Color Wall

The ColorWall is a framework for implementing and displaying effects for a wall of pixels. During this workshop, you will write your own ColorWall and design effects for it.

../_images/rainbow.png ../_images/matrix.png ../_images/twinkle.png

You can also see the ColorWall in action here:

Download the files you will need here:

Basic Programming

First let’s work through some basic terminal exercises to learn how we use Python to work with numbers & text.

Data Types

Workshop Exercises

Unzip/Untar the workshop exercises and go through them.


The ColorWall code consists of 3 files:

  • – takes arguments from your environment (like a specified width and height for the wall), set up the wall and effects, and run them.
  • – the logic behind the matrix of squares that make up the wall. This file has a comment block at the top that summarize the interface that you will use when programming your own effects.
  • – where effects live. This is the main file that you’ll be editing during the workshop.

Run the ColorWall

If you want to try doing a git clone, you can grab the ColorWall code from Git Hub and run it from there, otherwise go into the directory that was created when you unzipped/untarred the ColorWall download.

Run the example effects:

On Windows, assuming the ColorWall software was downloaded to C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop\ColorWall

run \Python27\python.exe "C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop\colorwall\ColorWall\"

On OS X, assuming the ColorWall software was downloaded to ~/Desktop/colorwall/ColorWall run

python ~/Desktop/colorwall/ColorWall/

On Linux, assuming the ColorWall software was downloaded to ~/Desktop/colorwall/ColorWall run

python ~/Desktop/colorwall/ColorWall/

Other Resources ColorWall code on GitHub has the explanation for what HSV color space means. What it boils down to for the purposes of our project is this: each pixel gets 3 values: hue (e.g. am I red, green, or blue), saturation (am I pale or intense), and value (am I bright or dark). has example effects that exercise hue, saturation, and value independently.