Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive

THE SMA ARCHIVE

ANIMATION DEPARTMENT

PUPPET MAKING

MINIATURES & SET BUILDING

SPECIAL FX

STOP-MOTION IN FILM

BULLETIN BOARD

MESSAGE BOARD HELP

THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE

STOP-MOTION SETS

Posted by tyflowers, on 2007-09-19 18:46:23

What's the best way to use small colored lights?

Hi, I'm in the process of making a robot town-ish stop motion short; I'm using old pressurized amplifier tubes as my characters, but I wanted to add small, color-coded lights to them that I can use to animate their dialogue. I figured the obvious way to go would be to use LEDs, but the little bit I looked into them made it seem like I would need to have capacitors and flowcharts and all manner of complicated gadgetry to implement them. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for small, cheap lights that I could somehow affix to my armatures, or whether the idea I have is just stupid and complicated and should be abandoned in favor of another method. I feel like if I try to add lights in After Effects or something the whole thing will look weird and awful. If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know. I'm extremely new at this. Additionally, if anybody else has attempted something like this before (miniature city made of junk parts), I would greatly appreciate any information about their experience, potential pitfalls, etc. Thanks so much. -Ty

Posted by Strider, on 2007-09-19 23:10:59

Look into dollhouse wiring kits. I'd stay away from the copper tape method and go with round wiring. Let me see if I can dig up a few links.... Here's a page that describes it pretty well: http://www.doll-house-miniature-club.com/doll-house-wiring.html More good stuff: http://www.ladollshouse.com/lighting-doll-houses.html And heres the basic round wire kit I seem to see everywhere: http://209.240.4.82/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=58&Product_ID=2340&CATID=10 I don't know if you need all the socket plugs and stuff, maybe it can all just be soldered together or even twisted and taped, oldschool style. But I haven't done it and I can't say. If you knew what you were doing you could probably just buy a transformer and some wire and a few bulbs and that's all you'd need, but I wouldn't know how to approach it. Possibly a more simple option would be a string of christmass tree lights, if you could use that.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-09-20 06:18:57

Guess I should add, clear lights can be colored with transparent paints or markers.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-09-20 19:19:07

Yes - look in craft shops for Stained Glass Paint, it's transparent. (It also works for reviving a faded tail-light on your car, you take off the plastic cover and paint it on the inside.)

Posted by tyflowers, on 2007-10-03 12:46:03

Wow, thanks so much. I hadn't heard of any of those methods. Everything sounds very, very promising. -Ty