#HowTo make a photobooth / Part 2 The new starting point

#HowTo make a photobooth / Part 2 The new starting point

Also see:
Part 1 #HowTo make a photobooth with i.MX processor based Utilite and Wandboard, Freedom KL25Z board
Part 3 #HowTo make a photobooth / The new remote display

The starting point of the photo booth kiosk is my existing photo booth, which has been under development since before FTF last year.

Inside the booth

The ‘smarts’ inside the booth look basically like this:

insidephotobooth (1)

At the heart of the booth is the Utilite Pro with an i.MX 6Quad processor in it. It’s connected to an 18-inch HDMI TV which serves as a monitor. The Nikon DSLR is connected via USB to the Utilite Pro. The Utilite Pro currently runs Ubuntu, and is connected to a dedicated router. It shares the images via SAMBA (Windows file sharing for Linux).

The “button” is really three 52mm lighted arcade buttons connected to a Teensy 3.1 board. The Teensy board is programmed as a combination USB keyboard/serial device. Hitting the button is equivalent to hitting a single key on a USB keyboard — one specific lowercase letter for each button. The serial port allows the photo booth script to turn things on and off, like the LEDs inside the arcade buttons.

A Python script uses the following open source software:

  • pygame allows writing/drawing to the HDMI screen
  • libgphoto2 and piggyphoto control the Nikon DSLR and capture the images via USB
  • graphicsmagick complies the photos from the camera into composite images for the display and for printing

Outside the booth

Outside the booth, there is at least one remote display (with a dedicated router, a few remote displays can be strategically placed around a venue):

outsidephotobooth (1)

The remote display currently consists of a Wandboard Dual connected to an HDMI TV as a monitor. It runs Android 4 and is connected to the same dedicated router mentioned above. (An i.MX53 Quick Start Board has also been used with a VGA monitor and an older version of Android.)

The free app, Digital Photo Frame Slideshow by Jeroen Wyseur is used to play a slide show of all the horizontally oriented display composites generated by the photo booth script. The main reasons for choosing this app were that it could access files on a Windows SAMBA share and it could periodically refresh the contents of the directory from which it plays. This allows it to ‘see’ new display composites as they are generated by users on the booth. One disadvantage of this app is that it can not be made to show the most recent composite right away – something people coming out of the booth want/expect to see so they can share it with people in the line behind them.

FTF 2015 Photo Booth Kiosk

Much of the prior work will be duplicated for the FTF kiosk but with some differences planned:

  • USB webcam instead of a DSLR – less expensive and adequate image resolution
  • Two Hummingboards – Raspberry Pi form factor, inexpensive
  • Kiosk instead of an enclosed booth
  • Near real-time upload of composites to social media
  • Remote display slideshow will be replaced with pygame script under Linux

David DiCarlo is a hardware applications engineer for Freescale i.MX applications processors.

David DiCarlo
David DiCarlo
The human analog of a Swiss Army knife, David DiCarlo has been by providing hardware systems support for the past 17 years for the i.MX family of applications processors and audio digital signal processors, enabling customers to bring their products to market. Formally schooled as a material scientist (ceramics in particular), he plays an engineer by day and maker/re-maker the rest of the time.

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