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Thread: Mapping LED array panels in custom shapes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Syracuse, NY
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    Default Mapping LED array panels in custom shapes

    I'm trying to expand my inventory of lights and I want to start playing with video walls but I'm trying to wrap my head around how to map LED panels. Basically, i have 24 32x16 P10 LED panels and i want to be able to arrange them in different geometric patterns (other than a standard square or rectangular cabinet). These patterns may include varying amounts of panels from one column to the next or from one row to the next and will also likely involve leaving various panels out of the screen in random (or not so random) patterns. I will be using a Novastar MSD600 sending card with Nova MRV328 receiving cards (although this may change if it turns out the receiving cards are not capable of what I'm trying to accomplish). I'm still waiting on the cards to arrive so I may be able to figure all of this out once I can actually play around with them. I understand how to map standard cabinets from one to the next that each have their own receiving card but how would I go about mapping the individual LED modules to the individual receiving cards? I can provide some pictures if it's unclear what I'm trying to do. If anyone can offer any insight, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Luke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Syracuse, NY
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    I've received my video cards and have some panels hooked up. As I suspected, there's no way of mapping the modules to the receiver cards. I can only map the receiver cards to the sender card. That will be fine when I have enough cabinets to map out a big stage but in the mean time I was really hoping to map out individual modules for some scaled down artistic stuff on small stages. I'm going to assume the lack of responses means no one who's read this is familiar with any solutions. That's a bummer. Hopefully someone comes along with a possible answer. There's probably a way to do it with an arduino/teensy/raspberry pi but I'm terrible when it comes to coding. I was really hoping for a relatively plug-n-play option. Oh well, I'll keep searching.

    Thanks again,
    Luke
    LASERS!!

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  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default

    Ethan (Telmnstr) has a bunch of home-built LED panels, and I know he can configure them in different shapes/arrays. (He's had them at SELEM a few times.)

    Might want to shoot him a PM and see if what he used is in any way similar to your setup.

    Adam

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Hello! So in my setup I have P10 panels with 3 receiving cards. I have 6 wooden "modules" each 3 wide / 3 high of the same panels you have. So 3 square meters of panel. I use a software "sender" versus the hardware sender card. The software I use screen scrapes the Windows desktop and sends it over the gigabit ethernet line to the receiving cards, versus using the $100 sender card that does DVI in and sends it over gige.

    In the receiving card configuration you can set which way the image writes to the panels. This will get you horizontal and vertical orientation.

    In the software sender program which I *think* also configures the hardware sender card, there is a screen where you draw how the panels are all setup with regards to the network connection cable running between receiving cards on each module made of panels. In there there is also an advanced setup which I haven't used. That *might* have the ability to add in gaps in the screen so then you can then map a desktop area to panels that represent the proper information based on where they are with gaps.

    When I have run mine vertically with spaces I just ran content that looked okay.

    I would imagine the professionals do it with the software. I think Resolume Arena can do the texture mapping stuff, so it should be possible with that to use the software to logically break up the image and rotate parts to match panels that are at 45 degrees. If you wanted to try this for free - Video Projection Tool is free software for both windows and mac I believe and it can split up an image into separate spaces for animations/videos and is able to do the whole deadmau5 style projector mapping stuff. I think it has midi triggering as well, I have been meaning to check it out again.

    My dream is to own about 6' x 12' of the real aluminum frame panels from China but I have no business case for it so haven't really looked too much at importing them. Can get them probably for $400 each or less for P5 panels at 640mm x 640mm per panel FOB from China.

    When I visited the NYC Resistor hackerspace in Brooklyn there was an art thing hanging from the ceiling. It was P7 or P5 panels that were perfectly square, 6 of them making up a cube. There was a Pi or something inside and it was hanging by just a power cord. It had a lava kind of animation running on it that knew where the corners were and everything so it looked proper. Was totally awesome.


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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	54606Pictures of mine:
    https://imgur.com/a/Tqid1jf

    First two images, 18' wide x 1.5' high @ MAGFest 2018

    Second two are Halloween 2017, with them 6' high x 1.5' wide sideways. Ethernet connecting the 3 sender boards, each sender on one of the two panels.

    Third two are at MAGStock 2017 in Louisa VA with it setup as 9' wide x 6' high.

    Video of it in living room (Neighbor was all like "Do you have video projector or something?" a few days later given the sheer brightness. Video :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReXP6luDKJw

    Mine can hit 12 amp draw from wall if it's solid all white full brightness as well. 480 amps of 5VDC available on the back via the power supplies.

    Not a direct answer but hopefully useful info in this post somewhere ;-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Syracuse, NY
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    Thank you for the responses. I think what I was originally wanting to do is only possible with special coding through something like a Raspberry Pi/Arduino. So, I'm just going to continue making full cabinets and just map them as a whole once I have enough of them to get the desired effect. I've purchased some aluminum channel and a MIG welder to fabricate some decent frames. Mine will be 640x640mm like you mentioned. I should be able to get a decent effect with 9-12 of them. LED-Card.com has indoor P5 64x32 panels for $17.50 each with free shipping on orders over $500. That's a better deal than I got on the P10 panels from AliExpress. Do you happen to know of any better sources of panels?

    Thanks,
    Luke
    LASERS!!

    1x Homemade 500mW 405nm Projector
    1x Homemade 1.2W RGB Projector
    1x Lightspace Color Ray Series 6W RGB
    2x Lightspace Venus 2W RGB

    ZPL Lighting www.zpllighting.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    DC/VA metro area
    Posts
    362

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    I bought mine from Shezen better lighting something or other, it was $199 for 18 P10 panels + power and data jumpers. Shipping was $100 via DHL, super fast but always expensive (they get kickbacks on that, I've heard.)

    Also, if you order some now and some later, be aware the "binning" of the LED colors can be off. I didn't witness this mostly with mine but was warned.

    I Just looked at my control program ("LED Vision") and don't see ability to gap even under advanced connection diagram, but it might be possible if you define the screen area larger than the panels you have. I have definitely seen in real life an event where they left out like 20% of the panels in the design and it was doing it. On the upper corners there were modules missing but the image was okay.

    Outside of the driving software, I'd bet a utility like VPT can do it, and I'd guess the big name VJ "media server" type apps can.
    Arkaos is one and Resolume Arena is another. I haven't played with either.

    There should be free demo copies to play with.

    But would prob just need to chop of the array in software and realign the missing pieces out and make it display it that way.

    I'm curious if the sending card can scale the image out to the screen?

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