Instructables

DIY PIXAR: Luxo Jr. Lamp

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Hey Instructabrarians!

If many of you didn't know, last week was August 17th and the anniversary of a very momentous, historic occasion that inevitably revolutionized animation and redefined the outlook on computer science. It was on August 17th, in 1986, that a small Bay Area computer graphics company led by Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith, Bill Reeves, Tom Duff, Eben Ostby, Rob Cook, Loren Carpenter, and John Lasseter released an animated short film at SIGGRAPH which was instantly heralded as a modern day masterpiece. Well today, I'm paying honor to this film's 24th Birthday and presenting an Instructable to one of my most popular and requested PIXAR Builds.  This is how to make PIXAR's most iconic character, Luxo Jr.

Editor's Note: This instructable was meant to be posted on Tuesday, on August 17, but due to schedule constraints it was posted at a later date.
 
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Step 1: Abstract

Just a bit of an introduction to my homemade Luxo here.  I created him a year ago when I was just about to head off to college at UBC.  I really wanted an awesome lamp that I could take with me, keep in my dorm, and keep my motivated while I was studying late at night.   It was a summer project I had been formulating since June 29, and I had done a lot of scaling down from images I found online to build him. The entire build time, however, was 4 days (the fastest I've ever built something like this).  He's life- sized and roughly 1/30th the dimensions of the giant Luxo Jr. statue currently residing at Pixar Animation Studios, of which I based it on.  


Porda2 months ago

I've wanted my own Luxo Jr. for years now! I'm reading "To Infinity and Beyond" right now and I wish I had a proper night light to read it with.

The next time I see an anglepoise lamp, I'm going straight into maker mode. Thanks for the great instructable.

SHIFT! (author)  Porda1 month ago
Awesome! Post pictures when you make it and I'll give you a badge!
art.z3 years ago
Excellent job!!
I`ll tray to build one.
But where can I find the lamp base??
http://grandbrass.com/

they have more lamp parts than the American Gov't. has Bull Shirt. :P

Seriously, they will have everything you need & then some.
this link DOES work by the way....I checked it personally.
SHIFT! (author)  art.z3 years ago
uh, Goodwill? That's where I got mine.
art.z SHIFT!3 years ago
Ok cool, but the thing is: I'm in Brazil...

I don't know what is Goodwill!!
I googled it and I found a company that finds job for people and a auction website for antique stuff...

I need a store that sells stuff online...
I'll keep searching for it

Thanks
Goodwill is an American business thing....it exists nowhere but here in America(as far as I know anyway).

They sell used stuff that(usually) still has life left in it....things like clothes, electronics, furniture, books, you name it. If 1 or 2 people can carry it, they sell it.
SHIFT! (author)  art.z3 years ago
Hmmmm, that complicates matters a bit.

Do you have a Paypal Account? Ebay might have some listings.
SIRJAMES092 years ago
just to let everyone know, Here in America, if you need something cut to size(wood, metal, plastic, etc) there is almost always somewhere you can take your material & get it cut to size....for a price(usually $5 for the whole job or less). If you know someone with the proper tools, they just MIGHT cut it for you for free. talk REALLY REALLY sweet to them. LOL
lbrewer423 years ago
Great project. We Commodore Amiga computer users from years gone by remember first seeing Luxo JR on our light-years-ahead-but-publically-rejected platform!
SHIFT! (author)  lbrewer423 years ago
Oh man, you are so lucky! I'd give anything to have seen Luxo Jr. back when it was first released years ago! Awesome!
This was back in the late 80's! IBM (Windows) machines were still greenscreen, Mac's were still black and white, and the AMiga was capable of 100,000 colors (using halftone mode I believe) onscreen at once! In fact when these companies started making life-like graphics, the Amiga was the only platform capable of this kind of graphics. They used an item called a "Video Toaster." The IBM world whined about Newtek not making them a video toaster. So, since the IBM machines were not capable of this kind of power, Newtek sold them to the IBM world by literally making a deal with Commodroe where they put a "NEWTEK VIDEO TOASTER" sticker over an AMIGA computer's AMIGA sticker, installed the Toaster (it was a card), and called te whole unit the video toaster! Basically when they plugged the toaster unit into the IBM, it bypassed the IBM and did the work as an AMIGA.
i have an Apple IIe and it was not greenscreen it had and still does 16 colors... or i think you are talking about the Macintosh models but that was a little bit later...
yup - you are right. I never could have foreseen back then that eventually I would end up in the Mac world as I am today. They finally have caught up to the old AMIGA system in user friendliness, stability, and and ease of use.

However, I am fickle. I do not care which platform i am using as long as it is fast, logical, and i have control over what i want to do.

I am fairly competent in Windows and Mac as I have used both extensively through the years - going back and forth between them until a good machine finally was re-invented. After being on an AMIGA so many years ago, I was spoiled. Right now I know Windows 7 is stable (finally!), but Microsoft's approach to things is so much more complicated (wasted time/effort) to get simple tasks done that I am in OS X for now. I would like to see a Windows that is truly as logical and user friendly as OS X to be made (and I believe they can - they just need to get someone involved who is used to REALLY simplifying things instead of their usual "simplifying" by adding 3 more steps to a simple task). A good competition between Mac and Microsoft could only bring better machines to market.

I see they are getting ready to release a new Amiga (or so they say - again) - I miss a lot of the little extra things it had - especially not needing to go to a menu to shutdown - just hit the power switch and your done - an almost 30 year old trick to be re-invented in modern times!
I have the honor and privilege to say that this lamp looks just as awesome in person! Congrats on being featured in a newsletter!
Aw, Thanks Danger is my middle name! But you know, the MF definitely wouldn't have been as enjoyable for me without you there! Have a good time at Olin!
Wow... Cool. Very good project.
SHIFT! (author)  Gonzalo Ruiz3 years ago
thanks Gonzalo Ruiz! Good luck with all of your future builds!
Man! This is AWESOME! And would definitely make a great gift to a Pixar fan! Maybe I'll try my hand at this one. Doesn't seem too hard. Looks to be disassembling and reassembling with make shift parts. All I need is a place with plexiglass and access to a power saw.
SHIFT! (author)  craziemutant3 years ago
Oh yeah! This instructable is not at all difficult, the only tricky part is first getting the right dimensions for your lamp, and finding a good pre existing anglepoise lamp to use as a base. You don't have to use plexiglass, I was even thinking of using a thick piece of sheet metal a first. But yeah, plexiglass is much easier to work with.
Yea, I've never made anything but totally love the DIY umm culture? I don't know. haha. I've just always liked how things can be replicated on your own. But have never tried to do any of it because of the lack of tools and/or skills. But seeing how this is pretty basic, I'm gonna try to get off my lazy butt and do something. I was thinking wood for the parts at first. But then thought wear and tear might settle in quicker.
jeff-o3 years ago
JB Weld would probably do an even better job of gluing the metal together!
SHIFT! (author)  jeff-o3 years ago
Hmmm never heard of that one before. But sure! I just used Gorilla Glue because it was highly recommended to me.
jeff-o SHIFT!3 years ago
JB Weld is like gorilla glue for metal. Definitely pick some up if you see it in a store.
I 2nd the recommendation for J B Weld http://jbweld.net/products/index.php
I think this is great. I will have to make one of these sometime. Very well illustrated & explained I just hope mine come across as well as this :-)
SHIFT! (author)  Nostalgic Guy3 years ago
Thanks so much Kevpvc999! And good luck with all of your builds!
It seems that the price of your lamp dropped $5 within your instructable ;) Great writeup by the by.......
SHIFT! (author)  Tall_Tinkerer3 years ago
Well, it was between $25 and $20. Hey, what do you want from me- I'm old! But thanks nonetheless
zack2473 years ago
but you see... the lamp in the box is made of plastic and is painted white, not silver... nice 'ible though! i always thought that lamp was kinda cool, but now wiht a real one its eveb better! im making one of these...
SHIFT! (author)  zack2473 years ago
GO-4 it! I agree, the Luxo Jr from the combo pack looked nice, but it wasn't a lamp. The plastic was pretty cheap and it doesn't even use a real lightbulb, it's battery powered. I like mine because it's a full size working replica, made from metal.
kelseymh3 years ago
What an awesome build! The detail, the mix of hand drawings, renderings, and photos, the writeup -- it's a truly impressive package.
SHIFT! (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
Wow, thanks kesleymh! I'm humbled that you like my instructable so much! Luxo Jr. is my all time favorite PIXAR short film, and I've been waiting so long for them to release a real replica, that I just made my own.
so you have time to answer a comment 8 minutes after it was posted but not to a personal message I sent you 8 DAYS ago???? No, jk. but seriously answer me, I need some help.

Otherwise, awesome ible, why not add some motors?
SHIFT! (author)  Ssslouter3 years ago
There's no need to be rude Ssslouter. I did receive your message, but I'm sorry that I didn't respond back to you. I was actually devising some plans that might be able to help with your project, so why not PM me again? Also, I thought about adding motors to make it hop and stuff, but ultimately decided that I just wanted it to be a lamp.
Im sorry, i didnt meant to sound rude. anyways I found someone who could help me with it. Thank you very much for your help
SHIFT! (author)  Ssslouter3 years ago
Alright, that's good then. Good luck with your project!
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