Motif - Video Recording System

Good science needs good quality data. Motif is a complete video recording system (camera and computer) for laboratory and field use. Designed specifically for the needs of quantitative biology research, Motif supports recording at exceptional image quality and at higher framerates and resolutions than competing products. Motif can compress video in real-time to save on storage costs.

If you have an existing assay and want to improve the quality of the raw video data, or reduce your storage costs, Motif is perfect for you.

The systems' strength is its versatility. Motif can be configured for single camera or multiple camera recording, and video recordings can be from seconds to weeks in duration. Multiple cameras can be connected to one PC (depending on recording and compression requirements). Additionally, multiple Motif systems can be connected together to record even larger spaces, or to record multiple views of the same experiment.

For ideas of how other scientists use Motif, check out these case studies: circadian analysis of Platynereis, courtship recordings of Manacus vitellinus, and multiple-camera array recordings of collective behaviour in fish.

Motif has a number of features which make it perfect for your scientific recording needs:

  • Unlimited recording duration - videos can be as long as your experiment, no file-size or other artificial limits
  • Experiment metadata and environmental measurements can be recorded in addition to video
  • Can record other quantitative data synchronously with the video, such as EEG or behavioural data, with sub-millisecond precision
  • Extremely high quality. Recordings can be saved in raw, with lossless compression, or with exceptional quality industry standard h264/h265 formats (at qualities exceeding blue-ray)
  • Designed to be integrated with your IT infrastructure to ensure movies are backed up and saved on group network storage
  • Synchronized capture of images from multiple cameras


Recommended Framerate and Resolution Options

Motif can be used with a number of different cameras with resolution and framerate combinations including but not limited to the following:

  • 2046x2046px, 90 fps (color and grayscale)
  • 1920x1200px, 155 fps (color and grayscale)
  • 2048x1088px, 165 fps (color and grayscale)
  • 4112x3008px, 31 fps (grayscale only)
  • 800x600px, 500 fps (grayscale only)
  • 5048x4112px, 50 fps
Note: decreasing the framerate yields an increase in the possible resolution, for example, reducing the resolution to VGA 640x480 allows recording at 390 fps, at 592x400px 1000fps is achievable.

Single or Multiple Camera Configurations

Motif systems are availble in a number of configurations, from traditional single-camera systems, to mulitple camera variations suitable for operation in the field or in the lab.

Multiple camera support is a unique aspect of the Motif system design - not only are multiple cameras per system supported, but multiple Motif systems can be connected together , effectively scaling the apparatus to a larger area. Imagine a behavioural arena too large to record with sufficient resolution using one camera, or imagine an experiment where one needs images taken from different perspectives. These situations are no problem with Motif as cameras image acquisition is synchronized - all pictures are taken at exactly the same time, overcoming the limitations of resolution and framerate

Multiple camera field configuration

A battery powered silent system suitalbe for field operation allows synchronized recordings from multiple views - enabling 3D reconstruction of movement and behaviour.

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Packing and transport case.
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Setting up the system in the field.
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Calibration for 3D tracking.

Single camera laboratory configuration

The silent computer and camera can be mounted near the behavioural assay and the experiment monitored and recorded remotely using the Motif web user interface.

Silent PC and example camera.
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Sample image from fish recordings.
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Sample image from fish recordings.


Demonstration Video