Gif player does it using paper medium

Ditch that fancy wide-format LCD monitor and go back to the days when animation was made up of moving frames played back by a specialized device. [Pieterjan Grandry] built this gif player which does just that. The frames of the animation are printed on a paper disk. When spun and viewed through a looking hole the same size as one frame an animated image is formed.

If you know a thing or two about how movie projectors work you might have a raised eyebrow right now. To make the animation smooth you need a way to hide the changing of the frames. With a projector there’s usually a spinning shutter (like a fan) that covers the transition between frames. In this case, [Pieterjan] has mounted the case of the gif player far enough in front of the paper disk that the image is in shadow, making it hard to see. A microcontroller responsible for the speed of the spinning disk flashes some white LEDs with precise timing which gives light to each frame at just the right time.

This is really a 2D equivalent to the 3D stroboscope we saw a few days ago.

[Thanks Agtrier]

Stroboscope project uses optical drive motor and Arduino

In the quest for a diy laser cutter made from DVD burner parts (that hack’s still in the works) this guy ended up with a junk box full of optical-drive leftovers. He put some of that surplus to good use by building this stroboscope. As the media spins, the white LED just out of focus in the foreground strobes to freeze the little black figure in the same place. The effect, as seen in the video after the break, is a dancing figure created by the optical illusion.

This is the same concept as that amazing 3D rowing skeleton build, but scaled down greatly. Each of the silhouettes seen above are slightly different, showing one pose that makes up a frame of the overall animation. They’re laser cut, but some careful paper-craft could probably accomplish the same thing. Assuming you could keep them from warping when spinning at high speeds.

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Easy DIY stroboscope


Looking for something to do in his downtime, [Mista Sparkle] decided that building a simple stroboscope was in order. He already had a set of six LEDs connected to his Arduino from a previous project, so he added a potentiometer to control the rate at which the LEDs flashed, and dug into the IDE.

During his build he discovered that using the Arduino millis() function at high speeds provides terrible resolution, while using the micros() function exclusively limits his low end measuring capabilities. He desired a better range of measurement, so his program was broken into main functions: One which measures the LED flashing frequency in milliseconds and another that measures the LED flashing frequency in microseconds. This allowed him to gauge rotational frequencies from 577 to 30,000 RPM.

[Mista Sparkle] admits that he is not yet well-versed in driving displays with the Arduino, so he views his readings over a serial connection on his PC. Hopefully we’ll see an updated version with those features in the near future.

Stroboscope LED fan clock

[sprite_tm] sent in one of his latest little adventures – and I love it. To create his stroboscope fan clock, he put a couple of red and green clock hands onto a standard PC fan(I love Panaflo fans), then he built a circuit to strobe a RGB LED to create a set of virtual clock hands on the spinning fan. An ATTiny2313 does all the work, with the help of some transistors to drive the LEDs.