Introduction: IPhone Android Google Cardboard VR 3D Gaming Video-Recording Rig!
Oculus Rift and 3D Virtual Reality games on iPhone and Android phones are the latest craze! You bought yourself a set of VR glasses and you are having fun playing the games. But what if you want to record your games, share play-throughs or game walk-throughs and post it on popular video gaming sites like Twitch and YouTube? This instructable shows you how to fabricate a simple rig to let you play your 3D games and video record them easily!
The idea of the rig is to hold your phone rigidly at a specific distance from your camera, and allow you to move everything as one unit while you play the game. That way, you can still control and play the game (which uses the gyro's on your phone) and your video camera moves with it. The result is a steady video shot of your game. You can see an example in the YouTube video I have attached.
Step 1: Gather Up Some Parts
OPTION 1: Make Your Own
You will need 2 pieces of wood, one longer and one shorter. The longer piece of wood (green) will hold your camera and phone opposite each other so you can video record the screen while you move everything around. The short piece of wood (blue) will act as a back-rest for your phone that you will attach with rubber bands.
The other hardware (nuts, bolts, washers, angle bracket) are used to attach the blue piece of wood to the green piece at a 90-degree angle and do fine adjustments. The camera will attach to the green wood as well and point it at the phone. I will explain more in the next step.
Step 2: Or Use an Existing Mount
OPTION 2: Use An Existing Mount
This is the easier way which I show you in the video. I already had a "magic-arm" camera mount. One end is a bracket and the other end is a camera mount. The bracket is supposed to allow you to attach the magic-arm to a table, desk, pole, tree or other rigid object. In this case, I use the bracket to hold the phone, and point the camera back on itself (towards the bracket). See the video for a demonstration.
The rest of this instructable will review mostly how to make your own rig, as most of you will not have an existing mount like a magic-arm.
Step 3: Prepare the Wood
CUT NOTCHES OR DRILL HOLES
You will want to prepare a notch in your blue piece of wood closer to one end (see photo) to allow you to attach the angle bracket. The notch makes it easier to do various adjustments. If you drill a hole you will be stuck with only one position available.
The same goes for the green piece of wood. Make notches on both ends if needed, and a hole in the middle (optional) to allow you to attach a handle or pistol grip. That will allow you to move the entire rig (phone, video camera and wood) with one hand.
Step 4: Assemble Your Rig
ATTACH WOOD PIECES
Use a nut and bolt to fasten the 90-degree angle bracket to the green piece of wood. Using a notch (instead of a hole) in the wood will allow you to slide the bracket for fine adjustments. You may also wish to use a washer (like I show in the photos) to help make a flatter contact with the wood and more sturdy assembly.
Then use another nut and bolt to attach the blue piece of wood to the other part of the angle-bracket. Once again, the slot approach is preferred because of fine adjustments. A washer is also used for better contact and more even pressure when tighening. You should use shorter bolts.... I didn't have anything. This rig is made from scraps I found in my scrap pile!
Step 5: Make Adjustments
Once you have attached the camera (as shown) to either a hole or slot in the green wood, you make fine adjustments to point your camera at the screen. Horizontal adjustments are simply done by pivoting the blue wood holding the phone or by pivoting the video camera side to side. You can also slide the phone side to side on the blue piece of wood.
For vertical adjustments, because the blue wood is attached with a slot, you can move it up and down somewhat. You can also attach "spacers" using any number of washers under your camera to adjust the vertical position as well.
You will see in my photo how I zoom out at first, then zoom in and it fills the entire frame of my video camera with the phone screen. That is a perfect shot for recording the game.
Step 6: Play and Video Record!
Now that your rig is made, it is time to have fun! Whether you use an existing "Magic-arm" (like I show in my video) or construct your own simple rig from a few pieces of wood, you can shoot quality video while moving your camera and phone around together in 3D to play the game.
This rig has helped you be able to play games which require phone movement but at the same time you will shoot a perfectly still video recording that is suitable for sharing with your friends! You can also view your recording in 3D with VR glasses because you have captured everything you originally saw in the game!
Watch the YouTube Video Here orat the beginning of this instructable to see a demonstration using the Bogen Manfrotto Magic-Arm (Option 2).... Or get the same result with the Do-It-Yourself Wood version (Option 1) which is much cheaper and lighter to build!