Anatopia Jams With Fiber Optic Outfits #WearableWednesday
These glowing outfits really complete the show for the space loving band Anatopia of Berlin fame. It makes you wonder if they know Trafo Pop— those delightful LED clad bike riders/tech craftsman of the same city. It just so happens they are good friends, and that’s how this collaboration got it’s start! I spoke with Thomas Gnahm of Trafo to get the cool details.
The makers of the band Anatopia are friends of ours and we worked with them before. We told them about all the good stuff you can do with costumes and lights, so they got us in touch with their costume designer Daphna Munz and we started working.
Any time you are dealing with costumes for performance, you really have to understand how they will be used and what you want the audience to experience. Trafo’s team definitely followed through.
In the beginning it was a good idea to talk a lot about how to make the dress and also for us to understand what Daphna wanted. Together we made prototypes to explain how the circuits work and what the result in shape of light balls should look like. So we had to learn from each other and talk a lot. Of course it is not always easy to work multidisciplinary, but the fun part is huge–that’s worth it.
They decided to make light clusters for the outside of the outfits. They used cool white 5 mm LEDs with flat tops that would enable easy attachment of the light pipes. They resemble a fluffy, glowy tangle of flowers. Thomas was loving the result.
The dress is light and bright, and it uses fiber optics in an unusual way– they form volumes of light. I really like the charming touch of it– it looks like it could be part of a fairy tale. Daphna worked with full passion on it and I think one feel that when looking at it. And Anatopia is also performing so intensively in it; that’s the biggest fun to see.
I think the best part about the outfits is the use of the circles to reflect the light. It is almost like watching an accordion of light play from neck to ankle. For now the outfits simply illuminate, but Trafo Pop is also open to the idea of incorporating sensors and having them react to the music for more interactivity. At least they know these circuits can withstand some heavy duty dancing! If you want to add some simple flair to your band’s outfits, you should take a look at our Luminous LED Flowers tutorial. They have a similar look and you can incorporate LED sequins quickly into any wearable. Just choose your fave color and go! Don’t forget to do some on-stage selfies for us!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.