Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

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Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:07 am

Hi guys,

I'm using MadLight in MM 2.2.2, and finding it really cumbersome and slow to select and move a large number of LED fixtures that were scanned in using LED Mapper. Just a bit of background:
* We have 160 custom PCB's that we're driving with PixelPushers from MM (via ArtNet-to-PixelPusher bridge).
* Each PCB has 115 WS2801's, for a total of 18,400 LEDs in the system for a large installation.
* I scanned in a pair of PCBs using LED Scanner, then used the "Duplicate selected surface" function to double the number of PCBs every time.
* We're using a brand new iMac with 2.8GHz quad-core Core i5, Intel HD Graphics 6200, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM and 256GB SSD

I'm up to 32 PCBs (3,680 LED fixtures), and the system is so bogged down that it's almost unusable. Just selecting half of these LED fixtures (1,840) and grouping them is taking a ton of time (it's been at least 15 minutes, and it's still not done).

I'd love some advice on the best way to manipulate this many LED fixtures. I'm not sure what's making the Mac bog down so much? Is there an advantage to grouping them? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Kent
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:10 am

Hi there,

Now this is a real plea for help ;-), as things have gotten even worse as I duplicate more fixtures. I'm hoping someone out there can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong, or a work-around for this. The 160 PCBs we have in our large installation are in 10 columns of 16 PCBs each. First, I placed all of the fixtures into column one, then copied them to column two. Duplicating column one to column two took about 45 minutes. However, duplicating column two to column three took overnight (it hadn't finished after an hour or so before I left for the night).

The MadMapper project is here (would only let me attach files less than 256kB to this post):
https://app.box.com/s/ip63ojqy9htkybn7mwoxvgj30jodtowm

What am I doing wrong? When MM is churning away duplicating the column, the Activity Monitor doesn't show high CPU or memory usage, so I'm not sure why it's taking so long? The current project is now up to 3 columns, but I need to get up to 10 columns, and I'm afraid of how long this could take to duplicate. My strategy is to copy two more columns to make 5, then copy all 5 to make 10. The mapping is working well to the actual hardware, but the duplicating of the fixtures is taking alarmingly long. I'm guessing there's something I'm not doing right?

Best regards,
Kent
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:39 am

Oh, I should mention that we have the iMac on its own network with the 10 PixelPushers with no access to the internet. Does that matter?
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby Eaglerulez » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:25 am

Hi there,

I might be completely unhelpful with this suggestion, I am new to LED Mapping and don't have my full version of MadMapper with me to view your project. But I am looking to embark upon a project of a similar scale and have been researching this topic pretty extensively.

On my 2.3Ghz Quad Core i7 MacBook Pro with 16gb of RAM I begin to chug at around 600 or so individual 3 channel LED fixtures (so 600 pixels essentially). However if I make a custom fixture with a number of pixels that correlates to what I am running in real life. Say for instance a fixture with 1X144pixels (which would be about 1meter of really dense LED tape and essentially a whole universe...so one output on one of your pixel pushers) the program seems to handle that number of pixels and channels quite easily without chugging.

To make a new fixture simply go to "edit" in the fixture library (which is the first thing you see when you click on a fixture) and go ahead and spec a fixture that makes sense for your setup.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if this works or not!

Thanks!
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:53 am

Thanks Eaglerulez,

That's an interesting data point. So you found that as long as you use the Fixture Editor tool and create a regular grid of LEDs, MM can handle a large number of LEDs, right? Unfortunately, our custom PCB has to have LEDs at strange locations (not on a regular rectangular grid) for a reason, so I used MM's LED Scanner feature to input their locations (which worked well).

Based on what you found, I tried exporting our irregular grid of LEDs into a fixture (using the Export Fixtures feature), but when I took a blank project and imported these fixtures in, nothing showed up.

I'm now thinking that I may need to go back to MadMapper instead, unless I can find a work-around for this problem.

Best regards,
Kent
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:40 am

Sorry, I meant that I might have to go back to Mapio 2 Pro.
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby franz » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:04 pm

Hi Wazuki,
the way you handle your fixtures is not optimal:
instead of making 1 pixel/LED per fixture,
you should make a fixture that contains multiple pixels.
The less fixtures, the faster MadMapper.
Actually in your file there's more than 5000 fixtures, under the hood that's 5000 OpenGL draw calls, messages ... etc
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:31 am

Hi Franz,

Yes, that's exactly what we'd like to do, make a fixture with our irregular arrangement of LEDs. When we used LED Scanner, it produced 230 fixtures for 230 LEDs. Is there a way to combine those into one fixture? We also tried creating a generic 230-LED fixture in Fixture Editor, then select that fixture before scanning LEDs in LED Scanner, but that didn't work either. Later, we found that if we chose a 3-LED fixture, it would scan every 3rd LED, etc. Do you know of a way to create a 230-LED fixture with irregular spacing (not on a regular rectangular grid)?

As a stop-gap measure, we also created a MM project that used small linear LED strip fixtures (up to 13 LEDs) in order to emulate the LEDs on our keyboard, and that project is here: https://app.box.com/s/rnqrad61nxkol2qvrpc8oqsc7tofe4qb This at least works a bit better, since it's less than 1/3 of the original 18,400 fixtures, but we'd still like to have a fixture that has all 230 LEDs on it. Any advice on how to do that would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Kent
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:20 pm

Just as an FYI to everyone reading this post - I got a response from Gael at garagecube letting me know what I should do. He told me to use the Fixture Editor tool to create a large grid, hit clear to clear all of the pixels, then add pixels in the grid where they exist on our PCB, in order to approximate our LEDs on a rectangular grid. That way, all of the LEDs on our PCB will appear as one fixture, saving us a ton of headaches.

Thanks Gael!
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby Xaver2k » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:00 am

Hey thanks wazuki for the information!
but i think i don´t really get it ^^ can you show us a sreenshot pls?
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:58 pm

Gael from garagecube sent me a video that was really clear, but I don't want to share it without his permission. Gael - if you're monitoring this conversation, can you share the video?
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby Eaglerulez » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:05 am

Awesome! I am glad Gael was able to assist. If we are able to post that video I am sure it would be helpful!

From what I can gather a lot of the documentation on LED setups is for very basic and standard configurations.

It would be great if there was more out there for those of us doing things that are a bit more complicated.

Thanks so much!
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby garageRoot » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:36 am

Hi Wazuki , feel free to share the video I provided .
It0s useful for everyone .
Gael
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby wazuki » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:16 am

Hey guys,

Tried a number of times, but couldn't post the video - probably too big? The file is 35MB or so.

Best,
Kent
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Re: Manipulating large number of LED fixtures in MadLight

Postby Xaver2k » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:09 pm

upload to vimeo or youtube?
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