Axis VMD3.0 Analytics Vs Avigilon Tested

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 12, 2015

Axis has released the next generation of their advanced video motion detection application, VMD 3.0. It promises improvements in false alarm rates compared to its predecessor, with new features like swaying object rejection, object size and duration settings, and more.

The question is, how does this new version compare to full-blown analytics like the Avigilon H3A analytic cameras? Can it compete while giving users more options in cameras?

We tested Axis VMD 3.0 running on two cameras, the high end 1080p Q1615 and the 720p integrated IR P3364-LV, against Avigilon's 3.0W-H3A-BO1, to see how they compared in false alerts and coverage area.

Key ********

** **** ****** **** our *** ******** **** these key *****:

*** * ********

  • ** *** ******** ******** included ** *** *, short ***** ****** ******** (set ** *-* *******) proved **** ********* ** reducing ** *********** ***** alarms ******* ******** ****** on ******** ***** ** missed ***** ***********.
  • ***** ****** ******** *** be ****** ** **** scenes ****** ***** ****** be ******* *** ** set ******* **** *** small, ******* ***** ********* obscured ** ******* ******.
  • ******* ****** ******** ******* alarms ****** ** ****** brush *** ******** *** drastically ******* ******** ***** both *** *** *****.

***** ***** ******

  • ***** ******* ******** (** advanced ******** **** ** short *****, *******, ** small *******) ***** *********** ****** by ********* ****** *** moving ********** **** **** common, **** ******** ** false *********** *** *** per ******, **** *** and *****.
  • ***** ********** ***** ***** lived ****** ******* *** exclusion *****, *** ******** of ***** ****** **** eliminated, ******* ** *-* false *********** *** ****** *** day, ******* ** **** **** cameras (***** *** *****-**).
  • **** *** * ***** experienced **** ***** *********** after ************ **** ********** resolution ******** *** ******** camera, *-* *** *** vs. *-*.

********* *****

  • **** *** * ********* daytime ******** ***** ***** ******* settings *** ******** ******* than ********** ********** ******** H3 ********* ******, ~***' horizontal *** **. ~***'.
  • ********* ******* ******** ***** with ******* ****** ******** on *** ******* **** ~175' ********** ** **** ~35'.
  • ********* ******** ***** *** ******* to ~**' **** ** the ***** **** ***** vs. **' ** *** Avigilon *** ******.
  • *** ** *** ********** IR, *** **** *****-**'* nighttime ******** *** ***** 50% ****** **** *** Q1615, ~**' **. **', despite *** ***** **********.

*** ***********

  • **** *** * ** integrated **** **** **** Camera ******* *** ******* Security ****** ********* ** Axis. [[******: ***** *** supports *** *.*/* ** an ******** ** ******* 7.4 *** *****.]]
  • *** ***** ******* ****** integration, ****** **** ** camera */* *** ** used ** ******* ****** upon *****.

VMD * ******** *** ************* ***************

**** *** * ** a **** ************ ****** application ********** **** **** current *** **** ********** Axis *******. ** ******** similarly ** *** *.*,***** ** ****** ********** **** ***** ******* ********. However, **** *** ***** three ******** ************* ******* intended ** ****** **** ****** false ***** *******:

*****-***** *******

**** ******* ******* ******* which *** ** *** scene *** * ***** period ** ****. ** found **** ******* **** to *-* ******* ********** many ***** ****** **** with ** ***, **** as **** ********* ** leaves ******* ******* *** scene, ** ********* *********** from **** ****** ****. ***** the ** ****** ******* threshold ** * ******* area *** **** ***** as * *********** ********* alarm ** ******** *** typically *******, *** ****** not ** ********.

***** *******

***** **** ******* ******* under * ******* **** are *******. **** *** be ****** ** ********* of ***** ******** ** desired, *** ***** ******* should ** *******. ** may **** ** **** to ****** ******* **** particles ** ******. *******, users ****** ** ******* to *** *** ******* object **** *** *****, as **** *** ******* valid ***** ******* ** the **** ** *** scene, ** ***** ********* obscured.

******* *******

*******, **** ******** ***** users ** ****** ****** from ******* ***** ********** move **** * ***** distance, **** ** ******** or *******. ** ***** that ***** ******* **** setting ** *** ****** or ********* ****** **** these *******, ** ******* reduced ******** *****, ** much ** **-**% ********* on *** ***** ********.

******* ** **** ******* reduction ** *****, ** do *** ********* ***** this ****** ****** ********** necessary. ** ** ***** possible ** ******* ******* without ******* ******* ********, as **** ******** *** be ** *** **** of *** *** ** above *** ******* ***** subjects ***** *** ** present. Excluding ***** ******* *** no ******** ****** ** coverage ** ***** *****.

************* *************

** ****** ***** ************* options ** *** ***** below:

**** *****/*********

*** **** ***** *** selected ** ** **** represented *** ** *** above ***** ***** ******, with ***** *** ******* traffic, *******, *** ***** animals ******* ** * typical ********** ***********.

** ******* ***** ** the **** ******** ***** causes ** ***** ******, such ** ****** **********, blowing ******, ***** ********, and ***** *******, *** secondarily ** ********* *****. Testing *** * *********** of ****** ******* **** human *** ******* ********, and ******* *******, ******* the ******* ** ***** to ***** *** ***** activations *** ********* ***********.  

False ***** ***********

** ****** *** * installed ** ****' **** end ***** ***** *** camera, ** **** ** a *****-** **** ********** IR. **** **** ****** alongside ** ******** *.**-***-*** integrated ** ******.

******* ********

***** ******* ******** (** short *****, *****, ** swaying ****** ******* ****** on), ***** ****** **** ******** seen **** ***** *******:

  • ****** ******** *** *****, both *** *** *****.
  • ********* ********** ** ******* cars ** *****.

***** ***** ******** ** saw ** ****** **** other ******** ***** ****** such ** ***** ******* or ******* ******.

********* ********

** ***** *** ****** on ***** ****** ** set *** *'* ***** lived ****** ******* ** 2 ******* ** **** matched ********'* ******* ********, and ***** *** **** of *** **** ****, * valid ****** ** *** field ** **** ***** be ******* *** ** least **** ****** ** time.

** **** ***** ****** settings ***, ** ** wanted ** ***** ** distant ****** *** ******** which *** **** ***** this *********, *** **** swaying ****** ******** *** to ******** ********* *****.

***** ***** ********, ***** alerts ******* *************. ****** from ******* ***** *** branches **** ***** **** common, ****** ** * drastically ******* **** (*-* per *** **. *-** per ****). *** ***** below ********** ******* ***** which ********* ***** ******.

*** * *** *** activate ** ****** ****** due ** ****** ******* through *** ***, ******* below. *** ******** *** camera ********* ** ***** leaves *-* ***** **** the ****** ** *******.

***** ********* ********, *** 3 *** **** *** affected ** ********* ****** as ******** *** ** times. *** ***** *********** area ***** *** ********** of *** ********** **** the **** ******, ***** triggered *** *** ****** multiple ***** **** *** course ** *******. *** ****** highlighted ***** ************ ********* the ******** ********* ** object ****** **, ****** this *** *** ***** in ****** ****** ***** VMD *.

*******, ** ****** *** cameras ******* ******** ***** indoors, ********* ******* *** closing *** **** ** a **** ****, ******* lights ** *** ***, and *********** ********** ** the ***** ** *** scene. **** ** ***** issues ********* ****** ** the ******* ******* *** 3, *** ********.

******** ***********

** *** **** *****, coverage ***** ** *** ***** Axis ***** ******* *** 3 *** **** ******** less **** *** ******** 3.0W-H3A-BO1 during *** ***, ~***' vs. ~***' ********** ***** of ****. *** **** Axis *****-**'* ******** *** ~155' *** ** *** lower **********.

** *****, ******** ***** the ***** ***** ** only ***** * ~**' HFOV *** ** *** lack ** ********** **. The *****-** ******* ** ~44' ****, ~**% ****** than *** ***** *** to *** ***** ** IR. *** ******** *** camera ****** ****, ** about * **' ****.

***********

**** *** *, **** 2.1 ****** **, ********** only **** **** ****** Station *** ******* ******** Center out ** *** ***. Other ***** **** *** potential ******* *** *********** these ******:

*** ****** *******

**** *****, **** ** ExacqVision *** ********* ********, accept *** ****** **** over *** ***** *** be **** ** ***** events. ***** ****** ** event ** *** ****** which ***** * ******** string **** *** * activation. *** *** ******* for **** ****** ** trigger ********* ***/** ******. This ******* ** ******** in ********* ******* ********.

*** **** ******** ** this ****** ** ****. Creating ***** ***** ** each ****** *** ************* actions ** **** ****** and ********** **** **** properly *** **** **-** minutes *** ******. **** quickly **** ** ** even ***-***** *******.

****** */* *****

* ****** ****** ** to ********* *** ****** to ******* * ***** output **** *** * alarm. **** ****** ** then ********** ** *** camera's *****. *** *** *** then ** ********** ** trigger ********* ***/** ****** upon ********** ** *** camera *****.

**** *** ****** *********** described *****, **** ******** events ** ** ******* in **** ****** *** VMS, ***** *** ** time-consuming. ************, **** ****** assumes *** *** ******** the ******'* ***** ** an ***** *******, *** that */* ** *** required *** *** ***** purpose.

******: ***** *******

***** ******** *** * as ** ******** (***** with ***** **** ******** events) ** ******* *.* and *****. ***** *** configure *** ****** ** record ** *** * using ***** *******, **** here:

Firmware ********

******* *** ******** ******** used:

  • **** *****-**: *.**.*
  • **** ***** : *.**.*.*
  • ******** *.**-***-***: *.*.*.**

Comments (16)

Ethan,

Will you make test with shadows or rain?

We did see periods of time with shadows moving. VMD 3 didn't trigger on them in this scene. Avigilon did in only one instance over the course of testing.

As for rain, we would like to, it's just a matter of getting a reliably rainy day. We've tested some analytics in the rain in the past and found that false alerts weren't a problem, but not these specifically.

A second option is to configure the camera to trigger a relay output upon VMD 3 alarm. This output is then connected to the camera's input.

Quite disappointing that Axis would make you give up 2 I/O ports to use what is essentially a 'paperclip shunt', instead of making a checkbox in the software.

Does Avigilon analytics still only work if it is Avigilon from end to end? Or are other VMS' writing these Avigilon analytic cameras in now?

I haven't seen any third parties integrate them as of yet.

Ross I have been pushing Milestone to integrate the Avigilon analytics via OnViff but haven't gotten anywhere with them yet.

Anyone who is reading this who sells Milestone - give your RSM a call and tell them you want it!

Brian, I sent an email to Milestone corporate asking for feedback. I'll update it here if I receive any news.

I cringe when I see the workarounds in the articles. That 10-15 minutes per camera somehow equates to "free" in sales lingo simply because it can be done.

To give context, the 10-15 minute reference is from here:

"The main drawback to this method is time. Creating event rules on each camera and corresponding actions in each camera and confirming they work properly may take 10-15 minutes per camera. This quickly adds up in even mid-sized systems."

We never said this was 'free' and we emphasized that this adds up.

While it certainly isn't free I have been able to implent the TCP work around in <5 minutes which to me is well worth the time spent for much more reliable motion detection. Hopefully the VMS folks will realize that tight integration is worth their efforts!

If I got it right, the VMD software has to reside on the VMS server or a separate server, its not running in the camera itself?

No, the Axis VMD software resides on the Axis camera. However, the VMS server needs to know how to receive alerts from the camera. That's the issue / complexity discussed throughout the report.

John,

You shoud have included a Mobotix M15 with MxActivitySensor, you can pick the lens type Color, B/W or Thermal. If you pick thermal you have VMD in complete darkeness. I know you have testes VMD on a Q24 in the past but from our experiece the M15 has been the best solution for most applications requiring outdoor VMD. Actvity sensor eliminates all wind, rain, leaves and reflected light issues. The only issues we have run into is animal detection which it cannot filter out and complete sun blow out of the image in the South Florida sun. The sun blowout can be reduced using advanced setup options to where it only happens on extremely bright days with moving clouds, maybe a couple of time a month. As far as setup is concerned the default settings are highly effective and only take a minute to enable. More extreme situations will take some added time, but not 10 to 15 minutes once your used to programming the camera.

Mike,

Thanks for the feedback.

For member's reference, we tested the Mobotix analytics here and Mobotix did well in that test. The one area where it did not was simply because the Q24, like most panoramic cameras is poor in low light.

The reason for not doing any further Mobotix tests is because it's Mobotix. The company has had significant internal issues and they have weak third party support (no ONVIF, proprietary CODEC, no H.264, etc.). If and when Mobotix adds ONVIF and H.264, not only will it be good for their business but we'd be much more likely to tes them more often.

So, I tested Axis VMD3 last week as a potential VideoIQ alternative (I used VideoIQ a lot before the Avigilon Aquisition). My particular scene included leafy shadows from tall trees above, and it triggered VMD3 like crazy. I'm pretty sure VideoIQ would have rejected those correctly. Also, every freaking animal triggers VMD3. In my test scenes I could probably filter out the worst of this using minimum size restrictions, but for many perimiter protection scenarios I am often covering a VERY deep depth of field, and a possum in the foreground may appear bigger than a person in the background.

It would be nice if Axis offered a way to overlay the detection boxes on the recorded video. When you have multiple ignore regions, ignore small objects, and ignore swaying objects all turned on it can be difficult to tell which filter needs to be tweaked to eliminate a given false alarm. Does camera center play back the video with detection boxes?

From my perspective, VMD3 is still a LONG way from replacing VideoIQ as my goto analytic solution for perimiter protection. That said, it is a huge improvement over standard motion detection. VMS vendors could only benefit by adding support; less money on hard drives means more money for cameras and VMS licenses.

Note: Exacq added support for VMD 3 as an analytic in recent versions. Recording can be set up using Event Linking, which we've added to the report above, as well.

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