Rainbow Machine Livens Up Any Photograph


[Shameel Arafin, Sean McIntyre, and Reid Bingham] really dig rainbows. Going by the moniker the “RainBroz”, the trio built a portable display that can be used to add cool light painting effects to pictures.

The group brings their Rainbow Machine all over the place, including parties, gatherings, and random spots on the street. Anyone is welcome to have their picture taken with the Rainbow machine, and each subject is given a card with a URL on it, so that they can check out their picture whenever they please.

The display consists of addressable RGB LED strips and an Arduino from Adafruit, along with the associated support mechanisms for moving the LEDs. The real magic is carried out by the LPD8806 light painting library, also from Adafruit, which enables the RainBroz to create all sorts of images with little fuss.

As you can see in the video below, the Rainbow Machine seems to get a pretty warm reception from just about everyone, even people grabbed right off the street. It looks simple enough to build, so why not put one together for your next gathering?

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/31735737 w=470]

13 thoughts on “Rainbow Machine Livens Up Any Photograph

  1. cool, nicely done

    I’ve been thinking about finding a way (some card or so) for people to find *their* picture from several 100’s taken / evening based on a pre-printed URL that I can then easily match with the picture .
    Been thinking about using the time exif data as unique tag and generating QR codes for an url on a laptop screen. This might do the trick, but not everyone has a smart phone …
    Sequential numbering is not very handy if you take multiple shots/person
    maybe a small printer that pre-printes the url but that’s again extra gear, battery’s to lug around, takes time.
    maybe preprint and scan the card at the moment using a webcam or barcode reader to “link” it to a picture when that is loaded to the laptop or to a timestamp ?

    anyone came across any project that solved this in an elegant way?

    1. very easy to do. get a numbering stamp. set the stamp number for t he current photo number in the camera.

      Stamp card when you take a photo. Voila they have the number, type in that number and 3 lines of php code brings up that photo.

      1. Have some preprinted QR codes and then after you have taken a series of photos of one person, hand them a barcode but photograph it first. Have a program on your computer that processes the photos and recognises barcodes in the set.

  2. bit slow.. they should speed the machine up so ppl don’t have to hold pose for so long (exp. if you photograph ppl who have been drinking). a 1 sec. exposure should be possible.

  3. It cool but not so complecated to do and many improvements are possible. There is just a mistake, if you are looking for 2 rainbows at the same time in the nature, they are inverted!!!

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