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Anyone know how to make those trippy/psychedelic light shows? Answered

You know those "acid shows" or "light shows" that were really popular in the sixties? (I think Joshua White was a pretty famous light show artist...) Anyone know how to make cool ones? I mean... it seems pretty simple, and I get the basic concept. Colored filters, swirls of colored oil... and water... and alcohol maybe, And a projector... but is there a "proper" way or something? Probably not... but anything you know on the sibject helps. Any ideas? Or... instructbales? Oh. P.S. An instructable on Underwater Light shows would be welcome too. Woah. I just had an awesome idea. But I'm keeping it to myself for now.

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Tez45

7 weeks ago

I'm back! Read my earlier post right before this. I'll now explain how I mixed the dyes and how I created my experimental light show. Some people call this a "wet show" to distinguish it from using photo slides and film. I see the point but I'm still going to call this a light show. By the way... I saw many light shows back in the late 60's and early 70's at the Filmore East in New York : The Joshua Light Shows were the house artists.
To begin . The first colored liquid I made was a sunset orange water based mixture. This became the background color in the show and the largest single color used. Here I used the food dyes you find in any grocery store. It's used for food coloring and egg dyes. In 2/3 cup of water I added 11 drops of Yellow and 2 drops of Red.
For my oil based colors I used regular mineral oil found in drug stores. I got a 16 oz bottle Rexall brand at the Dollar Store for $2. I poured a small amounts of the oil into three empty prescription bottles. ...1 and 1/2 ounces in each. This is where I used the wax candle dyes. In one bottle I added 12 drops of Red. In another bottle I added 16 drops of Green. In the third bottle I added 17 drops of Yellow. Shake well and It's a good idea to label the bottles with the color name because the red and green look a lot a like.
For the soap dyes I only tried one color : blue. I put about 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol in a jar and added 16 drops of blue. Shake well.
Put your larger dish on your projector glass. Turn on the light. Pour about 1 ounce (or less) of your sunset orange liquid into it. Look at your image on the wall as you add colors. Now add about half an eye dropper full of your green oil based dye in 2 or three spots. Do the same with some red. Now place your smaller glass dish into your mix. Into this top dish you can repeat what you did to the bottom. Try adding in some of that blue alcohol dye. when you squish the two dishes together you get your your show. Or spin things around. Or blow on the surface with a straw. A hair dryer is great but too noisy. The squishing and spinning is where things get sloppy. Try adding small amounts of clear mineral oil or alcohol. Even without physical movement of the dishes, there will be some slow activity.
Don't forgot to have some music cranked up for inspiration. Have FUN!!

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Tez45

7 weeks ago

I just created some excellent light show effects this week and this is what I learned from actually doing it. First of all, it can be quite messy with dyes sloshing around. Wear clothes you don't mind getting stained and wear vinyl, latex, or nitrile gloves; and think about your floor too.
I bought my overhead projector at a thrift store (Restore) for only $6 ... that is extremely cheap. Don't expect to be so lucky. Maybe try craigslist. I didn't use clock faces because they are hard to locate the right sizes and MUCH too expensive for me to spend on a curiosity project. Instead I bought two used pyrex pie dishes, also from the thrift store for $2 and $3 . You need two sizes that nest into each other. My larger one measures 10 and 1/2 inches across the top, and the smaller one is 9 and 1/2 inches. Make sure they're clear with no designs. It's okay to have small lettering on the bottom.
For the oil based dyes I found mine at the Hobby Lobby in town. "Crafty Bubbles" Liquid Candle Dye . It's used in making wax candles and coloring lamp oil. It is very concentrated...you add only drops to your mineral oil. Each 1 ounce bottle cost $4.99. I bought just three colors "Christmas Red", Green, and Yellow. I also bought (by what seemed like a mistake) three bottles of dyes meant for soap making from Michaels craft store in town. The three colors: 0.3 oz each Red, Yellow, and Blue come packaged together for about $5. The brand is "Simple Serenity". These dyes dissolve in rubbing (isopropyl ) alcohol and are also very concentrated. The water based colors are simple food dyes I used to dye Easter eggs. Mine were McCormick brand.
I've got to leave right now but I'll be back later with instructions on how to mix and more.

light show equipment.JPG
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garrettanderson983

8 years ago

I met joshua white the other day over at the hayden planetarium... he was bieng a jerk to me. lol

Iv kind of gotten that vibe, but i respect what hes done. Imagine how many people have played off his business tho.

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streemlinedesign

7 years ago

The best H20 light show colorings are Doc PH Martin's transparent water colors....make sure you get the 'transparent' ones...you can get many many vivid colors. Try any good art store or online, like dickblick.com

Clock faces were really hard to find, but you can get these convex clock glasses - in suitable diameters - at www.clock-keys.com. Look under 'convex glass'...the 9", 10", 11", & 12" sizes usually fit overhead stages best. You can always make circular masking out of dark paper to de-square your imagery.

DON'T forget Marc's advice @ piglightshow.com: Wet sand the edges carefully first, going all ' round them ; he says he knew too many people who got one too many nice slices on their fingers if using raw, unsanded clock glass. I found that circular sanding...lightly & w care... using a light grade of wet sandpaper grit, til all edges - over & under - were handle-able did the trick. You can tell when they are safely soft edged by carefully touching the edges.

Colored Oil dyes can be gotten from Nancy's Fancy's Candies (try a search, it shoud be easy - I don't know the online site offhand) Or (I think better as far as vividness goes) try www.yaleys.com - oil-based candle dyes, not too expensive either. This way you can get WAY more color contrasts than by using just the more common Mc Cormick's food colors w plain mineral oil (not that that's bad)  Kudos to olive oil & grenadine syrup, btw - grenadine makes a truly cool red H20 mix.

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Rishnai

11 years ago

I've heard of people using paint in oil. Colored oil in water. Anything that'll swirl in color. Get two matching concave clock faces and an old-school overhead projector. Put a clock face on the projector, put your colored stuff in the clock face, put the other clock face on (don't spill!) Be a mad scientist with your coloring beforehand, and maybe add some during the show. I dunno. But move the top clock face back and forth and tip it, squishing the colored stuff all around in the bottom face, creating tripy patterns. It'll move in and out of focus a bit, too, if you tip it side to side, putting the rim in focus, then the center, then the focal point moving around the design. Very cool. If you're familiar with "wetslide" technique for microscopes and stuff, make a technicolor wetslide for a slide projector. Make osme more. Now do a slideshow. Beware, though, the heat of the projector might make then want to blow up. I've made some trippy stuff and taken a photo of it with slide film. Once I had a whole roll of psychedelic patterns I got them made into slides, which didn't have that tendency to blow up. Of course, they also were unchanging, unlike the oil slides. But I've used the slideshow technique to great effect.

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streemlinedesignRishnai

Reply 7 years ago

The best H20 light show colorings are Doc PH Martin's transparent water colors....make sure you get the 'transparent' ones...you can get many many vivid colors. Try any good art store or online, like dickblick.com

Clock faces were really hard to find, but you can get these convex clock glasses - in suitable diameters - at www.clock-keys.com. Look under 'convex glass'...the 9", 10", 11", & 12" sizes usually fit overhead stages best. You can always make circular masking out of dark paper to de-square your imagery.

DON'T forget Marc's advice @ piglightshow.com: Wet sand the edges carefully first, going all ' round them ; he says he knew too many people who got one too many nice slices on their fingers if using raw, unsanded clock glass. I found that circular sanding...lightly & w care... using a light grade of wet sandpaper grit, til all edges - over & under - were handle-able did the trick. You can tell when they are safely soft edged by carefully touching the edges.

Colored Oil dyes can be gotten from Nancy's Fancy's Candies (try a search, it shoud be easy - I don't know the online site offhand) Or (I think better as far as vividness goes) try www.yaleys.com - oil-based candle dyes, not too expensive either. This way you can get WAY more color contrasts than by using just the more common Mc Cormick's food colors w plain mineral oil (not that that's bad)  Kudos to olive oil & grenadine syrup, btw - grenadine makes a truly cool red H20 mix.

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iamthemargerinemanRishnai

Reply 11 years ago

COOOL! exactly what i was looking for! thank you soooo much! If I ever run into on the street or in an airport and you happen to be wearing an "I Am Rishanai" shirt, i will most definetley give you a corn muffin and a hug. }:)

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streemlinedesign

7 years ago

There are great how-to sites for this magical art:

www.piglightshow.com will show you all the logistics of preparing & using the clock faces, as well as the different dish prep setups they used for liquids.Plenty of good info & how-to's for these; I think one of the best on the net.

I use Doc PH Martins transparent watercolors for the H20 parts of my mixes.
Oil is usually Eckerd Mineral oil; olive oil can be pretty good as well.

Playing the dishes is like jamming w other musicians;you lock in w the music or bands after a warmup... its subtle: small movements of the dishes can do the most amazing things & vary your effects. Definitely make vids.

Overhead projectors are decently cheap on ebay now. The higher lumenage 3M or Dukane types ( a bit more $) give best results, as you will tend to want lighting levels that can cut thru ambient light.

The 3Ms that have circular, doublet lenses - I think the 3M1850 series types - give great light. But any decent, 2800 lumen overhead will do. Just search ebay for the higher lumenage ones if you're seriously into impressive colorifics (or competing w ambient lights)

Don't forget to cut & place place a small, clear vinyl or acetate square sheet - easily available at many hardware stores - over the projector stage, saving your self stainmaking drippage. You can also use any masking material to make a square projector output circular, looks much better w the circular clock faces.

The darker your area, the better - liquid effects can be awesome in near total darkness. Just have an LED light or small ambient light nearby  to see what you're doing.

There are many shows that hybrid effects, bringing imagery from LCD projectors, layering it with the overheads & liquids.

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Nostalgic Guy

8 years ago

They are called oil wheel projectors.
I used to roadie for a rock band & run a disco back in the 80s & we used them all the time, back then oil light disks were quite expensive but worth the money if you had the right lighting to go with it.
Your profile does not say where you are but the links below should give you a start.

http://www.audio-visual-uk.co.uk/oil-wheel-or-sensory-room-disco-lighting-effect---g017ym-202-p.asp

http://www.terralec.co.uk/disco_lighting_conventional/oil_effect_light_with_250_watt_halogen_lamp/23032_p.html

http://www.mathmos.com/mathmos-space-projector-light-with-oil-wheel-1516-0.html

It's worth pointing out that most of these areprofessional kit so if you want something for home use they may be a bit OTT.

There are also plenty of them available on eBay so it may be worth taking a look there as well.
Hope this has helped.


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craftyv

8 years ago

I dont think the light shows were particularily clever. Rather the "drugs" made an ordinary light show look special.

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кбесния

8 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPeh0apSOXQ
i wanna know how to produce fractals or mandalas if some1 knows please PM me i'm webbrowsing for weeks now and can't seem to find a way....

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killerjackalope

11 years ago

Goodhart is an oldish guy and there are a few here, because the site has things of interest tot hem aswell, back then he was just making self deprecating jokes... See the margarine man is a bit suspect, because of some recent events... However you too could be a creepy perv, we just have to second guess it...

oldish guys are cool. they help me with my science projects. but it's all good. that really is me in the picture by the way. i am the talking male jawfish, and i'm famous. you can find me in the national geographic photogragy archive. hmm... i had a friend from dublin, but she moved to london cause her daddio's really important in ireland's international affairs and stuff, and she would always say "i amn't". quite amusing. seeing that i'm used to "i'm not".

not bad. not bad. and as a spiky haired irish boy who's a bit too cheeky an dirty for his own good? hmm... i feel like a poohead now. i have this fear of old men, since i was a little rugrat, but goodhart seems nice. so i'm going to delete all the vacuous comments.

It's pretty good, too much trouble but fun... Awk the internet is a paranoia inducing place, so the old guy thing will make it worse...

spike it everyday? sounds liek too much work for me... seeing that if i spiked my hair... people would have to stand a foot away from me in every direction... there's a boy in my math class that spends and hour each morning making his hair look like condoleezza rice's. but if he didn't have her hair... he wouldn't be complete.

It takes me around three minutes, it's not usually a foot long, that's just the general limit before it sits sideways... I just got it cut my friend is very happy about this, she has big curly hair and we used to not be able to stand near eachother safely...

you are quite amusing. and for that, an amusing picture for you. although you've probabaly already seen it... i want one. i always thought it'd be cool to have a pet narwhal... and i could ride to school along the hudson river... but i wouldn't be able to move on land...

jackalope_rider.jpg
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nerdnurture

11 years ago

Well, I know how to make a really cool laser toy, but it's not really the kind of oil/light thingie you all are talking about here. But it's cool enough to get your fix. I made this with a pegboard base, on which I installed the components. I used two hobby motors, two round mirrors, and a laser pen. You can install a switch and rheostat to make the speed of the mirrors variable. You can make an unbelievable number of cool designs just by varying the speed of the motors. Maybe I'll make an instructable about this, but I don't know if anyone else has already done one. So I'd have to research it first I guess. Here's my diagram. Hope it makes sense!

spirographic laser toy.jpg
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iamthemargerinemannerdnurture

Reply 11 years ago

niiiice. i'll definetely put it to use sometime. see the "acid show" "wiggly oil show" stuff is for a friend's band, and the lasers wouldn't fit most of their songs... but i have a feeling it'll come in use sooner or later... school benefits perhaps... where there's lots of techno. THANK YOU SO MUCH nerdnurture!

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killerjackalope

11 years ago

What about goodhart? I'm a touch confused, I know goodhart... Err probably resonably thin and compact as long as you have a big magnifying and focusing lens to make the image come out biggified...

You can edit the topic, add the images directly to it... I'm not sure about how to make the actual light stuff, you could generate it with a computer pretty easily, there are loads of freeware programs like that. I can think of ways to do the underwater light shows, if I ever get a pool I'll do it...

ahh yes. thanks for that. i hadn't been on for a while so the new format kinda threw me off. well... i could do it digitally, but i like analog stuff better. Well, you see, I saw some program on television, and pretty much, there's a projector, a giant petri dish and an old guy pouring liquids into it. but. it's supposed to be all these cool colors, green oil and red water and stuff, but i'm afraid that it might just come out looking like diarrhea, which would most definetley, not be cool. you have interesting hair.

Hmm I suppose the simplest stuff would be the likes of oil etc. Kaliedo scopse could be a good place to start experimenting. Thanks, interesting is better than having nothing to do...

sugarbum. i was going to say that!!! I was going to make a kaliedescope with a diameter of say, 7 inches, it'd be cool if it had liquid. I'll try that out sometime and post an instructable if it works out... BUT FIRST! I have to make my solar powerred arc-reactor.

Cool... Umm you know those things with more than one seperate liquid of different colours, the drops from them would be perfect, then revolve slowly with some form of spiral or the like...

Yeah, I have one. It's like an hourglass with pink and blue droplets of stuff. probably water, surrounded by glycerol or something..

but where would i get these... can i dye oils? the only colored oil i know of is some crazy asian chili oil my mom loves.