Introduction: Imaging Your Eyes With a Webcam

I was really bored one day. So I decided to take a picture of my eye (for a facebook picture). Alas, the only camera I had was, well, a poor quality webcam. (I will keep its identity a secret to save embarrassment.) Anyways, here's the required materials.
-small white led light source
-webcam (dur!)
-eyes (yeah, you probably figured that one out already, too.)

Step 1: Light Source

So, the problem with most webcams is that they just don't pick up light too well. Your eyes are recessed into a cavity in your head which makes a shade from the sun. A fix for that problem, without having to dremel your brow down, is to get a good light source that can get back there and give the webcam some help. I used one of those little two dollar flashlight/laser combos from wal-mart. You can use a different light source, of course, but you'll need something that has a bright white light (say that 3 times fast), preferably LED.

Step 2: How to Illuminate Your Eye Without Blinding Yourself.

As shown in the picture, place the camera's x rotation (that's from the front) at a 45 degree angle to the eye and it's y rotation parallel to the eye. This will illuminate your iris and pupil and not make you blind.

Step 3: Take the Shot, and You're Done.

Okay, so now that you're set up, have somebody click the "take picture" button for you, so you can look directly into the lens of the camera. This is crucial, because it gives the best illumination possible and the most detail possible without perspective messing the shot up. There you go, a decent quality picture of your eye with at not-so-decent webcam.

Comments

author
Rockerx (author)2008-06-25

as soon as I saw this i thought of using it to login like a thumbprint can. but that may be hard with finding the right software to correspond with your webcam anyway good Instructable and idea.

author
orangesrhyme (author)Rockerx2008-06-26

I thought about it, too, but I don't know that it'd be time efficient (having to bust out your light source and image your eye every time you login), and then I realized that there was no way I could find Ubuntu-compatible software for that. I think they do sell specially made webcams to do just that, though. Still, a good idea. Maybe I'll try building the light into the webcam (a ring light around the lens, maybe?) and post an 'ible.

author
foxtrot4697 (author)orangesrhyme2010-02-08

odd, software like that would probably be all programmed on linux

author
Rockerx (author)orangesrhyme2008-06-26

yeah id like to see that and i run into the same problem with my linux not having the right software

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