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Pixelstick light-painting tool zooms past Kickstarter goal

by Mark Tyson on 4 November 2013, 13:45

Tags: Kickstarter

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab4qv

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The first light-paintings, created by moving a light source in front of a camera shooting a long exposure, were created in 1889. Now a Kickstarter based project by Bitbanger Labs is hoping to utilise mass-produced modern technology to create new light painting art that goes far beyond any previous waving light source techniques (e.g. lit cigarette in a dark room) and possibilities. Please check out the impressive video embedded below.

The Pixelstick name perfectly describes the hardware. This 6ft long pixel-packing bar contains 198 colour assignable LEDs. The stick also contains a processor which reads images from a built-in SD card slot and outputs them one line at a time. Thus your images can be between 1 and 198 pixels wide but they can be as long as your motion takes you...

Powering the Pixelstick are 8 x AA batteries. To make the Pixelstick comfortably manoeuvrable it has a perpendicular mounted foam grip handle and can also rotate freely in a secondary aluminium sleeve. The matt black finish prevents the stick itself featuring in your light-painting. It is remote trigger compatible to open up further light-painting possibilities.

The Pixelstick Kickstarter project has really taken off; there’s 39 days to go yet the project has achieved backing of over $250,000. The initial goal was just $110,000. Fundraising proceeds will be used to cover manufacturing setup costs and creating the economies of scale necessary for the team to make some profit. It already looks certain the team’s wish to “change light painting forever,” will come true.

A Pixelstick kit is available to project backers for the price of $300. Add $60 to that for shipping outside of the US. First shipments of the kits are expected to go out in May 2014. I can imagine the HEXUS logo would look really good given the Pixelstick treatment.

HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Why the heck would anyone want this?
Have no use for this…kind of fun to have one though.
Oh, that is very cool.
I can't get my head around their method here. A major issue with ‘light painting’ is the alignment of things like text - yet they seem to have perfect alignment - despite only doing one column of pixels at a time? How did they manage to do that artwork with the avatars? I can't see how they were able to advance the pixelstick smoothly enough for it to come out anything like as well as that.

Anyway another issue for me is that they just looked photoshopped - and in fact I suspect it would be far easier for many of them to be done in photoshop. Whereas there was no photoshop in the good old days..
As a photographer myself I think this is brilliant and it's the single-handly most useful and versatile tool there is out there for light painting. It's done during a long exposure photograph, once the shutter is open you pass the devise along and the leds flicker on and off and change colour to paint out the image you want. It's all automatic and very simple. Obviously is takes practise to know what speed you are supposed to move at to get the image too look right but the speed is programmeable. None of those images would have happened first time, it would have taken practise and lots of trial and error.

In responce to miniyazz, I don't see your point - you say it would be easier to do in photoshop but in the good old days they didn't have it. The point of this is to NOT use photoshop and instead use a tool that goes back to the good old days of photograhic long exposures and light painting but give it a modern update. Using lights like these is by no means a new thing but its certainly the most advanced and easily used one. I think it's brilliant and I can't wait to get my hands on it!