I'm trying to use the RPi to create a system that allows me to take a time-lapse series of a plant while it grows (I ultimately want to be able to capture images from multiple cameras of many plants growing in the dark using an array of infra-red cameras). I have a sketchy plan of how I'm going to do it which I thought I'd post here in case anyone had any ideas or experience doing what I'm trying to do.
My reason for using the RPi is because I want this project to be cheap enough that schools can use my apparatus so, using expensive cameras is not an option. I want to use webcams for the imaging.
My plan is to use Open Computer Vision (OCV) running on an Arch Linux RPi. At the moment I plan to write any programmes I need in Python but this choice is somewhat uninformed so if there's a better language, I'm all ears.
I'm assuming OCV will give me all the control I need over the webcams I'm using (I have a bunch of webcams and I'm not sure which one will work best). A problem I've run into using webcams with 'Cheese' is that they auto-adjust things like gain which means the images created are not homogeneous enough for time lapse. OCV seems to allow you to control this but I have no experience with it so any advice would be helpful.
I realise this is a bit meandering so, to summarise, my main questions are.
1) Will OCV give me enough control over relatively cheap webcams to produce a time-lapse stack that's usable?
2) Will I be able to create a program in Python that takes time lapse images (I'm sure I will) and do you have any ideas about how I might go about creating this? (I'm a novice at programming but I have some more experienced people helping me)
3) Do people have any general advice about setting up Arch on RPi, or setting up OCV on Arch?