Focus Sniper
Video Camera Focus System

Focus Sniper is a follow-focus video camera system conceived by Convexity Media, Inc of New York City. It works just like the human eyes: due to the space between your eyes, each eye sees a slightly different image of the world. The brain constructs the vision from both eyes into a single image in the brain, using the offset of each image to judge focal distance to the subject.

Focus Sniper replaces your human eyes with side video cameras that flank the main camera lens. The video stream of each side camera is shown on a side tablet, held by an operator. The side tablet contains a video screen, with a simple interface where the operator can move a focus line back and forth across the field of vision by turning the wheel on the side tablet. The positioning signal of both side tablets are fed into the central unit.

The central unit (the brain) uses a triangulation equation to compute distance to the subject on the fly, and automatically turns the camera focus lens to match that distance. The final effect is a smooth, instant focusing system for video shoots. It does not require the use of a laser pointer and has more accuracy than sound-based proximity sensors. In addition, each unit is designed to run on a rechargeable 12-Volt battery, allowing about 8 hours of continuous use of the system per charge.

Tomorrow Lab and Convexity Media, Inc share a desire to have media creation as an open source for all, and to achieve this goal, aimed to tackle the problem with pulling focus in motion picture. The Focus Sniper makes previously impossible tasks within reach through updating the stubbornly antiquated process of cinematography by allowing the camera to hold focus on constantly moving subjects and limitations that low light can cause in the lens. As indicated in the video below, focus can be achieved with an astonishing level of accuracy.

Tomorrow Lab conducted all Hardware Design, Electrical Engineering, Software Programming, Assembly, and testing of these proof-of-concept units.

Industrial Design
Mechanical Engineering
Mathematical Modeling
Software Programming
Electronics Engineering
Focus Sniper