Dec 13, 2016

Use a Raspberry Pi and a Projector to Convert Old Film Reels

Want a cheap and easy way to automatically digitize old open-reel films? Maker Joe Herman used a Raspberry Pi to help share his old footage.

Nowadays, it’s increasingly rare to find access to an open-reel film projector, leaving many traditional home videos to sit in the attic and collect dust. But one maker named Joe Herman recently discovered a cheap and efficient way to automatically convert old film reels using a Raspberry Pi and just a few 3D printed parts.

In the past, the Raspberry Pi system has been used to create some impressive projects and is especially useful as a device that costs just $35. Herman has now added his own project to that impressive list, using this miniaturized computer hardware and some 3D printed parts to convert and watch his old family films.

Herman had an archive of 130 films recorded by his grandfather, some of which were over 70 years old. Though projectors capable of playing this film format are hard to find, this film can last a long time when stored correctly.

However, sharing these videos is the tricky part, especially with family members who oftentimes live far away. Herman needed a better way to share this old footage with his friends and family. So, he created a DIY solution by using a Raspberry Pi, various 3D printed parts, and an old projector. The results from his tinkering can be seen in the video below:

How Raspberry Pi Was Used to Convert Old Film Reels

While many people now rely on digital platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo to share their videos, Herman had a reel-to-reel projector, so sharing his videos wasn’t as simple as clicking send. Although there are a number of companies that will convert your old footage for you, Herman wanted to save himself money and decided to take the DIY route.

In order to upload his old footage from to the internet, Herman decided to build the film converter himself by using various parts he had in around his house. By using a few 3D printed parts, he was able to convert the old reel-to-reel projector into a Raspberry Pi-controlled digital transfer machine. The picture below shows how Herman set up his reformatted projector.

The final result is a frame-by-frame capture system that creates beautiful and vintage-styled images. Best of all, these converted images can be easily uploaded and shared with friends and family from anywhere. If you want to check out more details on Herman’s final results, be sure to visit his Vimeo channel.

Source: Geek

License: The text of "Use a Raspberry Pi and a Projector to Convert Old Film Reels" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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