Is there a camera device out there that can make a semi- orthographic scan of a large room?

by cliffclof   Last Updated November 29, 2016 08:07 AM

How can I capture a photo similar to the example in a tight space?

enter image description here

I've research lightly for a solution to make a picture/scan of an entire wall of a room in a semi- orthographic fashion. I imagine it would work similar to the scanning wand in a copier.

Things I've tried:

  • Currently I am taking multiple photos, correcting their perspective, and stitching them together in a very crude way.

  • I've tried to use an iphone panorama, but that only works from one spot with rotation and not with lateral motion.

A similar question to this in a larger space required is here: How can I stitch a panorama correctly if I moved the camera along the horizontal axis?

Answers 4

If I understand your problem correctly, I would suggest two methods:

  • move away as far from the wall as the room allows and from there take photos with the appropriate focal lenght or
  • take multiple images and stitch; for this task i would suggest Hugin. It takes a bit to get used to it, but is very good for perspective correction and stitching.

As for a single machine/camera, that is able to scan the wall and make a fully orthographic picture: I don't think this is available. The "scanner" would have to have the same size (at least sam heigth) as the wall. Talking many, many pictures and stitching them together could kind of simulate a scanning behaviour, but I doubt the results would be very good and worth the work.

November 28, 2016 22:07 PM

Currently I am taking multiple photos, correcting their perspective, and stitching them together in a very crude way.

Yep, that's exactly the way to do it. Good, modern panoramic software should make this less crude. If you use a longer focal length and take many, many pictures, your result will be better — maybe somewhat painful, but you know what they say about free lunches.

If you do this a lot for some reason, you might consider creating a rig of some sort to make the repetition easier. For a one off, though, I'd use a tripod with a lot of variability in height — set it as low as possible, take a picture, move (possibly some gaffer tape on the floor to make it easy to know how much to move), click again, and repeat. Then, when you get to the end, raise the tripod, and go back the other way. (You become the "scanning wand", in effect.)

November 28, 2016 22:07 PM

As this is a photography forum, I should mention a shift lens, which can correct some of the distortion in one axis.

But in a tight room you probably need to use a wide angle lens, which is more problemathic.

There are some programs that recognize the specific deformation of some specific lenses and help you to correct them pretty quick, for example DxO:

November 28, 2016 23:36 PM

A series of slit photographs taken along a path parallel to the wall and over the length of the wall could be stitched together to provide an orthographic image. Not quite strip photography at the pixel level but the same general principle.

Setting up a track along which to move the camera, measuring distances, and moving the camera with precision are more a less an engineering exercise in technical photography that has to balance effort and expense with the value of accuracy in the results.

Google experimented with [and rejected] a similar approach for Street View early on.

ben rudgers
ben rudgers
November 29, 2016 02:34 AM

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