LED colour and intensity

In a previous post I showed the process of digitising and embroidering my first colour zoetrope disc. The primary animation featured on this particular disc is of an elderly man hobbling along with a walking stick; the content of which alludes to the style of traditional cartoons. I also chose to colour the character to reinforce this association.

When I ran my first test on the turntable, it soon became clear that the blue LEDs, which I had been using to strobe my previous animations, drowned out most of the colour and made the character and his actions much less defined.

The strobing LEDs are out of sync with the framerate of the camera which is why the video seems to ‘sweep’ from top to bottom.

The only other LEDs I had available to me were red and green, and after testing the animation with those options, I started to worry that perhaps coloured embroidery was not going to be as discernible as I had anticipated, no matter the colour.

Luckily I found solace when I tried taking a photo of the animation in motion and the flash of my camera accidentally fired. The cool, white light of the flash lit up all the variations in colour that the coloured LEDs managed to drown out, and gave me confidence that using cool, white LEDs would give me the same effect.

The following day I took a trip out to JayCar and purchased some white LEDs to test and as you can see, all the colours used in the animation are much more discernible:

There are few new issues that have now become apparent; namely that the burgundy thread used for the shoes and the walking stick is too dark to be seen, but I am much happier with the overall result and am excited to continue designing and testing new animations with the white LEDs.