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 Post subject: Custom Made DIY Beam-splitter 3D Camera Rig Project
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2011, 19:57 
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I've been working on a DIY beam-splitter camera rig for shooting stereoscopic 3D video for a while now with the idea to have something built mostly from different computer related parts I have handy in order to lower the total cost of the project as much as possible. With the cheapest professional beam-splitter camera rigs starting at about $3000-4000 USD and going to tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for the high-end solutions it is quite hard for an enthusiast to start shooting 3D video to experiment or just for fun and to learn from the experience. So it is no wonder that a lot of people start building their own custom rigs, and my idea with this is pretty much the same...

At the moment the first phase of the test rig design is close to its completion, I'm just waiting for the two rails I'm going to use for adjusting the interaxial distance of the two cameras. I'm using two consumer grade HD cameras from Sony that I have, along with a custom modified set of LANC-based remotes for controlling the two cameras simultaneously, a small 50/50 beam-splitter mirror. The total build cost of the initial rough design should be about $100 USD, and as this is just a test project, the next version will probably look and work even better. The simple reason for that is the fact that while designing and building I'm learning on the go and getting new ideas to try, but the idea is still to remain a very affordable and easy to build design.

The idea for this rig is to be portable and light, with the next version planned to be built with parts probably from aluminium. The half mirror size is about 15 centimeters (around 6 inches) in width with the planned interaxial distance available to the user to be about 11 centimeters (around 4.3 inches). This of course is for shooting 3D video of closer objects as for recording landscapes or wider scenes a parallel rig with much bigger interaxial distance is usually a much better choice. After the rig is finished I do plan to also try recording HDR video with the two cameras, but that is a kind of a side project and another option you could use a beam-splitter rig for. The initial rough tests I performed today were quite promising and I expect to soon be able to have the interaxial adjustment rails attached and to record some test footage and post it here.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Made DIY Beam-splitter 3D Camera Rig Project
PostPosted: 22 Mar 2011, 01:32 

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22 Mar 2011, 00:34
Posts: 66
looks nice, but with such small camera you would better use a parallel mount.
Beam splitter are a nightmare to setup (aligning cameras) and you loose 50% of the light in the process.
Adding you got dust, reflections, polarizing effect, bulky result...
Today, camcorder are getting smaller and smaller, and cheaper too.
I use 2 sanyo FH1, shooting a 60fps (that is pretty useless, since 3D BD is limited to 24fps).
the problem with big cams and DSLR is you get big sensor (then DOF) , and for 3D this is very counterproductive.
I would love to do my 3D videos with my Ex1 and a mirror rig , but at $5K for a 2nd camera this is a bit expensive.
with those 2 cheap ($300 each) , i can get full HD, and with one remote control for both cam, i can even use the zoom !
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 Post subject: Re: Custom Made DIY Beam-splitter 3D Camera Rig Project
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2011, 10:04 

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04 May 2010, 09:09
Posts: 38
nosys70:

Don't you have white balance or exposure sync problems with this ?

As there is paralax, the two camera get 2 slightly different pictures, and thus they may auto white balance or exposure correction at different times that can give bad 3D effects when viewing. Did you encounter this problem. Do you shoot with WB & exposure locked ?

Thanks for the info.

Olivier.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Made DIY Beam-splitter 3D Camera Rig Project
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2011, 14:23 

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Posts: 66
not at all. suprisingly, i set everthing to "manual" or "disabled" except automatic white balance and focus (spot on center of screen) and both cams are reacting the same.
you can even force white bal. to some settings (usually indoor/outdoor) to make sure there will be no change.
left and right picture are usually very the same except on outside borders, so if you avoid to have a bright light just on the edge of these borders, all should be ok.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Made DIY Beam-splitter 3D Camera Rig Project
PostPosted: 02 Apr 2011, 16:12 

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02 Apr 2011, 08:22
Posts: 20
I also use the same set up. It turned out to be good.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Made DIY Beam-splitter 3D Camera Rig Project
PostPosted: 28 May 2012, 11:58 

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Posts: 3
Looks sweet! Any test images?


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