Tag Archives: Coding

Making Props for a Feature – Part 4

So this is was by far the most complicated prop. The client wanted an Etch-A-Sketch (remember them?) that could write messages by itself. Yep, a haunted Etch-A-Sketch. Possibly one of the biggest challenges. How to do it? Well two obvious ideas came to mind, CG and practical effects. CG was the cheapest option, but I didn’t think it would look nearly as good. So I put forward the option of practical, and the production team went with it, good lads!

It was a fairly straight forward process, so to break it down;

  1. I sourced my components,an Arduino microcontroller, two stepper drivers, two stepper motors and a button.
  2. Machined a coupler which I mounted to the back of the Sketch’s control rods.
  3. 3D printed some pulleys.
  4. Coded v1 (some basic movement)
  5. Assembled it all together.
  7. Decorate to make it look like it was owned by a kid.
  8. Duplicated the decoration on hero version.

Below is a quick test video


As you can see in the early version I had some issues with the Y axis, this was due to the belts not being tight enough, so when it reversed direction it wasn’t traveling far enough. This countered by adding a bit of extra code, although if I had the time I would have created a jockey wheel. Just at the time my 3Dprinter was being a little tetchy.

This was a fun prop to work on, and I’m so glad the production team gave the go ahead for me to do the practical version.

Learning a little bit of Flash.

What better than to learn some new tricks for toys. Somewhat late to the party I know but better late then never right?

Well here’s my first attempt at doing anything with flash. PONG! Enjoy. =D

Get Adobe Flash player

To much time on my hands I think.