Building a Photo Booth - Part 1

  • Episode 279
  • January 22, 2013
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Robbie sets out to save Abigail some money on a photo booth rental for her wedding by building one on a shoestring budget. Follow along to learn how to build your own.

This episode is sponsored in part by: netTALK DUO, Netflix, Eco Alkalines and Cordery Electric.

Topics Covered:

  • Robbie Ferguson and Abigail Smith present from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Viewer Question: How do I get Category Technology TV on my iPhone or Android device?
  • Send in your viewer postcards to Category5 Technology TV, PO Box 29009, Barrie, Ontario, L4N 7W7.
  • Viewer Question: Do you really want to receive a postcard from Barrie, Ontario?
  • {play 10:12}Feature: Creating your own photobooth with free tools and a shoestring budget.
    • Abigail Smith is getting married! To save the high cost of renting a photo booth (around $1,000), we'll build our own for under $100 using hardware we already have, and free software.
    • Choosing our backdrop and how we're going to mount it. What is your opinion? Please comment below, on YouTube, on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.
    • Choosing a webcam for a photo booth. We picked a Microsoft Lifecam Studio since it supports full 1080p, works in Linux and is tripod mountable.
    • Choosing free Linux software to operate our photo booth. We chose Cheese Webcam Booth, which supports fullscreen, burst mode and camera activation using a single keypress.
    • The ultimate, economical trigger for our photobooth: a programmable USB button available for just $29 from USBButton.com. The software to program it requires Windows, but once it's programmed, the button works on Windows, Mac and Linux machines (it acts like a single-key USB keyboard).
  • {play 26:04}Top Stories from the Category5.TV Newsroom.
  • {play 35:31}Resuming our Feature: Building a photo booth for a wedding on a shoestring budget.
    • Setting the camera settings in Cheese to its highest quality resolution. In our case, this is 1920x1080.
    • Setting up Cheese's "Burst mode" to take 4 photos in a row at 1 second intervals.
    • Enabling the Countdown and Flash effects on Cheese to enhance the overall appearance of our photo booth.
    • Switching Cheese to Burst mode to automatically take multiple photographs when someone pushes the button.
    • Triggering Cheese using the one-press USB Button, which we have programmed to work as a spacebar.
    • Viewer Comment: You could put a photo printer on-site as well to print keepsakes from your photo booth.
  • {play 43:00}Viewer Questions and Comments
  • Viewer Comment: In the past I had contacted you about installing Ubuntu on a Mac Mini. Now, I have Kubuntu running on my Mac Mini and it performs better than the native Mac OS. It even works with dual monitors. The only issue I've had is getting HDMI audio working.
  • Viewer Comment: Here is a picture of the Unity 2D dash running on XFCE.
  • Viewer Question: I have an event coming up which we'd like to record and stream live. I'm wondering if I can get good video from the stage since the stage is a bit far from where I'll be shooting. Anything I've tried with webcams hasn't worked well. Is there a way that I can get video from my HDMI cameras into the computer?
    • Yes, Visit cat5.tv/bh and search "blackmagic intensity pro".
    • Thoughts to ponder between webcams, consumer cameras, and optical zoom.
    • Try Telestream Wirecast to allow professional camera switching and recording to disk.
  • Viewer Question: How do I change the system language on Debian 6?
  • Try: wiki.debian.org/ChangeLanguage
  • Viewer Question: Is there a need to have an Antivirus program on Debian?
  • Viewer Question: Do you think Apple restricts people with their closed system?
  • {play 56:57}Prize Giveaway: netTALK Duo WiFi device, including a year of free telephone service and unlimited long distance calling.

Links to Relevant Web Sites:

  • Host: Robbie Ferguson
  • Co-Host: Abigail Page

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Robbie Ferguson

Don't worry if you find something broken... this is a work in progress.


Robbie Ferguson

I still need to fix several broken images and create more content... this is a huge undertaking! Enjoy!

Robbie Ferguson

User accounts are disabled for the moment as I work to implement more features into the new web site. Check back soon!

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