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Fings Singing Faces

Discussion in 'Corrugated Plastic (Coro) & 3D Printing' started by Fing, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Hi Everyone,
    I'd like to share a bit of a story on my coro singing faces, that I made for my 2015 display. I'll add to this thread as I get the opportunity.


    Firstly, my designs "borrow heavily" from the previous work done by Loganc99 and Baf05, who both deserve the credit ( or is that blame) for putting me down this path.


    their posts can be found here http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,5860.30.html and http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,7588.msg69205.html#msg69205


    Thanks for the inspiration gents and for sharing your ideas.


    I made 4 elements, a star (patrick*) a reindeer ( Bruno*/Rudolph) and two trees as well as a tune to sign which was a late addition. There are programmed in Xlights.


    They have moving mouths and eyes and the trees have rotating bows in their hair to indicate male/female vocals. these kinda look like a dalek's eye stalk.


    They are mounted to a frame of 20mm gal RHS and fixed to the roof using stainless solar panel mounts which I got from a liquidator on ebay. the power supply and pixlite 4 controller is mounted in a box behind the frame.


    to start things off here is a short video of them in action singing uptown funk, sorry but the sound is woeful. You'll notice Patricks hat is on fire as he's so hot, his colour and hat matches the colour of Bruno Mars in the film clip. this was just me being funny, but I was surprised by the number of kids who picked up on it. And I was surprised by the number of kids who understood why he is called patrick..


    more to come
    Cheers
    Fing

    https://vimeo.com/154033154



    [attachimg=1]
     

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  2. Boomer#6

    Boomer#6 No magic smoke yet!!

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    Absolutely awesome Fing!!!
    Very interested in your build details/photos as your depth of colour really makes them POP :D
     
  3. DrNeutron

    DrNeutron Just starting in this crazy hobby

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    Great job!
    They look absolutely great!
    :)
     
  4. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    Awesome take on animated faces. I've tuned my radio but still can't hear the soundtrack :D
     
  5. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    They look great! Love the extra elements you've got in the faces to add even more animation like the moving eyes and the rotating bows in the heads. Fantastic job!!
     
  6. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    They look awesome and would have been a big treat for those that came to see your display, but looks like they are lip synching without the music ;) :D
     
  7. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    These look great, well done!
    <wonders how to incorporate into own display...>
     
  8. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Nice work Fing. Glad I pestered you for a thread.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Thanks everyone for your kind words.


    Part 2:


    Pictures are worth a thousand words, so i'll post some photos with some comments as I go, please ask for further details if I leave anything out. i have the designs available if anyone wants them, please ask.


    Firstly I created some designed from images I found on the web, except for the trees which are based on Baf05's work. I projected these onto a sheet of 5mm coro ( Bunnings) and traced and cut them out. I used a hobby scalpel which worked best for me.

    Bruno 1.jpg


    I then cut strips of coro 50mm wide with the ribs running on the short side ( up and down not long ways).
    these strips were cut to length and hot glued to the outline of the face. You can bend coro by cutting through one side between the ribs.


    I used pixel node thingy's I got from Ben Brown/Scott Led http://scottled.en.alibaba.com/prod...20pcs_string_DC12V_input_Waterproof_IP66.html


    here they are getting a pre-install cat scan from my apprentice. they come with a bit of double sided tape which is all I used to attach them.

    Cat scan.jpg



    After the external walls were on I fixed the nodes into place. there is a few tricks to this, firstly try to arrange them so they are evenly spaced and consistent across the model. secondly try to keep the sections of the model together.


    With my first one I arranged the nodes to suit their cabling so as to reduce the need for soldering and joining. This came back to bite me when I programmed them. XLights handled it ok but it was just an extra degree of difficulty I didn't need. Also try to keep the node layout consistent across all your models. for example all my eyes are in the same order. this makes programming easier. The same goes for the mouth.


    Here is Bruno with the nodes attached before they are wired up.


    Bruno 2.jpg


    Next make the connections, bit of a pain as it can be a bit cramped in places. I injected power at about every 20 nodes, depending where there was a join or where the location was convenient, also the power in and out was looped together.
    Patrick has 80 nodes, Bruno 100, and the trees used 76.


    After the connections were done they were test run.


    then I tidied up the cables by pushing them to the coro and some were glued down with hot glue. This was to reduce the shadows that they could cause.


    Then the internal walls were added, with cut outs to accommodate the wires. this took a lot longer than I thought. I used 5mm coro for the internal walls, but looking back next time i might try it with 3mm as I don't like the shadows the 5mm generated.


    Here's a photo of patrick showing his internal walls and node layout. it's a good idea to number the nodes and take photo for reference when programming.

    Patrick naked.jpg



    Here is a photo of the tune to sign using 3mm internal walls. this was made in a hurry as my daughter declared having " tune to" details in the mega tree was not good enough. in this model I painted the internal walls black to reduce light spill. For a throw together it worked well.

    Tune 2 sign.jpg



    cheers
    Fing
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Part 3.


    After the internal walls were added I then cut out the 3mm coro for the front by putting the face on it and tracing around with a piece of coro as a spacer to give me a 5mm edge. This needs to be done last, and by using the face for a template as the walls will not be square and the front is a different shape to the back. If you try to cut the front out by using the projection or even using the rear as a template, it will not work. ( ask me how i know LOL )


    this front was then attach to the model with transparent silicone on the outside walls as i wanted it to be both waterproof and removable.


    I glued some slotted angle steel on to the back for mounting the face to the frame ( this was fiddly to get them all to line up). I used ultra fast liquid nails which hasn't lasted the distance, it didn't like sticking to the coro. I'll have to use something better next time. They do make an outdoor version which I will probably try.


    I painted the outside rear and sides with el'cheapo mat black spray paint, purely for cosmetics, as it also doesn't like sticking to the coro and scratches easily.


    I also used the slotted steel for the roof mounts. This is avail from Bunnings http://www.bunnings.com.au/angle-slotted-black-enamel-rcr-32x32x1-5mm-2-4m-13504_p1090854


    It's dearer than it should be, but is really handy, especially when you're on the roof trying to line up bolt holes.


    Here's a photo showing the rear of the faces and the controller box, which has the bunnings special water tank overflow air vents . it worked well with the internal temps staying below/around 40 oC even though it's on a tile roof in a black steel box, in summer .


    You can also see some extra slotted angle on Bruno's Antlers. this is purely for support as they wobbled a bit too much for my liking.

    [attachimg=1]


    Cheers
    Fing
     

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  11. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Yeah, thanx for that Alan lol :p
     
  12. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Great info Fing.
    I also laid out the pixels to cut down on soldering etc which did make the programming setup a bit of a brain twister. But at least in xlights you can amalgamate various parts of the head into model groups to make things easier. Once all setup, I have found programming the actual mouth movements to the music quicker and quicker each time I do one (although my wife says I look a little odd sitting in front of the computer with my headphones on, making odd mouth movements but making no sound).
    One point about attaching the rectangular pixels to the coro, - now yours might have better stickies on the back than mine but I opted for hot gluing them on,only because I previously had made some stars and bells with the dumb rectagular nodes and whilst they seemed to hold nicely the first year using only the sticky backing, I had several come unstuck the next year which meant opening up the stars and bells and hot gluing them down back down again which was a bit of a pain - just something to keep and eye out for.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Thanks for the heads up Logan, I did wonder about that. I have to give them all a once over as they have a few problems ( the topic of another post, ha ) so i'll check the mounts then. Although I did put one in the wrong spot and it nearly needed a crowbar to get it off..lol but it will be interesting to see what 6 weeks in the sun and rain does.


    I like the way I can program them in XLights. As you said, the trick I discovered is to make them multiple models not just one big model. Bruno is made up of 11 models. this is the subject of another post once I work out how to explain it properly.


    One trick I used, was to define some models as faces , the mouth, eyes, bows, tune to sign etc this allowed me to create predefined light states which I labelled with the phomene mouth shapes e.g., Al, etc, FV and so on. so to make them look right say, I just applied the faces effect to the eyes and used MBP Phoneme. does this make sense? I hope to explain it better with some screen shots in my next post. i also think this undocumented feature could be expanded in the Xlights toolbox to make it easier for others. i hope to contact Sean M with my ideas, but knowing my luck he already knows about it and it's in the next release. :-\ I'm always the last to know lol


    Cheers
    Fing
     
  14. Babybear

    Babybear New Elf

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    Great singing faces......
    Any pix or drawings would be helpful as Im going to start this week to make them. just finish up my candles and snowflakes.
     
  15. smeighan

    smeighan Dedicated Elf

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    Fing; nice job! Dan kulp Created the papagayo stuff, i am posting this thread to the developers.
     

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