Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by jordanuk, on 2007-07-09 11:10:21

Lamp Posts ,Street Lights

i was thinking to add more realism to my set i might want to create Lamp Posts ,Street Lights british style ones i have no idea how i could make them please help cheers

Posted by HHaase, on 2007-07-09 11:28:50

Since you have a definite style you want to go for, start at the beginning with research. Gather up photos or drawings of what you want to make, and go from there. Always start with figuring out the shapes you want to make first, and break it down into combinations of simple shapes that you can find laying around the house or make easily. Then, if you need a bunch of them, you only need to make one and then recast it in resin. -Hans

Posted by emmyymme, on 2007-07-09 18:17:19

I'm including streetlights in my set as well. Since they need to light up I'm *hopefully* using LED's as they reduce the heat issue regular bulbs create. I'm planning on using thin metal tubes, run the wires through them while they're straight, then bend them to the required angles - they're pretty stylized so it's not a huge bend. They'll have a hole in the bottom of the set to run into so I can secure the batteries on the bottom of the set; and will be building up around the metal with plaster or Sculpey, depending on the thickness and detail needed. They'll be individually made, as I'm building my street set to a forced perspective to increase the depth, so each one needs to be a bit smaller than the one in front.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-07-09 21:09:38

That's pretty much how I did a couple of practical streetlights in small scale. I stuck to 12 volts for all my little lamp globes so I could run them off the transformer that came with my low-voltage downlight. (batteries would slowly lose power.) The wire went down through the tube and under the set. An LED was ok for lighting up itself, but didn't throw much light on the set - for that I used a 20 watt halogen globe, which had to turn on and off every frame or itmelted the plastic shade. Or I cheated and used a pinspot off-camera to create a pool of light, but that was tricky avoiding the shadow of the lamp that was supposed to be casting the light. In Britain today there are wooden telegraph poles, simple modern metal light poles, or even old Victorian style cast iron lamp posts with moulded decoration if you are going for a Jack-the-Ripper London fog type scene with gaslights. Decide what you want. Is it a straight tube shape? That's easy - wooden dowell, pvc pipe, metal tube, lots of things. Is it tapered? Wood can be tapered with a belt sander. is it stepped (fit one tube inside a bigger one), or does it have rings that would need to be turned in a lathe? Does it need sculpted details? If so, if you need one you can sculpt it directly, if many you can sculpt in plasticine, make a mould, and cast them. Sometimes you can find an object which has the shapes you need, in the right size, for part of the lamppost. Cut off that bit and combine it with other things.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-07-10 02:28:01

Nick, I believe now there are LED lights that are a lot brighter than regular LEDs like you find in a radio dial. In fact I know there are - I have an LED headlight on my bike that almost blinded a friend a while back! I guess it's a newer technology. Bears looking into (I mean the technology - please don't look into an LED light!) :o Here's the first page that came up in a search for LED light: There are tiny little superbright 1 watt keychain lights powered by something like a watch battery I guess. Wonder if those could be wired through a transformer? Ok, another quick bout of searching (see how simple it can be Highton? :P - You too could have these amazing powers!! ;) - but then I doubt he'll read this, doubtless too many chores): A transformer that will convert FROM 120 or 240 household current TO 12 volt AC or DC! It's made to run these little puppies off of! And I've now seen some flashlight LED bulbs that look remarkably like miniature streetlight bulbs...... ...And here's the first DIMMABLE LED I've found: I keep seeing news items about the brand new dimmable LED transformers etc, but haven't been able to find anything for sale until now. This is getting exciting! Oh, and they're safe for underwater too. :9 Wow, just had another brief power outage.... how annoying is that! Electricity is a privilege, not a right! :+ Anyway, here's the best article I've found about LEDs for lighting:

Posted by HHaase, on 2007-07-10 11:03:09

One thing to remember with LED's is that they are a lot harder to photograph/film than incandescent bulbs many times. You need to really make sure to diffuse the light from them, or you're going to get some really screwy effects around the LED's themselves. It's especially a pain in with digital cameras. But as long as you area aware of it, they aren't hard to work into odd places. They light they project is usually in a cone shape, of varying amounts. So usually you will be fine as long as you point the LED away from the camera. It's only when you start taking photos/video of an LED that is both exposed and pointed at the camera that you have the issues. The super-brights, are exactly that. Very bright, almost too much for many uses. You can sometimes dim them down to a degree by using bigger resistors, or a variable resistor. The LED dimmer modules use pulse width modulation (PWM) to control their brightness. Best way to think of this method is that it makes them blink really, really, really fast to the point they look dimmer. -Hans

Posted by jordanuk, on 2007-07-11 05:30:35

wow this thread flew off lol! thanks guys anymore questions i will be sure to ask.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-07-12 02:02:41

Hey, good info Hans! It might still be easier to just use some good old fashioned grain-of-rice or grain-of-wheat bulbs wired to a regular transformer. Sounds like LEDs do give off heat (probably not nearly as much though) and would be a bit expensive, especially the transformer. Might want to Google "grain of rice bulbs" or maybe "wiring grain of rice bulbs" for info on how to do it. Anyway, a number of options. Maybe the best way would be to get a dollhouse wiring kit, like something from this page: [u][/u] And here, from the same site, they have 1" scale (one inch = one foot, otherwise known as 1/12 scale - should be a decent size I'd think) lamp posts etc, either pre-wired or that you can wire up using one of their kits: [u][/u] This is just the first site that came up when I did a search for "wiring miniature lights". You might want to look around some more, might be able to find a better buy elsewhere.

Posted by phapboy, on 2007-07-19 15:50:37

Hey there, I've built street lights using thin plastic tubing( the kind they use in fountains) with wire inside to bend it into shape, painting it black and using plastic odds and ends for the base and the street light "shade". that way, I could run the wires from the bulb through the tubing and under the set. hope this helps!, good luck, Phapboy. (PS, I would post pictures but my computer wont let me x( )