OpenGL Shaders And An LED Cube

Back in February at the Hacker Hotel camp in the Netherlands, among the many pieces of work around the venue was a rather attractive LED cube. Very pretty, but LED cubes have been done many times before.

If a casual attendee had taken the time to ask though, they might have found something a little more interesting, for while the cube in question might have had the same hardware as the others it certainy didn’t have the same software. [Polyfloyd] had equipped his LED cube with OpenGL shaders to map arbitrary images to the cube’s pixels in 3D space.

Hardware-wise it’s the same collection of AliExpress LED panels and Raspberry Pi driver board that the other cubes use, in this case mounted on a custom laser-cut frame. Driver software comes from an open-source library round which he’s put a wrapper allowing input through a UNIX pipe. This can take the RGB output of an OpenGL shader, of which he has created both 2D to 3D and spherical projection versions. The must-see demo is a global map of light pollution, and the result is a rather impressive piece of work.

If LED cubes are your thing, don’t forget this recent Hackaday Prize entry.

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