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RViz camera view: other coordinate frame convention

asked 2013-02-18 02:20:44 -0500

Robbiepr1 gravatar image

updated 2016-10-24 09:10:50 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

I'm currently doing some experiments with fovis_ros and a kinect . This works pretty well, but fovis uses an other type of coordinate frames where +X is to the right, +Y is down and +Z is forward. The thing is that none of the camera views in RViz are able to let the camera rotate around the Y axis instead of the X axis. This makes it kinda hard to get a nice view in RViz. It seems that RViz was only made for the coordinate frame conventions documented on this page:

Any of you guys encountered the same problem? Is there anyone with a solution for this problem?

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answered 2013-02-18 08:45:35 -0500

Stephan gravatar image

Depending on the launch file you use for your kinect, it might be that there is already a static_transform_publisher running that publishes a tf between camera_link and camera_rgb_optical_frame. You can check that easily by running

rosrun tf tf_monitor

If you want, you can easily give this camera_rgb_optical_frame as base link frame id to fovis_ros:

rosrun fovis_ros stereo_odometer _base_link_frame_id:=/camera_rgb_optical_frame

fovis_ros will then publish movements through tf and odometry messages using /odom as fixed frame and /camera_rgb_optical_frame as the moving (child) frame. If you set the fixed frame in rviz to /odom you should see the camera frames moving while moving the kinect.

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Thanks! That did the trick for now. Although it would be nice if there was some kind of setting in RViz itself.

Robbiepr1 gravatar image Robbiepr1  ( 2013-02-18 20:26:44 -0500 )edit

answered 2013-02-18 10:19:04 -0500

dgossow gravatar image

updated 2013-02-19 17:28:41 -0500

Switching the up axis might be a useful feature in RViz. You're welcome to open a feature request ticket on

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+1! Especially for underwater robotics, where the standard coordinate system is NED (North East Down).

Stephan gravatar image Stephan  ( 2013-02-18 10:55:44 -0500 )edit

This would be a nice feature indeed. I will open a feature request on github

Robbiepr1 gravatar image Robbiepr1  ( 2013-02-18 20:27:58 -0500 )edit

After reviewing this I would say that this is a likely feature for a future RViz release.

dgossow gravatar image dgossow  ( 2013-02-19 18:47:36 -0500 )edit

For further comments on the feature request please use the github tracker:

dgossow gravatar image dgossow  ( 2013-02-19 18:48:29 -0500 )edit

answered 2013-02-18 02:50:26 -0500

dornhege gravatar image

updated 2013-02-18 02:50:47 -0500

This is the standard camera optical coordinate system.

The easiest solution I see to your problem is to publish a transform between the camera system and the camera's optical system, e.g. by using a tf static_transform_publisher.

Then select that system in rviz instead of the optical on that, you have now.

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Asked: 2013-02-18 02:20:44 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 19 '13