Bullet Time Camera

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Created by Ben Rigas, the Bullet Time Camera uses 24 Raspberry Pis and Pi Cameras to take 24 simultaneous photos, stitch them together and share a 360 degree animated image.

(Put a sample .gif here!) (Put a pic of the Bullet Time Camera here)

Slack Channel

We actively discuss the Bullet Time Camera system in the MakerFX Slack workspace in the #mfx-bullet-time channel.


  • Custom bent PVC frame, 10 foot diameter, 7 feet tall. Breaks into sections, fits into minivan.
  • 24 Raspberry Pi Computers
  • 24 Pi Cameras
  • 24 SD Cards
  • 24 Custom 3D-Printed Pi + Pi Cam mounts
  • 24 USB power cables (6 ft?)
  • 25 custom ethernet cables
  • 4 Anker USB Power Supplies (this one?)
  • 48 port network switch
  • Zipties
  • Velcro Cable Ties
  • Black draping material
  • Large television & mount for crowd
  • MacOS Computer to run the swift application

Software Stack

  • BulletTimeControl - Github
  • The control application is written in Swift and runs in Xcode
  • The control scripts are run from a mac terminal window
  • To be able to run the scripts, you'll need to have an ssh key already setup on each pi

Hardware Setup

  • Build PVC Frame
  • Mount 24 Pi + Pi Cam assemblies
  • Run USB power cables, connect to Pis and USB power supplies
  • Run Ethernet cables
  • Connect all Pis and control computer to ethernet switch
  • Connect control computer to network with ethernet adapter
  • Test Operation
  • Attach Drapes
  • Setup Lighting


Ben is working to simplify this - here's the process for now :)


  • start all the webservers (one per pi) using the run-server.sh script

Taking photos

  • click the button
  • look at the preview
  • find the file
  • share the file


  • Turn on all the lasers with the turn-on-lasers.sh script - since the lasers go off when the pi shuts down, this lets you confirm shutdown of each pi
  • Shutdown all the pis with the shutdown-pis.sh script


  • Remove hard coded paths from source
  • Register domains

Ideas for Improvements

  • Metal pins instead of zip ties. Ian bought an assortment at Harbor Freight that can be tested
  • Add watermark / footer to images / animation to promote the makerspace, maker faire, foundation, or other event, etc.
  • Some nature of kiosk to let the person get their own image without the operator needing to send
  • Tablet control
  • Video monitor
  • Continuous Video to avoid timing issues
  • Clamps to mount lights to frame
  • Move to POE (power over ethernet) - for example, 3 of these switches ($73 at amazon), and 24 of these adapters ($10.89 at amazon - need to find something less expensive) New find: AliExpress - $75.04 for an 8-port POE switch and all the cables. (So $300 to get 4 so that we have a spare...)
  • Use the new Raspberry Pi PiServer to reduce the need for SD Cards by using PXE "pronounced pixie" booting
    • We talked about using one of the small donated computers - disk space will be an issue, as you need to have enough disk space for each OS image (yikes!)
  • Use some nature of computer vision to help with aiming
  • Make props for photos
  • Make a black box for kids to stand on - or for women to put their purse / phone in
  • Switch the control app from MacOS to a Raspberry Pi
  • Create website for BTCam