LightBurn Tutorial 24 – LightBurn Camera Lens Calibration

The LightBurn Software Series

The Lightburn Software is probably the best generic laser cutting software available (I use it for almost all of my laser work). This series has tutorials, hints and tips as well as the occasional speed comparisons between it and RDWorks. In this LightBurn Tutorial Session, we take a walk-through the Lightburn camera calibration process. My thanks to the team at Lightburn for allowing me to embed their videos.

Contents

A walk-through of the camera lens calibration process in LightBurn.


LightBurn Camera Calibration
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LightBurn Camera Calibration - The camera fitted in it's 3D printed holder
LightBurn Camera Calibration – The camera fitted in it’s 3D printed holder

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process.

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0:00calibrating a camera lens in light burn

0:02can be pretty tricky so in this video

0:04we’re going to walk you through it and

0:06highlight some common issues you’ll need

0:08a camera and a way to hold it still i’ll

0:10be using the lightburn camera and mount

0:12but any usb camera should work you’ll

0:15also need to download and print the

0:16calibration pattern which you can find

0:18in the light burn documentation or

0:20there’s a link to that in light burn

0:22itself from the lens calibration screen

0:25after printing the pattern card glue it

0:27to something very flat like plywood mdf

0:30or foam board

0:31any curvature of the printed pattern

0:33will be interpreted by the software as

0:35distortion from your lens so it’s

0:37important that the pattern card be as

0:39flat as possible

0:41the size of the pattern is not terribly

0:43important it is only important that it

0:46is the right size in the camera view and

0:48you can change that easily by moving the

0:50card closer or farther from the camera

0:53make sure that the pattern you print

0:54looks exactly the same as this one

0:56the number and the arrangement of the

0:58dots is important so if part of the

1:00image is cut off it won’t work

1:03i’m going to put the camera in the mount

1:05to hold it steady

1:07first remove the faceplate by pressing

1:09upward on the legs from underneath

1:11the legs have small bumps at the bottoms

1:13to hold the faceplate in place and once

1:15you’re clear of those it should come off

1:17easily

1:19place the camera in the mount with the

1:21white cable connector at the open end

1:23slide the face plate partly back on and

1:26then line up the tab on the face plate

1:27with the slot in the mount like this and

1:30snap it all back together

1:32plug the cable into the camera and make

1:34sure that it’s all firmly connected

1:37the next step is to run light burn we’re

1:39going to open the camera control window

1:42which i don’t currently have so go up to

1:45window and make sure camera control here

1:47has a check box next to it by clicking

1:49it once you do that you should see the

1:51camera window appear

1:54then choose your camera from the drop

1:56down list make sure that your camera

1:58shows up

1:59once you’ve selected the camera you

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

2:01should get a live video feed from it so

2:04i can see that this is working

2:07once you’ve verified that the camera is

2:09actually functioning

2:10go to tools

2:12calibrate camera lens

2:15and choose the camera again

2:20now with the camera chosen

2:22you have a couple of options if you

2:25purchased a camera directly from

2:26lightburn you can click here to use one

2:29of our existing presets

2:32you can also change between fisheye and

2:34standard all of the cameras that

2:36lightburn sells are fisheye lenses

2:38you can tell

2:40uh by looking at the camera to see if

2:42there’s distortion so if you notice here

2:44this is sort of the edge of my desk and

2:46it’s curved in the camera view so

2:48anything that is a straight line in the

2:50real world that looks curved in the

2:51camera view uh tells you that you have a

2:54fisheye lens if straight lines in the

2:56real world were also straight lines in

2:58the camera view then you’d use standard

3:00lens this just affects how the

3:03calibration happens so try to choose the

3:05correct one

3:07when you are ready click next

3:11and you’re presented with this screen

3:13now this up here is a small

3:17thumbnail to show you what lightburn is

3:19expecting from this next capture image

3:22what we’re going to do is we’re going to

3:23capture this calibration card in a

3:25couple of different positions and this

3:28little thumbnail up top is going to show

3:30us which positions it’s trying to

3:31capture it’s wanting us to capture them

3:33in

3:35hold the camera

3:37or the pattern card close to the camera

3:40in

3:41the correct orientation

3:44and make it so that it’s approximately

3:46the same size in this view as you see in

3:48this view up here and click capture

3:51now you want to hold the card very nice

3:54and still

3:55and you’ll see right now that i’ve got

3:57pattern found score 88.88 try again so

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

4:00that’s basically telling me that

4:03it failed and for some reason

4:06so we’re going to try again

4:07[Music]

4:09that one was a little better

4:11try

4:12again

4:14so i’ve intentionally chosen

4:17the 150 degree camera because it is

4:19probably going to be the hardest one to

4:22calibrate and you’ll notice that this

4:24image looks really strange right now

4:26that’s completely fine

4:28the only thing that you should really

4:29care about is this score

4:32and what we’re shooting for is any

4:33number under 0.3 if you can get down to

4:370.2 or even less like 0.15 that’s great

4:41but 0.3 or less than 0.3 is a good score

4:45and if you get one like that you can

4:47move on

4:48now

4:50where you hold this pattern card and how

4:52you hold it relative to the camera is

4:54actually quite important so i’m going to

4:56try this again move the pattern card a

4:57little bit closer

4:59[Music]

5:00and hold it as straight onward or

5:03straight toward the camera as i can

5:06hold it nice and still

5:07click

5:08capture so now that was terrible try it

5:12again just move it a tiny little bit

5:14capture

5:15and very very small moves can

5:19make very large changes in the score

5:22numbers that you get so just try a

5:24couple of different things move

5:26backwards move forwards so there i’ve

5:28moved backwards a little bit and i’ve

5:30got a better score so i’m going to move

5:31back just a touch more

5:35i’ve got a better score still so i’ll

5:36move back just a little bit more

5:41angle it a little bit toward the camera

5:43because i’m not holding it quite

5:45straight

5:49a little better now

5:51i’ve done this quite a bit so

5:55i’m actually not surprised that these

5:57numbers are jumping all over the place

5:59and behaving a little strangely that

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

6:01one’s actually not bad

6:03let’s try this again

6:06probably not holding it at just the

6:08right angle because it is really really

6:10fussy

6:162.3

6:20well that’s a little better

6:27it is really important to hold this as

6:29still as you can

6:31sometimes that causes problems because i

6:34shake a little bit or

6:39there we go so

6:42you can tell in this one that the

6:44capture looks really weird but that’s

6:47okay i got a great score and you can see

6:49that the pattern itself within that

6:52image looks nice and rectangular and

6:54that’s the most important part so i’m

6:56going to click next

6:58and now it’s telling me here i want to

7:00capture along the bottom edge or close

7:02to the bottom edge of the camera so i’m

7:05going to hold it

7:06down there

7:07click capture

7:10got a good score

7:12first try that’s nice so i’ll click next

7:15now we’re going to do one

7:17over on this side

7:20and for this one

7:21you have to aim

7:23the card toward the camera for the ones

7:25on the sides when you’re doing fisheye

7:27lenses you have to aim the pattern card

7:29toward the camera to get the capture to

7:31work properly

7:32so i’m going to do that

7:35again holding it nice and still

7:420.43

7:43let’s try another one

7:480.24

7:49that’s very good so i’m going to click

7:52next

7:52and now from this point forward the

7:55captured images should actually look

7:58decent or fairly normal

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

8:01so if i do a capture from this one

8:04not found try

8:06turning it a little bit

8:20i’ve got

8:21this pattern card turned slightly away

8:25from my light source

8:27so i might actually need to move my

8:29light a little bit

8:33yeah i’m going to try that so i’m going

8:35to slide my light over

8:38point it

8:40down a little bit so that camera pattern

8:44catches a little bit more light because

8:46lighting is important

8:55and that was all the difference so

8:58that’s a good example of the kinds of

9:01things that can make this process

9:03difficult

9:04um just me moving my light source made a

9:08very big difference

9:10again changing the angle that the

9:13pattern is held at makes a big

9:15difference

9:17four or six

9:19and

9:20you’ll notice that i’ve got

9:22not quite not a lot of border around

9:25that pattern here so i’m just moving it

9:26in a little bit

9:28that helps

9:31usually helps there we go so i’ve got a

9:330.33

9:34[Music]

9:35and just very very subtle

9:38changes to the angle that i’m holding

9:40the card at so if i tilt the card

9:42backward for example

9:44so now it’s leaned back

9:46that number that actually got better i’m

9:48gonna move the card back try that

9:530.33

9:550.39

9:59tilt it forward a little bit

10:020.29 there we go so the trick was just

10:04tilting it forward slightly so that it

10:07it was angled more toward the camera so

10:09i’m going to click next and now we’ll

10:10have one up top here so i’m angling it

10:13downward

10:16this one might be tricky with lighting

10:280.42 that’s pretty good

10:31you also don’t have to be

10:34right up at the edge like this you can

10:37be down a little bit

10:42three two that’s really close

10:48sit my arm on something so that it’s

10:50nice and

10:59not steady

11:06try this again

11:210.24 there we go

11:23so

11:24because i was able to get a capture

11:27score of

11:290.3 or less

11:31in all of these captures

11:33i now have the option to skip so

11:35normally

11:37you can do captures in the corners as

11:38well to help the calibration um

11:42if your capture scores are good enough

11:45you don’t have to do those you can click

11:47skip to go through these the corner

11:49captures with fisheye lens especially

11:51with an extreme fisheye like the 150 are

11:54harder i’m going to try one and see if i

11:56can get it

12:00better not found we’ll move in a little

12:02bit

12:05great job okay so this one is good

12:08you’ll notice that it’s nice and

12:09rectangular so click next

12:16there we go great

12:18now i can skip

12:20so i’m going to do so

12:24and that’s it you’re finished

12:26the next part of the process is running

12:28the camera alignment wizard and for that

12:30you have to mount the camera in the

12:32laser itself and we’ll cover that in

12:34another video

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