Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display

This instructable was made for the January Build Night with Cool Neon.

Original idea was to make a display with a sense of movement. Trying to find some good inspiration, passed up on neon-animated movie posters, and ended up somehow at Eadward Muybridge's race horse photographs. Those were used to inspire the display, basically being two frames out of this this film.

Required parts:

  • Board to mount the display (cardboard works well)
  • See through sticky tape
  • Arduino (we've used Arduino Leonardo)
  • Cool Neon EL wire, a few of those
  • Cool Neon Arduino Shield
  • Power driver + AAA batteries
  • USB cable (to connect the Arduino) / Computer (Arduino programming)

    Step 1:

    Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display
    Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display
    Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display

    Take the original series of photographs, and pick two well distinguishable stages of the horse's run.

    According to the image, lay out the horse outline on the board, with the sticky tape holding it down. We started from the tail and finished up at the tail. The line leads then can be hidden under a cut in the board (threading them through to the backside of the board).

    Do the second layer similarly, but with an offset and trying to minimize overlapping regions. In those parts the front layer would hide the light of the back layer, resulting in appearant gaps in the outline.

    If you want, can add more than two frames, using more electroluminescent wires.

    Step 2: Light it up!

    Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display
    Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display
    Galloping Horse Electroluminescent Display

    When the wiring is done, use the Cool Neon Shield to power them.

    Have a small Arduino program to switch between the two frames: https://gist.github.com/imrehg/9064700

    Each of the layers are turned on in turns, with a suitable delay. 400ms delay seemed to be good speed that the horse doesn't look like "in fast forward", but not too "sleepy" either. The result is shown in the above animated GIF and a video taken.

    Enjoy!

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