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19 Feb 2014 - 09:45111392
Using fiber optics in fabric
This is an idea that just occurred to me. It's for this costume here; Strider Hiryu from new Strider game:


In this one he doesn't actually have a scarf, it like a plasma stream. In game it glows and changes colour. I was thinking that fiber optics could be used to get this with fabric. My thoughts with this idea are with light up Christmas trees. Would this work to get the effect? What would I need to consider to make it work? Anything else?

19 Feb 2014 - 10:19111393
This is a very interesting idea. I'm not an expert, but as I understand it:
Fiber optic cables work by taking light in at one end, reflecting it off the inner sides, and out the other end. So in theory you only get a spot of light at the end. However I think the cables can be damaged so light escapes through the sides (at least I scrunched my Christmas tree when unpacking it and that happened.). Otherwise, you'd need a lot (dozens upon dozens) of individual lines all at different lengths so that you have points of light along the length of the 'scarf'. You'd probably want something to diffuse the light and protect the cables then, either of a fabricy or plasticky nature forming a sheath around them all. At the nape of the neck (where conveniently let the light is brightest) you'd need an array of LEDs set to change colours on a timer (probably easiest to find an old fiber optic lamp and gut it) with a batter pack and a switch and whatnot. If you're not very happy with soldering and whatnot if definitely suggest trying to get a battery powered lamp, taping together a load of cables and jamming the two together. The only problems I can see are trying to get the cables long enough and trying to get enough into a lamp base to get the size of the scarf covered.
Since fiber optics don't display light along the length, it might be just as easy to go for strings of LEDs or EL wires, since I would suggest having an outer translucent sheath to protect them from crowds (fiber optics don't snap well but do bend at the drop of a hat)
I hope my ramblings might help a tad.

19 Feb 2014 - 19:59111405
Right, that does make sense. Fitting the right kind of lamp to get the light into the costume would be hard. Probably quite heavy too. The battery would have to in the costume as well.

Can I ask a bit of a silly question: What is EL wire?

19 Feb 2014 - 21:13111408
EL wire stands for Electroluminescent wire. You see it used in cosplays where a continuous line of light is required such as Tron costumes. I’ve used it for the glowing cables on my Scarecrow cosplay (http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/costume/view/81482 ) and bought my wire from a company called El Wire Craft (via Ebay). It comes in various lengths, thickness and colours and can be easily purchased online. You can buy complete kits that contain the battery packs and splitter cables that you also need in addition to the wire.

Last edited by ArcaneArchery (19 Feb 2014 - 21:14)
19 Feb 2014 - 21:46111409

El Wire.

Though with as thick as Strider's light...cape...thing is I'd suggest a string of red LEDs and a similarly red diffuser.

CosplayIsland Staff Member

19 Feb 2014 - 22:41111412
You can get fiber optic cabling that has holes along it's length so you don't just get one point of light but you would get a definite line of lights.

The best person to answer questions on fibre optics and their use in cosplay is StarlightGlow.

Here you can see one of her progress pictures

Where she's used a basic circuit of LED lights (which can be bought in streams of 10, 20 and more with battery packs attached for cheap) as her light source and varied the lengths and spreads of her fibre optic cables.

With some basic knowledge of circuitry you can fashion circuits where the light pattern will alternate or even change colour with the current components.


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