How do you light complex shapes beyond simple fiber insertion?

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TITAN14
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How do you light complex shapes beyond simple fiber insertion?

Post by TITAN14 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:04 pm

I understand how to rig up LEDs and run fiber to simulate console lights.

What I don't know how to do is light for instance screens or irregular shapes. Things that are bigger than a single strand of fiber. Do you build a light box and use a diffuser?

The paragraphix photo etch set for the 144 bandai Falcon has some long narrow features for lighting the rear wall of the cockpit. How are these rendered? Thanks in advance!

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TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan
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Re: How do you light complex shapes beyond simple fiber insertion?

Post by TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:27 am

TITAN14 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:04 pm
I understand how to rig up LEDs and run fiber to simulate console lights.

What I don't know how to do is light for instance screens or irregular shapes. Things that are bigger than a single strand of fiber. Do you build a light box and use a diffuser?
For the R-Type model I am currently working on, I am using an SMD as a console screen.

Instead of using fiber optics, something to perhaps do for the consoles of a BSG Viper or something is to form a wad of epoxy resin around the console lights that cover all the holes. Then remove it and cast it in clear resin while making sure there's a socket to insert an LED, and painting it white to increase refract-ability. I haven't done this personally, but I have seen this done.

What I have in mind is to do the same, but to use a transluscent-drying clay from Japan called Sukeru-kun. I plan to do this for the foot thrusters of a Macross Valkyrie sometime soon to try this. In July I made a test blob of Sukeru-kun with a socket for an LED and it lights the blob up nicely.
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EVApodman
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Re: How do you light complex shapes beyond simple fiber insertion?

Post by EVApodman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:48 am

Fiber optics are great for simulating panel lamps and other point sources. For larger illuminated areas, like ceiling lights or light panels, screens, etc. they won't work.

A single LED behind the screen will produce a bright spot that is unrealistic even with a diffuser. A light box gives reflection off the sides and more even illumination, but space constraints may not allow this solution always.

For the lighting panels like in the Falcon, as set of LEDs wired in series with a current limiting resistor for a dimmer light and with a diffuser, may provide the best overall effect with a more even lighting.
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