Pixelstick is around 6 feet long, covered in 198 color LEDS, and — when combined with a camera’s long exposure function — can draw almost anything in thin air. The successfully Kickstarted device can be loaded with images that it then displays one vertical line at a time, allowing wielders to set up their camera and paint a free-floating picture.
Light painting isn’t a new concept — Pixelstick’s creators, Bitbanger Labs, dates the first photographic record of the technique in 1889 — but most practitioners are still limited to painting simple images by swooshing flashlights or phones around. Pixelstick can be loaded with complex and colorful pictures imported from image editors, and used to create a range of visual styles that includes pop, pixel, and classical art.
Bitbanger’s creation has a slot for an SD card, a port that allows remote triggering of some cameras and a handheld controller that allows users to change settings including brightness and firing speed. The machine’s housing is matte black — meaning it’s “near invisible” on long exposure shots — and can spin along its axis. Spinning Pixelstick will allow the creation of more complex snowflake-like images and animations, as multiple long exposure shots are stitched together.
Pixelstick displays images vertically, but as the video above proves, images don’t have to be traced in perfectly straight lines. Less flexible is Pixelstick’s power requirement: it takes eight AA batteries that’ll apparently last “a long night of shooting.” But even with that inconvenience, Bitbanger has already doubled its requested Kickstarter total with more than a month of funding left to run.