Tutorial: 3D Spherical Camera Head

Tutorial: 3D Spherical Camera Head

posted in: Camera Research, Tutorials | 0


So you want to get in to VR video? We want to help! The first step is getting a working 3D spherical camera. One caveat before we get started is that this camera head requires 12 GoPros (Hero3+). My hopes are that instead of having to shell out the 5 grand for that many cameras, a group of people, each who own 1 or 2 cameras, could pool their resources. With that out of the way on to the tutorial.




For this project you will need:

Foam Core

Ruler and/or T square and/or other measuring device

Box cutter or other sharp cutting thing

Hot glue and glue gun and electricity and an outlet

Googly eyes (absolutely required for proper 3D)

One long bolt and finger tightenable nut

Rubber bands

Duct or gaffers tape, preferably the same color as your foam core

A marking utensil such as a basilisk fang dipped in the blood of child wizards



**Exact measurements will vary depending the thickness of your foam core and what versions of the GoPro you are using so while I will give you what my pieces measure I will trust you to measure things yourself, cause you are cool like that.**



1. This is how the main 8 cameras are laid out.


2. Cut 2 squares that are 13.8 cm (2 x the length of the camera + the width) on each side. Then mark a square 2.5 (the width of the camera + the width of the foam core) cm in from the edge.


3. Cut 2 4 cm (the height of the camera) by 11.6 cm (2 x the length of the camera) foam pieces as well as 2 x 4 cm by 11.1 cm (2 x the length of the camera – width of the foam) then assemble as shown using tape or glue with same length sides opposite and the shorter pieces capped on both ends by the longer.


4. Attach this piece to one of the 13.8 cm squares you cut earlier. This is what it should look like with the cameras.


5. Don’t attach the other 13.8 cm square yet. This is what the head looks like for the bottom so far.




6. So you should have something that looks like this. If not, well, either you are just reading along because you like my witty charm and have no intention of building one of these babies or you fail at directions.


7. This is where the bolt comes in. I can neither confirm nor deny that I used a left over bolt from an Ikea table that was laying around the office. Choose something long and about .5 cm thick.


8. Mark the center of your beautiful square blob and start screwing.

9. Once you have it settled in flush to the foam, pile on the glue. If you have an extra bit of foam core I would recommend gluing it over the top of the bolt. All the weight of 12 cameras will be resting here so go glue crazy. Alternately get a bolt that is threaded all the way up and get some large washers and an extra nut to support the foam from underneath. This a real good plan.

10. Once you are convinced you have a strong bond, James Bond, pop on the top.

11. and stick some cameras in to check your work.





12. Cut 4  5.7 cm x 4 cm (height x length of the camera). You’ll need 2 for the top and 2 for the bottom.

13. Tape 2 of these pieces along the long edge so they hinge and hot glue them, centered, so the other long edges are each 3.5 cm from the center of the 13.8 cm square on the top. (7 cm from each other).

14. Cut 4  2 cm x 5.7 cm (width x length of the camera). You’ll need 2 for the top and 2 for the bottom. With the cameras held against back pieces already attached glue these bottoms at the correct angle.

15. Once you have all that up put two cameras in and trace along the edge onto another piece of foam core.


16. It should look a bit like this.


17. Cut it out, obviously. Then glue it on.


18. If you are a good at tutorials it will look like this from the side


19. and from the top.




20. Use the remaining pieces of foam from step 12 and attach, also 7 cm apart along the bottom 13.8 cm square.


21. Hot glue the center of each to the center post.


22. This is another tracing step. The foam core should be about the same width as the bolt so slide some in the gap trace out what fits, cut out and glue in for added strength.


23. See like that.


24. Not shown. Repeat steps 14-17 to make the bottoms and sides.


25. Then add the goggly eyes. This is actually important! The cameras on the top and the bottom can but go in with the lenses toward one side or the other. Its will make your like much easier to put them in the same way every time. Hence choosing a front, and hence the googly eyes. Label your camera slots and your cameras so they fit together the same way every time.




26. Get yourself a tripod head. I like this one.


27. Remove the plate


28. Remove the threaded post (I like this head because its easy to remove this part)


29. Put the plate back on the head and thread the bolt into the hole


30.Tighten the nut and


BLAM! (More on how to use this monstrosity soon!)