Light painting as a form of artistic expression is nothing new — its been used in commercials, stop-motion movies and far too many Facebook cover pictures to bother keeping count.
Yet, no one has really bothered going further than waving a cellphone or a sparkler around to create more than a simple glowing "Hello," leaving light painting an unrefined artistic medium. But with the invention of a unique LED-powered stick and Kickstarter-funded magic, light painting finally gets a well-deserved upgrade.
Using the long exposure mode of any camera and a bit of creativity, Pixelstick allows users to create free-floating art, anywhere they desire. The matte-black colored, lightweight aluminum "stick" contains 198 full-color RGB LEDs and a small SD card reader, fashioned from an ARM microcontroller. The reader can translate each line of an image into a command for a corresponding LED, one pixel at a time. Pixelstick is powered by eight AA batteries, which has lasted through a "long night's shooting" for the creators.
By combining movement, predetermined exposure time and optional image editing, the resulting image can be up to 198 pixels tall and thousands of pixels wide, depending on your preference. An attached handle allows the user to spin and maneuver the stick for a variety of images, from an abstract light creation to a customized full-color floating portrait. Animated images can also be created with the included "Smart Sequence" function by overlaying multiple images over different exposures for interesting mini-movies.
The successfully Kickstarted Pixelstick has an expected ship date of May 2014 and is currently going for $300. Now, I can finally realize my dream of filming 8-bit Mario walking through Central Park!