Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DMD progress so far

Revised the DMD code a little today and thought it would be fun to see how far I've come the past months. The current DMD state is as follows:

* Streaming fullscreen animations with up to 40 fps from the SD card
* Graphics library with two types of texts and box/line drawing
* Multilayered - combine several layers of graphics before drawing
* Runs at 110-130 Hz, 8 shades of color

Again - the cellphone camera does not do the screen or animation justice. Also, the example animation in the video is a little messy and runs a little too fast to be pleasant. When making the final animations each needs to be tailored so that each animation looks good on the DMD, regardless if the movement becomes too slow or fast in comparison to the original clip. It's all about the end results! 

I've prepared around 80 shots of animations not counting static images and custom menus etc. I have not yet created any final DMD animations. The process is slow and tedious, that's for sure!

For comparison - this is how the DMD rendering looked a couple of months ago (on a PinLED display):

Although the framerate was pretty solid at around 100-150 frames at that time, there was no loading of images or multishading. It was all just one frame prebuilt and displayed in a single shade as fast as possible.

The new DMD-code is a LOT faster - if I would have the same setup with the new code, the display would potentially update at far above 1000 Hz. (The screen caps at around 200 Hz according to the specs). It's the SD card loading and, to a point, the frame rebuilding that takes time.

The annoying bit-packing bug is still apparent, to my dismay. I can't seem to figure out what the problem is, since the packing/unpacking looks fine on the computer, and the correct amount of bits and bytes are there. It shouldn't be a problem with the SD card library either, since the same code works fine when loading an unpacked DMD-file.


  1. that looks really good! I think the red will go with your theme better than a traditional orange dmd.