Alert / Trigger Images with ALPR/PlateRecognizer

humm3r1

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Hello everyone,

Maybe I still need to wrap my head around things or have more coffee to wake up the brain.

I'm hoping to set up 2 T5442T-ZE cameras with continuous recording, using the substreams for motion/alarm/trigger recognition to keep CPU usage down on this virtual machine (2 vCPU, 4GB RAM, though this can be increased, with a Quadro P400 GPU). The other day before some upgrading of the Blue iris software I'm pretty sure I had pictures saving properly when detecting a car and motion, but it was not showing the license plate information in the picture within Blue Iris. Visiting the Plate Recognizer website did show the plates being read correctly and outputting the correct text read from the plate, but I did not see them show on the Blue Iris panel itself. I was hoping to actually have the plate be shown with the alert in Blue Iris in the "all clips" window instead of having to cross reference with the website. When I tested last night, I no longer saw images in the clips list and just the 1 hour segments of video, since I have it set to break them up every hour into a new clip.

Is there a few settings I am missing to get that to function?

Here is a brief overview of what I have set right now:

8TB WD Purple Drive

Clips and Archiving:
New - Limit size to 90% formatted capacity (6543 GB)
Stored - Limit size to 0 GB
Alerts - Limit size to 10GB

Camera Settings -> Record:
Video set to Continuous. I have also tried Continuous + Triggered and Continuous + Alerts.

Camera Settings -> Trigger:
When Triggered, Add to Alerts List. I have tried "Database Only" and "Hi-res JPEG files".

I am very new to this so I am sure I have misconfigured things. I'll keep researching and trying out various settings, and document the correct set up once I find out what settings that entails. Thank you kindly in advance!
 

wittaj

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The plates will show up in the alert memo on the left side of the BI console and not within the picture itself (yet anyway without a 3rd party tool) (picture taken from another thread).

1623330527915.png

Regarding using the cameras for LPR, have you optimized it to get just plates? Running a fast shutter at night (1/2000) and all you see at night is a black image and all you see are the head/tail lights and plates:

1623330687482.png

Some screenshots of your settings will be helpful.

Under BI clips and archiving, have you unchecked the box about limiting clip by days?

At night time, have you calibrated the motion sensor to the small plate that would go across the black screen? If the motion detection box is too large, it will not trigger at night.

In BI are you looking at the triggered events (lightning bolt) or the all files (folder) and did you then maybe select to see just the BVR files?

If you use anything other than continuous, make sure the prebuffer is at least 1.5 seconds so that it will switch to mainstream for plate recognizer.

The when triggered add to alerts is fine.
 
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humm3r1

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Thanks for the reply wittaj!

Yeah that's my understanding of how it will show up, I just don't seem to get those clip alerts anymore now.

I was hoping to get this, I assume this is using DeepStack to recognize a vehicle. I haven't installed DeepStack on this VM yet, just Blue Iris itself, maybe this is part of the problem.
1623332039649.png

I seem to get 1 hour clips on the side of Blue Iris, but it doesn't seem to show motion or alerts. I recall having this before, I must have changed some setting. I get the following only, whereas previously when I had a camera in the garage temporarily, I would see clips or images of when I'd drive in or out of the garage in between these hour long videos. This is just a quick 10 second or so clip to show what I see. When I did have the alerts showing in the clips area, it did not show the plate info, just the time.

1623332161291.png


I don't have the cameras mounted yet, just have them on a desk right now and using an old set of plates to move into the frame and out, which successfully is being read by Plate Recognizer via Blue Iris integration. I'll keep the shutter speed settings in mind when I mount the cameras over the weekend. I just wanted to ensure that the system was working as intended until I receive the mounts later today and get a chance to mount them outside.

Here's some screenshots of my settings for validation, thanks in advance for reviewing this and letting me know if I missed something or have it misconfigured, much appreciated!

Clips and Archiving

New (90% of 8TB Drive's formatted capacity)
1623331793077.png
Stored (0 GB Limit - saw a posting about setting this to continuously record under New, and not be storing anything, and overwrite older footage when drive becomes full)
1623332432477.png
Alerts (10GB Limit)
1623332450307.png


Cameras

1623331825363.png

AI
1623331874988.png



Camera Settings (Identical on both cameras)

Record
1623331910528.png
Video File Format and Compression
1623331928393.png

Trigger
1623331949011.png
Alerts
1623331964794.png
 
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wittaj

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Deepstack is not needed for Plate Recognizer.

Plate Recognizer has worked with BI long before Deepstack was added.

Instead of the green cabinet, select the lightning bolt next to it and see if you see the alert clips then.

Over to the right are two circles with a 1 in one of them - select that and it will turn green and then you will see just the clips of the camera you are looking at.
 

humm3r1

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Thanks for the reply! I assume deepstack just tags if it was a vehicle etc.

The lightning bolt to switch to the alert view does now show these alerts, so I guess they don't show in All Clips anymore. But I still don't get the plate info showing with the alerts, see below.

1623335589226.png

I realized the confidence level is 85% in Blue Iris and Plate Recognizer is often 70-80%, lowering that value in Blue Iris seems to now add whatever tags plate recognizer returns when analyzing.

that seems to be what I needed to adjust as now I do get a tag returned, even if it is not correct, it shows what Plate Recognizer returned. I'm sure once I mount them and don't have it upside down for the video feed and do any optimizations once installed that it will be accurate.

1623341746762.png
 
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wittaj

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Yeah, for the moment DeepStack only returns if it is a vehicle, but I am sure as it progresses it will get to the point of being able to read plates.

I have mine down at 10% confidence because I would rather it give me something. Most of mine come in a lot higher, but I would prefer the tag anyway.

Keep in mind that the ZE isn't a very large optical zoom and if the plates are not within 40 feet of the camera once mounted, it will struggle with it. So unless you are mounting these on a mailbox or you have a very small front yard and distance to cover, you may need to go with the Z4E up to about 60ish feet or the Z12E up to 200ish feet.
 

humm3r1

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Good call on 10% to have whatever data is possible added, I think I'll copy you on that setting and try to add Deep Stack as well. Most likely will run it on a different VM or get a Jetson board as CPU is already roughly 30% for the 2 x ZE cameras in this virtual machine on ESXi.

Good to know about the range for the ZE camera being roughly 40 feet. I believe my driveway is within that range which was the overall goal, I don't really want to capture every plate that drives by as this will for sure exceed 2500 plates/month, as I am on a busier street.

I assume the Z4E is this one for example? IPC-D5442E-Z4E (Amazon.com : EmpireTech Home Security Camera 4MP IR Vari-Focal Dome WizMind Network Camera IPC-D5442E-Z4E : Camera & Photo) Just for my knowledge if I do need to go for this kind of camera.

And Z12E would be IPC-HFW5231E-Z12E? (Amazon.com: EmpireTech IP Camera IPC-HFW5231E-Z12E 2MP Starlight WDR IR Bullet Network Camera 5.3mm ~64mm 12x Zoom Lens English Version: Home Improvement )

Thanks again for the help and advice, much appreciated!
 

wittaj

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Yeah, it is incredible how fast the 2500 plates/month get used up LOL. I was shocked how fast it went. I ended up setting up zones to just get the cars traveling in one direction and get the back of the cars and not the front.

And Plate Recognizer count total is for every image sent, whether it has a plate or not, so it makes sense to tighten up the settings.

DeepStack can certainly go a long way to prevent those false images from being sent, and another member here trained a model that recognizes plates, so that adds another layer to ensure that just plate images are being sent to Plate Recognizer.

The Z4E is that one, but most prefer the bullet version over the dome one as domes can be problematic in the wrong install location:


The Z12E you referenced is the older model not available anymore, it is now the 5241-Z12E:

 

humm3r1

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haha yeah I bet it's trivial to use up all 2500 plate reads in no time! Good call on setting up zones, I'll definitely be doing that to ensure I only capture plates if they pull into my driveway.

That sounds pretty neat about training a model to only send plates from deepstack to plate recognizer, do you recall who that was? I'll take a look as well and see if I can find the post you're thinking of, but if you happened to recall who it was or where I can find that, I'd absolutely be interested to know more.

EDIT - looks like this one? (1) License plate detection, crop, and save | IP Cam Talk

Thanks for letting me know about the bullet being less problematic and that it is now the 5241-Z12E and not the one I was referencing. You've been a tremendous help!
 

biggen

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I get 3000 plates a week alone just in my neighborhood. That's why I opted for OpenALPR. Plate recognizer just is too cost prohibitive unless you live on a dead end street or out in the country.
 

humm3r1

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I get 3000 plates a week alone just in my neighborhood. That's why I opted for OpenALPR. Plate recognizer just is too cost prohibitive unless you live on a dead end street or out in the country.
Hmm that's a pretty good idea. I'm starting to Google now but do you happen to have a guide or link handy to get me started on the right path? If so, thanks in advance!

EDIT - Maybe this one since I see you had posted here? (1) OpenALPR Webhook Processor for IP Cameras | Page 36 | IP Cam Talk
 

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Hmm that's a pretty good idea. I'm starting to Google now but do you happen to have a guide or link handy to get me started on the right path? If so, thanks in advance!

EDIT - Maybe this one since I see you had posted here? (1) OpenALPR Webhook Processor for IP Cameras | Page 36 | IP Cam Talk
The Webhook Processor you linked is excellent and what I use, but takes a bit of knowledge of Docker to get it up and running. Nothing major but its not a "download and click on run" either. It will allow you to use the $5/month OpenALPR service and keep plates on your own system indefinitely with screenshots and easy searching tools.

You can always just use the OpenALPR website itself but they only retain 7 days worth of plates which is pretty lame. Another option is the OpenALPR tool: OpenALPR Tool - Save and Query CSV Exports A lot of members on here use that as well.
 

humm3r1

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I'm comfortable with docker, I'm actually an IT guy so that's right in my domain. Did you just have to set up the container and then have Blue Iris output to OpenALPR Webhook container for processing? Or is this coming right from the camera's into the webhook container?

I noticed the action options in Blue Iris but haven't dug into this just yet, hence my asking for advice :) Much appreciated for your reply with all of this information!
 

biggen

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Blue Iris isn't used for this. I have a Debian VM running where I have the Webhook service installed in a Docker container. You then just point the OpenALPR cloud service (where the webhook originates from) to the Webhook service you install and the webhook service accepts the plates that OpenALPR sends it. So essentially, your local OpenALPR agent reads the plates, sends that information to the OpenALPR cloud, the cloud then sends a webhook back to the webhook service that is listening for it, and you keep the information. Its a round-a-bout way but that is how it works.
 
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humm3r1

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Blue Iris isn't used for this. I have a Debian VM running where I have the Webhook service installed in a Docker container. You then just point the OpenALPR cloud service (where the webhook originates from) to the Webhook service you install and the webhook service accepts the plates that OpenALPR sends it. So essentially, you local OpenALPR agent reads the plates, sends that information to the OpenALPR cloud, the cloud then sends a webhook back to the webhook service that is listening for it, and you keep the information. Its a round-a-bout way but that is how it works.
Got it, makes sense! I assume this means the docker container is pulling the same camera feeds as Blue Iris? That's my only confusion, how the container gets the camera feeds, so my assumption is both Blue Iris and the docker container are pulling the same feed from the cameras.
 

biggen

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Got it, makes sense! I assume this means the docker container is pulling the same camera feeds as Blue Iris? That's my only confusion, how the container gets the camera feeds, so my assumption is both Blue Iris and the docker container are pulling the same feed from the cameras.
Yes, wherever you run the OpenALPR agent (Docker, Ubuntu, etc...) pulls the same stream that BlueIris pulls from on the same camera.
 
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