DIY Computational Photography
December 19, 2009 7:30 AM   Subscribe

DIY Computational Photography
Ever wanted to take a picture... and focus it after the fact? Ever wanted to see through fences and trees? Computational Photography is an emerging field of research that offers this and more. My friend Matti and I are building crude equipment to do just this, and we're sharing the results as tutorials so you can play with these techniques yourself.

Instructable number 1:

Instructable number 2:

There are about six more to go.
posted by fake (12 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by chunking express on December 21, 2009: DIY Computational Photography

This is awesome.
posted by benign at 1:12 PM on December 19, 2009

Cool. I look forward to seeing where this goes.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:04 PM on December 19, 2009

What sort of firmware are you running on the cameras? I'm developing firmware for the Canon 5D Mark II, Magic Lantern, that opens up the DSLR cameras for similar sort of experimentation, especially in 1080p video mode. One of the most recent developments is a full PTP interface that allows external control through the USB port.
posted by autopilot at 8:11 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nice to meet you -- love your work. If I hadn't chosen Nikon a few years back I'd probably be using Magic Lantern.

I'm using Stereo Data Maker -- David Sykes' clean and lean CHDK variant.

PTP would be a boon, we've talked about using some single-board linux computer to run the thing.
posted by fake at 10:31 PM on December 19, 2009

Seems cool, but your article didn't really say what computational photography is for. Just for re-focusing or removing objects from the picture by combining photos from different angles? What else can you do with 12 cameras?
posted by k. at 8:30 AM on December 20, 2009

Hi K., which article did you read?

I've seen a number of comments like yours. I think the way I wrote it all made it hard to disentangle Computational Photography from a Computational Camera.

I edited both Instructables to include this:

This first Instructable is a primer on the field of Computational Photography, which is a new field of research that is developing extremely powerful cameras. These cameras allow the Depth of Field, the object in focus, and the position of the camera to be modified after the picture is taken. None of those things can be done with a traditional camera.

We show how to build one kind of computational camera -- a light field array. There are many other designs out there.

If you or anyone else can offer any other suggestions to make things more clear, please let me know.
posted by fake at 2:09 AM on December 21, 2009

You can experiment with a single camera if you don't have moving subjects (or even if you do).
posted by MikeWarot at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2009

Zoom in on sector 8-12, a factor of ten... hmm... Zoom in sector 4-3...

posted by fuq at 9:41 AM on December 21, 2009

Hey Mike,
Thanks for the inspiration with your Hugin project.

Funny thing, Instructables unpublished half of these tutorials. I was hoping to publish there, but I might just forget their ad-laden interface and publish on my own site. Too bad.
posted by fake at 10:35 AM on December 21, 2009

I downloaded the Mac version of the 'lftextures' program from an Introducing lftextures page mentioned in the second instructable. There appears to be a 32-bit Linux executable instead of a Mac one in the file I downloaded. I did manage to build it from source myself though. And it's really cool.

I just took some simple pictures from my laptop's built-in webcam and moved the whole laptop an inch or so each time and threw them at the program. Worked well. Was kinda neat. Good work.
posted by bburky at 1:38 PM on December 21, 2009

I'm really glad to hear it worked for you. Sorry about the Linux/Mac mixup -- I'll check with Matti to see what happened there.
posted by fake at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2009

We have a new version of the software up.
posted by fake at 3:49 PM on January 10, 2010

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