Light painting photographer, Digital Light Wand Inventor, and all around genius Michael Ross a.k.a TxPilot has given yet another gift to the light painting community. Building off some upgrades made by Flickr handle is0-Mick, Mr. Ross has reinvented what is possible with this amazing light painting tool! Here’s whats new…
The new Digital Light Wand’s have up to 60 LED’s per meter as opposed to 32 on the old models and they have been upgraded with all the following menu items that can be manipulated in the field:
1 – File Selection
2 – Brightness setting
3 – Initial Delay time
4 – Frame Delay (how long each pixel frame is displayed)
5 – Dual Delay (adjustment for interlace offset, depends on the speed the wand is normally used)
6 – Left to Right or Right to Left
7 – Number of times to repeat the same file
8 – Repeat delay (delay between repeats)
9 – Push On/Off Mode (Push button to start, repeats until button is pushed again.) (Great for pattern repeats)
Check these sample images and keep reading below for even more details!
LPP ∇ Hey Mike I see you upgraded your Digital Light Wand, can you tell us whats new….
MR ∇ The Digital Light Wand has gone through some changes since the first one I created three and half years ago. There have been a few varying designs based on the original and each of them made the use of the tool in the field more convenient. The most recent changes incorporate some new LED strips that have been made available recently that feature a higher density of LEDs per meter and full color manipulation compared to the original Addressable LED strips. These new strips now have 52 and even 60 LEDs per meter compared to the 32 LEDs per meter of the original. The color range is also much easier to deal with from a programming standpoint and there are a full 2.1 million colors easily available in these new strips.
LPP ∇ Sounds awesome what inspired the upgrade?
MR ∇ A guy that goes by the name of iso-mick on flickr changed the original design a while back and incorporated an SD card along with an LCD display so that several BMP files could be stored and played back on demand while in the field without having to reprogram the strip between each use! So taking iso-mick’s work, I have made some changes to the programming code to allow two of the higher density LED strips to be placed side by side with an offset to gain a greater resolution in the final image. Without getting into the technical challenges that this represents in making this work for a variety of light painters, I made some further changes to the programming code to allow for making fine tuned adjustments in the field. There are several variables that can occur such as how fast the wand is moved during the creation of a light painting photo. There are also other variables involved such as the preference of moving the wand from right to left instead of from left to right and of course just dealing with different levels of ambient lighting. Once a light painter is comfortable with specific settings on the new version of the Digital Light Wand, they can choose those defaults and only make minor adjustments between uses.
LPP ∇ Whats up with the software does it work with for us Mac users too?
MR ∇ There are versions of the Arduino software for Windows, MAC, and Linux so as long as you can format an SD card to the proper format and create 24-Bit BMP files of the images you want use, then you should be good to go!
I have the Arduino code ready to download on my website along with detailed wiring diagram, parts lists, and basic assembly instructions. And if you run into any issues, just post a question on the blog. There are plenty of others willing to help out with it!
LPP ∇ Awesome work Mr. Ross, Thank you for sharing!