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Blade Spinner, How I built it w/video of effects

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Hey All,

*Warning Long Post, if you want scroll to the bottom for videos.*

I built a Blade Spinner with a Pixie16 (kit) I got during the Summer Sale. When I built my Pixel Spinner a couple of years ago I got, (and still do) lots of PM's and question on how I did it. I didn't document what I did back then, and had to do it from memory months after. This time round I took plenty of pictures to show the steps I did to make this Blade Spinner.

Build Time - 2 days
Difficulty - Beginner, if you can draw a straight line with a ruler and drill holes (lots of holes) you should have no issues.
Cost - Total Cost around $45.00 The only things I bought were the 2 Coroplast (3'x 6' x 1/8") sheets and 4 - 2'x 2' boards for the frame, 2 cans of flat black paint and Oh yeah and the Pixie16 with 16 strings 0f 50 pixels *cough* :)
Tools Needed - A protractor (or some way to mark the degrees of the spokes) drawing compass, straight edge, 1/4" drill bit, 7/16 drill bit, grease pencil, and some nippers.
Size - Overall blade tip to blade tip is 70 inches, a little big for a tree topper. :)

Easier to explain with pictures.



First I had to determine what size the inner circle would be using 32 Square Pixels. I decided on a distance of 1 1/8" between pixels for whole project.
To determine the inner circle 32 pixels x 1 1/8 (1.125) = 36. 36 / 3.14 = 11.46 inch circle. I rounded up to an 11 1/2" circle. Using the compass draw that out in the middle of the two sheets of coroplast. Temporary tape the 2 sheet together, mark your circle. If working with coroplast, I'd suggest using a grease pencil as it easier to erase mistakes with a wet rag.

Once you have a circle, you need to know at what degrees, each spoke will be. I used 32 spokes, so 360 / 32 = 11.25 degrees. Mark your circle with these degrees. In my case I wanted to make sure the seam of the coroplast did not run through the center of some spokes so I offset the marks to adjust for that. Once you have all you marks connect the lines, be sure all lines insect in the middle. Depending on how accurate you were you should now have your 32 spokes and they should be reasonable close.


As mentioned earlier, I wanted all my pixels to 1 1/8" apart. Instead of measuring each and every pixels mark, I made template out of plastic to speed up the process.





Because I was off slightly when I drew my spokes, instead of using the compass for marking the rounded ends on the blades I grabbed a bucket and marked a piece of tape with pixels marks, then averaged out each blade end. Each blade has 22 pixels on each side and 6 for the rounds end equaling 50 pixels total.


Coroplast has ribs that run through the material and can make the drill bit walk off your mark when drilling. I drilled 1/4" holes to pilot each hole, then went back and drilled the 7/16" hole. Be careful not to make the hole any bigger of it can/will cause the pixels to fit very loosely. If need be when done you could put a dab of adhesive silicone to hold them in place.


Nipping the holes to remove unwanted plastic, to ensure a clean look and tight fit.


A quick paint job.


Frame built to hold the 2 sheets of coroplast.


Installing the pixels. They just pop right in. Again you may want to silicone any loose ones, or all for that matter depending on the wind in your area.


Both sides done back view.


Both sides done front view.

A note about Visualization props. I built this prop both in Visualizer, and Pixel Editors prop builder, I discovered that by putting at the starting channels on the inside circle that it opened up more possiblities for sequencing in Pixel Editor. Under Prop Groups, be sure to add all the blades to a Nested Group, Preview, Vertical, and Horizontial Groups. Going clockwise the order of my blades is the first blade is at one o'clock, then 2 o'clock, etc...

This is the visualization file for visualizer and Superstar, you can import it into Pixel Editor. It was straightened out using ItsMeBobo's Sharpin Program. Very nice little program to help with props.

Right click, Save As....


Finishing things left to do, paint the mounting washers and screws (the wife frowns on me using a poof can in the basement) I will probably drill some large holes in the open part of the blades to allow wind gust to pass through.

In the end it's going to be a nice addition to al my other props in the yard. I still have another Pixie16 and am working on another prop for it.


Told you it was a long post. :)

Sequencing - I attached two videos to show examples of what both Superstar Sequencing and Pixel Editor Sequencing looks like on the finished Blade Spinner.




Edited by default
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I have said many times I don't do pixels, etc... and most likely won't....

Now I've seen this! Wow! May have to change my freaking attitude! Very nice. 

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Hey Alan, beyond cool ! I am a 16 year old and wonder if you would send me your blade effects for superstar? I need to learn from example and figured by viewing your sequences/effects, I could create something too. Please send to gp.anderson724@gmail.com. Thank you so much. I work part time for my family business and saving my money for pixels. Merry Christmas

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Very nice!  Impressive effects!  

I too would like to know how you mapped the pixels into Superstar for those effects!

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Hmmm, I feel like a goober, it was my intent to add a sample file to the original post so people could d/l and play around with it. I forgot (it's happening more and more) :wacko:

Here is the Visualization file. Right click it and "Save As" or "Save Link As" whatever your browser wants. Save it to a location you will remember.

32 spoke props sharpin.lee

Here is a sample Superstar Effects file I have been working with. Do the same as above Right click etc...  Save it to a location you will remember.

Sample Blade Pixels.sup

Once you have them saved, Open Superstar and Click Tools, then Layout.



Click the Visualization Mode button, then click the Import Visualization Pair button.




Click the Choose Row Visualization button and navigate to where you saved the 32 spoke props sharpin.lee file. Select the 32 spoke props sharpin.lee, then click the Open Button.

Click the Choose Real Visualization button and navigate to where you saved the 32 spoke props sharpin.lee file. Select the 32 spoke props sharpin.lee, then click the Open Button.

Click the Import Visualization Pair button.



On this screen, set the Sequencing Grid Max Length to 50, Click the Vertical and Normal Button. You should now have the prop loaded in SuperStar.


In Superstar, Click File, then Open and navigate to where you saved the Sample Blade Pixels.sup file, Click it, then Click Open. The sample file should now be loaded in Superstar.

A few comments about the sample file. There is some time between effects. This is a file that I just create effects in. If I like an effect, I may copy it to a couple of seconds later and play with color, timing, etc... That's why some effects seem to somewhat repeat themselves. Not all effects in this file are complete, I experiment a lot, get bored and move on. I come back to them later. The handy thing about this file is that I constantly add to it and save it. It is a storage place for effects that will make it into songs later. If I get an effect I like, I don't have to recreate it for another song, I can adjust the time and color and place it in a song.


If you create something that you think is worth sharing, I'd love to see it. ;)



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Thanks for sharing this!

One question... for props 1-5 you specify a start row and column position, starting with 1,1 for prop 1 and going up to 5,5 for prop 5.  Then there are no more row assignments.

Since I am still learning all of the features superstar has, why were those assigned row/column numbers and the other ones not?

Thanks again!  


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It took a few minutes to understand your question. I think you are referring to when looking at it in Visualizer. I only set up the props 1 -5  with the Superstar button. That was an experiment on my part. I sometimes struggle with the way Superstar creates the sequencing grid and i was trying something new to see if it would lay out differently. It didn't seem to matter so I abandoned the idea after prop 5.

I have found with a prop like these (circle / spinners) it can be a challenge as to where to start the first pixel and last pixels, in a way that make sense to sequence. ie. You will notice that for each blade the number 1 pixel for that string is on the bottom left, that puts all number 1 pixels on all strings on the top of the sequencing  grid. iei. If you were to want to light the first blade (roughly 12 o'clock) position that would be the first vertical column in Superstar. If you wanted to light the inner circle it would be the top horizontal row.

In Visualizer, you will see that each blade consists of three parts string1a, string1b and string 1c. This was done so I could use It'sMeBobo's excellent program called SharpIn. I wanted to make the prop as even as possible, because on some effects I use the pixels in the representation picture of the prop instead of the sequencing grid in Superstar and it can get more confusing if the pixels are not evenly spaced.

By no means is this the only way to setup Visualizer, but it has come to be the way I do it (with this prop and my spinner) because as I say I needed to have it make sense for me in Superstar. If anyone else does it differently I'd love to see it.

Hope that answer you question



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Yes it does answer my question.  Thanks again for sharing and the lesson!


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Holy Cow!.....as Harry Carey would say it!  I can't believe this post got past me last year.  This is totally awesome and I will be planning on building at least one of these for next year (2018) because as like most folks the budget has been spent for this year.  Thank you for taking the time to share this.  Your creativity is second to none!

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this prop and the sample sequence is FANTASTIC! Just out of curiosity I imported one of my audio files "Christmas This Year" by Toby Mac featuring Leigh Nash an sent me over the moon.  I am going to spend every waking moment building one of these.  Thank you for sharing the information. If you create any more samples will you please share them?  LKFuchs0935@yahoo.com

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Glad you liked this prop, it has been fun and interesting to sequence for and adds a wow factor to shows.

I just found out recently by ebrown (from the forums) that he forwarded this design to Boscoyo Studios and had them make templates that they now sell. They are smaller but are an option for people who don't want a big blade spinner and the hassles of building their own.

Here are the Links I found

Mega Spinner

Pixel Spinner

1 hour ago, LKFuchs said:

 If you create any more samples will you please share them?

Likewise, if you build one of these I'd love to see it. I am always interested in what props people build. It triggers the creative process.


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