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November 29, 2015 AT 5:00 am

PixelWeb Christmas Tree Light-Show!

Incredible Christmas Tree Lights using AllPixel, BiblioPixel and PixelWeb via Maniacal Labs

Anyone can string up some digitally controlled LEDs to a tree all willy-nilly and light them up, but making the animations work smoothly over the whole tree as a 3D object takes a little extra work. BiblioPixel has a controller called LEDCircle which takes the hard work out of working with circular displays (or conical in this case, which is just a circle extruded over a point since we only care about the surface). But instead of using pixel indices or (x,y) coordinates, you can use polar coordinates: radius and angle. But we need to know how many pixels makes up each ring on the code. This required some very careful layout of the pixels on the tree, counting the total number of pixels on each ring. Fortunately, unlike a real tree, the branches are evenly spaced on 14 separate levels. With this information in hand, we can define the rings on the display:

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