Building the Eye VR Camera – Prototype Build Photos

We wanted to share some photos of the build process for our EYE VR camera prototype. The prototype was built over the course of a few weeks earlier this year, with some of the work taking place in Oakland, California and the remainder near Woking, England.

On the day we started, the heavily modified Tesla from the movie Racing to Extinction turned up at our Oakland workshop for some rush repairs. It features a FLIR thermal imaging camera in the front, a huge projector in the back (on a robotic arm), and enough electronics inside to make Doc Brown jealous!

The Racing to Extinction Tesla

Suitably inspired, and with repairs complete, we set about working on the CAD design for our VR camera

CAD design for VR Camera

We started printing models of the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera (the real camera isn’t out at this time)


We made a ton of cheeseplate mounts – 42 plus 6 spare

Cheeseplates for VR Camera

And test mounted a 3D model of the Blackmagic camera


We welded the horizontal axis first

VR Camera Frame Welded

And battery cage / microphone array

VR Camera battery cage

We sent off for flight cases


Our electronics shop assembled the critical control circuitry (J-Boxes) for the Blackmagics. There are 12 custom designed J-boxes in the finished camera. This shows just a fraction of the 70 connections that need to be hooked up.


With the finished J-Boxes and rig in hand, and a deadline to get our gear to Europe, we packed everything up and took a plane ride to London

Luggage in London Airport

We set up shop with some friends at their workshop in England

Woking VR Camera Workshop

Putting the finishing touches on the camera’s power systems and wiring

With custom cables for everything!


Here’s the completed prototype rig

VR Camera Assembly

At this point the expected arrival of the micro cinema cameras from Blackmagic did not occur (production delays). Sadly this meant we had to cancel our test shoot in Europe.

Still… at least we proved we could get the camera to Europe and back in checked luggage – this had been a concern of ours. It also got a nice bonus tour of the continent.