This project began in late April 2013, when a DJ from NYC contacted me via our Facebook page. His name, “The Templar” was not only a memorable one but one that was emphasized by the mask that he wore during his shows.
I was asked if I could to add a new visual element to his mask using light. Electro-luminescence had already been tried in wire form with only minimal results. This was due to the lack of brightness and fixed illumination which would look dull after minutes of looking at it. After seeing our Rave Shades LED glasses, he thought that a LED matrix would be the best option to give life back to his mask.
We tried several configurations however it was decided that a matrix of 3 mm LEDs was not the best solution due to the mass of wiring a multiplexed matrix would require, the budget and the time scale. Not only would this have been a complex task, but it would have been unreliable as the grill was painted metal, which over time would short out and stop working.
At the time, I was working on another project using RGB LED pixels. These pixels can display 16 million different colors and are all pre-wired, with only the termination and input to deal with. As can be seen below, the pixels are made using a small circular PCBs, unfortunately they are much bigger than the 3 mm LEDs coming in at a whooping 14 mm in diameter. This is because it has to wire up a world-semi WS2811 chip and a RGB LED.
Ultimately this meant that patterns, animations and text could not be displayed but instead waves of colors and varying brightness could. This effect would was improved using diffusion of light between each pixel in-order to fill the entire grill area with light. Hot-melthe glue was used to as it sets translucent white. Not only that but it allowed me to insert the pixels in my own time by re-heating the glue. This gave me the time to place each onecarefully. After the pixels were held in place I connected the T-1000s controller via a 3 way cable and hid the pixels behind some thin padding and a felt cover.
FULL PAGE AT:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://solidgnd.co.uk/the-templar/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~