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Getting Started

Detailed documentation is still needed here, but for now, here's a quick introduction.

When you first start Acacia, the first thing you should do is set up your equipment.

Set up your Equipment
  1. Tap on the Equip frame at the top of the Acacia's interface.
  2. You'll see a spinner marked "Camera:".  Since you have no defined cameras, click the Manage button, which will take you to a screen where you can add a new camera to your inventory.  Create at least one camera, give it a name, set its parameters, and save it. Repeat to add additional cameras.  You can add news cameras or lenses at any time.
      • Note that the Settings here affect what options are available in other screens. For example, to use the Slate, you must have selected a "Film Cine", "Digital Video", or "Analog Video" camera type.
      • Below the camera spinner is a media spinner.  Ignore this for now.
  3. Lower down is a spinner marked "Lens:".  As with the camera, you'll need to create at least one new lens.  Click the corresponding Manage button.  Fill in the parameters of your first lens, and save it.  Repeat for additional lenses.

Adjusting Personal Settings

  1. Click the Menu button and select Settings to open the Settings screen
  2. Adjust your distance units (Metres, Feet & Inches, or Decimal Feet) to your preference.
    1. CAVEAT: Displaying data in feet & inches works fine, but Acacia is currently not able to handle distances entered as feet and inches in dialogs.  This will be fixed in the near future, but for now, enter distances as decimals even in feet &inches mode.
  3. Adjust the independent footage units for film (typically feet or seconds) or digital (typically seconds or data size)
  4. Select your preferred Optics interface. The default interface is the graphical OpenGL interface, but the legacy interface can also be selected.
  5. Tap Save for your changes to take effect.

Set up a Project
  1. Tap on the Shoot frame at the top of the main Acacia screen.
  2. The top spinner, "Project:", is empty because you have no projects defined.  Click on Manage to create a new project.
  3. Fill in the simple details of your project, and tap Save.

Using the Optics screen

  1. Tap on the Optics frame at the top of the main Acacia screen.
  2. You'll be presented with a diagram illustrating:
    1. The current subject distance, marked in RED.  To either side, the minimum and maximum distances of acceptable focus are also in RED.  Anything between the two outer red lines is deemed acceptably in focus.
    2. The total depth of focus, along with the portion in front of and behind the subject distance - as both lengths and percentages of the total depth of field - are labeled in CYAN.
    3. The hyperfocal distance (H) is labeled in GREEN along the upper distance scale.  A series of distances defined by H/n (i.e. half the focal distance, a third of the focal distance, a quarter of the focal distance, etc...) is marked as a series of GREEN ticks.  When focused at any one of these ticks, the depth of field stretches from the previous tick to the next one.
    4. On the right hand side of the diagram is a scale of the quality of focus as a ratio of the CIrcle of Confusion to the Maximum Circle of Confusion defined for the camera's image size.  This scale is used with the circle of confusion ratio as a function of distance, illustrated as a PURPLE line.  This function is zero at the subject distance, representing perfect focus. It intersects the outer red lines at a value of 1, representing the limits of acceptable focus.  This line serves as an quantitative indicator of how focused objects are as a function of distance.
    5. Two adjustable markers in ORANGE give precise readings of the circle of confusion ratio at arbitrary distances from the camera, subject, or each other.
    6. The angle of view of the current focal length is in YELLOW above the camera icon.
    7. The frame size at the subject distance is also in YELLOW, below the camera icon.
    8. The current focal length and aperture are labeled in RED to the bottom-right of the diagram.
  3. Below it, you'll see (by default) a virtual lens barrel for your currently-selected lens, with rings to adjust Focal Length, Aperture, and Distance.  As you adjust these, the depth of field diagram updates automatically, so you can see the effects of parameter changes in real time.
    1. There are now two modes for the lens barrel.  By tapping on the Optics diagram, you can toggle between the default lens barrel (with its focus distance, focal length and aperture rings) and marker mode (focus distance, plus two rings for the A and B markers respectively).
    2. As you adjust your parameters, the rings "snap" to the markings on the rings.
    3. Double-tap a ring to open a dialog to enter precise values.
      • Caveat: While Acacia currently supports both decimal feet and feet & inches display modes, manual entry does not support feet & inches at the moment.  This will be addressed in due course.

Shot-Logging and Slate

  1. Shots are set up for slating and logging on the Shoot screen
  2. To use the Slate, you must have selected an appropriate camera - that is, a Camera Type of "FIlm Cine", "Digital Video" or "Analog Video".
    • As of version 0.8.0, you also need a Lens and Medium selected
  3. Set up a new project as per instructions above (Set Up A Project).  A Project is required for shot logging and slating
  4. When you're ready to start filming a shot, tap the "New" button in Shot section.  Shots will be automatically numbered in order.
  5. For your first Take, tap the "Arm" button in the Take section.  If the Arm button is blanked out, it is likely because you don't have a motion picture Camera selected, you have no Lens, or you have no Medium.
  6. Now the Take is Armed, tap "Slate" to open the Slate screen.
    1. Tap the red time code area to rotate between Camera Time (CAM), Time-of-Day (T12, T24), and screen time (SCR)
    2. Tap the EXT/INT and MOS/SYNC areas to toggle these values.
    3. Tap "Roll" when the camera begins rolling, to keep approximate track of media capacity.  (Note you can also start rolling on the main Shoot screen)
    4. Tap "Slate" to slate - which will invert the screen colors for high visibility, and generate a 1kHz tone for one second.  Note that the Slate actually occurs when the button is released.
    5. Acacia is now in Rolling mode.  You can either tap Cut here in the Slate, or you can press Back button to get back to the Shoot screen - you can Cut there, too.  On the Shoot screen, a Rolling take is indicated with a little red circle in the Shoot frame.
  7. For the next Take, return to step 5.
  8. For the next Shot, return to step 4.