Jurek and the Amazing Techno, Colored DreamWall

Jurek and the Amazing Techno, Colored DreamWall

The title is mostly a placeholder, as I haven't really figured out a name for it yet. This project is a wall hanging that consists of semi-large triangular pixels using discrete RGB LED's and PWM to control intensity levels of each LED, resulting in a 4096-color display.

Friday, May 11, 2007

More Center Earth

Center Earth
I went to Axe Man to buy a couple supplies for the wall (50' of wire, a small switch, and something to mount it on) to be used for the Center Earth set project. The small button next to the power switch is a general purpose on/off port on the processor that the code can poll to do whatever I need to use as external input. So I assembled and wired up the 50' wire, so the director can hit it when he wants from afar (e.g. his chair). I then soldered the wire directly to the existing switch, and viola—a tethered remote control for the director.

We brought the wall over to their set stage last night, which was pretty easy because it's only about 6 blocks away from my studio. Today, they're finishing up the set building and doing a rough color test (I think). Tomorrow will hopefully be the first shoot with it, and I'll be on hand in case certain tweaks need to be done or something breaks unexpectedly.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Center Earth

Coding update
So I suppose I can now tell you all a bit more about this project that I'm getting the Technowall (unofficial name, but it seems to be sticking).
The project is called Center Earth, and it's a pilot for a science fiction-y type show, akin to 70's shows like Doctor Who. Right now, it's slated to be used for at least one set (Can't remember the exact name of it, but it's a department in the main government/oversight building), and potentially several others.
I've been busy coding up what the director wants, and am mostly done at this point. I still need to do a bit of wiring (wiring up a pushbutton on a very long cable so he can control a trigger mechanism directly), but that's a rather minor thing. The shooting for that scene is set for a week from this coming Tuesday (so the 15th-ish). I will hopefully try to block off some time to go and supervise things, in case the code doesn't work right or certain elements of the operation need to be tweaked (changing colors, speed, etc).

Anyway, the website is here: www.center-earth.com. There's not a whole lot on there yet, but the theme music is pretty sweet, and the open call list might give you a better idea of the focus of the show.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Miscellaneous Progress

Test Module
Progress continues on the smaller test module that I mentioned in my previous post.
I've got the pixel divider walls and the backing glued together, and I tested using aluminum tape on the floor of the pixels. As it turns out, Home Depot stopped carrying the 2'x4' 1/8" white marker board, and now only carry a brown version of it. It's not nearly as glossy (plus, it's brown), so I'm attempting to use the aluminum tape as a reflective agent on the floor as well.

The small number of pixels, combined with the assembly method I have, actually makes this small one not very easy to keep "true", as far as the pixel shapes are concerned. There are only 2 triangles that end up being "perfect", and they're not adjacent to each other (only kissing), so everything kinda wobbled around a little, until I got the floor glued to it.

I started into soldering up another driver board, mainly to get myself back into things. The only components I got soldered onto the board were 2 resistors and 2 capacitors. The tip I had used for the first time around is basically useless for the very small-pitch components. It's gotten so built up with debris, and has probably had the tip melted or broken off, so it's not nearly as fine as I need it to be. I'll need to order about 5 of those bad-boys to keep me in stock.

I just got a new tablet PC on Thursday and finally got that up and running. I got all of my development tools installed, brought the tablet over to the work space, and hooked it up to the processor to make sure everything works. It still does, thankfully, and having a small portable communication medium for programming it will be a great help. I also put the visualization Python code on it and tested it out for performance. It runs at about 1/2-1/3 the speed as my desktop, peaking at about 25ms per frame at the highest resolution, so I think it should be fine for "production" use.

I need to start writing more with that code, so other people can start playing around with it. It's pretty rudimentary right now, but I hope to get it to the point where patterns, shapes, text, etc. can be made as individual files and then loaded on the fly.

OK, so you gotta start out small, I guess. I was contacted by one of the writer/director/producers of an up-coming short show called Center Earth about using the technowall as part of background for various scenes. Shooting is slated to start in mid April, and the wall will probably be needed some time in May-ish. There's not much more to say about it yet, but I'll keep everyone posted about progress with it.

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