2011, I started noticing more and more users on tablets, so Acacia now has some rudimentary support for these types of devices. Proper support will need some serious layout work, and since the app is at least useable if a little ugly on tablets, my priority is to focus on new features and stability improvements.

Design & Distribution Philosophy

Acacia is free, and will continue to be so.  I have no intention to insult users with in-app advertising.  A voluntary paid version has been introduced, but the free app will retain full functionality (although see the FAQ).  A few people have purchased this version and contributed to my beer fund - for which I'm very grateful!

I acknowledge that setting up Acacia for your work-flow is a bit more cumbersome than some of the other available photography apps.  Rather than selecting your camera and lens from a long list of available options, you build an inventory of the equipment you own or use, and just select from amongst them.  [Medium-long term, I may add a facility to add pre-defined cameras and lenses to your equipment list from a "stockroom" database - but this is also far from a priority].


Revision History

Older version are now available here.