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Candle Flicker


Steven
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I had an idea to improve my candle flicker sequence, but I'm thinking this may be too much trouble.  I started by taking a video of a LED tea light:

This looks pretty realistic, and a careful look will show 3 distinct brightness levels.  (The shimmer at the low level is just an artifact of my cell phone, it doesn't really shimmer.)  My idea was to look at this frame-by-frame in a video editor, and use the timings to make my sequence.

 

Then I wondered if there is an easier way.  Does anyone have the algorithm used by these tea lights to get the timing?  If I knew that, I could write a little randomization script and generate the sequence directly.

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Somewhere on this forum, I ran across someone's .las and .lms files for a flickering Jack-o-Lantern, which may be what you're looking for.

 

I'll try to attach it for you and others.

 

 

Flickering Jack-O-Lanterns.zip

 

 

The flickering algorithm is detailed in the October 2010 issue of Nuts and Volts magazine, pages 40-42.

Edited by Ken Benedict
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There's also a commercial product that can be controlled with DMX:http://www.gamonline.com/catalog/flickermaster/spec.php

 

And Halloween versions: http://www.horrorseek.com/home/halloween/wolfstone/Flicker/flebuy_CommercialElectronicFlicker.html

 

There's LEDs with flickering built in: http://www.ebay.com/itm/5pc-Red-Randomly-Flickering-Flicker-Flash-Flashing-5mm-LED-for-candle-light-FR5-/120918739472?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c27518a10

 

A few years ago, I purchased an encapsulated flickering module with 120vac input and three outputs, each randomly flickering whatever 120vac incandescent module is attached. I was told these are used in Disney's Adventures of Indiana Jones rides. It works well.

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Somewhere on this forum, I ran across someone's .las and .lms files for a flickering Jack-o-Lantern, which may be what you're looking for.

 

I'll try to attach it for you and others.

 

 

attachicon.gifFlickering Jack-O-Lanterns.zip

 

 

The flickering algorithm is detailed in the October 2010 issue of Nuts and Volts magazine, pages 40-42.

That would be mine.  I came up with that method originally in 2010 and improved upon it.   I think it looks very realisitic and as close as one can get to a candle flickering in a Jack O Lantern, however, it may not look as good on an exposed C7 bulb {which is what I had initially thought to create the effect for}, like on one of those artificial plastic candles that uses a C7 bulb.   This effect works best when used inside a prop such as a Jack O Lantern or a Lantern that may have slightly frosted or colored glass panes that would obscure the bulb a little bit.

Edited by Orville
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Here's the updated LAS file that I have added some small different colored Jack O' Lanterns to the animation file to see the effect in action. 

 

However, the effect looks better using an actual C7 bulb inside a lantern with opague glass or a Jack O' Lantern{s}, like a carved out Funkin{s}, which is what I use in my Halloween Display. I also use the translucent orange C7 bulbs as they give the best effect for this simulation of a candle.

 

I also use this animation flicker sequence effect in my overnight lighting sequences that run after the show ends until morning light.

 

EDIT: The animation effect on the computer screen DOES NOT do this effect justice! An actual light, or lights, connected to a controller gives the best representation of how this effect works!

Edited by Orville
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Since many are converting over to RGB…here are 8 channels of a 30 sec clip of my Candle Flickering I used in many of my Halloween shows. All my candles flickering were inside those foam type Micheal’s pumpkins. To make the look of flickering consisted of varies full-on, 50%, off, shimmer, fades, ect. Very random and make sure each prop is different. I’m my worst critic, so next time I would have a little longer on the full-on and 50% parts. A little too much flickering IMO.


You see a lot of the Candle Flickering at the beginning of my “This is Halloween” video.
 

CandleFlicker.zip

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I have used Orville's original flicker routine for my candles and they look great. I am going to have to see how the updated version looks.

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Yes, mine is specifically for incandescent or single color L.E.D,'s and looks great.  

 

My flickering candle sequences ARE NOT for RGB types, so I thank Kevin for sharing his RGB version for those that use RGB in their displays.   Now they will might work with RGB if you're just using a single color, like Orange possibly.  But since I don't use RGB, I can't say for certain,

 

Again, I don't use RGB currently, and I'm not sure if I will ever go that route, maybe one day but I'm kind of doubting it.

 

I just like things easy and simple and C7 bulbs, L.E.D. strings and Incandescent strings using LOR CTB16PC Controllers works just fine for me.

Edited by Orville
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I have used Orville's original flicker routine for my candles and they look great. I am going to have to see how the updated version looks.

The only update was adding a different color to each horizontal column, and adding a small Jack O' Lantern graphic in the animation window {not the visualizer!} to give an idea as to how the effect works and looks.   Again, connecting a controller and bulb to each channel will give a much better representation of the effect visually.   The Animation Window truly does not do this effect justice.

 

To pefect it, I had to connect my 5 Funkin Jack O' Lanterns to each channel on my CTB16PC Controller, used an translucent {Clear} Orange C7 bulb in each pumpkin to get the effect as close to a flickering candle flame as possible.

 

Well darn, I thought I had a video on Vimeo of the Flickering Candle effect using my 5 Jack O' Lanterns, but couldn't locate it, so must not have uploaded it like I thought.   Was going to link to it to show how it actually looked, but unfortunately it's not there.  It's hell getting old! :wacko:

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Orville et al,

 

On the vids that I posted this year (finally) I have some camera angles that show my candles and you can see the action there. All I did was cut and paste from your sequence into mine if you want to see what they somewhat look like.

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Orville et al,

 

On the vids that I posted this year (finally) I have some camera angles that show my candles and you can see the action there. All I did was cut and paste from your sequence into mine if you want to see what they somewhat look like.

Oh I know it will work for exposed bulbs on candles.  But I just felt the effect looked more realistic and a bit better when the bulbs were obscured.  But that's just my opinion. ;)

 

I was trying to create this effect for an 10 bulb chandelier I actually wanted to rewire each bulb individually in the chandelier so I could make it look a little more spooky.  Got the chandelier all apart and never did go back and rewire it, at least not yet.  Perhaps I may get to it one of these days.

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