Hello Tron fans,
Currently, I just finished the programming of my first digital costume – a short show for one costume and I want to share with you my experience with all pros and cons of programming the digital suit in Led Strip Studio.
Before you read the article, sit back and enjoy the result:
As hardware for our suits, we used our controller LEC 3 combined with an extra WIFI router served as AP (access point). We have packed it together to the new box and set it up for controlling up to 1721 pixels. We are using our standard two lithium batteries, the same as for all shows. Pixels density is 60 per meter.
For show programming, we are using Led Strip Studio version 3 that suits the best for digital/pixel strips.
First, I needed to check what are the possibilities for this suit, because it was my first digital suit programming. I have tried all the pre-programmed effects from the library. They looked really different compared to the analogue strips. Except for solid colors you use combined colors. Simply said it´s much easier to program analogue strips because you are picking just solid colors that can turn on and off regarding your segment. For digital suits, you can turn on each pixel, which means you work the majority of the time with video effects – digital color effect, pictures, text, or proper video.
You need some vision of what you want to program. When I started I didn´t have any vision at all. The main difference was that I was programming just promo effects for one suit, not a proper show with 5 suits/dancers, where I would need to additionally think on dance movements. I have picked a song that I liked and start doing the simple effects. After I made a few, I realized the song is not good, due it has very regular beats and there are not many interesting changes. I had found and downloaded an intro that I just loved, cut music, sticked it to my original song, and I did the same with the outro. Effects during the beginning of the song were quite easy because I visually followed the voice in my track. When we passed to the original song, I had an idea to place some smiles that look like a devil. I started to work with a GIF format that suits there very well. GIFs are very small, so they don´t require a lot of memory and are usually enough for our resolution of pixel suit. You need to realize that the LED wall needs to have at least 50 000 pixels to you are able to see a video in Full HD (our mid part of the digital suit has 438 pixels). When I finished this part, I had an idea to do the opposite of the devil – angel (during the show, it didn´t look as good as the devil in my opinion) after this was done, I needed to finish the final part. I was trying to think what suits there the best and because I am an addicted Star Wars fan, and Mandalorian series took my heart 3rd part was dedicated to Star Wars. Actually, you can see the whole trilogy in 15 seconds on the suit😊.
- You can see all effects in real-time while you are programming (connected via Wi-Fi)
- You can play a whole show with the trigger in offline mode without manual manipulation with an SD card, so you don´t have lags in effects (the whole show is exported wirelessly)
- Tons of digital simple effect premade in library
- Simple creation of the effects and putting them on the timeline
- Easy to create text and place it on the suit
- You can download any picture, GIF, or video and play it directly on the suit
- Very stable software (I didn´t have any fatal error during the programming)
- Text can´t be long to maintain readability
- You need to pick from many pictures downloaded and find out what is working on the suit and what not – 1st problem is, the suit pixel resolution is not the same as LED wall (“just” 438 pixels on a mid-part) 2nd problem is that many transparent pictures on the internet are in white – black and black color on the suit just doesn´t show – it means you don´t see anything
- Not that many options in pre-made color video effects (we will create more soon)
This was our first- funny show where we have found out the functionality of our digital suits, what needs to be updated, and what is already perfect as it is. You can count on seeing a proper show with multiple dancers very soon 😊. Don´t hesitate to contact us in case of any questions.