Introduction: 3D Camera Attachment for DSLR

Picture of 3D Camera Attachment for DSLR

The aim of this project is to create a device, which will enable us to get the split stereoscopic images required for three-dimensional imaging. The product can be either built from scratch or modifications can be made to products already present in the market to suit the needs of the project. The final test that shall be performed will include taking pictures and determining if the box is capable of creating the stereoscopic images.

The background of this project relates with the physics involved in three dimensional imaging and stereoscopic photography. This is a technique of creating an illusion of depth in an image by the means of binocular vision.
In most common cases, the user takes two pictures one representing the left eye view while the other fills up for the right eye. These two images have some offset between them. The images are then combined so as to obtain an image which has the third dimension of depth added on to it.

As seen in the figure, the fixture has two slits for the light to pass through. The black lines placed at an angle represent the mirrors in the fixture. These mirrors are to be placed in a manner that they cause deflection in the path of the incoming light rays, directing them towards the camera lens. This setup shall help getting two side-by-side images of the object that is to be captured. The stereoscopic images are to be combined using cross-eyed technique in order to get the three-dimensional image. The camera lens is to be used to focus the rays of the light so as to get as clear an image as possible.

The whole system involves a base, the optic portion and a protecting upper shell. The base is designed to place the camera and hold the optic parts. The protecting shell confines the light passing through the system.

Step 1: Materials Needed

You need to prepare the following materials to create a 3D camera attachment for your DSLR camera:-
1) A cardboard
2) Hot glue gun
3) Cutter
4) 1 pair of small flat mirrors (30mm x 30mm)
5) 1 pair of large flat mirrors  (75mm x 75mm)
6) A protractor
7) A marker

Step 2: Preparing the Base Plate

You need to use part of the cardboard to create a base plate for the mirror arrangement.
There is no fixed size for the base plate as long as you can fit the mirrors onto it.

Step 3: Mirrors Arrangement

Picture of Mirrors Arrangement

The small mirrors are arranged so that the angle between them is 125 degrees which is 62.5 degrees on each side. The angle is determined to optimize the light path producing the real image on the camera.

As for the larger mirrors, As for the larger mirrors, on one side the angle is fixed to be 62.5 degree, on the other side, the angle is slightly different and can be adjusted between 60.5 and 62 degree. That is due to the stereographic photo requirement: the two photos captured for a single object should have a slight difference between them.

Use marker to mark to position of both mirrors. Then, use hot glue gun to attach the mirrors onto the base plate (cardboard).

Step 4: Creating the Enclosure of the Device

Picture of Creating the Enclosure of the Device

To maximize the quality of the images taken from this device, you will need to cover the setup or the mirrors arrangement. You can use the cardboard to create a box that has two incoming light rays and one outlet for the camera lens.

You can also create a box using any CAD software and 3D print the model for a better design.

Step 5: Capturing Pictures

Picture of Capturing Pictures

Lastly, you can have fun taking as many pictures as you like with this device. In order to get a 3D view of the images, you need to use cross-eyed method.


tisaconundrum (author)2014-04-20

Wow, this is brilliant, And this could even be applied to other cameras not just the DSLR :D

On a side note, Why not have the mirrors at 45 degree angles?

techknowdroid (author)2014-04-19

Very Cool gadget Ahmad.......and very well explained.

Ahmad, to be able to see the cross-eyed photos without straining one's eyes I have put up an instructable on how to make a simple glass prism, which enables one to see 3D images on any ordinary TV or monitor, without the eye strain and without knowing the Cross-eye Technique. Do check it out. Here is the link to it

Cheers !! :-)