Harry Potter and the Real-Life Daily Prophet

Most people would visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and bring back a few souvenirs to adorn their shelves. But for Piet Rullens Jr, with a video from his trip to hand, that simply wasn’t enough.

Daily Prophet poster with moving object

Daily Prophet with moving object

Taking to Photoshop, Piet designed a copy of the Daily Prophet, the newspaper from the original book and film series, and included an article about his trip to the Harry Potter theme park.

Within the design I marked an area with the exact size of the Raspberry Pi screen. Next, I plotted the poster on normal paper at 100%, so the marked area still matched the Raspberry Pi screen.

From there, Piet used the design to mark the backing board of a poster frame, allowing him to cut out a hole the size of the 7″ display.

Piet Rullens Harry Potter Poster

The display sits firmly between the lip of the screen and the glass of the frame, secured to the back of the board alongside a Raspberry Pi 3.

Piet Rullens Harry Potter Poster

As the wall behind the poster backs onto a cupboard, Piet was able to drill a small hole for the USB power lead, leaving no unsightly wiring on display after the frame was hung.

Piet Rullens Harry Potter Poster

As for the software?

The software is very simple: I use a small Python script and an Adafruit IR distance sensor to detect if somebody is approaching the poster. If that’s the case, with a simple command I turn on the Raspberry Pi screen and start a H264 movie using Omxplayer. The movie will play for 5 minutes and then I stop the movie and turn off the screen, so it’s not playing 24/7; this saves energy and screen lifetime.

We love this project, in that ‘Oh it’s amazing, but why didn’t I think of this first?’ way that every good maker feels when they see something awesome.

28 comments

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I LOVE this. I want one :-)

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Me too! And this might sound ridiculous but I’m so in love with the clean cut of the display window. It’s so straight and perfect. A very tight, impressive build. Can’t fault it.

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Alas there’s a glaring error you can’t unspot when you’ve seen … Piet and Linda *where* spotted

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I spotted it. But as English isn’t Piet’s first language, I was happy to let it slide.

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:) Thanks for the hint, I will correct it on the reprint.

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Fantastic! :)

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This is great! I would love to make one.

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Awesome! What video does it play? Is it a generic news story, or does it update daily? It would be incredibly awesome if it used some kind of facial recognition to play different videos based on the person.

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There’s absolutely no reason you couldn’t set up such a build to do either of those things. https://learn.adafruit.com/raspberry-pi-face-recognition-treasure-box/overview is a nice OpenCV tutorial if you’re new to facial recognition.

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It plays a video they recorded while visiting the theme park, Jim.

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Brilliant :)

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Brilliant. I love reading Harry Potter :) :)

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Would love to do one of these myself, my wife loves Harry Potter and our nursery theme is books of which we have quotes from HP all over the walls. This would complete that theme so well!

Piet you going to share more details on the build / software?

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No problem, when I’m done with the software I will publish the code.

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Where will you publish the code? This is so cool, i’m desperate to make it!

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“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”?
Oh – sorry – wrong HP

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Best comment :D

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What fun! Thank you.

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Had a good night’s sleep since seeing this. I still want one :-)

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I’m thinking of doing this for some kids at the local “Children’s Palace”, as it is called, a free hobby course. Is there a way getting the “how to” on this project? Thanks!

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Very good project and simple code … but where is the code please ?

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Where can you find the code?

Janina Ander

This MagPi article describes the Python script the Pi runs:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/harry-potter-daily-prophet/
You can find Piet, the maker, on Twitter if you want to ask him for his code.

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Yes , good article but no code !

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Where can I buy one? :D

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You’ll have to make your own if you want one. This is a one-of-a-kind piece.

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Where can I find the poster you used to make one for my wedding anniversary

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He designed the whole poster himself using the Adobe Suite. You can probably find some Daily Prophet posters online if you have a look.

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