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Need help developing lighting for mau5head

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paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
Posts: 10


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Post Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:19 pm

For starters, if you didn't already know, THIS is a mau5head:

User posted image

I'm trying to develop a lighting design on the back of the head that looks like the Ultra Music Festival symbol. I'm sure I can draw it on and cut it out without too much issue, but I haven't a clue how to get the look I want. I want the symbol to light up a mottled blue and purple, like last year's poster design (shown inset on the picture below).

Any ideas on how to pull this off? I'm not sold specifically on a recessed or sticking-out design, I think either would work. I just don't know where to start.

User posted image
mau5head v3 idea by Paul Puppet, on Flickr
Aken

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 10885


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Post Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:11 pm

You could cut the symbol, put some sort of frosted glass type look into it, and then light it via individual LEDs or strips from either side.

Only bummer is there is no purple LED, so you'd either have to mix red/blue or use pink (which is more of a magenta).
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:56 pm

wolf36

Joined: Feb 26 2010
Posts: 96
Location: San Bernardino, CA


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Post Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:26 pm

Is this going to be a small model, or you actually putting this head on?

Probably recessed would be easiest, i did something similar, cut out the design, and used a thin piece of plexi from home depot and it curved nicely, sprayed the inside with glass frosting, and you could probably use a blue, pink and UV, LED.

Should look sik.
paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:32 am

Thanks for all the replies!

Yes, this is a full-sized head that I'll be wearing to concerts. The diameter of the head is 14".

Recessed I thought would be a whole lot easier, but I'm worried about getting the three-dimensional curve on whatever piece of Plexiglas I have on the inside (and keeping it, not cracking off the frosting by bending it, etc) since I'd have to assemble this after putting black fabric on the ball.

Using the itty-bitty SMDs occurred to me (using them around the edges with some kind of reflective backing to scatter the light), but they seem like they'd be a huge nuisance to hook up, unless there was a bracket or something to hold them in place. Something like an SMD strip, but with the SMDs placed very, very close together and where I could select the colors.
bad venge

Joined: Jul 28 2007
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:38 am

If you use Plexi then route out the shape then sand the edges then light it from the center (head) I'd drill in the 4 chip LED's to the center then let them shine outward

Or you can do a large circle of plexi and route the fingers and sand them
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:22 am

bad venge wrote:
If you use Plexi then route out the shape then sand the edges then light it from the center (head) I'd drill in the 4 chip LED's to the center then let them shine outward

Or you can do a large circle of plexi and route the fingers and sand them


lot of work on a guy that looks as small as the palm of my hand. hahah but good ideas to all.
bad venge

Joined: Jul 28 2007
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:53 am

He's making it full size to wear to concerts icon_wink.gif
paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:14 am

You think I should make the plexiglas insert exactly the same size as the cutout, not use a sheet along the back of it? I thought that a sheet along the back would look waaay cleaner. I suppose when the supplies arrive I'll be trying everything, lol.

Also, any insight into how to make the stencil to cut the design out? If I just lay it over the spherical surface, the design will get all warped-looking from behind. I want it to look straight as you're looking at it, if that makes sense.
bad venge

Joined: Jul 28 2007
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:35 am

I would mount the plexi behind the ears and cut the lines radiating outward
paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:56 am

Hmm???


Oh, and WAIT... You have an '05 MINI? I have an '05 MINI!

User posted image
Paul-Mag-Ad by Paul Puppet, on Flickr
wolf36

Joined: Feb 26 2010
Posts: 96
Location: San Bernardino, CA


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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:23 pm

lexan brand plexi glass can be shaped. probably put it over a round object and go to work with a heat gun and it will slowly melt to shape.
bad venge

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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:26 pm

I'm not understanding I thought you wanted this to extend around the head halo like around the ears
paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:27 pm

wolf36 wrote:
lexan brand plexi glass can be shaped. probably put it over a round object and go to work with a heat gun and it will slowly melt to shape.


Awesome! It stays clear while bending to shape? If so, I'll just make a mold of the curve out of something moldable and heat resistant (molding clay, plaster of paris, idk...) and heat the Lexan in the mold. OR better yet... pour a mold material INSIDE the sphere and get the exact radius to shape from.
paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:30 pm

bad venge wrote:
I'm not understanding I thought you wanted this to extend around the head halo like around the ears


nope, I want to cut the symbol out of the back of the helmet, put a piece of frosted Lexan behind it (inside the helmet itself), and light it with blue/purple/pink LEDs from behind, probably in a little chrome enclosure. I want it to look from the back exactly like the mock-up picture that I made, except instead of being orange, I want it to be blue/purple/pink, kind of like the picture beside it.
wolf36

Joined: Feb 26 2010
Posts: 96
Location: San Bernardino, CA


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Post Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:39 pm

Seems like it should stay clear, just go easy with the heat, just like any other plastic enough heat and it will melt, too much heat and it may turn yellow.

Also you should have plenty of room to use some regular 5mm LEDs, use blue on one side, uv in the middle and pink on the other side. mount them on the outer edges of the plexi and it should light the plexi evenly and blend the colors nicely. Oh for the best spread of light cut the round tip off the 5mm LED, or you could use the superflux if you wanted it really bright.

Are the eyes and mouth going to light up to?
paulharmo

Joined: Aug 29 2011
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Post Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:41 am

Lots of thinking out loud here, sorry... :roll:

The mouth and the the whole head (ears and ball) will have EL wire lighting outlining them, driven by 1 9v or 12v inverter. I still haven't decided which voltage I want to run, or where I want to put the inverter/battery pack (either in a backpack or in the helmet itself). So far I'm thinking of having LEDs lighting up the eyes (blue) and the ULTRA symbol (blue/pink, doing away with the UVs. The pink is purple enough). Other designs may surface, but that's it for now.

I was going to make a little box out of Lexan and coat the inside of it with a chrome spraypaint. This way, the light won't reflect around in the shiny white inside of the ball, leaking out other places and potentially blinding me, and it will give the light a place to reflect off of from the back, thus wasting less light. The chrome box was the reason that I thought to frost the glass, but maybe it's a better idea to leave it clear and see the chrome during the daylight hours. I don't think I'll know until the mock-up is complete.

Going easy with the heat would probably mean a heat gun on low, versus a blowtorch, ya?
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