Multiple Raspberry Pi control and live stream this interactive Christmas village

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Wizards in Winter)

If you’re looking for a fun Raspberry Pi project to get you excited for the holidays, you’ve got to check out this incredible Christmas Village project put together by Wizards in Winter. Not only is this adorable table top winter wonderland Pi-powered, it’s also interactive with a website you can use to control the lights and watch the results in real-time via live stream.

According to Wizards in Winter, the website is Java-based and uses a vue.js framework. On the website is a list of different buildings and features within the village that you can click on to toggle various light show effects. The input is parsed to a Pi that interprets the command and triggers the appropriate response. There is a little bit of a delay in this process so be patient when testing it out.

A dedicated Linux server is used to process the video stream data. With this setup, Wizards in Winter is able to use OBS to help set the holiday mood by overlaying the village stream with Christmas music. OBS also makes it easier to push the livestream to YouTube where, as of writing, you can currently find it.

Wizards in Winter goes on to explain that three Raspberry Pis are used in the project. A Raspberry Pi 3 is used as a dedicated relay controller. It is responsible for operating the village lights in the buildings and also sends commands to the train. The other two are Pi Zeros. One is a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W fitted with an HQ camera and wide angle lens, the other a Pi Zero W with a v2 camera. These cameras are used for the live stream, with one mounted to the train.

The software used to program the Christmas Village was created from scratch by Wizards in Winter. It mostly relies on custom Python scripts to handle the cameras and various relays. You can read more about the project’s construction and how it operates over at the project thread shared to Reddit. To get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project and try it out for yourself, check out the Christmas Village website.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.