We love the Raspberry Pi for its practical uses but it's always refreshing to see it adapted into works of art. Today, we’ve got a beautiful project put together by maker and developer Karl Mose. Using our favorite SBC, he’s created a digital picture frame that features unique automated fractal artwork.
The project consists of a wooden picture frame with a white bezel surrounding a display panel. Mose opted to use an eInk panel for the screen which has a few benefits including its low power usage as well as the fact that the last image to display on the screen will stay if the power is cut or lost.
This is more of a digital picture frame than a video project. The Raspberry Pi is responsible for generating the fractal artwork which can take well over an hour. This image then has to be formatted so it can be displayed with a black and white color scheme on the e-Ink screen. These images are programmed to change once every couple of hours. The Pi is otherwise idle until its time to generate and display another image.
For this project, Mose is using a Raspberry Pi Zero but there’s no reason you couldn’t use something else like a Pi 3B, 4 or 5. A newer Pi would take less time to generate the fractal artwork. However, there are benefits to using a model of Pi Zero because of its form factor and low power consumption. The Pi is connected to a 7.5-inch Waveshare screen with a resolution of 800 x 480px.
The program driving the digital fractal art frame was created by Mose from scratch. Mose was kind enough to make the project open source, so you can explore the code that makes it all happen over at GitHub. There you’ll find a few extra details and some Python files. You can also check the project’s GitHub page for updates in the future.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.
Very cool. I love fractal art! I saw it live for the first time back in the Amiga days. The only thing I don't like about this one is the black and white display. Fractals look much cooler in color. The people that are doing such fun things with the Pi absolutely Rock!Reply
With an E ink display like that you are limited to black and white, unless you get a newer one that supports one other colour too, but their screen clearing time is 20-30 seconds, not just 1 or 2. You could just use a normal colour screen, but it would use power the whole time it is on.Sluggotg said:Very cool. I love fractal art! I saw it live for the first time back in the Amiga days. The only thing I don't like about this one is the black and white display. Fractals look much cooler in color. The people that are doing such fun things with the Pi absolutely Rock!