ELM is a really solid choice in program for mapping LED's because it's not only inexpensive, but also simple. I've tried a lot of media servers, and I have yet to find one that can do LED mapping so easily.
Plus, if you are doing complex shapes and curves, there is truly no other program that can map it accurately.
On top of that, you can download ELM from ENTTEC's website for free , and use it in Demo mode. It is fully featured, but it does black out every 15 minutes or so until you purchase a license. Still, it's great that you can literally test everything with your gear to make sure you like it before you buy!
Watch the lessons below to learn how to use ELM:
How to Get Started in ELM:
- Launch ELM and press "New Stage", and set the resolution to match your video content. If you don't know what resolution your content will be, then choose one of the standards - 720 or 1080!
- On the right side, press "Add Strips" to begin adding LED's.
- Set the parameters to match your layout. You'll need to know exactly how your strips will be setup and wired, though you can change it later as needed.
- Then, set the DMX up so that you can communicate with your pixels.
- Press "Add", and move/scale the pixels to match your setup. Use the "testing" mode to check and make sure all of your LED's are working.
- (thru 4:34 on this video)
How to Play Video on Your Lights:
- Head over to the "Media" tab from the top right corner on ELM.
- Select, Configure, Delete and Copy media to setup the different videos and FX you want to access.
- Go over to the "Live Tab" and press some media to fire it. Try crossfading between different media on the 2 sides.
How to Use the Scheduler:
- Enter the "Scheduler" by clicking the tab in the upper right hand corner.
- Press "New Playlist" in the bottom left corner.
- Then, on the right column, press "Add Media".
- Configure the rest of the settings as desired.
- Don't forget to restart the scheduler to make the latest settings take effect.
- Head to the "Settings" tab from the upper right hand corner.
- Configure them to your liking as needed.
Link: Networking for the Lighting Person
Using the DMX Remote
- Navigate to "Settings" and "Remote", then "DMX Remote.
- Configure the settings to setup your DMX input and see the channel layout.
- Go to your lighting console (I used Onyx), and setup your DMX to output to ELM.
- Load the fixture in your console and watch it work!
- Note that you can turn off the remote via DMX with "Fixture Reserved" for times that you want manual control.