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.