AuthorTopic: 3 inch wide pixels and a 12x8ft display + audio processing = Pixel Heart  (Read 6869 times)

Offline jverkoey

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  • Exploring large-scale pixel art :)
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Hallo! It's been a while since the 72 hour game dev competitions that used to have me frequenting these boards :)

This past year I started a project using individually addressable LEDs to create a large-scale pixelated display. It's a 48x32 pixel resolution screen, but every pixel is 3 inches wide making the display 12x8ft. It's huge and fun to dance in front of :)

The spirit of the entire project is a throwback to pixel art and the nostalgic feelings it brings to so many of us. By physically not enabling anything more dense than .3 ppi it restricts what you can present - akin to the low-resolution displays of yesteryear - while being so large that you can stand in front of it. It's like being transported into an pixelated world!

The display is called the Pixel Heart. It's run using a piece of custom software that displays animations we've built for it. The software processes nearby audio in real-time and provides the animations with a breakdown of the sound. This makes it easy to build things like pixelated hearts that beat to the bass line and flowing colors that speed up as the music intensifies.

Video showing this audio processing in action:

So why am I posting about this here? After seeing the new Low Spec Art section on the forums here I felt that this new project fit into that niche fairly well. I'm tossing this out here to spark conversation and to see what other pixel artists think of the endeavor as we continue to play with the idea.

We've been hosting some small events in San Francisco and taken it to one music festival thus far. Our next big adventure is to bring it to Burning Man, one of the biggest lighting explorations on the planet. We love collaborating with anyone on this project and hope that it intrigues people here the same way it does us :) If you're planning to go to Burning Man this year, it would be rad to work together to create new pixelated animations and get to see them out there!

And a video:

Really glad to see these forums still running strong!
♪ Pixels ♥ Beats ♪
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 07:39:49 pm by jverkoey »

Offline Y?sen

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The first video was quite good. Smooth transitioning between colors really helped it out.

I'm a bit concerned about the transitioning of colors in the second video, however. Complimentary colors could have been composed more in a way to smoothly progress within the transition like shown in video #1.

Also have you ever thought of using non-centered focals for stuff like this? Would be nice to see what would come of it.

Offline RyanB

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Damn, this is VERY COOL stuff man!

I love seeing these kind of interactive lighting displays, especially bands like the Flaming Lips in concert.  I've got a background in electronics and the games industry, so seeing this gets my nerd blood pumping.

I'd love to see some of my effects work on a big screen like that.
Teach a man to fish and he feeds himself.  Don't teach a man to fish and feed yourself.  He's a grown man.  Fishing's not that hard. - Ron Swanson