I got the glow in the dark pigments in near the end of last week and have been experimenting with them a bit. As I expected, they don’t glow nearly as strongly as the glowsticks did, which has unfortunately made photographing
them difficult. I plan to use a much higher pigment/binder ratio going forward, which will hopefully make them brighter, but for now there’s going to be a little bit of faith involved when I tell you they do visibly glow in a dark room, just not bright enough for my phone camera to pick it up most of the time.
I ordered a canvas today that will be the canvas for my final project. Until it gets here, I will be continuing to experiment with how to get the best glow out of the pigments. Based on my experiments this week, my best bet will be to paint the entire picture in acrylic (using pastel colors as much as possible in the areas I want to glow), letting it dry, and then going over it with several layers of the glow in the dark paint.
The hardest parts of this project will be to get the glow bright enough and clear enough to make it obvious what the shapes are, and getting the painting underneath to look right. I am at best a mediocre painter, which I didn’t quite think through when picking this project, so I also used this week to experiment with the colours of the under-painting. It was a difficult adjustment for me mentally to get used to the idea that in order to make it look like a night scene, literally everything is blue/green, even the things that re actually orange or brown. As a result I have some really weird greens in my practice paintings for this week, and I will probably still have some weird greens in the final painting, but hey, it’s a monster. It can be a weird shade of green if it wants to be.
Next up for me is to continue experimenting with higher pigment concentrations to get a clear glow from the paints, and as soon as I get the canvas in, getting the sketch and the basic shapes and colours painted in. Then all that will be left on the project itself would be lots of coats of glow paint, and cleaning up the painting details to the best of my ability.
So as commented I have create a small scale version of my project. For this small piece I used variable aluminum, steel, and copper pieces to create a unique shape. The goal was to figure out how the metals interact with light.
I used multiple angles to get different ideas. I really enjoyed all of them, but I think that my favorite is definitely the light projection that the piece makes. I took note of the green hue that was being projected and concluded that the color was from my green rug.
I will be experimenting with some glass shards as well as the position of the light source this week. Look forward to hearing back!
Last week I assembled a little lego cage (not exactly how the final platforms will look like) around my light setup to see how it looked, and these were the results:
In a lite room
In dark room
And here is a video of how it looks at different brightness:
Overall I think it looks good at max brightness, which makes me think I will just focus on changing the light’s colors and not brightness AND color. Which as of recently I can now do as I got my hands on some RGB LEDs similar to the colored one I have in my current setup.
For this week I hope to get much more done with these new lights. First I will change the light with one of the RGB lights and get it to change colors with force instead of brightness. Then I will finally get to building the lego structure with the three platforms, where I hope to get AT LEAST one of the platforms functionally changing color with force by the end of the week. This leaves next week (our final week I believe) for me to get the other two platforms functional and resolve any final issues before our final presentation day.
I have decided try to work with permanent glow pigments. I spent part of this week brainstorming: I was having trouble decided what I wanted the picture to be about. In the end I decided on a ‘monster under the bed’ picture, that becomes just toys under the bed in the dark. Here is a sketch I did.
The glow in the dark pigment is, of course, still visible in the light, so I will work the teddy bear’s face into the shading and features of the monster’s face, but only the teddy bear and other toys will appear in the dark.
I ordered a binder from Amazon and that arrived in the mail early this week, but unfortunately the pigments did not come in until late Wednesday. I didn’t get the chance to pick them up from the mail room, which wasn’t running today because of the blizzard, so I haven’t been able to make as much progress as I would like. After I get the glow in the dark pigments, I need to experiment with mixing and storing them as paint. Then I can do color tests with them on my sketch.
I will be working this week on color tests and further planning using this sketch before I consider moving to canvas (which I will also have to order from Amazon, as the art store CC Lowell appeared to be closed when I visited). I expect there will also be a learning curve with mixing pigments into the acrylic binder, which I will be practicing this week as well.
For this week I had a pretty bad sinus infection, so I was out for the count for most of the week. I was unable to physically work on my art piece, but I started to think about what I wanted to do with the other pieces. I really like working with suitcases because I like the idea of them and how “easy” they are to carve. I started to think about the story of suitcases and how those have been all over the world. I;ve always loved airports because people are going somewhere for a reason and I always want to know where people are going and why they are going there. Sometimes it’s not a happy reason and sometimes it’s an extremely exciting reason.
Looking at the suitcase that I have from savers, I was wondering about where it had been and why it went those places. It’s pretty beat up so I know that it was used a decent amount. From this thought process, I decided to stick with suitcases and carving those to tell their stories. I am going to get some hard-shell cases and try to tell some of their stories. One will be more sad, one will be happy, and other ones that I have not determined yet.
I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to start to putting together the images that will be carved into the suitcases and think about the stories that they are going to be telling. My next step for this week is to finish carving my current suitcase and then get some more hard-shell cases. Once I get two or three more, I will start to put together what I want to carve into it.
Most of my time has been spent on researching items to order. For the most part, most of my visions haven’t changed, so my plans for the guitar include a single LED strip running the length of the guitar and around the body, an acrylic panel to replace the pickguard, and a small number of LEDs beneath the panel.
The one aspect I may not implement is EL Wire outlines. I’m hesitant to place wire that’s going to be placed along features that may be adjusted in the future.
On the other hand, since my brother and I had already done some research, I have some new guitar parts ordered, most of them colored black.
Over the next week, I’ll be figuring out how much LEDs I should be ordering and mapping out the pickguard shape so I can laser-cut a new one out of acrylic. I’ll also be spray painting one or two parts that aren’t changing on the guitar.
This is a little late as I have been sick all week and forgot to post it last class-
I have been working on my art piece the past week and decided to go with a “carved object” style art piece. I took a trip to Savers to see if I could find any inspiration and I found it very helpful. Walking through the aisles I had an idea of what I maybe wanted to do, but I knew that it would be heavily influenced by the objects that I could find. I found some really cool objects that I knew I could put lights inside and light up if I found a way to carve them. I wasn’t super worried about the carving aspect and figured I could find some way to puncture the object to make light come through it.
Some of the objects that I found include a suitcase, a wooden prayer stool, a big metal pot, and tv/radio thing. I was really drawn to the suitcase because I knew I would be able to light it up and I thought the material would be easy to carve. I also knew I could carve travel type things into it and it would be appropriate for the suitcase.
I went to Home Depot and bought a Dremel to carve things and decided to get the wireless “micro” one that is better for engraving and working with smaller lines. I am glad that I got this one because it is easier to use, but the wireless is a pain when I have to charge it so often. I need to make sure to be on top of getting it done and not waiting until the last minute because with the time taken in for charging, it could take a long time if I was rushed.
I decided to carve the world map into the suitcase and add some iconic sights around the world. I used transfer paper that I normally use for pumpkin carving and printed off pictures from online to trace onto the suitcase. It was a little bit of a learning curve to carve the suitcase because I found that it was a balance between melting the suitcase with the dremel and cutting away at the material. It gets pretty easy after a while and I was able to get a good chunk of the suitcase done.
I am not sure what I am going to do for the other pieces yet- I have some odd items that I could carve but I want to be sure it’s safe and will look good.
I am going to spend this week figuring out what I will do for the other pieces.
SO! After playing around with how the sun moves (and how sundials work), I have once again been confronted with the fact that what I’m currently doing will not work! 😀
So, basically, after trying a couple of models and reading several online documents about sundials, I realized that there is no physical way that I can take the shape that I currently have and use the shadows to create different shapes depending on the sun’s position.
So yeah. Since the sun moves in a VERTICAL circle instead of a HORIZONTAL circle (which is a revelation I made last week), the number of shapes I have to work with to achieve my result have been drastically lessened.
So I dug a little bit, and I decided to look into that 3D printed digital sundial to see how that works.
The simple answer: A lot of math that I probably don’t have time for.
Which gave me another idea. What if instead of trying to create the figures through the idea of using their silhouettes as POSITIVE space, what if I created holes in the figure in order to use the silhouettes as the NEGATIVE space of the image.
Here’s a brief example of my thought process
Basically, I want to have the entry points of the holes be towards the top to catch some of the rays there, but have those holes go through the whole figure. This will cause the light to create a shape WITHIN the shadow.
So I think this is a cool direction to move in with this project, I’m just not sure how I should go about making models that I could iterate upon. I could use Maya. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to go about this, but it’s definitely an option. Modeling a shape like this out of clay would be very difficult, so I probably won’t use modelling clay from here out. If you have any route suggestions please let me know.
The concept of my project is the same, “Something can be made from nothing.” However, the materials involved in my project now are very different.
So I actually have come up with a new idea for my light art project. I came up with this new idea when I was machining a mold for my MQP project. My MQP is to design an RC aircraft from scratch and we are making the entire aircraft out of composites this year so we have been doing a lot of mold machining. While I was in the lab I noticed the other machining tools that were being used and what they were making with them and thought it would be really cool if I could make something using those tools. I can now work in the shop and beginning with my new project.
I will be experimenting with the various types of metals and plastics, along with their sizing to see how the light reacts with them. I think that I am aiming to put together a single object with a single light source. I will also be playing around with the light source and how the object is oriented. Whether I will be using a small led or a larger light and how the object will be mounted and if it will spin/rotate. I want to make something naturally pretty.
I am very excited for this new idea. Below is a sample of an aluminum piece that I made (one of many).
Last week I got all the parts I needed to test out my force sensor and learned how to get it to work with a colored LED light. It is setup so that the more force that one puts on the sensor the more bright the light gets (these lights I had on me were just basic colored ones, so I couldn’t play with changing colors yet). Here are some images and a video:
light on with force
no force no light (for my project, I will likely have some default light color/brightness however).
link to short video, since pictures make it hard to show the brightness changing: https://youtu.be/EgSDkfKE3JI
For this week, I will try to focus on what lights I will be getting (such that I can change their color and could be placed under the lego platforms) and working on changing colors based on weights. If I complete this early I will try “testing” the lights with my prototype from last week to see how I can attach said lights to the platform in the best/most interesting looking way.
I welcome any suggestions in regards to the type of light(s) that would work best for this project.