[4.21.13] Inverse Panorama Camera Jig  [time lapse rig]


Making a quick semi-circle track for taking inverse-panorama time lapse imagery

This is a simple walk through on attempting to build a quick 'inverse-panorama' camera jig for time lapse photography

Getting it to work Conclusion Image Directory

Video of Operation: Vid
For the first test of the final product, I used a DC motor + planetary gear train to pull a small 3dprinted cart along the track. It worked out ok, however there was a bit of glue left over at the end of the track and the cart became temporarily stuck, resulting in some bouncy video near the end of the short timelapse. No opposing mass was used to pull the cart back / provide an opposing force for this test. It may be beneficial in later tests.


From the sponsors:

Getting it to work
How to Image / Media Image / Media
One day i found some stray tubing
Three pieces of 0.25" diameter tubing, covered in dust, were hiding in a pile of cruft. Without the free tubing i would not have taken this approach. I started by bending the tubing by hand, then finally around a 55 gallon drum (as i did not have an english wheel / tube bender apparattus at the time). This worked fairly well and each of the tubes were roughly the same bend radius. As the tubes are springy, they did not match up directly with the 55 gallon drum,
Spacers, a tricky part
After a bit of back and forth / incremental design revs, i found a spacer design that gripped the track but still allowed for the cart to slide smootly above.

CAD for spacer [STL]
[Solidworks] [Thingiverse]
10 at a time, yeah skeinforge
After waiting 20 minutes for each revision to be ready, and finding the right layout, i realized skeinforge's multiply' tool would come in handy. Why print 1 when you can print 10 at a time?
Tripod holster-vairant
For the tripod-track variant of the holder, I added a big plane through the part. After it was printed, i drilled and tapped a hole to mate to the tripod.

Cad for tripod spacer [STL] [Solidworks] [Thingiverse]
A web-camera-cart
For a webcam, i finally 'upgraded' after noticing how far webcams have come since the 800x600 ones i'm used to. I purchased a used Logitech C615 webcam, it has a suprisingly excellent picture quality.  The cart was pulled along the track with a geared-down dc motor and string

Cad for cart [STL] [Solidworks] [Thingiverse]
Assemble Track
After all the spacers and tripod-holder spacers were done, i inserted them onto the rails (most could be clipped on, some needed some hot-glue). Note the dc gearmotor taped to the track. This was for testing.

A quick python script
How to Image / Media
uvccapture, you're excellent
I wanted to do a timelapse, and didnt need to record 1hr of video just to capture 60 seconds of imagery, so i threw the following together. Note uvccapture needs to be installed
(a simple 'sudo apt-get install uvccapture'  will do most of the time). Note, create a directory titled 'f' in the directory the script runs from. You also may have to change the /dev/video0 to /dev/video1 based on your system.

Realistically, there are plenty of alternatives with nice gui's, especially for the windows os, use one of those if you get stuck here.

Directory of images into video
For the directory of images -> video, I cheated and used the stopmotion.

Final Product
At work videoing things in a slightly messy lab.

(There's other photos in the photo gallery)
Concluding Remarks:

There are a number of ways to achieve the same outcome, if there were semi-flexible O-gauge train track lying about, i would have absolutley used it instead of spacing, truing, and bending and playing around with string. The one downside to this fixed track approach is that it requires multiple tripods and isn't collapsable. From this design I came up with a slighlty more flexible alternative, to be detailed when its complete.

From the sponsors:

If you have questions or comments, ask below or send over an email.
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(be careful, im not responsible for you constantly dropping a webcam because the silly cart doesnt fit on the track just-right)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
Electrical & Electrical Power