Digital Kitchen's holiday party will forever be remembered. Not only through semi-fuzzy memories and permanently stained shirts, but a huge collection of animated GIFs. We owe it all to Protobooth. The animated GIF photobooth.
Laying around the the Digital Kitchen studio, three Cannon 5Ds, an Arduino, and three Macbook Pros were used to create the camera technology. For the backdrop and props, it got crafty. Felt, cardboard, wood, paint, and a lot of glue made up the props and landscape. From start to finish, the whole process was documented. Once the night was over, hundreds of GIFs were left to tell a story.
Press and media were excited about what we had to share. Dozens of writers spread the word about this groundbreaking party technology. It was all so well received, Adidas Originals asked Protobooth to show up at Lollapalooza in Chicago. In August 2012, for three days straight, Protobooth pushed a thousand GIFs to the web. A sharing tool was created to send GIFs through SMS or email. This platform also let users pin, tweet, or like their GIFs on facebook.
Three DSLR cameras are mounted in a row with the same point of interest, field of view, focal point, and exposure settings. Once a footswitch is activated, an Arduino is triggered to start the countdown and capture process. Three lightbulbs controlled by relays sequentially count down from 3 to alert the user. All DSLRs are then simultaneously triggered through hacked shutter remotes. Instantly, three photos with three different angles are taken all at once. The photo files are transferred via WiFi SD card to an laptop running the protobooth software. Protobooth software listens for these files to complete their transfer, then sequences the three photos in a 4-frame looping animation. Finally, they are exported, and filtered through a custom Photoshop automation script. The script spits out beautiful, web ready GIFs to an FTP which post the GIFs to a live website. The whole process takes 25 - 45 seconds.