Tag Archives: Camera

Quick Hack: IR Webcam

It’s been done multiple times before, but here’s a quick hack to create an infra-red webcam.

Infra-red Bed Lamp

Infra-red image of my bedside Lamp

There are some slightly odd artefacts in the above image (the dark blotches towards the left of the image), possibly caused by directly exposing the camera sensor to light (they appear to be blurry images of part of the internals of the sensor). This has happened before and tends to go away after a while, I’ll be honest I’ve got no idea what’s really going on there.

All (at least all I’ve ever come across) webcam CCD’s can ’see’  infra-red light, but have a filter on them to block it out. The actual hack is incredibly simple, although may vary depending on your model of webcam.

  • Unscrew lens.
  • Remove infra-red filter. In my case this was a small glass square that I was able to remove by breaking it.
  • Cut a small square from a floppy disk (floppy disk platters act like pretty good visible light filters).
  • Place floppy disk filter where the infra-red filter was.
  • Re-screw lens.

Here are a couple of photos of the cameras internals, and the lens removing process.

Camera With Lens Removed

Lens, Infa-red Filter & Visible Light Filter

And one final image just to prove it’s infra-red, here is a picture of the infra-red LED from a TV remote and the light from our living room.

Remote and Light

This may get used for the 3D scanner if I can find a CD burner to dismantle for the infra-red laser diode.

Maker Faire and Light Field Camera Part 2

I spent this weekend at maker faire in Newcastle helping run a stand for work showing off some of the stuff we’d been working on, as well as the newest version of the light field camera.

All in all it was a shattering but pretty incredible experience. I got to ramble incoherently to hacker extraordinaire Mitch Altman about light field photography ( first thing i said: “I know you! your from the internet, your awesome!”, bit of a face-palm moment), bumped into fellow instructable-er Gmjhowie and had a brief chat, listened to that muse riff played on a 3 giant tesla coils non-stop for 2 days (pretty cool to begin with, but begins to feel like electrified nails being driven into your brain after a while), met up with my good friend Lon (plus a Dalek) and got to see an unbelievably cool range of different hacks and makes.

As for the light field photography rig, I’ve decided to shelve it for now. This is because I’ve done pretty much everything I wanted to do with it (apart from generating accurate 3D models), and mostly so I can get on with a few other hardware and electronics projects that I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time and that aren’t so closely related to what I do during the day for my real work.

For any one interested in the software I wrote for this, it’s not really in a suitable state for release (weird dependencies, pretty badly written and kinda slow). I’d recommend checking out http://www.futurepicture.org who have written a program that does everything mine does and more, they also have a bunch of instructables that do a good job of explaining what’s going on.


As one final hurrah here is the final set up with a decent camera on it:

LF Camera

And an example of the kind of things you can do with the images you capture:

LF Image

I may post some more images later on that I capture with the camera, but for now that is all……..apart from this: you may be able to create light field photo’s by recording video while moving at a constant speed (i.e on a train) , extracting the frames and sticking them into a light field processing program.(I tried this on the way to maker faire with limited success, due in part to my somewhat crappy video camera).

Light Field Camera Take 2 part 1

I’m heading to the Newcastle Maker Faire with work this weekend, so I thought I’d shamelessly show off some of the stuff I’ve been building for it.
This is the second version of my light field camera. It’s loosely based around this one: http://www.futurepicture.org/?p=47

But instead of multiple cameras it uses a single camera on a moving platform to produce the image(s). I’ll write do a larger write-up with some example images, some code and a bit of theory when i have a little more time after this weekend.

As an added bonus theres also some pictuers of my fathers homemade mini lathe and pillardrill.