Faded Rainbow Desktop

Just thought I’d share this desktop background I made. It started life as a long-exposure photo of the light sculpture in front of the Shaw Library here in DC. Some color manipulation, various blurs, grain, and dust/scratches led to this slightly worn, faded-looking rainbow (click for full size, 3440×1440).

Week 8: Attempted Cinemagraph

I absolutely adore cinemagraphs–still images with subtle, looping animation. There’s something mesmerizingly timeless about the best ones. For this week’s project, I tried to create my own (large file, may take some time to load–sorry):

It’s just some buildings on 9th St NW as seen out of my window, with the reflection of a car going by. My main takeaway from doing this is to wonder how the heck cinemagraph creators keep their file sizes reasonable! This thing is huge, despite the motion being fairly subtle (everything but the big tree and the car going by is completely still).

On the plus side, I think I hid the point where it loops pretty well (I can’t see it, and I know it’s there)–the end of the original video quickly crossfades back into the beginning.

So, all in all, a modestly successful experiment with some as-yet unsolved problems. Next time I’ll see about reducing the size–by lowering the framerate, using a shorter loop, and/or a smaller animated part of the image.


Week 5: Wendel the Lamp

It’s been an exceptionally busy week, so my weekly project is a tiny one.

I needed an adjustable lamp for to illuminate some figurines I was painting, so I built one with stuff I had lying around. I call it Wendel.


The base and adjustable arm are built from a Tamiya Universal Plate Set and Universal Arm Set respectively. The light source is a board of my own design from last year: a 4×4 array of the very popular Worldsemi WS2812 addressable surface mount LEDs with decoupling capacitors, plus a laser-cut frosted acrylic diffuser. The light board is stuck on with double-sided tape, and the wiring is threaded (with some slack) through supports in the arm.

An Arduino drives the lights. All it does is keep them all at full brightness.

This is obviously a ridiculously inefficient design for a white lamp–these are RGB LEDs, and it’s pretty silly to have an Arduino there just to tell them to be white!–but it does produce a nice, broad, diffused light. Most importantly, I made it in about an hour with things I had lying around–most of the time spent figuring out how to use the Tamiya parts. And it works great for what I needed it for!

And doing it this way means I can adjust the color temperature by reprogramming it, which is pretty neat.

Anyway, I’ll have a more interesting project next week, hopefully. 🙂