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Zur deutschsprachigen Version dieser Seite
Year 2004-2011
Architecture all
Operating System all
Hardware requirements -
Software requirements -
Source Code Size 170kB
Memory requirements -
Language Java
License GNU public license
Contact person Stefan Schürmans
Miscellaneous -
English Version of this Page

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Blimp: Blinkenlights Interactive Movie Program

Blimp is a program for creation of Blinkenlights movies. It supports all projects, because the resolution is configurable.

Among others, there are the following functions:

  • Opening and Saving in different Formats: DateiformateEnglish
  • Drawing the movies by hand
  • Import of single frames from different graphic formats
  • Copy and move single frames
  • ...

Blimp (run in browser)

Blimp (download)

Blimp (BlinkenArea GIT)

Blinkenlights Interactive Movie Program


  • Scrolling text without the empty space at top and bottom:
    • "Resize Movie" to larger height (e.g. 12 instead of 8 pixels, i.e. 18x12-1/256)
    • generate scrolling text
    • "Resize Movie" to original height (e.g. back to 18x8-1/256)

Serial Stream Output

Blimp can output the blinkenmovie as an MCUF stream directly to a serial port, e.g. for display on a BlinkenPlus project. The stream will always output the same frame that is visible on the monitor, so changes to a frame become immediately visible on the connected project while drawing.

  1. Only in windows: set the baud rate first. Assuming you want to use COM3 with 115200 baud, type the command
    mode COM3 115200,n,8,1
    into the console (cmd.exe) and press enter (screenshot).
  2. Set the correct frame size in Blimp ("Edit" -> "Resize Movie" -> "user defined format ..."):
    • In general: Width x Height - Channels / Grayscales (when using more than one channel, i.e. a multicolour project, "grayscales" refers to the number of brightness levels per color channel).
    • For monochrome 144 pixel projects with 8 grayscales: 18x8-1/8
    • For coloured 144 pixel projects with 8 brightness levels per colour: 18x8-3/8
    • For monochrome 520 pixel projects with 8 grayscales: 26x20-1/8
    • For coloured 520 pixel projects with 8 brightness levels per colour: 26x20-3/8
  3. Start streaming output in Blimp: "Output" -> "MCUF File/Device" and type the name of the serial port (e.g. COM3 or /dev/ttyUSB0).
  4. Only in Linux: Set the baud rate now (always after starting streaming output). Assuming you want to use /dev/ttyUSB0 with 115200 baud:
    stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 115200 raw -echo
    This setting has to be repeated if the streaming output is ever disabled and re-enabled.
  5. Start playback of the blinkenmovie ("Play" -> "Start" or F11) or just draw something, the changes will immediately appear on the connected project.
    • To play a movie in an endless loop, check "Play" -> "Looped" before starting playback.