LightBurn Tutorial 24 – LightBurn Camera 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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0:00 calibrating a camera lens in lightburn

0:02 can be pretty tricky so in this video

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

0:06 highlight some common issues you’ll need

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

0:10 be using the lightburn camera and mount

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

0:15 also need to download and print the

0:16 calibration pattern which you can find

0:18 in the lightburn documentation or

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

0:22 itself from the lens calibration screen

0:25 after printing the pattern card glue it

0:27 to something very flat like plywood mdf

0:30 or foam board

0:31 any curvature of the printed pattern

0:33 will be interpreted by the software as

0:35 distortion from your lens so it’s

0:37 important that the pattern card be as

0:39 flat as possible

0:41 the size of the pattern is not terribly

0:43 important it is only important that it

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

0:48 you can change that easily by moving the

0:50 card closer or farther from the camera

0:53 make sure that the pattern you print

0:54 looks exactly the same as this one

0:56 the number and the arrangement of the

0:58 dots is important so if part of the

1:00 image is cut off it won’t work

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

1:05 to hold it steady

1:07 first remove the faceplate by pressing

1:09 upward on the legs from underneath

1:11 the legs have small bumps at the bottoms

1:13 to hold the faceplate in place and once

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

1:17 easily

1:19 place the camera in the mount with the

1:21 white cable connector at the open end

1:23 slide the face plate partly back on and

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

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

1:30 snap it all back together

1:32 plug the cable into the camera and make

1:34 sure that it’s all firmly connected

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

1:39 going to open the camera control window

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

1:45 window and make sure camera control here

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

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

1:51 camera window appear

1:54 then choose your camera from the drop

1:56 down list make sure that your camera

1:58 shows up

1:59 once you’ve selected the camera you

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

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

2:04 i can see that this is working

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

2:09 actually functioning

2:10 go to tools

2:12 calibrate camera lens

2:15 and choose the camera again

2:20 now with the camera chosen

2:22 you have a couple of options if you

2:25 purchased a camera directly from

2:26 lightburn you can click here to use one

2:29 of our existing presets

2:32 you can also change between fisheye and

2:34 standard all of the cameras that

2:36 lightburn sells are fisheye lenses

2:38 you can tell

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

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

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

2:46 it’s curved in the camera view so

2:48 anything that is a straight line in the

2:50 real world that looks curved in the

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

2:54 fisheye lens if straight lines in the

2:56 real world were also straight lines in

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

3:00 lens this just affects how the

3:03 calibration happens so try to choose the

3:05 correct one

3:07 when you are ready click next

3:11 and you’re presented with this screen

3:13 now this up here is a small

3:17 thumbnail to show you what lightburn is

3:19 expecting from this next capture image

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

3:23 capture this calibration card in a

3:25 couple of different positions and this

3:28 little thumbnail up top is going to show

3:30 us which positions it’s trying to

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

3:33 in

3:35 hold the camera

3:37 or the pattern card close to the camera

3:40 in

3:41 the correct orientation

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

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

3:48 this view up here and click capture

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

3:54 and still

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

3:57 pattern found score 88.88 try again so

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

4:00 that’s basically telling me that

4:03 it failed and for some reason

4:06 so we’re going to try again

4:07 [Music]

4:09 that one was a little better

4:11 try

4:12 again

4:14 so i’ve intentionally chosen

4:17 the 150 degree camera because it is

4:19 probably going to be the hardest one to

4:22 calibrate and you’ll notice that this

4:24 image looks really strange right now

4:26 that’s completely fine

4:28 the only thing that you should really

4:29 care about is this score

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

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

4:37 0.2 or even less like 0.15 that’s great

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

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

4:47 move on

4:48 now

4:50 where you hold this pattern card and how

4:52 you hold it relative to the camera is

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

4:56 try this again move the pattern card a

4:57 little bit closer

4:59 [Music]

5:00 and hold it as straight onward or

5:03 straight toward the camera as i can

5:06 hold it nice and still

5:07 click

5:08 capture so now that was terrible try it

5:12 again just move it a tiny little bit

5:14 capture

5:15 and very very small moves can

5:19 make very large changes in the score

5:22 numbers that you get so just try a

5:24 couple of different things move

5:26 backwards move forwards so there i’ve

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

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

5:31 back just a touch more

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

5:36 move back just a little bit more

5:41 angle it a little bit toward the camera

5:43 because i’m not holding it quite

5:45 straight

5:49 a little better now

5:51 i’ve done this quite a bit so

5:55 i’m actually not surprised that these

5:57 numbers are jumping all over the place

5:59 and behaving a little strangely that

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

6:01 one’s actually not bad

6:03 let’s try this again

6:06 probably not holding it at just the

6:08 right angle because it is really really

6:10 fussy

6:16 2.3

6:20 well that’s a little better

6:27 it is really important to hold this as

6:29 still as you can

6:31 sometimes that causes problems because i

6:34 shake a little bit or

6:39 there we go so

6:42 you can tell in this one that the

6:44 capture looks really weird but that’s

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

6:49 that the pattern itself within that

6:52 image looks nice and rectangular and

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

6:56 going to click next

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

7:00 capture along the bottom edge or close

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

7:05 going to hold it

7:06 down there

7:07 click capture

7:10 got a good score

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

7:15 now we’re going to do one

7:17 over on this side

7:20 and for this one

7:21 you have to aim

7:23 the card toward the camera for the ones

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

7:27 lenses you have to aim the pattern card

7:29 toward the camera to get the capture to

7:31 work properly

7:32 so i’m going to do that

7:35 again holding it nice and still

7:42 0.43

7:43 let’s try another one

7:48 0.24

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

7:52 next

7:52 and now from this point forward the

7:55 captured images should actually look

7:58 decent or fairly normal

Tran script for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

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

8:04 not found try

8:06 turning it a little bit

8:20 i’ve got

8:21 this pattern card turned slightly away

8:25 from my light source

8:27 so i might actually need to move my

8:29 light a little bit

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

8:35 to slide my light over

8:38 point it

8:40 down a little bit so that camera pattern

8:44 catches a little bit more light because

8:46 lighting is important

8:55 and that was all the difference so

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

9:01 things that can make this process

9:03 difficult

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

9:08 very big difference

9:10 again changing the angle that the

9:13 pattern is held at makes a big

9:15 difference

9:17 four or six

9:19 and

9:20 you’ll notice that i’ve got

9:22 not quite not a lot of border around

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

9:26 in a little bit

9:28 that helps

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

9:33 0.33

9:34 [Music]

9:35 and just very very subtle

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

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

9:42 backward for example

9:44 so now it’s leaned back

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

9:48 gonna move the card back try that

9:53 0.33

9:55 0.39

9:59 tilt it forward a little bit

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

10:02 0.29 there we go so the trick was just

10:04 tilting it forward slightly so that it

10:07 it was angled more toward the camera so

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

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

10:13 downward

10:16 this one might be tricky with lighting

10:28 0.42 that’s pretty good

10:31 you also don’t have to be

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

10:37 be down a little bit

10:42 three two that’s really close

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

10:50 nice and

10:59 not steady

11:06 try this again

11:21 0.24 there we go

11:23 so

11:24 because i was able to get a capture

11:27 score of

11:29 0.3 or less

11:31 in all of these captures

11:33 i now have the option to skip so

11:35 normally

11:37 you can do captures in the corners as

11:38 well to help the calibration um

11:42 if your capture scores are good enough

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

11:47 skip to go through these the corner

11:49 captures with fisheye lens especially

11:51 with an extreme fisheye like the 150 are

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

11:56 can get it

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

Transcript for the LightBurn Camera Calibration Process (Cont…)

12:02 bit

12:05 great job okay so this one is good

12:08 you’ll notice that it’s nice and

12:09 rectangular so click next

12:16 there we go great

12:18 now i can skip

12:20 so i’m going to do so

12:24 and that’s it you’re finished

12:26 the next part of the process is running

12:28 the camera alignment wizard and for that

12:30 you have to mount the camera in the

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

12:34 another video

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