5 Oct

Details behind the development of Wes’s new costume

Actor and writer Jon McPhalen, who also happen to be a tech geek, worked on the building process of Wes’s new costume with the award-winning make-up artist, Seteve Wang.

Here’s the message he left for LOL and Boland fans today on Parallax.com forums:

For League of Legend and Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) Fans

I was at the League of Legends World Championships last night and before yesterday I didn’t know such an event existed. The Staples Center in Los Angeles was filled to the rafters with 10s of thousands of screaming LoL enthusiasts. It was amazing. I had no idea what was happening while watching the games, but the crowd swell when something exciting happened was incredible. Korea beat China, 3-0.

I was there because my friend, Steve Wang, had been commissioned by Riot Games to build a suit for Limp Bizkit’s guitarist, Wes Borland, who played in the opening ceremony. Steve asked me to add programmable lighting.

The suit has 300 RGB LEDS — though we only used white for this performance. Wes will take that on the road soon and we will have multiple sequences (there’s a button on the back of his helmet), and they will be multi-color. When is back is to camera you can see a couple items hanging from his belt. One is a box with a QuickStart board and a shield I made for powering and connecting to the LEDs. We ended up putting a muffin fan on it to control temperature in the box — with all those LEDs running it got pretty hot (something I will deal with after their tour). The small packet is a carrier for an ELEV-8 battery; the whole costume is powered by Parallax!

The program is written in Spin using my WS2801 driver (two; one for the head (180 pixels), on for the arm (110 pixels)). The tricky part was remapping the willy-nilly arrangement of pixels (I didn’t do that but told them it was okay — was sorry about that later). I had to create a strategy for remapping the pixels into lines that could run from his left ear to his right wrist. After writing a program to map the pixels and create line groups, I ended up having a dream about the oft-maligned @@ operator which actually provided a solution to the code! In the end, Riot Games, Wes, and the crowd were thrilled with the costume; that’s all that matters.

This is us backstage just before Wes went on:


L-to-R: Aina Skinnes O’Kane (costumer), Jon McPhalen (electroncis/programming) and Steve Wang (master creature creator)

Source: http://parallax.com

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