DIY Light Table: Create your own in few simple steps | Carmina Soler | Skillshare

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DIY Light Table: Create your own in few simple steps

teacher avatar Carmina Soler, Illustrator & Animator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class intro


    • 2.

      List of materials


    • 3.

      Steps of the process


    • 4.

      Wrap up!


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About This Class

In this class, you are going to learn how to create your own light table in few simple steps. You don't need to be very crafty to follow the class.

I have tried to find the cheapest materials to make it. Overall I spent $34. There are some materials that I had to bought even though I would normally have them at home. Since I am living abroad now I don't have them here. I borrowed a couple things from my neighbor though! : )

Check out the list of materials at the "Class project" sections to help you to find them.

Let me know if you have any questions at the "Community" section!

Meet Your Teacher

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Carmina Soler

Illustrator & Animator


Hi! I'm Carmina Soler. I'm an illustrator and animator from Barcelona (Spain). 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Class intro: Hi, I'm Carmina Soler. I'm a freelance illustrator and animator. In this class, I will show you how to create your own light table in a few simple steps. It can be very useful for a lot of illustration and animation projects, so it's always handy to have one. A light table, it's just a box with a transparent or translucent surface with a light inside. This light shines through the surface so that any paper overlaid on it, is rendered transparent or translucent. This way you can layer multiple sheets of paper on top of each other, and see your sequences of frames for reference as you're working on the drawings. Are you ready to start your do-it-yourself light table? Cool! Then just hit enroll and Let's get started. 2. List of materials: Now I will walk you through all the materials that you will need for the project. I have made the research on cheap materials that at the same time, are easy to manipulate. I've tried to make the process as easy as possible. You can use an acrylic or glass sheet with a size around 11” x 14”. Make sure that is thick enough so it doesn't bend. A canvas frame or a clay board with the same size as the glass so it fits perfectly and you don't have to cut anything. Two white cardboards which you will need to cut the Passe-Partout and the light table background. Use flexible LED lights with an adhesive strip so are easy to fit within the frame and easy to stick. Also have scissors ready to cut the strip if it's too long. Usually, you can cut every three LED lights. Use super glue to make sure that the glass and the wood paste well and also, paper towel to avoid your fingers Getting in contact with the glue. You will need a saw to cut a hole in the wood so the LED strip stays out of the frame. The sandpaper will be good to clean the edges of the glass and the splinters of the wood. I will be using the number 60 which has more abrasive particles so it removes more material. To cut the cardboard you will need a ruler, a pencil, a cutting mat, and a knife. You should be able to buy these materials in any art store. You can download a PDF I left in the The "Class Project" section with some links so it's easier for you to find them. I'm sure you already have some of those materials, or you can find somebody who borrows you some of them. For instance, I have borrowed the saw and the sandpaper from my neighbor. 3. Steps of the process: Let's start making a hole in the frame so that the cable can get out from the box. So use the saw and make a triangle shape. Now use the sandpaper to leave the wood without splinters. Cut the cardboard to make it fit within the frame. That will make the background to be white and it will help to bounce the light. Put some glue and place the cardboard inside the frame. If you just have a frame with no background skip this step but make sure to use the light table on a white or light color surface. Use flexible LEDs to make sure you don't have problems fitting them within the frame. Peel the covering of the LED light and stick the adhesive strip inside the frame. Start placing the cable where you have the hole. This frame has room for two lines of lights so that means more light and more transparency through the glass. Before moving to the next step make sure the lights work and they are well stick to the wood. Now make a passe-partout with the other cardboard to cover the lights That way the lights won't bother your eyes while working. Make sure the passe-partout doesn't cover all the frame only half its wide. Put some glue on the wood and paste the passe-partout. You can use a napkin to press the passe-partout so your fingers don't touch the glue. Finally, clean the glass or acrylic sheet. Put glue on the wood and place the glass on the frame. Press with both hands for a little bit to make sure the glue dries. Once the glue has dried, soften the corners of the glass or acrylic sheet with sandpaper. And that's it!! now you have a light table to trace your animations and illustrations. 4. Wrap up!: As you can see, create your own light table is very easy! I have left this PDF in the “Class Project” section so you can download and print it out. You will find the list of materials with links to where I have bought them. Hopefully, it will help you to start you out with the research. You will also find a quick guide through all the steps, so you can print it out and have it next to you while working on the light table. To make things easier, make sure you buy the wood frame in the glass are really in the same size. That way you will save yourself some work. Don't forget to create your project and upload photos of the process while making your light table and also, a photo when it's done. I hope you have enjoyed the class! Let me know if you have any questions about the materials or about any step of the process, I'll be happy to help. I'll see you around