VR is in vogue, but getting on board requires a steep upfront cost. Hackaday.io user [Colin Pate] felt that $800 was a bit much for even the cheapest commercial 360-degree 3D camera, so he thought: ‘why not make my own for half that price?’

[Pate] knew he’d need a lot of bandwidth and many GPIO ports for the camera array, so he searched out the Altera Cyclone V SOC FPGA and a Terasic DE10-Nano development board to host it. At present, he has four Uctronics OV5642 cameras on his rig, chosen for their extensive documentation and support. The camera mount itself is a 3D-printed octagon so eight of the OC5642 can capture a full 360-degree photo.

Next: producing an image!

[Pate] is achieving the stereoscopic effect by mounting each camera 64 mm apart — the average distance between a person’s eyes — and blending the overlapping the fields of view of each camera. Unfortunately for him, it took until purchasing his third round of lenses to find a set that worked — notwithstanding some effort in calibrating them and some programming finesse to ensure the images would stitch together properly. So far, [Pate] has successfully captured a 200-degree stereoscopic image, and we’re excited to see the full finished product!

There are ways to capture stereoscopic images with only one camera, but it requires a little smoke and mirrors, or in this case, two cleverly mounted cameras with fish-eye lenses.



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