Automatic 3D 360 Panorama DSLR Camera Head

by supasorn, published

Automatic 3D 360 Panorama DSLR Camera Head by supasorn Feb 4, 2017
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An automatic DSLR rig for capturing 2D/3D panorama and 360 photosphere (rotates around no-parallax point). It is also designed for capturing dense outward lightfield on a sphere of radius around 20cm (no-parallax point on a sphere) -- to hopefully create stereoscopic full-parallax rendering for VR.

2D Stitched Photoshere: https://goo.gl/photos/Rne65gYcaWQnx26o7
3D Anaglyph Photosphere : https://goo.gl/photos/1s5AUaHT2Pbz3pza7
3D Parallax Photosphere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oWBsR8zTP0
3D Stereoscopic Photosphere for VR (Google cardboard camera format): https://goo.gl/photos/61VhSRtq2Ka4yDVn7 (Download and put it in DCIM/CardboardCamera of an Android phone)

The design is inspired by Phil Warner's panobot (https://www.flickr.com/photos/philwarner/sets/72157603776902016/). I tried to make it as compact as possible with one battery source. It has a screen showing menu and options for configuring shots (HDR, rows, cols, angles, etc). The firmware can be updated over Wifi.

It uses:

  1. Two servos from servocity.com (https://www.servocity.com/cm-d645mw-180-servo-gearbox, https://www.servocity.com/sg-d645mw-cm-400-servo-gearbox)
  2. Wemos D1 for controller (https://www.wemos.cc/product/d1-mini.html
  3. OLED Shield (https://www.wemos.cc/product/oled-shield.html)
  4. Joystick (http://www.ebay.com/itm/201433557483)
  5. 18650 batteries (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IZT269G)
  6. Battery clips (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LPOTCAY)
  7. 2.5mm jack (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GBN1WPQ)
  8. UBEC (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0177Y2PZY)
  9. Tripod screw (http://www.ebay.com/itm/262329788916)
  10. Optocouplers for camera shutter (http://www.ebay.com/itm/262136737476)
  11. Analog Multiplexer 4051 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/231558118246)
  12. 220 Ohms Resistor

This rig is made specifically to rotate around the no-parallax point of Nikon D7200. The original fusion 360 is attached for modification and educational purposes.

The schematic and board designs (Eagle) are also provided.
Firmware: https://github.com/supasorn/panobot

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The Wemos links went dead, here are the updated ones in case you want to change them:

Wemos D1 for controller: https://wiki.wemos.cc/products:d1:d1_mini
OLED Shield: https://wiki.wemos.cc/products:d1_mini_shields:oled_shield


The Wemos links went dead, here are the updated ones in case you want to change them:

Wemos D1 for controller: https://wiki.wemos.cc/products:d1:d1_mini
OLED Shield: https://wiki.wemos.cc/products:d1_mini_shields:oled_shield


Great project.

Any chance of more detailed directions about where to solder the items and how to connect them on the pcb? (I don't mind writing it up if you are busy)

I am prepared to get the pcb made from the eagle files that you have provided, but after i receive back the board, i would be stuck.

Many thanks!

I just added an overview schematic photo.

Definitely. Will share that soon.

I am very much interested in this and contemplating building it. (I own a D7000). Would you be willing to release / share the programming for the controller board? I am not a programmer so that would just end the wild plans I would have for this.

I would like some more info in general. Your BOM states a servo from servocity, but not the specs we need to enter there. The Wemos board you mention ends on a dead website. I can source elswhere, but would need the specs.


To build it, you would need an access to pcb fabrication machine, and possibly metal laser cuter or milling machine or water jet cutter, some soldering experience, and be able to modify the design to fit your parts which may have different dimensions if you bought from a different vendor.

I think frames could be changed to plastic but they havr to be thicker.

Thank you very much for the share! I'll look into this and see if its feasible for me to realise.

I have access to a regular laser cutter and (regular) mill, so the PCB fabrication should be fine. The water jet is a different story. I could probably source that. I'd go with metal anyway. The more rigid the frame, the better. I'd rather not guess with an expensive camera.

Could you tell me your reasoning behind the servo motors? Why not steppers? Is it because you can get a feedback from the rotary encoder? (this is new to me. I can logically explain some stuff, but I just love to hear from you. :) )

It's just a design choice.
This servo has a nice housing with aluminum frames. To use a stepper, a custom housing is needed and a step down gear such as a worm gear or planetary gear is needed to get enough torque to hold the DSLR camera. It would likely be heavier and more clunky than a servo. I like mine compact and light for carrying around. Power consumption is less. And yes, you get a feedback and don't need an endstop switch for the stepper.

The cons of servo is that its precision is not as good, but my stitching software is able to compensate for it.
It can be noisier, and it does not hold its position like a stepper with worm gear.

Would you have any information available on the connections?

I figured A0 is Joystick X
D1 - Serial Clock (OLED)
D2 - Serial Data (OLED)
D5 - Shutter release
D7 - Servo up/down
D8 - Servo left/right

But apart from that, I am still struggling.

Thank you for the help!

I just added an overview schematic photo.


I have deviated from your design quite a bit. I am designing my own setup with stepper motors now. I have taught myself a bit of coding, but your code was very insightful in helping me understand the base elements I needed.

I switched from the D1 to Arduino because I simply ran out of ports. I retained the OLED shield and I will do a variation on your setup with the optocouplers (I will use two ports for that and separate focus / AE lock from shutter pins)

Code: 90% (needs testing with actual steppers)
Materials: 95% (need to order one more stepper, but wanted to test my geared stepper first)
Hardware design: 60% (I have a basic CAD drawing and need to test-print and refine before I have the final model cut out of aluminium)

Cool! I'd love to see it.

Comments deleted.

D1 and OLED shield just arrived. A treat. I'm going to solder the headers and play around with it. I had some play time with the Arduino and I get the coding. Let me see what I can cook up. :)

Everything is sourced, but the servos.

Your project sounds great! do you have it published somewhere? I'm planning on a similar design as yours!

Comments deleted.

Nice one!! You should share your design!

That is a test version and not completed, I thought. It works but the structure need some modify to improve it's weight. It is made by aluminum thus it's very heavy(almost 5Kg)!