Video Overlay - Digital Horizon Level

Hi all!

I am very new to Arduino - any assistance at all in setting up this idea would be incredibly helpful and greatly appreciated!!

I am looking to build a digital horizon level to be overlaid on top of an HD-SDI signal for use for camera operators in film and tv. I’ve attached a photo showing one variation as an example - currently available for use in the Alexa Mini cameras. This build will be for cameras which do not feature an internal gyro for such measurements - this would in affect be an external accessory which would ride on the camera to provide the operator a live look at their level and composition.

The configured part would have to be able to pass through a 23.98PSF HD-SDI signal via BNC connectors for both video input and output. In an ideal setup, the digital horizon bubble level would live in the bottom center of the screen.

I saw this video and thought this could be a decent starting point to measure the information I want to display - but what direction could I possibly go which would allow me to translate that information into a graphic while also allowing the overlay of this graphic over a provided live video feed.

As stated before - any information here would be very very gratefully appreciated!!!

Best Regards,

  • John

Reading gyros and accelerometers is relatively simple, and there are plenty of examples out there, but how that gets into your 1.4Gbps (+?) SDI stream, I have no idea.

The Google keywords your looking for are “SDI Video Overlay”. The options are expensive and not small enough to really suit handheld use but you could maybe have sensors mounted on the camera and other suitable equipment (MCU/Overlay) mounted off camera and send the data back to the operators viewfinder over telemetry/return feed.

Another option might be to use a down stream keyer to key the graphics from something like a Raspberry Pi onto the camera video. Same caveats as overlay that the hardware will probably need separating and the resulting video fed back to the camera operator.

Another idea (if you don’t need the mixed video/graphics in HD) is to convert the SDI down to composite and then you have cheaper options to overlay graphics.