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I can't get the camera to work! What am I doing wrong?

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2018 01:45PM EDT

Here are a list of some common problems we've seen.

  1. Windows users - make sure that you've installed the camera driver before running any animation software. In some cases, Windows will attempt to install a default driver that is not compatible with the animation software. If this happens, simply unplug the camera, insert the software CD and re-install the camera driver. Or download and install the driver per the instructions here. If neither step works, please follow the advanced re-installation instructions below.
  2. OS X users can start nearly any application that accepts a video feed to test the camera. No driver installation is required.
  3. Check to see if the camera is sending a video signal to the computer. Start the Stopmotion Explosion Animator application (Windows / OS X) and switch to the camera input. You can also use the Camera app (Windows 10) or Photobooth (OS X) If neither application recognizes the camera, then contact us directly for further instructions.
  4. Ensure the camera is connected to the computer directly, and not plugged into a USB hub, or USB extension cord.

Advanced Re-Install (720p Camera)

Experience has taught us that installing software drivers on Windows can be very messy. If the camera isn't functioning correctly, checking the state of the camera driver should be one of the first steps you take.

This tutorial assumes that you've installed either the camera driver available for download on our site, or the animation kit Software CD. The AMCAP program is installed along with the Stopmotion Explosion camera driver. This program is very useful for troubleshooting any camera issues.​

Plug the camera in and launch AMCAP. In the Devices drop-down menu, you should see this driver listed as a camera source. This indicates that the camera driver is installed correctly, and you should be able to see an image from the camera.

If the camera driver is not installed correctly, you may see another driver listed instead, for example "USB Video Device" or "Sirius USB2.0 Camera". Both of these are Window's attempts to locate and install a driver, neither or which will give you the functionality of the correct version. In most cases, the wrong driver will not work with the camera at all.

To fix this, first try unplugging the camera, downloading the camera driver from our site (or inserting the software CD), and re-installing the driver. Then plug the camera in and check to see if the correct driver is displayed, by launching AMCAP and clicking the Devices menu.

If this doesn't work, you'll need to perform the following steps. These should only be performed after the camera driver is installed via the instructions above.

Launch the Windows Device Manager. This can be accessed from the Control Panel, if you're logged in with an administrative account.

​Look for the "Imaging Devices" category. Click the arrow and you'll see the camera driver listed. (In this case there are two drivers, one for the built-in laptop camera, and one for the Stopmotion Explosion camera. Do not perform these instructions with any other camera than the Stopmotion Explosion model!)

Double-click the wrong driver (here, listed as Sirius USB2.0 Camera) and in the window that appears, click the Driver tab. Click Update Driver.

Click "Browse my computer for driver software", then "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer". If there is a checkbox for "Show compatible hardware" then make sure this is unchecked.

Scroll down through the list of drivers until you see the Vimicro category. Select the driver and click Next. If you receive a warning, click OK, and continue.

When the driver install finishes, you should receive a notice to restart the computer. Restart.

After restarting, you should be able to see the correct driver in AMCAP.

Still Broken?

Here's where some weirdness of the USB protocol may haunt you. Because of the way computers are designed, and how Windows interfaces with the USB ports, it's possible to have the camera recognized differently, or not recognized at all depending on which USB port it's plugged into.

If the correct driver still doesn't display, or you receive a message in AMCAP about being "unable to preview capture graph", unplug the camera, plug it into a DIFFERENT USB port, and launch Device Manager again. Follow the same steps for updating the camera driver above.

Repeating the process should get the camera driver functioning correctly. Remember which USB port you plugged the camera into, and use this port hereafter.

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