Packshotnik: 360 degree image creation

Packshotnik is a circuit designed to help with creating 360 degree images. It consists of a main board and motorized rotating platform. The board can send IR signals to a camera to snap pictures at intervals in the rotation. The source code, schematic, and pcb files are all available from the project page. While he is using this primarily for rotating 360 degree images, you could also just plop your camera onto the platform and end up with panoramic sets.

34 thoughts on “Packshotnik: 360 degree image creation

  1. This is wonderful. I used to make 3D models of real life things using a webcam, laser level, and Blender. But it took 30 minutes to get things set up right, imported, then fine tuned. This would be a great automated alternative for making such models.

  2. @BiOzZ
    Yeah, my canon’s are all 5fps and above, the issue is timing/lighting.
    If you have studio lighting set up and can reproduce the same light every half second, then I’m sure it would work faster, but you cant get down to 1/4 sec until your shutter speed is way up, if you want sharp photos.

    This is an awesome project, if I did it, my end product video would be much slower, the examples kind of make me dizzy.

  3. @Spork
    i had a canon 5D MKII before i got smart and went nikon and even that could do reasonably fast pics at high ISO speeds
    but one thing i disliked about canon was the high iso noise so IDK XD

  4. Nice simple hack. I’d build this from lego NXT if I needed this ( currently it is all put in my panorama bot ).

    A system that could take several angles also would be nice though.

    Good to see that he is using a proper M42 Prime lens. It looks like an Industar 50-2. A nice Zeiss Tessar clone from the USSR.

  5. Did the same thing with a stepping motor and a camera with CHDK providing USB remote shutter. IR seems really convenient in this situation, though.

  6. Re: the speed of shooting – it can be faster if there’s enough light etc

    @Kyle: these displays were more like $30 per 10pcs on ebay. All of these displays seem to be NOS, I’m not sure if they’re manufactured anymore (which is sad, I have a cool display fetish).

    That’s an Industar 50-2 lens indeed.

    IR does not need to be aimed very precisely (and you can use cable anyway), so if you have several cameras, you can set them up to shoot at different angles simultaneously.

  7. @BiOzZ
    Yeah, my ISO never goes above 400 for a quality photo. There is a reason I use f/1.2 lenses. I still recommend a flash if you were taking pictures that fast though.

  8. I have made a something like this, but this would work alot better. Mine was a record player, which you put the object on, and a video camera to record it.

  9. I have a display like that, but much smaller and green.
    Easy to use you just set the bits for the character and two bits for which display, fire the strobe and bam. Multiplexing taken care of.
    When power is applied you can get random characters probably from uninitialized RAM

  10. lol, what? борщ is “beet soup”… that’s pretty hilarious that it would initialize to random characters that mean something in Russian.

  11. @Spork
    yah one of the reason i went nikon is because of there high iso noise reduction
    i can take a picture at 1600 and at 50 and there practicly the same

    people get caught up thinking MP = quality XD

  12. I built one of these too a few years ago with a Lego Mindstorms kit – one of the first things I built with it. I had a turntable controlled by one lego motor and a flicker attached to another motor that would snap down and press the shutter button my little digital compact camera. Rotate, snap, rotate, snap. It did the job great!

  13. Maybe a dumb question – but isn’t that absolutely useless?! Why not use a simple rotating plattform with a video-camera instead? Is he doing this just for the sake of resolution?! I mean – there are a lots of cheap hi-res (hd) video cameras available…

    1. @those who are confused as to why,
      Taking 360 product images is not uncommon. They can be used for fancy rotations on websites. Check out dell or volkswagen. I think both do this.

  14. forgive me for my ignorance, but its the idea of this that you can get a much better quality movie from this instead of just using a HD can and simply revolving it without steps?

  15. @tobot: not a much better quality, but at least hd quality. The question is: who needs videos with a better quality than hd?! Images with a resolution > hd – okay, but videos? Which device plays that without downscaling?!

  16. I did this out of curiosity, not much else. I don’t have a HD camera, too. But even if you have one, you still need a rotary platform that can spin at a very regular pace. In that case, control loop will have to be adjusted to deliver constant angular velocity instead of just regular angles.

  17. For the home user I can’t see much need for it, but that doesn’t seem like a reason NOT to do it! I’d personally hate to hear all my shutter actuations fluttering away for the sake of a rotating view of common household objects. Maybe for some super-macro views around something interesting though…

  18. Pausing, video, even HD, leaves something to be desired. This technique gives a person a 360 view of an object they can view at a speed they choose, with the best paused image quality possible. I’d think the more frames the better, slower would be better than faster. Something online vendors could make great use of. I can screw up a point and shoot snapshot, so pay me no mind…

  19. @BeatJunkie “HD” is not high res. 1080P is only about 2MP, and “HD” video+still cameras have very noisy sensors. Depending on what you’re doing with the photos, 10MP+ could be desirable.

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