macetech and Arduino in Twilight Eclipse

I would guess there isn't much overlap between Arduino users and Twilight fans, but maybe some of you have seen or will see this project during the newest Twilight movie released today.

We worked with Tangible Interaction to create a fully programmable ambient lighting system for the graduation party scene. Over 100 globes are suspended from the ceiling and light up in any desired color. Each globe contains a macetech Satellite Module, and is controlled with a macetech ShiftBar. The ShiftBar chains are controlled with an Arduino DMX solution developed by intellijel (also seen on these forums from time to time). Tangible Interaction was contracted by the movie producers to head the project and did the system integration, built and installed the globes and control electronics, and developed the visual effects.

I wrote up an article describing the hardware in more detail, and how we solved a major problem that almost killed the project: Twilight Eclipse Globes: macetech on the silver screen


I am struck in your article at the extent to which "overnight shipping" is taken for granted these days.

Shipping is almost reliable. If you pay more than $50 for a certain level of service you can expect shipping times reasonably close to what the shipper predicts. Inside the USA or between USA and Canada we have had no major delays. FedEx seems to be careful with that.

Overseas shipping is another problem. We estimate shipping delays based on what we have experienced in the past. Usually it's pretty close, depending again on the service level. Express Mail is pretty random though; we've seen three-day delivery and five-week delivery. Right now we use FedEx and DHL from China. DHL has the lowest probability of getting delayed, but we have to pay $250-$400 for a medium sized box of 15 to 30 pounds. EMS is a lot cheaper but the boxes come through mangled and late.

Congrats!!!! I need to pick up a centipede shield from you one day.

This is great stuff! Creating movie props is such an ideal application for small controllers.

Must be a good paying job :wink:

Must be a good paying job :wink:

Only if everything goes right the first time, and you don't have to rebuy everything with 2-day leadtimes and then spend 20 hours building them... :-/

At least the delayed shipment of stuff was still salable on its own, rather than being fully a duplicate...