Subscriber Discussion

Problem: Vehicle Blurred Entering Garage

I would like to ask for feedback on an installation issue I have with one camera. In a nutshell, its a camera that monitors a garage entrance from the inside so sees vehicles entering and leaving.

Whilst the image is very clear of the driveway, any vehicle that entry or exit is just a blur [IPVM Note: See Camera Slow Shutter / Ghosting Tested]. The camera model and position is not suited to this function. Some other causes could be drastic light differences, headlights and vehicle speed.

This maybe a good exercise/discussion for people who have done and will do the IP video course.

I have compiled some photos of the area, dimensions, and then snapshots of the camera view from VMS client and web interface. I also have the camera settings and VMS settings.

Let me know and I can provide a PDF of my initial survey.

How's the lighting in the garage? Sure this isn't just motion blur caused by a slow shutter? Is the camera blurry when the car is parked as well, or just while it's coming and going?

As you can see this is the image of a vehicle entering the garage. If the vehicle was stationary we would see clearly the make/model and license plate. Similarly, when people were walking thru, there was no ghosting in their movements. Speed here is the killer.

What you see also is that this is reasonably lit as this is an actual playback from the VMS.

I have attempted to increase the Shutter Speed as this was my first reaction to the scene. As I do this the seen as expected gets darker to point where you don't even see the object.

You probably want your shutter to be AT LEAST 1/100s in this case, and the higher the better, so your options are:

1. Increase gain to compensate (at the expense of more noise; see if the camera has a "low noise vs. low motion blur" selection)

2. Improve the lighting

3. Use a better camera

4. Add a big speed bump so cars have to move slower

5. Relocate the camera to somewhere the cars have to move slower

Is the camera in color mode? Is this shot from day time or night time? I ask because I see colors and there appears to be a lot of light.

Also, what is the camera model? This would help in pointing out specific options to tune / change.

Here are some more details. Matt I think nailed it on the head though and were my thooughts as well. Here are some more specifics on the area. As I have learnt more from the IP Video course I beleive I know where to aim.

Camera is an ACTi TCM 3511

To improve on the lighting, what I usually do is to point the camera toward the inside by the entrance garage door. Aiming toward bright outside light is never a good thing. Well, unless it has excellent WDR capability.

Matt Ion mentioned adding a speed bump. A series of urethane types will slow vehicles down <5 MPH, and they are easy to install. However, they may not hold up to aggressive use, dam stormwater, be the cause of car backups into city streets during busy hours, or irritate garage patrons.

Brian (or Matt), Do you have any anecdotal reports of using speed bumps and license plate capture? If the capture is in aid of calculating parking fees thats one thing, but if the primary intent is to id cars used in a crime, my experience (not as a criminal) is that criminals are some of the worst speed bump violators around, second only to 'trunk slammers'. It even could make it worse just by the bouncing of the car.

My comment only illustrates some practical consequences of using speed bumps. They wear, get damaged, trap water/ice/trash, and can make people mad.

In general they slow vehicles down, primarily because contentious drivers don't want to abuse their cars. They do not prevent cars from eluding license plate cameras.

I'm not suggesting that installing bumps guarantee 100% read rate of plate cameras even under ideal circumstances.

I wasn't suggesting that either... fact is, no matter what option you use, the faster the car goes, the harder it becomes to get a clear shot. A speed bump will slow down MOST cars to a point where it make it MUCH EASIER to get a clear plate shot, but definitely not 100% CERTAIN. You can't always account for the idiots in life.

Frankly, driving in and out of underground parking, you probably don't want cars going too fast anyway (safety issue), so a speed bump may be a desirable thing *from the lot manager's/owner's point of view*. Really depends on who you're more concerned with keeping happy.

At the end of the day, I doubt any ONE measure will be completely effective... ultimately I suspect the best solution will be a combination of different measures, such as better lighting, slightly increased gain, and maybe a SMALL speed bump.

Ronald had a good suggestion above, as well: place the camera above the door looking inward, so not only are you not getting the backlighting, but during the day at least, the exposure will be improved by the outside lighting.

Is this a new scene, different from the first?

Does the gate open/close on every in/out?

Watch out for auto-exposure readjustment latency after lighting changes, some cameras are slower than others.

Is that the only/best pinch point? IMO pointing the camera towards a gate which will be opening/closing, allowing wildly varying amounts of backlight in, at the same time you are trying to get a good license capture is challenging...

Maybe work backwards, with that original scene, gain the camera to the max, then slow-down the shutter speed til you hopefully get a good capture. Post that PDF you mentioned...

And if all else fails: Call GhostBusters!

(new tag line for Raytec?)

This is the same scene. And the gates open/close every time someone enters or leaves.

Vasilles, again, is this problem happening in color mode when it is bright / light out? Your image above indicates that.

Also, you say this is an ACTi TCM-3511, which has built-in IR. Is the IR turned on?

From what I have seen so far this may indicate it is now a slow shutter issue.

Please answer these questions above.

Yes the camera is in color mode. I will attempt to put it in black and white mode. I tend to agree with you on the slow shutter speed.

Here is some more data hopefully the info comes thru. I did play turn on IR

Below are the VMS settings.


The camera configuration indicates you are using a slow shutter, maxing at 1/5s which will certainly create quite a blur:

Increase this to, at least, 1/30s, higher if it's still blurry. And make sure the IR illuminator is on.

Btw, are the VMS settings from Milestone? Is the VMS actually over-riding / setting shutter speed / gain control?

VMS is OnSSI RC-E. Not sure if it is overriding the camera settings. I've not yet mastered OnSSIs product.


Here is example of garage entrance from the inside almost like yours

Camera Avigilon 3 MP 9-22 mm, set for 1/60 sec, WDR is OFF


Alex, I left the photo above and deleted the 2nd and 3rd photos you posted. The others are duplicative and waste space.

Beyond that, the issue is not whether a camera can successfully capture such a scene. The reality is almost any modern camera should be able to do so fairly easily. It is most likely an issue in the configuration of that camera.

To others, please do not post pictures of your favorite manufacturer's cameras, unless Vasiles specifically requests them.

Not really a fair comparison, is it? This car is obviously not moving, or moving very slightly, as the door isn't even open far enough for it to clear. Even a 1/5s shutter would be clear in this instance.

Absolutly fair

and what do you expect by looking at one pix

moving car ? :)

John delete it few more shots which shows car in different places

you want me to put full video in dropbox ?

Alex, I am sure the Avigilon camera can get a clear shot of the car and license plate even when moving.

Matt, if you want more on this, start a new discussion.

This one is about troubleshooting the specific scene / camera / settings presented.