The rig described here helps you structure the photos for best results. It lets you spin the camera around the object at a constant height and distance, while the object stays still. You can easily move the camera up and down to get top and bottom angles.
For this project, you will need:
3x 36" long 1" dia dowel
1x 12" long x 3/4" thick x 2" wide plank
1x 8" x 8" x 3/4" board
1x 6" x 6" x 3/4" board
38x #8 3/4" construction screws
4x #8 3/4" hex bolt
1x #8 1" hex bolt
5x #8 wing nuts (6x optional)
2x #8 lock washers (3x optional)
1x 1/4" x 3/4" thumbscrew
1x 1/4 washer
2x casters (the base should not exceed 2" in depth)
Step 1: Print the plastic parts
3x shaft collar
1x camera ring
1x camera platform
1x extension arm (optional)
Download the files and print them yourself, or send them to a service. They are also hosted on Thingiverse.
Step 2: Cut your wooden pieces to size
Step 3: Attach L-brace to base
Step 4: Assemble bottom brace
Bring the 1-braces down to the plank by sliding the 3-brace down the longer length of dowel. Make sure the 4" dowels are tightly seated, into the 3-brace on one end, and a 1-brace on the other end.
Attach the 1-braces to the plank using 8x #8 screws. Secure the 4" dowels to the 1-brace and 3-brace by using 4x #8 screws (2 on each side).
Do NOT secure the 8" dowel yet. Its destiny lies elsewhere.
Step 5: Attach casters
Step 6: Prepare the main brace
Step 7: Assemble the shaft collars
Step 8: Prepare the main boom
Step 9: Prepare platform
Step 10: Assemble boom and brace
Ensure the 2-braces are lined up and secure them with 2x #8 screw
Step 11: Assemble the base
Put a shaft collar over the 8" dowel in the flange.
Step 12: Assemble boom and platform
Adjust the height of the shaft collar so that the long dowel is level.
Step 13: Connect main pole to base
Step 14: Finish platform
Step 15: Secure the boom
Step 16: Assemble camera adapter
Attach the camera platform to the camera adapter with a "1 #8 hex bolt, placing a lock washer between the adapter ring and the platform. Secure with a wing nut.
Put a 1/4" thumbscrew in the bottom of the camera platform (the side with the raised ring) and tighten it.
Step 17: Place camera adapter on pole
Step 18: Finished! Now, use it to take some pictures.
Attach your camera to the camera platform by screwing the 1/4" thumbscrew into the tripod fixture in the bottom of the camera, securing it to the camera platform.
Loosen the wing nut that holds the platform and camera adapter ring, and adjust the camera until it is pointed right at the platform.
Place your target object on the platform, and take 30 or so evenly spaced pictures.
Loosen the wing nut on the camera adapter, and slide the whole camera mount up. Take another 20-30 pictures looking down at the platform.
Repeat, this time moving the camera mount down, so you can take pictures looking up at the platform.
You can adjust the vertical pole to move it farther or closer to the object, by loosening the two shaft collars and sliding the whole assembly on the boom.