Subliminal Words / Nystagmus?

I really want to create a word that appears only when your shake your eyes past the light, as you turn away... kind of painting with light but onto your retina.

I have created my word in pattern paint in a variety of methods and turned the speed up to max but its still not working. Im not too crash hot at coding so anyone who might be able to help with this fun little project would be held in great appreciation and I'll definitely get you a beer or two.

Im starting to think that this wont be possible with the Blinkin Tape as the 60 LEDS might be too spaced out.

Has anyone else tried this? Any ideas code would be great!

My Uncle had an LED light from Guinness which used to do this but wasn't programmable.... just subliminal light of 'Guinness"


  • Neat idea! The blinkytape might be a bit too spaced out, unless perhaps you stepped far away from it.

    The BlinkyTape should be just about fast enough to do this, however Patternpaint has a speed cap built into it, and the default firmware might be a little slow.

    I just did a quick test and removed the speed cap, and could see a message when I shook my head, however the animation was still playing back a bit too slow, so the flashes were visible when looking at it.

    I think the best course of action will be to use PatternPaint to draw a sketch, then use that output to make a custom Arduino sketch that runs as fast as possible.
  • Ah thanks Matt. Yeah I was wandering how to remove the speed cap from PatternPaint. Would love to test that out and see how it looks. How do I open PatternPaint in Arduino to remove the speedcap?

    Yeah I have no idea how to make a custom sketch as yet. First time playing with the blinkytape tonight and I'm not a programmer but keen to learn and have edited the first bit of example code in Arduino
  • Ok, there is an 'export for Arduino' feature built into patternpaint for this kind of thing, but i checked it out a little earlier and it is a little out of date >.< . I fixed the output and will have a new version of PatternPaint up ASAP.
  • Thanks Matt, let me know how you get on and once you manage to update please. I tried doing it through 'Export to Arduino' just to test but all my LEDs flashed blue erratically and randomly after I altered the time between frames in ms from 30 to 1 and even after back to 30 again.

    Thanks again :)
  • Ah, yeah. Actually if you've gotten that far you're almost good to go! Apologies on the delay of the new release.
  • Ok! New version of Pattern Paint just released:

    Here's a rough guide for how to use it, it's probably worth a tutorial:
    -Load your animation image into Pattern Paint, then click file->export to Arduino. This will allow you to save a .h file that contains the image data.
    -Update to the latest BlinkyTape library for Arduino, then open the 'PatternPlayer' example sketch
    -Replace the contents of 'animation.h' with the file you saved from PatternPaint
    -Remove the line 'delay(frameDelay);' from the end of the PatternPlayer sketch. It is the last line in the loop() function.
    -Use Arduino to upload the new program to the BlinkyTape (note that you'll need to close PatternPaint to prevent it from interfering with Arduino)
    -This should play back the animation quickly on the tape.

    There is still lots of room for improvement in the output speed, but this should make it much faster than using PatternPaint directly, and provide a good starting point for improving it overall.
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