10x10 led matrix i think?with max7219 - help with led tail lights

so i have been doing some research and thought this might help make sure im on the right track here, so in terms of leds, its basically goin to be a 10x9 led matrix(or so i think), this will be for a 67 el camino and the tail light bezel is broken into three sections, i was planning on having the upper and lower sections of the board handle the task of running lights (50% power) and then when the brakes are depressed they will fully illuminate(100% power), while the middle section will be the turn signal and sequentially light up in arrow shaped led sections. I have max7219 chips that i planned on using. Now i am not sure i can control everything/ or all the leds with just one chip per board so i was planning on breaking the tail lights up into 2 sections, the running/brake lights and then the turn signals on a totally different max7219, granted i am totally new to electronics in this depth and the use of arduino/microcontrollers. x x x x x x x x x -running brakes

x x x x x x x x x -running/brakes

x x x x x x x x x -running/brakes

x x x x x -sequential turn signals arrow shaped.x x x x x x x x x x x starting every other column x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x suppose i could lose this row

x x x x x x x x x -running lights/brakes

x x x x x x x x x -running lights/brakes

x x x x x x x x x -running lights/brakes

i have ordered the led lights, the max7219chips i got 10 of them just to have for future projects, they are going to be running off the car which is 12v however it obviously fluctuates above 13.4 to 14v during operation, i am open any help or insight, i know i have to have a resistor for each column and one for each row, and that resistor size depends on supply, voltage drop, fwd voltage drop, what about transistors? and about making sure the power stays at 12v, and i am open for some help with the programming, or at least a direction as to where to go for the information, i have no problem reading and teaching myself. as i stated earlier i was going to try to link the upper and lower rows (totalling 6, 0-2 & 13-15) to run as the running lights(50%power) and when the brakes are pressed it they would illuminate to full 100%. i was thinking of incorporating the middle section as well but i think it would look cleaner this way. i am using 5mm pirahna super bright red leds i got off ebay. i can post pics if that helps, i am pretty sure i am going to have to make a seperate board for the controllers, possibly make a ribbon or small harness that runs to a small box for the other board, and a harness from that box to the car harness, i have plenty of experience in wiring and automotive wiring. any help at this point would be greatly apprectiated thank you.

is it possible to turn the top 3 rows and bottom 3 rows of leds into one circuit each since each cluster of 3 rows will be performing the same functions at the same times? in order to cut down on pins being used so maybe i am able to stick to using one max7219 ?

Yes, it would.

I'm not sure, but are you envisaging some sort of animated scrolling arrow for the turn signals? In that case the number of separate outputs you need to control this is the number of separate sets of LEDs that you need to turn on/off independently. You could probably group those central LEDs into six or seven chevrons with one control per chevron - giving a total of twelve or fourteen by the time you count the other lamp cluster. With one common PWM control for the running/brake lamps, it seems to me that you will need about fifteen or so outputs in total, which you could achieve using the Arduino outputs directly.

I assume you will check / have checked the legality of your proposed solution - I think it would not be road legal in the UK.

thanks for your input, and i would assume that i would have to go through the local dot and other organizations to make sure it is street legal, but to be quite honest, theres not way that these arent safer than a single incandescent dual filament bulb.... its so dim its scary at night, only when there are no street lights and noone else is around... back to the project, im not sure what a chevron is but ill look it up, and yes i do want to have arrows, similar if not identical to this guy, not to steal his design it just would fit so perfectly in my lense... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYqR1xWMWvM&list=LLvNxuoBNPkv_bYBGZIo9Fbw&feature=mh_lolz thats basically where i got the idea, from he puts the schematic up for it that he used as a base for his idea in the comments section http://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/05280.png should i just use this exact schematic? i am also thinking i am going to need to etch my own circuit board for the led, and the controller board, would really help in making for a clean installation and a clean look once installed. i have seen some better than oem work on here as i work on brand new oem vehicles from gm, audi, mazda, toyota, lexus, scion, ford, in terms of car manufacturer commercials so i end up disassembling alot of cars and we get into the electrical manipulation of lighting circuits for tv, and like i said, sick talent in here. just hope i can produce something of a decent caliber. im my own worst critic. im going to try soldering up the upper and lower rows of leds, im wondering if i should still solder everything like a common cathode multiplexing circuit? if thats the right term? i guess i will learn by trial and error.