What is this

Playing around with the LED panel (64*64 resolution) to make optical illusion by using physical materials as a way to change the stereotype feeling of LED display. 

I am interested in designing optical illusion, one of my favorites is the one using static image and a moving barrier paper above to make "animation", which is called "Moire Animation". There is even an app on Apple app store, here and I am attaching a sample video below. 

So I wanted to employ this interesting experience into LED screen. Imagine if I can apply this illusion into physical space, and I will show this concept later in this post. 

Mirror LED

Anyway, we have to try it out. As we were preparing this one, we also did some other attempts. We've been trying put two pieces of reflective acrylic board against to the corner of the LED panel and the result is pretty intriguing. 

Illusion LED

We laser cut a black mat board as the magic tool. In order to make the illusion happen, we have to do some math. The distance of each gap on the black board should be equal to the length of each pixel on the LED panel. Either too large or small will affect the experience. 

During this testing, I started researching how to make this static image technically and it turned out to be really easy. All I need is Photoshop. Everyone knows that a gif picture is composed by several frames of pictures. Basically, Moire Animation shares the same principles here. Here is the online tutorial

Make Hands Dirty

Let's make this magic happen on this panel!! Initially, I did not want to use the image's been made already. I tried a relatively complicated gif picture and broke down it into each frame in Photoshop. However, the outcome was not good since I forgot the fact that this panel has a low resolution. So the image resource cannot be too complicated and detailed. The failure video:

Make Hands Dirty Again

So we decided to shrink down the frame size and complexity of the "animation" to only 4 frames, single object. The outcome was amazing!!

We also made a tool in openFrameworks and it will automatically do all the editing work and merge all the pictures together. All you have to do is importing 4 frames of pictures into it. Find it here

Final Project and Performance

For final project, we were asked to developing our project by using one of the LED panels in The LED LAB. They include a curved LED screen, a spherical LED panel, and a big LED screen composed by serval smaller ones have different resolutions. Eventually our project was using two of them, the curved one as the main one and the big LED screen. 

Prototyping and Developing

We've made some prototypes to test some specific ideas. We did this airplane flying towards the sky prototype which affected our final thoughts in a thorough way. Since we thought this slender screen is perfect for vertical moving image after several attempts. Since it is a really short class which only has 6 weeks, we nailed down with the rocket idea.

Basically, we are gonna make a performance with physical objects, includes a cute rocket, some clouds, and video plus audio. We put the moving sky on the curved screen and the universe image on the big screen to make an immersive experience, the earth image onto that global screen! 

Cloud making. Making frame first, packing it up, and wrapping it with cotton to make it looks more cloud-like. 

Designer (midterm): Ran Mo, John Namu Choi, Todd Bryant, and Valerie Chen. 

Concept, Design Research, Design, Fabrication, and Documentation. 

Designer (final): Ran Mo, Inpyo Chang, Valerie Chen, Woonyung Choi, Xinyi Deng.

Design, Fabrication (clouds)