Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Student Print Exchange: Development

I had thought my initial concept would be too expensive for making an edition of six for the exhibition. I have now spec'd the project and it comes in at around £70 per print, which is almost double my initial expectations.

I had thought of some other options for interactive prints, but I'm kinda latched onto making this thing happen either way.

There is the option to make two prints for the two Universities, which are embedded with the digital screen, then the remaining prints are as a normal screenprint.

So lets put these thoughts of not possible away and get on with it.


I have Raspberry Pi kicking around that I've been playing with. So to try things out/proof of concept, I get a LCD screen ordered on Amazon. It only takes a few days to arrive but I need to get on with the artwork and screenprinting.

It's a natural continuation where I left off with the mini print. I think the prints were quite successful but I can improve them so much. the good thing is, I can use the Blender file as a template make amendments and map new artwork.


From here I can now calculating the size and position of the print in relation to the screen
Getting the size nailed down now, means I can get on with printing the edition so I'm totally ahead of the game later on.
learning from mistakes made with mini print, I thought about the black seperation and removed any black print from certain areas, while retaining black in areas I felt important. During printing I also opted to remove the harsh black from the legs as it was really over powering. Learn new things with every new print.
Having thought about building a housing for the print and Raspberry Pi, I eventually came to the conclusion of using a float frame and found the perfect frames from Vellum Art.

The frames need a small adjustment - spacers to place a backboard to attach the Pi
Close up of the spacer and the backboard
The reverse backboard is attached with framing points. 
Close u p of the points in place. Pointless.
 The print gets the playfield section removed, and mounted to self adhesive foam board (also with a section removed. Once installed into the frame it leaves a neat section for the screen to embed itself into the print.
Carefully cut by hand. I pondered lasercutting but don't want to introduce soot.

The reverse when mounted - the screenprint paper with the playfield section is a smaller cut, then the foam board is cut exactly to the size of the screen at a 45 degree angle.
No when the screen arrives I need content and I prepare the video. The template I made to work out the size of the print can also be used to map and warp the video. I use the corner pin effect in Adobe Premiere. Export the video and start about the Raspberry Pi development.
The assemble pi in place, snug fit into the mount board to get as close to the paper as possible

Pretty good I think.



The pi is relatively easy to setup to loop video thanks to Adafruit's video looper tutorial. It's a bit fiddly to get to grips with but once going it was easy.

Now it had it setup I just clone the software for the Raspberry Pi micro SD card, and reformat the second print with the identical software so I don't always have to go through the installation process. It takes a long time to clone, but it means you can go away and do something else, you dont have to be present! I used this guide for cloning and making backups for Raspberry Pi.

Check it out, looking fantastic.
At this point I start to realise how important sound is, I'm jumping through many different ideas trying to work it out still, and it deserves a post in it's own right.

More to come soon, almost deadline time!