Creating a Simple Moving Light.




my first instructable. Please if I am wrong in anyway, or if there is something I can improve, please comment.


Well, a week ago I was bored and wanted to try something new. I picked up my video camera and experimented with the effects. Then, I learned you can somewhat recreate the sprint commercial.

This effect is limited, but I think most of the time it will do the job.

You'll need:
a video camera with a "night" effect.
a tripod (or flat surface, where the camera will not move)
a computer
editing software
a small led light (don't have one? I'll explain what to do later.)

Step 1: Finding a "night" Effect

OK, now I am making this tutorial based upon my camera, a JVC GR-DA30. I found an effect called "Night" in the menu. Basically, you need something to make your video look like this: or you can see the pictures below

This is most important part of the effect, you must find something like this for it to work.

If there is another way to do this, please comment.

Step 2: Filming Your Line of Light.

Now it's time to film your line of light. Be sure that you know where your light is going.

Turn off all the lights, put your camera on the tripod, and turn your camera on. As soon as you are ready press record and move your light in front of the camera as you want it to appear.

A couple tips:
1. The faster your light goes, the longer the line
2. The slower your light goes, the shorter the line

Step 3: Sprint Speed Editing

OK, for editing all you have to do is speed up the clip. May I suggest four times faster?

Before -
After -

Step 4: Final Product

Now, Upload your video to YouTube and Vimeo, post it on the comments below, and watch the views pour in.

Step 5: Problems With This Technique.

I admit there is a few problems with this...

1. It is really hard to draw something
2. you are limited to a single line, if you only have one person
3. This cannot be done with more than your led lights, or the effect is ruined.

Hey, if anyone has a way to improve this, please comment, and I will be willing to collaborate.

Step 6: Other Related Instructables.

Here are some instructables that I got my inspiration from...

A tutorial on how to create my effect, only a bit harder and better -

How to draw with light for a photo -

Light pens -

Write or draw with light -!/



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    6 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    the sprint speed commercials are time lapse (or stop motion) with long exposure (maybe 5-15 seconds each frame). You are basically doing the same thing, just with a shorter exposure, so you have less control over what is drawn. I can't really think or an easy way to recreate them... possibly a time lapse from a camera taking 5 sec night exposures.... it would be really hard to do with just one person. CDHK will help with timing (seriously, why do all camera manufacturers insist on leaving the most basic of features out, or limited by software)

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well yes, I knew that, and like I said there are a lot of problems with this.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    you did a great job, like i said, it's hard to recreate. your way looks really cool and it's easy


    10 years ago on Introduction

    if you take a pic of a pc editing this and i veiw the pic of the pc editing this dont you think that will disrupt the space time contumin??XD

    1 reply