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Barnabybear
09-24-2016, 06:04 AM
Hi all, I want to use the frames around my upstairs windows as eyes for Halloween and just add a few extra lights for pupils. I only have the 4 sides (no centre bar) so when they close / blink I will have to just use the top or bottom string. I’m sure I read once up on a time that it’s the bottom string that should be used in this case, can anyone confirm that please. I’m thinking of adding 3 pupils, all will look slightly down, but forward, left and right. If I get time I might try to work something so they follow people as they walk past.
If you have any video of just 4 sides being used as eyes and can link it that would be great.
Thanks.

drm1963
09-24-2016, 07:54 AM
What are you building your frames out of or are you just hanging the lights around the window frames?

If you are building a frame then I would just build it in the form of a 7 segment display and give yourself a middle position for the eyes. Being a window on the house it should work out fine but it will also depend on what type of lights you will be utilizing as well. With it built on a frame it would be easier to install as well as remove for storage each year. Just build the frames out of PVC pipe. Easy to hang and remove, easy to store

Standard string lights will require 3 channels to control an:
Open Eye 2 Channels - top and bottom
Mid Position 2 channels - Middle and Bottom
Fully closed eye - 1 channel Bottom

Now if you use a Pixel LED string you could do it with just one cable going to the window and control each pixel individually and use it for other effects other than just an opening and closing eye.

GO view the Johnson Family Christmas light show on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90oZ52M4IC0) and you can watch some of the effects beside his larger window matrix to the left and right of the front doors

33716

These are just some of the things you could crate with a 7 seg pattern. 33717

and if you utilized a more elaborate pattern there is alot more that could be accomplished 33718


Last but not least here is a Dropbox video of a 7 segment I built earlier, out of 2 Pixel LED strings for a total of 98 LED Pixels. 2 Strings of 50 pixels (minus 2) each small section has 14 pixels each. I was just demoing it after I put it together and did the final dressup later ( actually still working on it to implement more effects, but aren't we all) Dropbox video of my 7 segment trial (https://www.dropbox.com/s/cajhf6mfuorxva0/IMG_3571.m4v?dl=0)

Barnabybear
09-30-2016, 05:47 PM
Hi, thanks drm. I've 3d printed the frames - they have 3 strips on the vertical. Forward as you would expect - out to colour wash the wall away from the window and inward to light the back of a white blackout blind in the window. I don't have enough strip or channels to do the 7th segment, but a good idea for next year. Anyway I spent some time googling and it appears the main references are from the animation guys.
It is recommended that a blink occurs every 2 1/2 seconds, but ideally timed with some event - to break up silence - to emphasise speech – to denote a change of focus i.e. when events occur in other parts of the show.
With regard to the other part of the question – apparently in real life the bottom eyelid never moves and all the movement is in the top lid, so even if I had the 7th segment in the middle the top should close to the middle and then to the bottom, which is good news as I don’t have a middle. As for the timing 2 frames to close, stay closed for 1 frame and 3 frames to open which I’m not going to be able to do with my kit.
I suppose if you have pixels around the window you could time the close and open with the speed of the vertical.