Webpage images and Webcam photocopier

The webcam way of photocopying is quite a handy and fairly cheap method for making satisfactory images to illustrate a webpage.

Images that are better may also be produced by using a regular camera and/or scanner but that may entail inconveniences or the need equipment/s may not be readily available.

Applicable images may often be taken from printed matter that could be placed horizontally so that the webcam may be positioned over it horizontally also, although photocopying situations with the target source in the vertical or other positions may also be encountered and may be accomodated.

Webcam photocopier and two self-images

view of the same webcam through two mirrors: one mirror is below the webcam inclined at 45 degrees with another vertical mirror in the frontal direction of the  inclined mirror. Top webcam is vertical mirror's view,  lower webcam is inclined mirror's
view of the same webcam through two mirrors: one mirror is below the webcam inclined at 45 degrees with another vertical mirror in the frontal direction of the inclined mirror. Top webcam is vertical mirror's view, lower webcam is inclined mirror's

A webcam fastened at the middle of a rigid flat bar is a good arrangement that can be adapted to various photocopying needs. Wood is a nice material and any bar may easily be
procured and used.

It would be easy enough to support both ends with things convenient like stacks of books for photocopying tasks. The webcam body may have a swivelling setup with its base that allow for flexible take of images with the target source in various relative positions, ie.: horizontal, vertical, below the webcam, overhead, elsewhere, etc.

A snapshot image of the target source may be taken through the webcam software's menu with suggestive option labelling like "capture" > "snapshot" (different menu presentation may be used on other webcam softwares).

The snapshot feature may store the image at a location on disk that the user may specify,
with a default changeable image format (likely jpeg). The output dimension may be a fixed
standard for the software, say 640 pixels width by 480 pixels height.

The "Paint" utility in Windows or similar softwares may be used if needed to modify the outputted snapshot image.

"Paint" may expand or contract the width and/or height of the image by some percentage (integer figure) of the original dimension. The calculator utility of Windows may be just right for getting this integer value.

If the final width desired is around 500 pixels and with an original width of 640 pixels, divide the 500 by 640 to get ".78125". From this either a lower or greater percentage (78% or 79%) may be used to specify width and/or height contraction, giving an image that is either slightly smaller or slightly larger than desired.

If exact dimensions are needed the right side or bottom part of the image may accurately be cut or extended with blank spaces through the ""Image" > "Attribute" option of the main menu (for "Paint" of Windows XP).

Dimension changes through the left side or the top side may similarly be set accurately by first flipping the image horizontally or vertically, converting to horizontal or vertical mirror images before making the modifications on the right side or bottom of the image.

The modified image may be flipped back to its previous appearance after the changes have been made. The flipping feature is indicated by the labellings "Image" > "Flip/Rotate" in the main menu of "Paint" (Windows XP).

Adequate lighting arrangements may be needed for good image results. If the target source is in an area with good daytime illumination (like near an open window) the lighting may be sufficient. Some situations may need artificial lighting. Much lighting directed on the target source though may make matters worse and best done indirectly.

Whatever the source of lighting trial and error procedures may be needed to get satisfactory results.

With the image being shot always visible on screen it may only be a "WYSISWYG" situation with easy solutions. It could also have some "what-you-do-is-what-you-get" things: webcam and target spacing may have to be repeatedly tried, or the whole setup (which could include the computer unit) may have to be moved this way or that to accomodate the light and get things just right.

Tie wire, ballpen tip and button

webcam image of 3 small objects on table top (webcam bar holder approximately    10.6_cms above table top). The small piece of plastic sheathed tie wire pointed at  by the ballpen is 3_mm in width including sheath. Button diameter is 11_mm.
webcam image of 3 small objects on table top (webcam bar holder approximately 10.6_cms above table top). The small piece of plastic sheathed tie wire pointed at by the ballpen is 3_mm in width including sheath. Button diameter is 11_mm.

A good means to securely fasten the webcam to its bar holder is by use of an easily bent length of plastic sheathed wire specifically manufactured for general tying purposes (the sheath is flattened, somewhat like a ribbed grass leaf).

The fastening would be secure enough for manual tinkering on the webcam but easily undone
for webcam detachment if need be.

The plastic sheathed tie wire should be available in hardware stores in convenient pack wire rolls of 10 meters or more. It may also be sold as bundle of tie wires already cut up to some standardized length. It has many other uses when tinkering with electrical stuffs, besides fastening webcams.

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Sometimes patient searching of the internet may also yield unique images suitable enough for the novel content of a webpage by just entering some appropriate phrase including the word/s "image" or "free image" in internet search boxes.

Categorized images are also maintained by some online companies and available to browse (either by category or not) and to download free for members. A company featuring this kind of facility may be joined free through a link so indicated at the end under "Other useful sites".

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Comments 1 comment

Ella 21 months ago

Kudos! What a neat way of thkining about it.

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