Final Documentation – Noah Hillman

My project, loosely titled “Visonic Show”, was a light art project that combines music with visual animations in a window of engraved panes. The major construction steps can be found in my previous posts, however I will give an overview of all the major components below.


The panes were made from 3/16″ acrylic sheets each engraved with a design using a laser cutter. The panes were organized from least dense to most dense so that the rear panes are still visible and not cluttered when the front ones are lit. The panes each had locating notches in the corners for removable spacers and frame screws so that they could be easily swapped out.


Each pane was surrounded by 4 strips of 16 addressable LEDs, totalling 256 LEDs for 4 panes. The edges of the panes were sanded and the LEDs attached using hot glue to help diffuse the light. To prevent light bleeding between panes, a strip of black electrical tape surrounds each pane on the front and back edges. Each pane has a JST power connector and 0.1″ I/O headers for the LED data wire so that the panes can be swapped out or re-organized. Additionally, the power connectors on each pane reduce the voltage drop across a large single string of LEDs.


The LEDs were controlled using Syncstrip running on a computer and Renderstrip on an Arduino. I modified the Synsctrip library to use the FastLED library for it’s WS2812b LED functionality support. The Syncstrip program plays a song and an image file pixel row by row at a set frequency and sends the colors to the Arduino to set the LEDs.


I created the animation image file that Syncstrip used using Photoshop and audacity. I used audacity to locate the exact time of beats and guides in Photoshop to help draw the animations. Since the frequency of playing the animations was known, it was easy to match pixel rows to playback times to sync the animations. Each pane was grouped and masked separately which made drawing on a single pane much easier. Overall, drawing the animations took the most time for this project.

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