Configure an Image File Camera

An image_file camera gets color and depth image frames or point clouds from a file path on your local system.

Navigate to the CONFIGURE tab of your machine’s page in the Viam app. Click the + icon next to your machine part in the left-hand menu and select Component. Select the camera type, then select the image_file model. Enter a name or use the suggested name for your camera and click Create.

Configuration of an image file camera in the Viam app config builder.

Edit the attributes as applicable to your camera, according to the table below. Note that you must specify at least one of color_image_file_path, depth_image_file_path, and pointcloud_file_path.

  "name": "<your-camera-name>",
  "model": "image_file",
  "type": "camera",
  "namespace": "rdk",
  "attributes": {
    "intrinsic_parameters": {
      "width_px": <int>,
      "height_px": <int>,
      "fx": <float>,
      "fy": <float>,
      "ppx": <float>,
      "ppy": <float>
    "distortion_parameters": {
      "rk1": <float>,
      "rk2": <float>,
      "rk3": <float>,
      "tp1": <float>,
      "tp2": <float>
    "debug": <boolean>,
    "color_image_file_path": "<your-file-path>",
    "depth_image_file_path": "<your-file-path>",
    "pointcloud_file_path": "<your-file-path>",

The following attributes are available for image_file cameras:

intrinsic_parametersobjectOptionalThe intrinsic parameters of the camera used to do 2D <-> 3D projections:
  • width_px: The expected width of the aligned image in pixels.
  • height_px: The expected height of the aligned image in pixels.
  • fx: The image center x point.
  • fy: The image center y point.
  • ppx: The image focal x.
  • ppy: The image focal y.
distortion_parametersobjectOptionalModified Brown-Conrady parameters used to correct for distortions caused by the shape of the camera lens:
  • rk1: The radial distortion x.
  • rk2: The radial distortion y.
  • rk3: The radial distortion z.
  • tp1: The tangential distortion x.
  • tp2: The tangential distortion y.
debugbooleanOptionalEnables the debug outputs from the camera if true.
Default: false
color_image_file_pathstringOptionalThe file path to the color image on your local system.
depth_image_file_pathstringOptionalThe file path to the depth image on your local system.
pointcloud_file_pathstringOptionalThe file path to the point cloud file on your local system.

You must specify at least one of color_image_file_path, depth_image_file_path, and pointcloud_file_path.

If you provide configuration for the depth_image_file_path and intrinsic_parameters of the camera, then your machine will also retrieve point cloud data from the depth_image_file_path. If you then also configure a pointcloud_file_path on your camera, Viam will try to pull the data from the pointcloud_file_path first.

View the camera stream

Once your camera is configured and connected, go to the CONTROL tab, and click on the camera’s dropdown menu. Then toggle the camera or the Point Cloud Data view to ON. If everything is configured correctly, you will see the live video feed from your camera. You can change the refresh frequency as needed to change bandwidth.

Example Camera view inside Viam app

Next steps

Have questions, or want to meet other people working on robots? Join our Community Discord.

If you notice any issues with the documentation, feel free to file an issue or edit this file.