Over the past couple of years we’ve seen several iterations of the “slow motion movie player” concept, where a movie is split into individual frames that are displayed on an electronic paper screen for a few minutes at a time. This turns your favorite movie into a long-term, constantly changing piece of art. Unfortunately, due to the relatively high cost of e-paper panels, most of the examples we’ve seen are only a few inches wide.
Of course, technology tends to get cheaper over time, which has allowed (szantaii) to assemble this beautiful 10.3-inch version. With an 1872×1404 Waveshare panel capable of displaying 16 shades of gray and a Raspberry Pi Zero 2W installed in a commercially purchased frame, the final product looks very professional. It certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a well-appointed living room.
It’s not just a big screen that sets this project apart. (szantaii) has done a phenomenal job documenting both the hardware and software for this project, including the Python “Slow Movie Player service” software he wrote. Even if you’re not using an identical hardware setup, their MIT-licensed code will get you going in the right direction.
We especially liked the various example settings provided, as well as the explanation of how ImageMagick’s different grayscale conversion options affect the appearance of the final image.
All in all, this is not only a beautiful and well-implemented take on the slow motion player concept, but it’s also the kind of project that helps elevate the entire community through its transparency. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this latest iteration inspire more people to pick up an e-paper panel and build one. Could 2023 be the year of the slow motion movie player? We certainly hope so.