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see-through tripod legs

I clearly did not think this through.
  [vote for,

I recently got a small 360-degree camera. It has the shape of a tall, slim rectangle with two bulbous lenses sticking out on its opposite surfaces, and comes with software that combines two photos taken through those lenses as if nothing was there. (I.e. you don't see the camera body at all.)

But until recently, it's been mostly good for shooting things from an elf's perspective. It has to stand on something flat. If I pan down in the 360-degree-viewer, oh yeah, there's the desk or shelf or foosball table or carpet or whatever it was I stood the little camera on before running and hiding. Whoa, check out that carpet. It's so lifelike!

So I bought a little stand to be able to place the camera at human eye height. After removing the plate on top, and the little cushion around the top part, and turning the telescoping vertical rod upside down so the thinnest part is closest to the camera it's aaaaalmost invisible, but there are always those three short black legs (feet?) sticking out.

The right thing to do would be to make the three legs out of see-through plexiglas. Each leg (foot?) is just a flat rectangular piece with two holes drilled in it, it's totally doable. I'm a bit baffled that this doesn't exist yet.

jutta, Jan 25 2019

Stabilizer cane camera support https://youtu.be/4K6qVTzIq2I
[Sgt Teacup, Jan 25 2019]

Red Green http://www.redgreen.com/
If the wimmin don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy [Sgt Teacup, Jan 25 2019]

S-mine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-mine
Proven technology [8th of 7, Jan 26 2019]

head massager that could be multilegpod https://www.google....=head+massager+wire
[beanangel, Jan 27 2019]


       You could do what the Mars rovers (presumably) do: keep the camera still but move the support structure out of the way as you take a series of shots, then join it all up for an un-interrupted panorama.
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 25 2019

       If I wanted to stitch together sequential shots, I could do without the special lenses and just wear some sort of zoetropic rig that rotates my phone around my head. Hm.   

       But yeah, more generally, that's what people do about this currently -- just edit it out. But it would be nice if you didn't have to. I think the people who buy these cameras might also buy see-through tripods for them. I would, anyway!
jutta, Jan 25 2019

       //..rig that rotates...//
A camera that did that actually existed back in the film days (hand-held, not head-mounted). A quick Google was unsuccessful.
But I get where you're coming from.
Ooh, alternative: take a photo of the ground (where you're about to place your tripod) first, for later insertion (or built- in software for the camera to do it on the fly, if you're programmer enough...).
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 25 2019

       Question not the programming ability of She Who Must Be Obeyed, thou unworthy neophyte ...   

       A very sharp spike of hardened metal, driven into the surface below the camera with substantial force, could act as a support with a minimal radial span.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       Cameras like the Ricoh Theta series and similar are light enough to not require a tripod, but rather, a monopod that can stand up. Some monopods have an arrangement with some feet at the bottom which will keep it standing up unattended. Alternatively (and what I’d do if I had one of those cameras*) I’d use a light stand, because they don’t splay out quite so much (and are potentially lighter to carry (well, the cheap Chinese ones I have, not the professional ones I also have)).   

       * I don’t, and I haven’t shot any spherical photos for a few years since a] I sold all my Nikon gear (including my Samyang fisheye), leaving me with only one ‘proper’ camera, a Sony RX10. …and, 2) I had a Google Nexus 6p phone at the time which managed 360° shooting simply by assembling shots as you do it (sacrificing real time and video possibilities). Nowadays I find the idea of 360° philosophically suspicious, and am more in favour of VR180 in principle, but haven’t got any of the gear yet.
Ian Tindale, Jan 25 2019

       How about an inverse tripod consisting of three very thin threads that you pin to the ceiling? OK, so perhaps not very practical.   

       Or a neutrally buoyant camera, effecively a helium balloon with several cameras stuck on its surface. Not good for windy conditions, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       Motorised self-balancing ball-wheel monopod
pocmloc, Jan 25 2019

       Ooh, ooh, sir, I know! I know sir!   

       What you need is a reflective mylar helium balloon, tethered to the ground by a fine thread. Then take several photographs of the balloon from different view points, and then, uh, software.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       If you want to make it to be really top management, you need to perfect the phrase "... and then that's just a bit of software, of course".
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       Hanging spider-web camera of a few strands of fishing line seems to make the most sense indoors.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2019

       //If you want to make it to be really top management...//   

       Under no circumstances do I wish to be top management. My company has no posts whatsoever that include the word "manager". I myself am Chief Executive Optimist. Management is an inhumane thing to do, especially to other people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2019

       Is this something pervy for Martians?
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2019

       If the entire arrangement was placed on rotating legs, (on motorised castors) they could be timed so that they were always just out of camera view.
xenzag, Jan 25 2019

       Due to inconsistent supply chains North of 60, we generally reduce/reuse/recycle à la Red Green.   

       Take the handle off of a stabilizer cane, attach your camera (with DuctTape, obviously), and you're good to go <see link>
Sgt Teacup, Jan 25 2019

       What about suspending the camera from a drone ? Ideal for photographing airports ...
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       Too easy to shoot down. (provided you have invested in Bofor's finest)
xenzag, Jan 25 2019

       y'all need a mic stand (stage, not tabletop) with an adjustable boom arm.
FlyingToaster, Jan 25 2019

       What about a tripod where the legs were very thin in the camera view direction. It would still cast shadow but clear legs would have a light artifact.   

       I suspect a magician's box of tricks might have something of practical use.
wjt, Jan 25 2019

       Dismantling David Blaine and converting the resultant material to photographic accessories sounds entirely reasonable.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       A large gooseneck-legged spider would be adequate.
FlyingToaster, Jan 26 2019

       // take a photo of the ground (where you're about to place your tripod) first, for later insertion //   

       Or don't, and just automatically clone nearby ground texture over where the tripod is seen by the camera.   

       A sillier option would be a monopod with three stabilizing legs, which very briefly raises all of its legs in unison just before the camera's self-timer goes off. Then the legs are along the monopod's shaft and therefore out of the camera's view at the moment of capture. They snap back down before the monopod+camera can tilt more than a degree or two.
notexactly, Jan 26 2019

       Ahhhhhhh ...   

       The answer is obvious; a camera support based on the design of the German WW2 S-mine <link>.   

       On being triggered, a small propellant charge launches the camera vertically until the desired altitude is attained, at which point the shutter is activated.
8th of 7, Jan 26 2019

       // launches the camera vertically until the desired altitude is attained, at which point the shutter is activated //   

       S'good idea. Perhaps a spring-loaded mechanism could also work. It is quite hard to determine the exact apex of the flight (accelerometers are not sufficient). A distance sensor to the ground could work, but that would mean stabilizing the flight so that it always points exactly downwards, which wouldn't otherwise be necessary for a 360 deg picture. I suppose the modern way of doing this is just to make both fisheye cameras into high-speed video cameras, and take the frame where the motion is still.   

       Another problem is that after the picture, your camera is effectively dropped from head height onto the floor.
mitxela, Jan 27 2019

       // hard to determine the exact apex of the flight //   

       The S-mine just has a tether attached to the launch tube; when it goes tight, the detonator initiates.
8th of 7, Jan 27 2019

       Perhaps a plurality of very thin multipod legs (like one of those $1 head massagers they have on Ebay[link]) painted chroma-key green. Then have a piezoelectric vibrator on the camera that causes microsways large enough to move the camera fully past the multipod filaments. The software then paints the sway-revealed pixels onto the chroma-key multipod leg spaces.
beanangel, Jan 27 2019


       <Clutching of chest/>   

       Gods, [beany], that's almost a good idea ... are you feeling alright ?   

       Sorry, we need to go and have a sit down for a bit ...
8th of 7, Jan 27 2019

       animatronic Buddha, with the object placed at/on the navel.
FlyingToaster, Jan 27 2019

       Tripod feet made of a suitable frequency covering Metamaterial would work but is probably a few decades away.
wjt, Jan 27 2019

       The basic idea is a drone with legs.   

       Okay, done laughing. Perhaps material transparency can be done, but I think optical transparency or (perhaps more accurately) rendering transparency. That would involve color band on your tripod legs, probably something like the "eye chart E" on a survey leveling rod would work.   

       The camera would have software in its stitching function that recognized the size and placement of the color bands and edited through them, rendering them transparent. Maybe? IDK, just a thought.
reensure, Jan 27 2019

       I had another thought, camouflage shoes (waders?). If the photo was in a bedroom , cute little baby sneakers could hide the feet.   

       With a bit of thought, I'm sure there is a perfect item(s) to fit into the scene and act as cover.
wjt, Jan 27 2019

       // It is quite hard to determine the exact apex of the flight (accelerometers are not sufficient). //   

       A barometric sensor might work. Some of them can sense altitude changes of much less than a meter.
notexactly, Jan 28 2019

       Monopod. One that can stand up.
Ian Tindale, Jan 29 2019

       [IT] look up, waaaay up^^^, and I'll call Rusty. (You are familiar with The Friendly Giant, right?)   

       In case you can't find the anno, quote-of-self: //Take the handle off of a stabilizer cane, attach your camera (with DuctTape, obviously), and you're good to go <see link>//
Sgt Teacup, Jan 29 2019

       hexapod : take a picture with legs 1,3,5 extended, then one supported by 2,4,6.   

       //Friendly Giant// I don't think that got over to Ian's and them's side of town. Uncle Bobby ?
FlyingToaster, Jan 29 2019

       The main downside to the hexpod approach is that it requires multiple photos so it can't take a photo of something that is moving unless it moved the legs really fast. But what if you had a tripod that very quickly picked up (or retraced) all three legs, took the photo, then replaced the legs before the camera fell too far.   

       Or combine that with the idea of the S-mine based unit. Have the unit supported on a short tripod. Extend the legs quickly to launch the camera, then retract the legs to get them out of the picture as the camera reaches its peek height. Then extend them fully before landing, where they are again retracted to cushion the landing.   

       Of course the original idea is the most practical, and with some anti-reflective coatings and a little post-processing to account for the refraction of the light through the known shape of the legs, those could be practically invisible.
scad mientist, Jan 29 2019


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