• Elvin Ou

Final Process 05- 99% DONE!!!

Since last post, I have tried again finding the problem that caused the huge delay in the serial communication between p5 and arduino until one point everyone told me it was not going to work. From there, I decided to move on and switched p5 to processing. However I am so new to programming that I have never used processing before. I had to watch so many Shiffman's videos trying to figure out how videoCapture works and how Java works. During the process, Rios (my pcomp prof) helped me so much with figuring out how to translate to Java. Eventually, I managed to pick it up and was able to work with processing. In addition, Barak suggested me to try to use fadecandy for my project, which also took me a while to get a hang of how it worked.

After moving my code from p5 to processing and translated them into java, I tested fadecandy driver controlling a 8*8 matrix I bought just for experiment. The resting went pretty well, however the fadecandy driver has limitation in terms of the quantity of each roll of light matrix. It only has 8 pins (which means only 8 rolls of neoPixels) and each pin can control ip to 64 pixels. I was very lucky that my initial grid was 59*8, which was perfect to use the fadecandy. The bad side of using fadecandy is that the lights are wired completely different so that I had take out all the wires I soldered and rearrange the neoPixels and resolder all of them in a progressive order instead of zigzag. There other project I encountered was the power because I had to wire the power supply and split them to 8 separate strips.

After rewired my old box, I started testing out the fadecandy library on it until I FINALLY figure out how to use processing and fadecandy to live stream videoCapture on my light matrix!!!! It was such an amazing moment when the light matrix turned live..

I was sooooo excited and happy about it. It felt sooo good and all the days and nights meant for something! From there I tested on some peers on the floor testing the how clear or abstract should the video be, the height and so on.

Here is a video of it working:

Then I started building the second half of the project, which was a lot.. The fabrication was actually really time-consuming. However, I managed to build my second box. Again, I started with laser-cutting out the platform the light strips sit on and solder the power supply and fadecandy at the first box.

The next step was pretty tedious, the wiring and soldering of the lights at the connecting point of two offset boxes. it was extremely difficult and time-consuming but I had to just do it until it was DONE.

From my first box testing, I realized that the light strips were bit warming up when it was on for long so I decided to drill some venting holes in the back of the boxes to help with the ventilation. Then the two screens were built beautifully!!!! I have to say, I am really proud of the fabrication :D They look GREAT!!

Here is a video of them:

From there the last step was to get more acrylic sheets for the surface diffuser and put two screen together. Then new problems occurred: I needed ventilation for both fo the pieces so that my initial idea of combining them back to back would not work. I had to figure out a way to combine them together.

I checked my tool boxes, the screws, the standoffs and everything until I decided I will go get some brackets. Then I had to take the boxes on each end apart to drills holes for the brackets to connect....and I am just so happy that I did not break them.

Here are some closeups:

From there, I did the final test play at pcomp final and got some final feedback:

Here are some testing videos during the process: