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FORUMS General Gear Talk DIY & Customizing 
Thread started 07 Sep 2015 (Monday) 12:49
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Photo Booth teleprompter glass?

 
btweller
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Sep 07, 2015 12:49 |  #1

I'm building a photo booth, and instead of the standard front-mounted LCD with a camera above or below the screen, I thought I'd try to design a teleprompter-style booth where the camera is behind a piece of glass angled at 45ยบ with the live view screen mounted horizontally at the base of the glass. Here's a diagram to help illustrate:


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The reason for this design is to avoid the off-axis eye problem that's inherent with the standard design...by placing the camera behind the screen, you're virtually guaranteed to have the users looking in the right spot. Anyway, after doing a bunch of research, I determined that I needed beam splitter type glass in order to make this work well...but the actual stuff is relatively expensive (external link) at $100 per square foot.

I was eventually pointed to this company (external link), which offers 8"x10" sample glass for $20 each, or a combo pack for $30, so I pulled the trigger on the "Living Room TV Mirror Sample Combo Pack". Assembled everything, turned on the monitor, and discovered I'm getting a double reflection in the glass, as you can see here:

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So I can either give the Bathroom Vanity TV Mirror Combo Pack (external link) a try for another $30, or I can shell out for the $100 per square foot stuff. I'm inclined to just shell out for the more expensive stuff, as I think this is like buying a tripod..you buy every one on the way up to the expensive one you should have just bought in the first place...lol. An 8x10 sheet of this stuff is $55.55 which isn't horribly expensive, I suppose, for what it purports to do.

Anyway, does anyone have any experience with the beam splitter glass, and more specifically, with this company? Is it everything it promises to be?

Any input is greatly appreciated.



  
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4myrrh1
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Sep 10, 2015 19:44 |  #2

I know it is probably something you thought about , but did you try flipping the glass over?


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urbanfreestyle
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Sep 10, 2015 19:51 as a reply to  @ 4myrrh1's post |  #3

Might not be very helpful but could it be something to do with the thickness / angle of the glass? there are a few tuts i found here:
http://www.dchris.net …diy-teleprompter-english/ (external link)
and
http://www.pointsinfoc​us.com …pompter-fail-in-progress/ (external link)

Might offer some help?


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btweller
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Sep 11, 2015 00:37 |  #4

Thank you both for the suggestions...to answer your questions, the glass is mirrored on one side and comes with instructions on how to figure out which side to use as the reflective side. The "back" side of the glass has a much worse double reflection, so this is as good as it gets for this particular material. I think the thickness of the glass has a lot to do with how prominent the double reflection is (it's at least 1/4" thick...maybe more), but the real issue is that it's the wrong material for the job. Real beam splitter glass is reflective on one side, and coated with anti-reflective material on the other side.

I had gone to Home Depot and checked out their reflective films to see how reflective and how opaque they are and the only film that looked remotely suitable for the application was consuming 2 2/3 stops of light, so that was a no-go as well.

I went to the local camera store and tried out the commercial teleprompter setup they had there...turns out it's the same stuff made by Teleprompter Mirror (external link), right down to the thickness. So I ended up ordering a 9"x10" sheet of that stuff to fit the case I've built...ended up being about $75 shipped.

As far as I'm concerned, it's money well spent. I'm still curious if the Bathroom Vanity TV Mirror Combo Pack works well enough, but after seeing the real deal in person, it wasn't worth the potential $30 savings to find out.

Anyway, thanks for the input...hopefully this helps someone else in the future if they're trying to build a teleprompter style setup.




  
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urbanfreestyle
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Sep 11, 2015 10:29 as a reply to  @ btweller's post |  #5

Sorri couldn't help more :-/


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btweller
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Sep 11, 2015 11:47 as a reply to  @ urbanfreestyle's post |  #6

No worries, you just confirmed my experience with the DIY stuff...I appreciate the effort. In the end the extra $30 isn't going to break the budget on this build.




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Dec 18, 2015 18:53 as a reply to  @ btweller's post |  #7

Did you ever get this up and running.


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btweller
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Dec 18, 2015 23:22 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #8

Yup, the real stuff from telepromptermirror.com works like a champ. The coatings on the glass have to be just right and the TV mirror stuff just isn't made for this type of application.

After getting everything installed I decided to design and 3D print a mount for both the glass and the LCD...best idea ever, and it will allow me to make a more spacious v2 of the booth, and/or use a larger display.

I'm still working on the booth software to add features and make it more flexible, but it's fully operational and I've done a few events with it so far.




  
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bigVinnie
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Post edited 3 months ago by bigVinnie.
     
Feb 22, 2018 09:22 |  #9

So how are the subjects going to use the booth?

Are you just going to use arcade buttons?

SMH, just realized this is a 3 year old thread.


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Photo Booth teleprompter glass?
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