Idea: DSLR Scanning Grid-crane

For years I have had this particular idea that I wish someone would design, manufacture, and start selling. Here is the idea I have:


With better design, a cube frame could even be constructed allowing the photographer to produce a matrix of photos for every axis (top, side, front). With this matrix of insanely high quality and high resolution photos, the photographer could use a program or script to do render or generate several things:

* 3D textured model or environment
* Parallax map
* Natural bump map (artificially possible via software like Adobe Photoshop)
* 2D texture
* Scanned image (as though having used a flatbed scanner)

  • This is different in that the idea is to construct an image that eliminates as much 3D perspective as possible

* Panorama (different styles; to better understand the descriptions, imagine a sphere with rectangular prisms extruding from it and the center of the matrix of photos focused smack dab straight on top of one of these extrusions)

  • Center appears 2D and flat, but as you move towards the edges the object reveals more of its 3D characteristics [i]leaning outward away from the center[/i]; like your typical panorama (convex fisheye)
  • Center appears 2D and flat, but as you move towards the edges the object reveals more of its 3D characteristics [i]leaning inward toward the center[/i]; like concave fisheye
  • Edges of object appear 2D and flat, but as you move toward the center the object reveals more of its 3D characteristics by showing all sides; inverse of concave fisheye
  • Center appears 3D showing all sides, outside edges of object appears 3D leaning outward away from the center, in between the center and outside is a 2D doughnut ring
  • Custom

(EDIT: For the life of me, I am unable to get list indentation to work properly in WordPress. Very frustrating and aggravating.)

I had forgotten to note that the tubes would also be hollow (more common sense), not solid, and that they should come in 2-3′ segments or something. My Canon t3i take 18 megapixel images (roughly 5200×2500 photos); that would be outrageously insane and high-end for application as a scanning device provided a tool like this idea. Some objects you could scan (let your imagination take it from there):

  • Motherboard
  • Apple
  • Teapot
  • Laptop
  • Firearms
  • Model or toy vehicles (cars, airplanes)
  • Dead insects, bugs, or animals
  • Rocks
  • Magnetic ferrofluid (I wonder if one could somehow record a 3D animation)
  • Moving liquids or objects (even better if somehow you could record it with multiple cameras simultaneously, whether taking continuous/burst photos or video)

Any questions and I will try to explain what I mean by particular elements of the concept draft.

1 Comment so far »

  1. Qwerty said,

    Wrote on April 25, 2012 @ 8:08 AM

    The photographer would be responsible for their own lighting. However, that isn’t to say the design cannot take into any possible ways to assist the photographer. If you wanted to attain an image that was equivelant to that of a flatbed scanner, you would want the lights to move with the camera lens so that in the end you could have an image of an object (such as a motherboard) that appears as evenly lit as possible, has balanced lighting, and has a 2D-flat look to it.

    How I came up with this idea was back several years ago when I wanted to scan a motherboard. Through this experience, I found that flatbed scanners are horrible devices for scanning anything other than flat sheets of material (such as paper). I found that the cameras that are built into pretty much all flatbed scanners are critically inferior to that of DSLRs. You have to flip the motherboard/circuit-board you want to scan upside-down, but then you wind up having a slanted object due to the uneven geometry (various sized capacitors and components randomly across the top-side of the board). Then, even when you do scan, you will find that the depth perception of flatbed scanners are so incredibly horrible that your resulting image is virtually unusable (except for the one or two capacitors that did lay flat on the glass). Try it, and you will know what I mean. The only solution: DSLRs.

    You could set your camera to F22 and fine-tune your exposure. In the end, you could have a flat 2D, flatbed-style scan of your circuit board of a quality and resolution that competes with scanners that would otherwise cost you tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars (if you were seeking to attain the same kind of DPI, resolution, and how big of an area you could possibly scan – many scanners have only big enough glass beds for giant-sized paper, because they’re meant to scan documents, not circuit boards and objects with 3D extrusions and geometry). Or, you could even set it to F4 and focus on a particular layer.

    If you had a very large glass table, you could take photos from above. With a basket of slightly varied design, you could have the camera sit above the crane-rails pointing upward, so that maybe you could assemble this device beneath your large glass table to take photos of an object from beneath.

    Lots of potential, endless possibilities.

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.