Introduction: How to Make a POV Camera Armature for Unique Perspective in Video Chat.

Greetings! As a visual artist, my apparatuses of choice are photography, video, and digital media. My practice is very much involved in the Age of the Internet and using digital technology for examining connections between personal mythologies and mythical realities, while considering parallels between the aesthetic and ideological tenets of "How do we create communities?" and "How do we create ourselves?"

For my first Instructable, I wanted to share, with this community, a device that creates a unique gesture, sort of a PoV framing, a sousveillence if you will, that turns the gesture of the tool, into the motion of the camera. I have performed, on several occasions, using video chat; real-time, video-streaming, social-network (aka Chatroulette) communications. I promise this approach will get you noticed and perhaps you wont get "nexted" in 0 to 30 seconds. See my website for the online video performances I have done in the past!

Here, I will show you how to make an armature that will attach a camera to a utensil. The utensil is of your liking. In the past I have used; markers, pencils, paint brush, sumi brush, calligraphy pens, anything that is used as a mark maker, as well as, lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara brushes. Yes, I have applied make-up for strangers for a very unique point of view, re-inventing/investigating the position and issues of privacy and closeness in our contemporary day. Most importantly, I raise questions as to why we feel compelled to share very private and up-close moments with strangers. This intimate and yet distant gesture is an attempt to question a discourse of the media, through which we communicate…

I hope to hear of all your experiences using video-streaming networks with the use of this device.

Step 1: Items Needed for Assembly

    1. gaffers tape

    2. external web camera; webcam, i.e. isight or logitech

    3. spring steel wire (clothes hanger) .06' diameter, approx. ~5” length.

    4. measuring tape

    5. drawing instrument; i.e marker pen

    6. flat head screwdriver

    7. wire pliers

    8. wire cutters

    9. hose clamp for web camera to wire support, approx. ~1.5” diameter (1), and

    hose clamps for wire support to drawing / mark making tool, Approx. ~3/4” diameter (2).

    Step 2: Measuring for the Wire Cut

    Measure 5" from the clothes hanger bend and make the cut.

    Step 3: First 90º Bend

    With the wire laying flat make the first bend 90º vertical (up).

    Step 4: Bending

    Use both pliers to bend vertically 90º.

    Step 5: Compare

    Your bend should look like the image above.

    Step 6: Two More Bends...

    Make the next two bends horizontal (towards yourself).

    Step 7: Illustration

    Using your pliers, bend at 90º.

    Don't worry about being exact, you can, and will have to, adjust later.

    Step 8: Check Your Measurements

    First bend should be approximately 1.5" long.

    Step 9: Check Your Measurements...continue

    Your second bend should be approximately 2.5" in length.

    Step 10: Overall

    Overall, this is what the armature should look like.

    Step 11: P&P Check

    Make sure the segments are parallel and perpendicular to each other.

    Step 12: Attaching Wire Armature to the Camera

    At this step, you will attach the wire armature to the camera, use gravity as your friend.

    Slide the large hose clamp onto wire armature.

    Position the large hose clamp, between the first and second bend, as shown in picture.

    Step 13: Slide and Assemble

    Slide the armature/wire assembly over the camera body.

    Step 14: Alignment

    Position so both the connector recess and lens dial are free of interference.

    Step 15: Tighten

    Tighten the hose clamp just enough to secure the armature to the camera body. DO NOT over tighten or the camera body may crack.

    Step 16: Finding the Proper Position

    Find the proper position, of the writing instrument, relative to the focal point of the camera.

    Step 17: Alignment of Camera and Marker Instrument

    At this point, you need to see what the camera sees.

    Before you commit to attach your maker instrument to the armature, make sure of its proper position in the video frame.

    Attach the web camera to your computer, and launch the appropriate software (QuickTime, etc). White holding the marker instrument underneath the camera, adjust the position, and tilt angle, to find the best focus and placement in the frame.

    Note where placement of the hose clamps should be.

    Step 18: Hose Clamps and Armature

    Based on your viewing, you should now have the location to place your instrument, according to how it will be seen in the frame. Slide the two clamps, with some distance apart, to secure the marker instrument to the wire armature.

    Step 19: Tighten

    Tighten the two hose clamps just enough to secure the armature to the marker instrument. DO NOT over tighten or the instrument body may crack.

    Step 20: Hello World

    You are now ready to use your device online!

    Step 21: Online Community

    There are several video-chat communities that you can participate in.

    Here, I will walk you through the set up for ""

    Step 22: Entering Video Chat

    You will have to sign up for an account. Once you login, you can preview you camera setting before a chat.

    Step 23: Profiles and Settings

    Most, video, chat sites will allow you to customize your settings.

    Step 24: Camera Settings

    Should you encounter problems with the sites, recognizing your device, go under video and audio settings.

    Step 25: Seeing Your Device

    Should you have a built in camera, and want to switch to your external armature video camera,

    you can choose which device to use from here.

    Step 26: Bon Voyage!

    You are ready to connect, meet, and greet the world, seen through a lens, in a different kind of way...