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Dashware Tutorial - Flight Data Video Overlay

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We can use Dashware in several ways to overlay telemetry from our aircraft over the video they record. I will cover 3 such uses in this article.


1.Simple Setup
Overlays heading, altitude, speed, and other geo-data on a precompiled video, meaning final output is from dashware.

2. Advanced Data Explorer
Overlays all info above + any Yuneec-specific parameters like Flight mode, motor status, error flags etc.

3. Chroma Key Setup
Create a custom bluescreen gauge that allows you to output flight data as a chroma-keyable track separate to the video (useful for compositing later)

You will need:

Your ST-16 or equivalent.
The Yuneec USB cable (or another one you know works for data transfer from the ST-16)

Q500log2kml.exe
TyphoonH.xml dashware data profile (attached below, rename and remove the .txt extension). Will work for other Yuneec craft as well.
Dashware (latest version)
Your normal video editor

1. Simple Setup

First up - we need to get our data.

1. Using the USB cable that came with the craft, power it, then connect USB to your ST-16, find the FlightLog folder from the media drive that (eventually) appears on your computer when connected to the controller, and copy all its contents to a convenient location on your hard drive. That'll be 4 folders, which you should put in a root folder called 'Telemetry' or similar.
2. Load Q500KML.exe and point it to the root directory you just created. You should see a list of all your flights.
3. Go to the settings tab, and change conversion type to Dashware CSV, and make sure 'All to Dashw' is unticked in this window. You only need this ticked if you want to get pre-take-off and post-landing data as well.
4. Click Convert in the main interface, and wait a while until all your files are converted to Dashware compatible versions, which will appear in the root folder.
Locate the flight you are interested in and copy the dashware csv file for it to the same folder as your video for that flight.

That's all we need to do in QLOG so we can close that now, and open our regular video editor and prepare the files.

1. Load your favourite video editor, and load in all the clips that comprise a single flight. Although Dashware allows you to chain clip segments on import you might as well do it here while you are grading, because Dashware has no grading tools itself.
2. Grade your flight footage, but don't edit it at all at this point.
3. Output the entire flight with a fairly high bitrate. Dashware likes MP4 but can handle most formats. I use at least 80,000 kb/sec so we don't lose much quality in the second encode from Dashware.

Now we can close our video editor and open Dashware itself. The order we do things here is somewhat important...

1. Load Dashware, and create and name a new project. There you will be asked for a data and a video file. Load your prepared clip into the video field.
2. Load the converted telemetry data that you saved earlier for the flight in question into the Data section, then in the second box, select your TyphoonH.xml to use as the profile (edit profiles, then use the + button to add it). You'll know that's worked OK if you see the flightpath map appear in the Sync section.

Next we need to sync them.

3. In the Sync tab at the bottom, untick 'Sync with video' if it is ticked. Now we have to move both the video timeline and the data timeline so that they match.
It is easiest to do this by trying to line up the first time you move in a direction after take-off; this is easy to see in the video and also on the map graphic for the data track. Use the frame forward and frame backward controls to be as accurate as you can whilst synchronizing.
4. When you are fairly sure you've got it right, tick 'Sync to video', and scroll through the flight checking it matches the map at all points of the flight. If not, untick it and try again until it does !

Next Step is to add the various Gauges we need from the Gauges Toolbox Tab. For this simple version, we can use some of the provided defaults, which are helpfully listed next to each other, in their own UAV category.

5. Out of the box, almost any gauge in the UAV category will work as soon as you drag it into the project window. This includes mainly geo data like altitude, speed, distance from home, distance traveled, heading info and flightpath map features. It DOES NOT INCLUDE any Yuneec-specific data such as Flight Mode, Error Flags, or Motor Status etc. See advanced tutorial if you need that data too. I have added those fields to the provided xml file, but no default gauges will address them.
6. Position and scale these gauge elements as you wish in the main screen.
7. Play back your flight and check the gauges show the correct information and change properly as the video plays.
8. Add titles in Dashware if you like, and export the finished video from there, or optionally add them and edit further in your regular video editor.

2. Advanced Data Explorer

In this example we will get all the geo-data above and this time combine it with some yuneec-specific data so we can track things like Motor, GPS and IMU status, Flight Mode and Pack Voltage, although you can add any column present in the Data Profile / Dashware csv.

1. Follow all the steps above in getting your telemetry data into Dashware, but this time you can tick 'All to Dashw' in the Settings tab of Q500Log2KML before you convert, which will allow you to see the flight mode change when you start the flight and monitor pack voltage after engine shutdown.
2. Set your Data Types. In the file menu of Dashware, Open the data types Editor, use the + button in the left column to add a new category, then the + button on the right column to add the data types you need. Mine looked like this when I'd done the ones I wanted. We will use these Data Types to be addressed by our various gauge overlays.

data types.JPG

3. Go to the Gauge Toolbox and find a plain text data box you like. I used UAV Data Listing B as my template. Copy that gauge (red button) and then you can customise it as follows.
4. Edit the new gauge so that the description text reads as you want. Each line has a dynamic text component on the right giving the data value, and you need to link each one of those to the Custom Data Types we added earlier. Do this first by adding all the data types this panel will display in the middle column. This will make them available for selection when you double click each dynamic text field in the right most column.
That should look something like this...

DW3.JPG

5. One more set of connections to make before this all works ! In the Project Tab, Find the Project Gauges section and double click your info panel there to bring up its inputs.
6. Set up the inputs as follows, selecting the telemetry file in the top field, and the xml column heading in the bottom field. It should look a bit like this...

DW2.JPG

7. Play your video back and check the data updates correctly.
8. I repeated the steps above to make a pack voltage display - you can optionally do this, or include it in your main info panel.
When you make your gauges you can either adjust the transparency of the whole gauge at the top of the gauge editor, or do so with the background component of the gauge.

Autumn Greens 3.jpg

Any gauges you create will be added to the toolbox for later use. I like to delete the video and data file, then save the project with all the right gauges as a template for next time.

Oops - I've run out of characters. Part 3 will have to be a separate post below...

Aero J
 

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h-elsner

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Good tutorial! I'm looking foreward for the next parts.

Two remarks:
- In q500log2kml the option "All to Dashw" should not be checked. It makes it harder to synchronize if all the time during initialization, calibration and waiting on GPS or camera connection is in the DashWare file. Use the default = not checked to convert only data of the real flight time.
- In Typhoonh.xml the column header from Q500 are in (line 9). Some colums regarding GPS status have changed, cgps_used was removed. Simply copy the the heade from H telemetry and update line 9 with it. It's a minor thing because the probability to use that stuff in DashWare is very low.

Here is a description how to prepare Dashware (only once for the first time):
- download and install latest DashWare from http://www.DashWare.net/DashWare-download/
- copy it "Typhoonh.xml" to the Profile directory of DashWare: %HOMEPATH%\Documents\DashWare\DataProfiles
- restart DashWare. Now the new profile for Yuneec Typhoon H telemetry data file format from q500log2kml is available every time you use DashWare.

br HE
 
D

Deleted member 13635

Guest
We can use Dashware in several ways to overlay telemetry from our aircraft over the video they record. I will cover 3 such uses in this article (and will add the remaining 2 in due course)...

1.Simple Setup
Overlays heading, altitude, speed, and other geo-data on a precompiled video, meaning final output is from dashware.

2. Advanced Data Explorer
Overlays all info above + any Yuneec-specific parameters like Flight mode, motor status, error flags etc.

3. Chroma Key Setup
Create a custom bluescreen gauge that allows you to output flight data as a chroma-keyable track separate to the video (useful for compositing later)

You will need:

Your ST-16 or equivalent.
The Yuneec USB cable (or another one you know works for data transfer from the ST-16)

Q500log2kml.exe
TyphoonH.xml dashware data profile (attached below, rename and remove the .txt extension). Will work for other Yuneec craft as well.
Dashware (latest version)
Your normal video editor

1. Simple Setup

First up - we need to get our data.

1. Using the USB cable that came with the craft, power it, then connect USB to your ST-16, find the FlightLog folder from the media drive that (eventually) appears on your computer when connected to the controller, and copy all its contents to a convenient location on your hard drive. That'll be 4 folders, which you should put in a root folder called 'Telemetry' or similar.
2. Load Q500KML.exe and point it to the root directory you just created. You should see a list of all your flights.
3. Go to the settings tab, and change conversion type to Dashware CSV, and make sure 'ALL DATA' is ticked in this window. You need this ticked so that you get pre-take-off and post-landing data as well.
4. Click Convert in the main interface, and wait a while until all your files are converted to Dashware compatible versions, which will appear in the root folder.
Locate the flight you are interested in and copy the dashware csv file for it to the same folder as your video for that flight.

That's all we need to do in QLOG so we can close that now, and open our regular video editor and prepare the files.

1. Load your favourite video editor, and load in all the clips that comprise a single flight. Although Dashware allows you to chain clip segments on import you might as well do it here while you are grading, because Dashware has no grading tools itself.
2. Grade your flight footage, but don't edit it at all at this point.
3. Output the entire flight with a fairly high bitrate. Dashware likes MP4 but can handle most formats. I use at least 80,000 kb/sec so we don't lose much quality in the second encode from Dashware.

Now we can close our video editor and open Dashware itself. The order we do things here is somewhat important...

1. Load Dashware, and create and name a new project. There you will be asked for a data and a video file. Load your prepared clip into the video field.
2. Load the converted telemetry data that you saved earlier for the flight in question into the Data section, then in the second box, select your TyphoonH.xml to use as the profile (edit profiles, then use the + button to add it). You'll know that's worked OK if you see the flightpath map appear in the Sync section.

Next we need to sync them.

3. In the Sync tab at the bottom, untick 'Sync with video' if it is ticked. Now we have to move both the video timeline and the data timeline so that they match.
It is easiest to do this by trying to line up the first time you move in a direction after take-off; this is easy to see in the video and also on the map graphic for the data track. Use the frame forward and frame backward controls to be as accurate as you can whilst synchronizing.
4. When you are fairly sure you've got it right, tick 'Sync to video', and scroll through the flight checking it matches the map at all points of the flight. If not, untick it and try again until it does !

Next Step is to add the various Gauges we need from the Gauges Toolbox Tab. For this simple version, we can use some of the provided defaults, which are helpfully listed next to each other, in their own UAV category.

5. Out of the box, almost any gauge in the UAV category will work as soon as you drag it into the project window. This includes mainly geo data like altitude, speed, distance from home, distance traveled, heading info and flightpath map features. It DOES NOT INCLUDE any Yuneec-specific data such as Flight Mode, Error Flags, or Motor Status etc. See advanced tutorial if you need that data too. I have added those fields to the provided xml file, but no default gauges will address them.
6. Position and scale these gauge elements as you wish in the main screen.
7. Play back your flight and check the gauges show the correct information and change properly as the video plays.
8. Add titles in Dashware if you like, and export the finished video from there, or optionally add them and edit further in your regular video editor.

Parts 2 and 3 coming soon...

Aero J
Will this work for the Q500 also?
 
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Two remarks:
All fair comments - thanks Helmut. I will update the original instructions. However I do note that adding the profile the way I mentioned will also add that profile to the list for future use.
But I could be clearer that we only want 'all data to dashw' when we are adding advanced data - without it you'd never see the initial flight mode change from 16 to 3 at the beginning of the flight, which is certainly what I was trying to see when I made my first 'advanced functions' dashware setup ! It drove me mad why the flight appeared to start in mode 3, and took me ages to realise it was because I hadn't ticked that option :) But you are right - indeed we don't need it for the simple setup if we are only overlaying the basic geo data.

Will this work for the Q500 also?
Yes.
 
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Thanks for posting this, and the profile. I'm getting this error however...

error.jpg
 
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It pops up when I click Add when trying to add the telemetry datafile. I select the file, select the profile, click add, and get that error.
 
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From the main Dashware File menu open the Data Profile editor and load the one for the Typhoon H.
The first line on the right should map that column your error message says is missing. Does your look like mine there ? (Ignore that my Data Profile says Q500 v1.5 - it is the same one as I uploaded, just named differently...)

DataProfileEditor.JPG
 
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I must have screwed up importing the data profile because none of that was there. Tried the import again and that fixed it. New problem though lol, Microsoft Media Foundation is the only encoder option I have. Probably just means I need a computer upgrade. Thanks for the help!

error2.jpg
 
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I must have screwed up importing the data profile because none of that was there. Tried the import again and that fixed it. New problem though lol, Microsoft Media Foundation is the only encoder option I have. Probably just means I need a computer upgrade. Thanks for the help!

View attachment 12712
Oh dear. Yes that MSMF is the only option I get too in Dashware, but it doesn't error when rendering for me. Alas I have no idea what you can do about that :oops:
 
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Part 3 - Chroma Key Setup

The methods above both result in making your final output from Dashware, which is sometimes not ideal, because of the lack of control you get over bitrate and quality. Dashware offers just one media encoder, and it is somewhat perfunctory rather than stellar. For that reason it is sometimes desirable to get your video and data synced in dashware, but then to render out just the telemetry overlays to be combined with your edited video in your regular video editor. For this purpose we need a Chroma Key setup in Dashware. In short we will need to make a special gauge to be a blue-screen background, and then chroma key the blue out later in our video editor. Incidentally, the reason we can't use green-screen is because of grass, which tends to feature quite a lot in our aerial videos.

When going the chroma-key route we don't have to edit the video first (you won't see it in what we render out of Dashware), so you can just load the raw clips into it, using its chaining facility to join as many clips as comprise the flight on import. We do still need to import it though, because it is a lot easier to sync the video and data there than it is to do it in a regular video editor, and we need to make sure that our telemetry will start at the same time as the original clips when we get to them in the regular editor.

Make a new Gauge...

1. In the Gauge Toolbox, create a New Gauge called 'Bluescreen' and double-click it to edit its parameters.
2. From the Components Section, use the + button to add a Filled Rectangle, and set its colour to pure blue (RGB 0,0,255). Save the gauge and exit.

Now we need to adjust the transparency of our gauges to make them solid, as we will be controlling transparency in the video editor later.

3. For each Gauge in the video window, double-click to edit, then set transparency to 1, meaning fully opaque, then save and close.

Next step is to sync your video and data, before adding the blue screen gauge to the scene and adjusting its Z position so it lies behind the other gauges but in front of the video.

4. If you haven't done it already, use Dashware's timeline controls to sync your data and video as described above, and setup all the main gauges you need to display the data...
5. Drag the Bluescreen Gauge you made earlier into the main video window. In the Project Tab you will see all your gauges listed. Use the Up Arrow above that list, to move the Bluescreen element to the top, meaning it is behind all the gauges. It will obscure your video, which is why we sync first.
6. Resize that Gauge so it fills the entire video window. If you have done this right it will look something like this.

bluescreen.JPG

In this screenshot I am demonstrating Gauges with and without background panels. You can adjust your gauges as you wish and save as many variations of them as you like.
I will say this though - you'll have an easier time in chroma keying if your info gauges have background panels ;)

7. Export the video from Dashware, which you can now title 'telemetry track'.

Every video program deals with chroma keying differently, so I won't attempt to cover them all here, but the principal from now on is that you will use whatever chroma key setup your editor contains to key out the blue colour of the background, and then place that track above the regular video, so that the telemetry data is keyed on top of it. Once you have done this you can proceed to edit both tracks at once being careful to never lose sync between them. But now you have a lot more control of that data's appearance, and can fade it in and out as necessary, or even have periods in your flight where it is not showing, which ultimately leads to more professional results you can't get in Dashware alone.

I recommend DaVinci Resolve, which has an excellent chroma key setup, but most higher end video editors will have this function, and YouTube has all the tutorials you'll ever need - just search for 'your editor + chroma key' to find them.

Here is the tutorial for DVR...


Aero J
 
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I must have screwed up importing the data profile because none of that was there. Tried the import again and that fixed it. New problem though lol, Microsoft Media Foundation is the only encoder option I have. Probably just means I need a computer upgrade. Thanks for the help!

View attachment 12712
I just found the answer to this. It is caused by the video file for some reason, and you can solve it by re-encoding it to MP4 then reloading the clip. No idea why that solves it, but it does.
 
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I just found the answer to this. It is caused by the video file for some reason, and you can solve it by re-encoding it to MP4 then reloading the clip. No idea why that solves it, but it does.
Sweet, thanks!!!
 
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We can use Dashware in several ways to overlay telemetry from our aircraft over the video they record. I will cover 3 such uses in this article.


1.Simple Setup
Overlays heading, altitude, speed, and other geo-data on a precompiled video, meaning final output is from dashware.

2. Advanced Data Explorer
Overlays all info above + any Yuneec-specific parameters like Flight mode, motor status, error flags etc.

3. Chroma Key Setup
Create a custom bluescreen gauge that allows you to output flight data as a chroma-keyable track separate to the video (useful for compositing later)

You will need:

Your ST-16 or equivalent.
The Yuneec USB cable (or another one you know works for data transfer from the ST-16)

Q500log2kml.exe
TyphoonH.xml dashware data profile (attached below, rename and remove the .txt extension). Will work for other Yuneec craft as well.
Dashware (latest version)
Your normal video editor

1. Simple Setup

First up - we need to get our data.

1. Using the USB cable that came with the craft, power it, then connect USB to your ST-16, find the FlightLog folder from the media drive that (eventually) appears on your computer when connected to the controller, and copy all its contents to a convenient location on your hard drive. That'll be 4 folders, which you should put in a root folder called 'Telemetry' or similar.
2. Load Q500KML.exe and point it to the root directory you just created. You should see a list of all your flights.
3. Go to the settings tab, and change conversion type to Dashware CSV, and make sure 'All to Dashw' is unticked in this window. You only need this ticked if you want to get pre-take-off and post-landing data as well.
4. Click Convert in the main interface, and wait a while until all your files are converted to Dashware compatible versions, which will appear in the root folder.
Locate the flight you are interested in and copy the dashware csv file for it to the same folder as your video for that flight.

That's all we need to do in QLOG so we can close that now, and open our regular video editor and prepare the files.

1. Load your favourite video editor, and load in all the clips that comprise a single flight. Although Dashware allows you to chain clip segments on import you might as well do it here while you are grading, because Dashware has no grading tools itself.
2. Grade your flight footage, but don't edit it at all at this point.
3. Output the entire flight with a fairly high bitrate. Dashware likes MP4 but can handle most formats. I use at least 80,000 kb/sec so we don't lose much quality in the second encode from Dashware.

Now we can close our video editor and open Dashware itself. The order we do things here is somewhat important...

1. Load Dashware, and create and name a new project. There you will be asked for a data and a video file. Load your prepared clip into the video field.
2. Load the converted telemetry data that you saved earlier for the flight in question into the Data section, then in the second box, select your TyphoonH.xml to use as the profile (edit profiles, then use the + button to add it). You'll know that's worked OK if you see the flightpath map appear in the Sync section.

Next we need to sync them.

3. In the Sync tab at the bottom, untick 'Sync with video' if it is ticked. Now we have to move both the video timeline and the data timeline so that they match.
It is easiest to do this by trying to line up the first time you move in a direction after take-off; this is easy to see in the video and also on the map graphic for the data track. Use the frame forward and frame backward controls to be as accurate as you can whilst synchronizing.
4. When you are fairly sure you've got it right, tick 'Sync to video', and scroll through the flight checking it matches the map at all points of the flight. If not, untick it and try again until it does !

Next Step is to add the various Gauges we need from the Gauges Toolbox Tab. For this simple version, we can use some of the provided defaults, which are helpfully listed next to each other, in their own UAV category.

5. Out of the box, almost any gauge in the UAV category will work as soon as you drag it into the project window. This includes mainly geo data like altitude, speed, distance from home, distance traveled, heading info and flightpath map features. It DOES NOT INCLUDE any Yuneec-specific data such as Flight Mode, Error Flags, or Motor Status etc. See advanced tutorial if you need that data too. I have added those fields to the provided xml file, but no default gauges will address them.
6. Position and scale these gauge elements as you wish in the main screen.
7. Play back your flight and check the gauges show the correct information and change properly as the video plays.
8. Add titles in Dashware if you like, and export the finished video from there, or optionally add them and edit further in your regular video editor.

2. Advanced Data Explorer

In this example we will get all the geo-data above and this time combine it with some yuneec-specific data so we can track things like Motor, GPS and IMU status, Flight Mode and Pack Voltage, although you can add any column present in the Data Profile / Dashware csv.

1. Follow all the steps above in getting your telemetry data into Dashware, but this time you can tick 'All to Dashw' in the Settings tab of Q500Log2KML before you convert, which will allow you to see the flight mode change when you start the flight and monitor pack voltage after engine shutdown.
2. Set your Data Types. In the file menu of Dashware, Open the data types Editor, use the + button in the left column to add a new category, then the + button on the right column to add the data types you need. Mine looked like this when I'd done the ones I wanted. We will use these Data Types to be addressed by our various gauge overlays.

View attachment 12734

3. Go to the Gauge Toolbox and find a plain text data box you like. I used UAV Data Listing B as my template. Copy that gauge (red button) and then you can customise it as follows.
4. Edit the new gauge so that the description text reads as you want. Each line has a dynamic text component on the right giving the data value, and you need to link each one of those to the Custom Data Types we added earlier. Do this first by adding all the data types this panel will display in the middle column. This will make them available for selection when you double click each dynamic text field in the right most column.
That should look something like this...

View attachment 12733

5. One more set of connections to make before this all works ! In the Project Tab, Find the Project Gauges section and double click your info panel there to bring up its inputs.
6. Set up the inputs as follows, selecting the telemetry file in the top field, and the xml column heading in the bottom field. It should look a bit like this...

View attachment 12732

7. Play your video back and check the data updates correctly.
8. I repeated the steps above to make a pack voltage display - you can optionally do this, or include it in your main info panel.
When you make your gauges you can either adjust the transparency of the whole gauge at the top of the gauge editor, or do so with the background component of the gauge.

View attachment 12735

Any gauges you create will be added to the toolbox for later use. I like to delete the video and data file, then save the project with all the right gauges as a template for next time.

Oops - I've run out of characters. Part 3 will have to be a separate post below...

Aero J
Pretty much in love with you man, the last pieces of the puzzle I've been working on all day. Love it when the light bulbs go off ")
 
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