Picture of Viewing Myself in 3rd Person
This is a project which will literally pull your mind out from your head. 

The whole idea is to view ourselves live in 3rd person. A camera will be mounted to ourselves looking at us from behind. A video goggle setup will then allow us to only see ourselves in 3rd person.

We will explore how to make a setup like this for relatively cheap. We'll look at other permutations, such as transmitting the data, using the setup in paintball with a marker mounted camera, and so on.

[edit: check out step 10 for the 3rd person view]
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Step 1: The Camera's

Picture of The Camera's
As the setup goes, really any camera with a video output will do. I have a small video CCD camera with the component video and audio output. That ran me about $60. You can get cheaper ones if you'd like. If you really want to play with this, I would suggest getting a good camera. After having done it, I would prefer a higher quality camera. 

Some digital cameras or camcorders can do video out as well. That will work, as long as it is live.

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enelson89 months ago
This instructable is amazing! After I figure out how to stabilize the camera I'm going to build this!! Great job!
uncaff3 years ago
What would make an ideal presentation of the whole experience IMO would be the
video of you walking around and a P in P of what you yourself are seeing at
the same time.

Meanwhile, congrats for a thoroughly entertaining instructable.

Love this website.
smpash3 years ago
For outdoor use only it is HMMM

just a thought but would a higher view with a wide angle camera give a better perspective for the 3rd person view?
Tobor 2.03 years ago
That is really cool i had an idea for something just like that, but the camera had a wireless feed because it was placed somewhere not atached to you
The first line of this instructable is inaccurate:

"This is a project which will literally pull your mind out from your head."

You don't mean literally. That sentence works if you delete "literally." You mean the opposite of literally: figuratively. But we get that as long as you don't say literally.

In current popular usage, the word "literally" is not used literally or correctly 96 percent of the time.

My work here is done.
Hi. Positive and constructive comment here. While you are perfectly right about your previous statement, I would think that you would at least comment on his instructable. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. are not the main focus of this website. It doesn't look good when you criticize someone about the correct way to use a word and totally ignore their hard work. If you haven't already, I think you should apologize to BigRedRocket for starting this catastrophe and distracting people from his work, even if you didn't mean to, and give him his due respect.

With that being said, great instructable BigRedRocket!
How old are you? Because you are acting like a rude 10 year old who just learned how to use words in a sentence and went on a correcting spree.
You're literally being a tool.

On a more constructive note, the "position" of the mind is highly linked with our visual reference point - thus if our vantage point is outside our body, as it is here, after some adjustment time we will feel like we are living outside our body. So your mind is literally pulled outside your head.

Your work here was awful, you are fired.
hughperman, again, you're using the term "literally" in a superfluous and non-literal way. Take your last meaningful sentence:

"So your mind is literally pulled outside your head."

It works if you delete the word "literally." Otherwise it creates an odd and meaningless image. A mind cannot be literally pulled anywhere. Only figuratively.

A lot of people have the idea that adding the word "literally" to an otherwise perfectly good sentence somehow increases the intensity of meaning. It doesn't.
(removed by author or community request)
Eric Jacob (author)  zeppomarks4 years ago
Thanks for the comments. We literally had a great time building this. :)
Biggie, I'm sure you did have a great time building it.

But since I can't imagine a FIGURATIVE way to have a great time, there is no need to specify that you intended that statement literally. Here too, your use of the word "literally" is superfluous, distracting, and verbose.

I'm just saying.
If you were "just saying" you wouldn't have felt the need to continue this inane rant following BigRedRocket's obvious joke written at 10:53 AM the 26th Day of December.
You are also treading on the boundaries of the Be Nice Policy. Your cantankerous disposition has no place here, you pointed out clearly your disdain for the grammatically incorrect use of the word literally, to continue this any further is to bait argument.
Come on, Maxx, be nice. There's no need for personal attacks. Your comment had no relevance to the issue we were discussing. It's pretty clear you're the angry one.

Sorry, Orange, but that's another example of a superfluous "literally." It adds absolutely no meaning to the sentence and in fact weakens the sentence.

And your position. Even if I ignore that you're screaming.
Man you have just dug yourself so deep into a hole that you know it and are just to embarrassed to admit it and stop. You are being a tool and need to stop or someone will get you kicked.
Just saying, Chorus, I've got your back, metaphorically, not literally.
taiphoon, I agree with Chorus as well but your comment was the icing on the cake! (not literally... obviously.)
Zeppo, after your big long explanation of why the mind and the brain are not the same... you still don't need the word "literally"! In fact, if the mind is less tangible than the brain, then "literally" is even MORE superfluous!

Take the word "literally" out, and the sentence is stronger. Just like most sentences that contain the word "very" are stronger without it.

I agree that the instructable on the whole is very good. Maybe that's why I'm bothered by such a weak opening line.
You didn't have any work here... be gone
Who gives a literal how he used literally we got his meaning.
We got his meaning because we decided he didn't mean what he said.
We got what his meaning was because we didn't take his meaning, of literally, literally... did you get what I mean by that or is my meaning to literal for you to understand my meaning of understanding the meaning of his literal meaning?
Do you know the difference between to, two, and too? You may not be ready for more complicated concepts like "literally."
Absolutely an awesome idea. There's many camera rigs out there, but this one is unique because I'm not quite sure if I've seen it used in videos before now. Anyways, I can see tons of potential in it. You could make videos of what a "real life" third person game would look like!
Nachimir3 years ago
Thanks, you inspired me to make a similar rig for filming. It's on a very long boom with a 0.45x lens. Wobbles a lot, but seems to recover fast. I'll see how it fares with MTB trails :)

LiberMortis3 years ago
would it be possible to do this with only one eye instead of both? (kinda retarted, bear with me) I'd like to know what it'd be like looking both in front and in back of me at the same time.
Eric Jacob (author)  LiberMortis3 years ago
Sure, although I would imagine that it would mess with your head. It would be a neat experiment.

The goggles I have can take a 3D video source input. That requires a interlaced video signal which is difficult to generate. If you can find goggles that take in two separate video sources it would be a lot easier.
Sreyo4 years ago
That is awesome. If I had that on, I'd keep thinking I was in a video game. Which isn't really a bad thing :)
freez4 years ago
Reply from Québec :P
Nice project. It remember me a project I made. I used a small circuit from a broken IR remote controled car (+- 30grams) with a TIP4*** for drive the camera righ/left with a 9-12v geerbox from a BBq chicken turning rod... U Know... It turn veeeeerrrrrryyyyyyy slow. And used the front/reverse for the zoom

I don't what imagine the feeling with as wiimote attached to your head/neck!!! Remember ROBOCOP
mbainrot4 years ago
Ingenius idea :) 5/5 instructable

You might want to really tuck away them AV leads though, so a cop doesn't shoot you thinking you have a bomb.
Indeed a good observation
Eric Jacob (author)  mbainrot4 years ago
Thanks, yeah it does look a little nefarious. We were in the middle of nowhere behind our school, so there were no issues.
Evan20104 years ago
I might do this with a GoPro camera then it would be crystal clear video and a 170 degree view.
siege104 years ago
you don't need 3d cameras just a bit of math, another camera and some more pvc pipe. more work but a couple thousand dollars cheaper.
Eric Jacob (author)  siege104 years ago
The goggles only have a 3d video input. I can't hook up two cameras and then 'use some math' and attach it to the goggles. It requires interlaced video.

Most of these off the shelf goggles have a single video input, and they typically have a single LCD inside with optics to split it up. Ideally I would have goggles with two independent screens with separate inputs, then it would be easy.
the 'math" i spoke of was for the placement of the cameras. there are several stereoscopic image splicers (or whatever the hell there called, they had a spiffy name) on the market that will take the dual input of two separate cameras (weather it supports component or not, i have no idea) and output in various formats, interlaced being one of them (some support shutter glasses). while i haven't heard of anyone using these to view themselves in 3rd person i have seen them used for other portable projects (ie. on top of a rc car) so look around maybe that will work for you. or find glasses with separate inputs...
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