Tour Tiny Worlds: 6-Camera Cube Creates 360-Degree Video

The ultimate at-home hacker project, this strange small-world effect was created using a half-dozen GoPro cameras, a 3D printer and a technique that turns ordinary panoramic shots into a surreal world-warping wraparound experience.

German photographer, journalist and inventor Jonas Ginter cobbled together his cubic ball of cameras then mounted this oddball creation above his bike, all to generate the effect you see in the video above. Given the accessibility of the constituent technologies (and his helpful instructions), suddenly the idea of 3D video capture is within reach of any enthusiastic hobbyist.

cubic 360 degree camera

The stereographic distortion, while a neat effect, is also helpful in rendering a three-dimensional view into a two-dimensional frame. As for the idea, here is a bit more from the creator (summary translation to follow): “Ich habe mir seltsame Konstruktionen mit Spiegeln angeguckt und frustriert festgestellt, dass das absoluter Quatsch ist. Stück für Stück kam die Erkenntnis, dass ich 360-Grad-Videos nur realisieren kann, wenn ich das Bild in einem Take aufnehme. Die logische Konsequenz hieß also: Viele Kameras.”

3d printed and go pro parts

panoramic creation process illustration

Above, Ginter explains his slow realization that to realize a 360-degree video he would have to do everything in a single take, which in turn means having multiple cameras.  While his takes so far are interesting in themselves, the possibilities are amazing – but consider just the fun consumer applications, like capturing a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree skydive or mounting this on the car roof for a road trip. You can read his summary on Ginter’s website, either in the original German or using Google Translate.