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Your experiences with matrix density and aspect ratios

Started by toozie21, December 21, 2018, 08:16:02 AM

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toozie21

Hope everyone's lights are blinking OK during this home stretch!

I currently have a 73x20 WS2812 30LED/m pixel matrix powered by an e682.  It is a very odd aspect ratio as I was originally trying to mimic my homemade incandescent 7-segment countdown that was 8ft x 2ft (which is basically what my current matrix is).

As I start to do more with my matrix, the aspect ratio is a killer.

I am currently thinking about reworking my matrix for next year, and am trying to see what people have been happy with in their display with simple animations on it.

I plan to keep with WS2812b 30LED/m strips in tubes, so I am working off of a 1.3" pixel spacing (which isn't too terrible in my opinion).  I have 2 options (which is personal preference I know).

1 - Keep the pixel quantity within 2040 so the e682 can get reused.

2 - Sell the e682, get a falcon, and use more than 2040 pixels.  As much as I would love to go this route, the cost goes up pretty quickly.....

So, if I went with something like a 50pxl x 40pxl (5.5ft x 4.33ft)) matrix, what do you think?

Anyone happy/unhappy with their current designs?  I'd love to hear about both sides!
~Jason
www.tooz.us

algerdes

7 of the matrix sections we have are at 2" centers in both vertical and horizontal.  (Made from Boscoyo matrix panels.)  The 8th and 9th are at ~ 1". (Boscoyo Monster Matrix units.)  They all look good at a viewing distance of ~ 90 feet.  Driving them with Falcon F16s with expansion boards works very well.  To equate this to your pixel strip version, I'd stay with the same spacing horizontal and vertical. (BTW - our 4 "normal" mega-trees (12' tall (15 x 38) and 14' tall (15 x 50)) are driven by E682s. The 20' and 30' tall trees are driven by F16s with expansion boards.)

Aspect rations are another animal.  We keep our image aspects set to original.  If we use the whole matrix, then that is great.  If not, no one notices the "black bars" on each side of the image since it is dark during our show.   I feel it is usually more important to not distort the image.  Here again, it is personal preference.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

toozie21

Quote from: algerdes on December 21, 2018, 08:25:41 AM
7 of the matrix sections we have are at 2" centers in both vertical and horizontal.  (Made from Boscoyo matrix panels.)  The 8th and 9th are at ~ 1". (Boscoyo Monster Matrix units.)  They all look good at a viewing distance of ~ 90 feet.  Driving them with Falcon F16s with expansion boards works very well.  To equate this to your pixel strip version, I'd stay with the same spacing horizontal and vertical. (BTW - our 4 "normal" mega-trees (12' tall (15 x 38) and 14' tall (15 x 50)) are driven by E682s. The 20' and 30' tall trees are driven by F16s with expansion boards.)

Aspect rations are another animal.  We keep our image aspects set to original.  If we use the whole matrix, then that is great.  If not, no one notices the "black bars" on each side of the image since it is dark during our show.   I feel it is usually more important to not distort the image.  Here again, it is personal preference.

Wow, you were ready to post :-).  Thanks!

I definitely keep the spacing even in the vertical and horizontal, otherwise I feel like things would have a stretched/squashed feeling. 

I was meaning more the aspect ratio of the matrix itself.  So if I wanted to do some simple gifs or movie clips, I have to scroll things up/down since I only have 2 ft vertical to play with.  I feel like 5.5ft x 4.3ft would make a lot of this easier, but I wondering if someone would say that it is still too small to do anything useful on it.  With my matrix being 8ft wide, things look really nice in the width department, I just can't do anything useful completely on the screen all at once.
~Jason
www.tooz.us

toozie21

On pricing, here are some rough swags:

5.5ft x 4.3ft:
*50x40 pixels
*2000 pixels
*if I can get pixels at $0.125/pixel = $250
*I can reuse my e682 and I have spare power supplies sitting on the shelf
*** $250 project


7ft x 5ft:
*64x46 pixels
*2760 pixels
*if I can get pixels at $0.125/pixel = $350
*I would need to sell my e682 (let's optimistically say I can get $100 for it)
*Buy a replacement F16V3 (say $200)
*Buy another power supply (say $50)
***$500 project

so to go from ~23.5 ft^2 for $250, it will cost an addition $25 to get to 35 ft^2.  Is it worth it?  Not sure.  Can I talk my wife into it, who knows :).
~Jason
www.tooz.us

algerdes

Quote from: toozie21 on December 21, 2018, 08:55:55 AM
Is it worth it?  Not sure.  Can I talk my wife into it, who knows :) .


You are on your own with these two questions!  :)


In my case, I built the monster matrix as a 3"x3" version first.  Of course that didn't look good on pictures.
Then I reconfigured it as a 2"x2". (882 pixels) Looked "OK", but...
I wasn't happy, and she saw it and immediately asked "what would it look like at 1" ?" (3,528 pixels) 


It is always better when she suggests things!  :) :) :)
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

toozie21

QuoteYou are on your own with these two questions!  :)
Don't I know it  ;D

Were these matrices square? (I am guessing not since 3528^.5 is not an integer)?

Have an videos around of your 1" you can point me to?

~Jason
www.tooz.us

algerdes

Sorry.  No videos.  I should make one though, just when?  :(
The big ones are 4 x 8 feet.  The 4 smaller ones are 2 x 8 feet.  Note that there is a 2 footer next to a 4 footer next to a 2 footer - and we call that a tower.  (The motif is supposed to be a "castle".)  These are all on 2" centers.  Most of the time we use them as one big 8 foot by 8 foot matrix.  Works just fine.


The center matrix is 4 x 8 feet, but on 1" centers.
The layout for the "show" area is attached. (Hopefully)
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

toozie21

That's a great looking display, nicely done!


How do you feel about having your 1" spacing matrix vertical instead of horizontal?
~Jason
www.tooz.us

algerdes

In the original version of the layout, that was a drawbridge.  It was complete with a winch to lower it, or more appropriately "raise it" at the beginning of the show, then lower it at the end with an appropriate image of the big guy in the red suite coming through.  Perhaps next year.  :)


It actually works really well.  We use full length images, such as Frosty, Rudolph, the Grinch, etc.  and do some zooming, some motion, and even some video (rather sparse this year) and they all look just fine.  My better half did a bunch of the sequencing for this year.  She likes things that spin, twist, and "jump out at you".  The format, including the number of them across the castle, works fine for her type of sequencing.  I'm getting used to it as well.


Once again, I have to mention that the whole show is around 100 feet (or more) from the parking area.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

toozie21

Here is my current display. This is from too close, so a little pixelated, but you can get the idea.

~Jason
www.tooz.us

algerdes

24 x 72?  Nice use of the format.  I like the movement you are using.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

toozie21

Thanks. It is actually 73x20.

The large width, but narrow height is my issue. Without scrolling, there isn't much I can do with images since they need more pixels.  That was basically why I was curious about other height x width ratios.
~Jason
www.tooz.us

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