Big LEDs Final Project

For my final project, I wanted to play around with the LED wall in the Lobby of 370 Jay Street. I have some experience with MadMapper but I previously had used it with a projector. I wanted to make something that utilized the full spectrum of brightness of the LEDs themselves, so I wanted a good deal of dark and light space in the video. On top of that I knew I wanted to do something monochromatic inspired by some of the projects that other students shared as inspiration on their blogs.

For Nature of Code last year, I created these 3D Mandelbrot fractal animations in Maya using PyMEL scripting and I thought that it would be well suited to being projected on an LED wall. I've used MadMapper in a previous project, however it had been awhile and I've never used it to map to an LED grid before. I modified the video so that it would boomerang forward and backward not realizing that MadMapper has this option already available, oh well!

I never used Queues in MadMapper before, but they were pretty easy to figure out after some tinkering. I had a few different Mandelbulb animations to choose from, so I decided on two of them that fade into each other with a 2 second fade once the video finishes playing.

Something I learned about working with this wall is that it IS BRIGHT! I'm not sure if I can control the brightness in MadMapper other than changing the saturation and brightness within the content itself, but every video I tried feels like it's a bit too bright to be comfortable to look at. This is something I definitely need to keep in mind when creating content for these types of screens, which I would like to continue doing in the future. I did notice that the LED wall had a small square that looked like it's malfunctioning, along with a strip on the left-hand side that wasn't lighting up. Because of this, I thought it could be fun to design content around the parts of the wall that weren't working properly, like cutouts or grids utilizing those spaces to mask or call attention to the broken parts of the screen.

On another note, I would love to build a giant floor-to-ceiling LED wall for these fractal animations, but obviously that would be extremely costly, but I think the outcome would look pretty incredible, as it would allow for even higher-resolution content. Overall though, I had a great time playing around with building and placing content on the wall. I feel I'm just starting to understand what types of projects work well on this type of screen versus LCDs and Projectors.