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Thread: Why LCD Backlighting Won't Work for a Black Blade

  1. #1

    Default Why LCD Backlighting Won't Work for a Black Blades?

    First, I know black blades aren't possible from a physics sense, and I'm not talking about a true black lightsaber.

    I was curious as to how computer moniter produce light even when they are showing the color black. My understanding is that it is back lighting and LCD display. I have no idea how LCD works, so for any of you electrically minded people out there, could you please explain why I would be unable to apply this to tubing (obviously not for dueling).

    On the other hand, has anyone tried to back light electrical tape wrapping it all the way around? Not Hampton's method.

    Thanks and please don't kill me.
    Last edited by TheSilverDark; 04-12-2016 at 01:58 PM.
    "Peace is a lie. Perhaps the greatest of them all. Peace, or a lack of change equals Death. If the waters of a pool cease to move, and become stagnant, the waters poison themselves, and kill all who drink from it. Chaos, on the other hand, brings great change. Should the pool be over taken by a river, life springs anew.
    -Lord Malyce, Exile of Sith, First Warrior of Sands

  2. #2

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    LCDs (and CRTs and projectors) do not light up the pixels that are "black." There may be some light leakage from the backlight, or it may actually be very dark gray, but, as with every instance of black, darkness/blackness is the absence of light.

  3. #3

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    Yes I understand that, but why are we unable to provide a back lighting method to a polycarb tube? Or has no one put in the time to make one, since I imagine poking thousand of tiny holes into electrical tape probably doesn't appeal to people.
    "Peace is a lie. Perhaps the greatest of them all. Peace, or a lack of change equals Death. If the waters of a pool cease to move, and become stagnant, the waters poison themselves, and kill all who drink from it. Chaos, on the other hand, brings great change. Should the pool be over taken by a river, life springs anew.
    -Lord Malyce, Exile of Sith, First Warrior of Sands

  4. #4

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    For a black blade, we would want the blade to be black, and for the back edge to be lit. The problem I can see is that there is no back edge to a lightsaber blade, at least not one that isn't always stuck to a wall. If I understand what you are saying, you'd end up with a blade that looked like a star field.

  5. #5
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    LCD stands for liquid crystal display because it consists of crystals suspended in a liquid matrix. As a current is provided to the crystals they deform and change their optical properties, becoming either more or less opaque. For the use in monitors and phones they require light to shine through, either from the back or the side, provided by a separate light source. As mentioned, when the monitor is showing "black" because the crystals are as opaque as possible there is still light leak because they can't be perfectly opaque.
    There are flexible LCD screens out there, but the only reason to use one would be if you wanted the ability to adjust the transparency of the blade on the fly. Otherwise you could just use a tinted film with a regular in-hilt LED.
    This issue is that even with an lcd film you're not going to get a glowing halo effect, you'll just get a really dim grayish blade, since you won't have edges or borders where the light will leak through more. So, save yourself a bunch of money and just get a black tinted film to roll up in a blade and see if you like the look

  6. #6

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    Well, first to be accurate to the black saber depiction the blade is more of a true blade and not cylindrical and the lighting was on the edges. There are several very good examples I have found on several prop - not necessarily SW related sights that have accomplished the black blade look. The edge lighting would be best accomplished with acrylic, not polycarb, thus a flat blade primarily acrylic = wall hanger/prop piece. This usually turns people looking to do it off because they want the black blade and still full dual worthiness.

    Best examples I have seen entail shaping the 1/2" thick acrylic sheet to the shape of the blade (leaving the edges unfinished) then fabricating the "holder" section from round stock. Solvent welding the two pieces. Then sending that out for vacuum metalizing with a black chrome or blackened bronze plating, or priming and painting it with automotive (plastic trim) paint. Then sand and carve the blade edges to shape and reveal the light-piping properties of the acrylic sheet.

  7. #7

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    Gotcha guys now. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
    "Peace is a lie. Perhaps the greatest of them all. Peace, or a lack of change equals Death. If the waters of a pool cease to move, and become stagnant, the waters poison themselves, and kill all who drink from it. Chaos, on the other hand, brings great change. Should the pool be over taken by a river, life springs anew.
    -Lord Malyce, Exile of Sith, First Warrior of Sands

  8. #8

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    image.jpg

    So uhhh...I found this
    "Peace is a lie. Perhaps the greatest of them all. Peace, or a lack of change equals Death. If the waters of a pool cease to move, and become stagnant, the waters poison themselves, and kill all who drink from it. Chaos, on the other hand, brings great change. Should the pool be over taken by a river, life springs anew.
    -Lord Malyce, Exile of Sith, First Warrior of Sands

  9. #9
    Sith Warrior darth_chasm's Avatar
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    Can't really make anything out of that pic
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverDark View Post
    image.jpg

    So uhhh...I found this
    Its a 1/2" flat Optics Quality Cast Acrylic sheet cut and carved to shape. AKA. Ripper Blade. Top grade cast acrylic will only allow light to exit where the surface is disrupted or there is an impurity in resin. Photograph it in a dark room with a black satin cloth as the background and you get this effect. Since it is acrylic, it is a show blade only. you can get it in PC but the light piping will not be as good. In real world lighting the center will show slight lighting, but it will give a convincing effect. Figure out a rectangular hilt and custom mount some CREE SMD dice on a rectangular board/heat-sink you could have a nice black saber show piece.

    The one shown in the image is a raw ripper blade, minus the after purchase finishing mentioned in my earlier post. There are even better examples on Halo forum where people have used the same techniques for Energy Sword props.

    Here is the larger image:

    Last edited by FenixFire; 05-02-2016 at 01:21 PM.

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