Your truck was one of my favorites this year! We saw it, and had no idea it's actual size until we got close (it was night-time, of course
). Loved it.
Yeah, though that's a big part of the MV's charm, it's also probably a reason why people can't gauge its distance too well.
OH SHIT, IT'S RIGHT HERE! **Screeech!**
Tanzremix wrote:Loved seeing the truck, one of my favorites out there. Was just so darn cool, especially with flamethrower stacks. You could always do what the Tie Fighter did and just cover the edges in LEDs, definitely no missing those guys.
Well, what helps the Tie Fighter is that it has 1) really bright lights, 2) the structure allows you to see lights from both the front/back and both sides, effectively doubling the effect of any lighting, and 3) spokes crossing the middle of the hexagons that contribute to a larger area of light.
Notice how from the picture you can immediately tell the position, size and distance of the object. That all has to do with your ability to recognize how the shapes distort with distance and the relationship to the lighting on the ground. It also helps that the vehicle on the interior is visible, helping people gauge the true size of the object.
In Dr. Helix's truck, it's more difficult. The vehicle is a solid shape; so he can't share lights from either side. I'm not sure about the type of lights he used. If they were incandescent Christmas lights, they wouldn't be very bright, and the color of lights makes a difference as well. Also, he may have only outlined the edges of the vehicle, not had anything inside the regions of light.
The problem may not even be that the rig MV is hard to see as a blob of light, but rather it's hard to interpret the size and position of the vehicle from a distance.
It would explain why people only narrowly avoid the vehicle, or may even crash into it: only up close does the person know the true size/distance of the vehicle. It's probably why deer don't know how to react to two headlights coming their way compared to if they could see the whole vehicle.
Perhaps lighting up the ground around Dr. Helix's vehicle would help in addition to filling in the side-panels. That way people can observe the location of the light with respect to the ground, rather than seeing some "floating truck" in the distance. Patterns on the panel would aid in recognizing 3D surfaces, in addition to more lighting.
Overall, I think this is a good opportunity to make the MV safer for bikers, while at the same time make MV look even cooler at night as it roams the playa.