Halloween festivities are always lurking around the corner. Zombies and witches will be knocking at your door and you will need something to scare them away.

This tutorial is going to show you how to create epaper animations to be displayed on PaPiRus. Here is a demo video of what you will be creating.

Note that a basic knowledge of photo editing is required to complete this tutorial.

Making preparations

Although we cannot run video formats through PaPiRus we can still create the illusion of an animation by showing several pictures one after the other with small changes from one to the next.

Parts for this project

As the screens only can display B/W images the best results are obtained by using pictures which are already B/W or that can be converted whilst keeping all their parts fairly visible.

Once you find the scary picture you’d like to use it is also good to crop it and resize it so that it fits the screen nicely although if possible it makes it for a better quality to resize the pictures only once you have modified them for the animation.

Screen resolutions

  • 1.44″ 128 x 96
  • 1.9″ 144 x 128
  • 2.0″ 200 x 96
  • 2.6″ 232 x 128
  • 2.7″ 264 x 176

To edit the pictures we use PhotoFiltre 7 but practically any photo editing application will do just fine.

Edit the pictures

We have taken this picture

Then with a bit of magic wand and colour conversion, we have managed to get a B/W version of it.

Hence we resized it to match the resolution of the 2.7″ screen.

The picture we have chosen lends itself to some easy editing for us to start the epaper animation sequence.

We could, for example, open and close the eye of the owl, shorten progressively the spider strand and move the cat’s tail.

Save each file in the format that you prefer choosing from BMP, PNG, JPG or GIF and name the pictures with progressive numbers starting from 0. So for example the ones above could be named 0.jpg, 1.jpg and 2.jpg.

Upload and display the animation

Once your animation sequence is ready it is time to transfer it onto the Raspberry Pi and eventually display it on the PaPiRus.

If you have issues assembling and connecting your PaPiRus you can follow our guide here.

Depending on which desktop system you are using transferring the files to the Raspberry Pi can be slightly different. Filezilla is fairly ubiquitous and easy enough to use but other SFTP clients will be reasonably similar to operate.

Type the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in the Host field, use “pi” and “raspberry” for Username and Password and type 22 in the Port field then click on Quickconnect.

Once the connection is open a good directory in which to move the pictures is of course “Pictures”. Select Pictures on the right pane of the screen and on the left pane open the folder in which you have created your animated sequence. Select all the file then drag and drop them as illustrated above.

Once the transfer is finished you can close Filezilla or whichever application you have used to make the transfer.

At this point, you should have installed the PaPiRus software on your Raspberry Pi. If you haven’t done so follow the procedure as indicated on our Github repository.

On your Raspberry Pi, you will either access via SSH or directly using your keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

Open a terminal and type:

papirus-animation ~/Pictures

Congratulations! You now know how to add ePaper animations to your PaPiRus.

If your animation is short like the one above and you would like for that to loop indefinitely use the following command instead:

papirus-animation ~/Pictures --loop

After you’ve tried this, why not have a go at making your own ePaper animation with a different image. For example, see the video below.

First published at 3:24pm on October 5, 2017
Last updated at 10:42pm on July 19, 2018