In this tutorial, I’m going to discuss how to use LED Edit software’s manual layout creator option to create a representation of the LED layout for your LED programming needs. I have discussed using LED Edit’s automatic layout creator to create panel-like led layouts. It’s fine most of the time, but we occasionally have to design-led displays in irregular shapes. In this tutorial, I’m going to discuss how to use LED Edit’s Manual Layout Creator to design irregular-shaped layouts. This tutorial applies to “LED Edit” software, not “LED Edit -K” software. I will add tutorials for those software versions in the future.
I will discuss how to design some irregular-shaped layouts. First of all, you need to create a new project. Please follow the section “Starting a New LED Edit Project” in my previous tutorial [click here].
Creating Frame Shaped LED Layout
Click on “Project Config” in the top menu bar and select “Start Manual Layout“. This will bring up the manual layout design window.
Click on “File” and select “New.” Type the size of the worksheet you want (the width and height of the work space). This does not refer to the number of LEDs you intend to use. This simply refers to the size of the work area. You can choose any size, but it shouldn’t be less than the number of LEDs you are about to use. Use a workspace that is 3–6 times larger than the number of LEDs you are about to use. First of all, create a layout plan on paper or in MS Paint. Here is my plan.
The method I’m about to use is the BMP method. Yes, you can manually lay LEDs one by one, but it’s a waste of time. To make things easy, I’m going to use Adobe Photoshop software. Run your Photoshop software, click on “File,” and choose “New.” If you don’t have Photoshop software, please download and install it.
In the “New file” window, Give the width and height text fields the number of LEDs on the width and height sides of your plan; in my case, it’s 40 LEDs on the width side and 30 LEDs on the height side. So I give 40 and 30 (W, H) as in the image. Click “OK” after leaving the other settings as shown in the image above.
Click on the “Zoom Tool” in the toolbar and zoom the sheet as you like by clicking in the sheet or clicking on the “Fit Screen” button. Click on “View” in the top main bar and select “Rules” to enable the ruler.
Click on “Edit,” choose “Preferences,” then “Units and Rulers.” select Pixels for both “Rulers” and “Type” from the drop-down menu, then click “OK.” Your ruler will now display in pixels. Consider one pixel as one LED.
Now let’s make our frame. Before creating the frame, I’m going to create ruler guides to make it easier to create the frame. Right-click and hold on the vertical side ruler, and grab it towards the sheet until it reaches the 5-pixel mark in the horizontal ruler, and release the mouse. If you accidentally leave it in the wrong place, click on that ruler guide, hold down your mouse button, and drag it to the right position.
Why did I choose 5 pixels? Remember that 1 px = 1 LED because I have 5 rows of LEDs.
Using the same method, I’m going to place other guides as well. Look at the above photo.
Now click on the “paint bucket” tool from the toolbar, click on the color, choose black, and click “OK.” Now click on the sheet to make it black.
Now select the “Rectangle Tool” from the toolbar, and in the top right you will see labels like “Fill” and “Stroke.” Click the rectangle in front of them and choose a white color from the palette for both “Fill” and “Stroke.” Click and hold the mouse button on any corner of the inner rectangle created by the ruler guides, grab it toward an opposite corner, and release it (if you place it wrongly, resize it) to create the inner rectangle. This is how it appears:
Click on “File” and select “Save As.” In the Save As menu, give any file name as the file name and select “BMP” from the Type drop-down list. and click on “Save.”
This will bring up the “BMP settings” window. Keep the settings as above and click “OK.” Close the Photoshop software. If it asked, “Do you want to save?” Choose “OK” and select a path to save the project file.
Now go back to your LED Edit’s manual layout creator window and click on “File” and choose “Import BMP,” then click “OK,” choose the BMP file that we just created, and click “OK.” Place the layout anywhere in the workspace. It will be something like this:
Now, all we have to do is make the connections. You can manually do the connection by using the line tool, or we can use the “Auto LX” tool to automatically do the connection. Click on the “Auto LX” tool icon in the top bar and choose the method you want to use to wire the LEDs. I’m going to use “Left Into” and click on “Close.”
Right-click and hold, grab the mouse cursor and release it so that the selection covers up your whole layout.
Of course, this is not a good way to do the wiring. It’s a waste of wires. I’m going to reduce the wire usage by dividing the layout into 4 sections, using the “Auto LX” tool to wire each section separately, and connecting each section using the line tool. Here is my plan.
Auto LX Tool on LED Edit
Use the “Auto LX” tool separately on each section. Click on the “Auto LX” tool and choose the way you want to wire and select each section separately, one by one, like this.
If you want to delete a connection, click on the “Quick remove connection” tool, then select the section you want to delete by clicking and holding while dragging the mouse pointer over the area that contains the connections you want to delete.
Note that I had selected different wiring patterns for each section and laid the wires in such a way that each section’s wire end would be next to the other section’s wire. making it easy to wire and saving a lot of wires.
Now we have to connect each section in a series. Click on “Line Tool” in the top bar and connect the 1st section ends with the 2nd section, the 2nd section ends with the 3rd section, and the 3rd section ends with the 4th section in by clicking on one LED and then clicking on the other LED to make the connection. Don’t make a connection between the 4th and 1st sections.
Connecting to the Port
Now we are done with making connections between sections. It’s time to connect our layout to the port. Different controllers have a different number of ports, and those ports have a different number of maximum allowed LEDs. In my previous tutorial, I selected the T1000-B controller, which has 1 port that can be connected to a total of 2048 LEDs. To connect our layout to the port (in my case, port 1), we must create our port. Click on the port icon on the top bar and click beside your layout to create the port. If you need to change the port number of the created port, just double-click on it and change it.
Now click on “Line Tool” and connect the port with section 1’s input line by clicking on the port and then the 1st LED of section 1.
Now we are done creating our layout. Click on “File” and select “Save.” Choose a path and give a name to the file, then click
Now close the “Manual Layout Creator” window and go back to the LED Edit main window. Click on “Project Config” and choose “Import (.cxb).” Browse to and choose the file we just created and click “OK.” If you see a message like “Import _ LED lights, Importing Failed 0 lights,” you’ve created and imported your layout successfully. But if the failed lights are greater than 0, you have bad connections.
Fixing the bad connections
The failed connection locations can be easily located by the white LED, which means there is an error in the connection at that location. To fix this, go back to “Manual Layout Creator” by clicking on “Project Config” in the top menu bar and selecting “Start Manual Layout.” In the Manual Layout Creator window, click on “File” and choose “Open.” Browse and select the file we created and click on “OK.”
This will bring up our layout. Zoom in to the locations where connections failed and reconnect them using the “Line tool” (it will be easy if you delete the connection in that area using the “Quick remove connection” tool as in step 13.1, and reconnect them using the “Line” tool). After remaking the connections, save the file again this time. Click on “File” and choose “Save” to save the same file. Follow step 17 again.
Go to my previous tutorial [click here] and continue from the subsection titled “Recording a Video or an Animation” to apply a video or an animation to our layout.