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Mark Eli

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Posts posted by Mark Eli

  1. This happens with some GDTF files. Basically what's happening is that the light emitter is behind some part of the geometry. There's a couple of ways to fix it.


    The quickest is to, in Vision, select Root in the Scene Graph. Then in the Properties window, in the Globals section, change Render Shadows from True to False. The good, it's quick and easy. The bad, it turns off shadows for all the geometry in the scene.


    Another options is again in Vision. Go to Edit>Vision Preferences. Then under the Graphics tab, change Dynamic Shadows from Objects & Fixtures, to Objects. This will turn off shadows for fixtures. Meaning that your geometry will still have shadows, but your fixtures will not. Again, this effects all fixtures, not just the ones you're having issues with.


    If you're finished with your design and don't think you'll be updating it too much more, you can also fix the individual fixtures. Click the arrow next to the fixture names to expand the tree in the Scene Graph. In this example I'm using the P18MK2PRHC, and I've expanded unit 103. Select the Beam (Mesh) in the Scene Graph, then in the Properties window, change the Visible option from True to False as shown below.



    You can expand and select the beam mesh of multiple fixtures at the same time by holding the Control key on your keyboard. Then changing the visibility. After you've done this for all the effected fixtures remember to save your file.

    The beams may not update immediately. So if you change the visibility to false and nothing happens, don't worry. Move the fixtures pan or tilt, which will update the beam, and all should be good.


    Last, you can try editing the GDTF file to try to fix it. On windows only you can right click the fixture in the Scene Graph, and select Update Fixture Type, which will open a window to edit the fixture file. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what exactly is causing the issue, so I can't tell you what needs to be done to fix it. But, if you have the time and want to try, GDTF gives you that flexibility.


  2. Yeah, Artnet has always been a bit of a pain to set up. If it's not something you want to deal with, I wouldn't blame you. My thought process is always to try to narrow down possible causes. If Artnet works as expected, at least we know it's specific to sACN. If it doesn't, then we're probably dealing with some outside cause. At least that's the idea. Whether or not it's worth the effort to do that, is entirely up to you.


    One thing you may try, the DMX Viewer is in the Vision Program folder. It's a standalone application, so you can launch it without starting Vision. That's why it doesn't default to the DMX provider that Vision is set to. The two programs are essentially unaware that the other exists. By starting the viewer without Vision, it should do two things for us. If Vision is somehow causing the issue, Vision isn't running to cause it and the viewer should see the sACN stream. If Windows is blocking the viewer from working because it's being launched by another application, starting the DMX viewer directly should stop that. If it still doesn't work, then the only real possibility is some kind of third party interference, or the MA3.


    Yes, I agree the idea of the MA having weirdness sounds crazy. It's far from likely, but it is a possibility. MA3 is still very new, and new things love to do unexpected things. I've actually had a similar situation in a personal project several months ago. I was using sACN in a program I was writing, and Vision wasn't seeing the stream and neither was the viewer. I did the exact same thing you did, and fired up sACNView, which saw the stream without issue. Unfortunately, it's been long enough ago I can't remember the exact cause. From what I remember I had set one of the bits high when it should have been low or something similar. Either way it was enough that the DMX Viewer had decided it wasn't an sACN packet and ignored it, but sACNView had no issue. Obviously, the MA engineers do a way better job than I do, when I'm goofing around on the weekends but, anything is possible.


    One of our guys should have an MA3 now. Hopefully he will be able to either reproduce the issue, or give us a different perspective on things.

  3. Hey AJ,

    Could you try setting vision to artnet, and then launching the DMX viewer with sACN? So, you'll have Vision set to artnet, the DMX viewer set to sACN, and the MA sending sACN as you have been. I'm wondering if something is causing Vision and the DMX viewer to be looking at different things. In the past I'm seen Vision not be able to pick up an interface because a third party software had taken exclusive control of it. Essentially, I'm wondering if something is blocking, and/or not sharing with, the DMX viewer, and the easiest place to start is by getting Vision out of the way.


    If you still don't see any DMX in the viewer, then it's either a third party blocking the viewer or something funky with the way MA3 is sending sACN. If you switch everything to use artnet, that should probably give us a better idea of what's going on. If the viewer is still not showing anything, it's most likely a third party issue. Antivirus, firewall, windows UAC, or maybe some other DMX monitoring software you have. Windows loves to block things without notification. If it operates normally, it's probably something with the MA. Sorry if this is kind of all over the place. These kinds of issues are the worst to troubleshoot, because there's so many variables.

  4. Hey Thomas,


    Which fixture are you having issues with? It could be an issue with your library, but it could also be an issue on my end.

    In Vectorworks, you can assign any fixture mode to any lighting device by selecting the "Other" option in the fixture mode dropdown box in the OIP. When you select Other, you'll be given a dialog with all the fixture modes in Vision. You can then either pick from the list, or use the search bar below the list. If you don't see the fixture modes in the dialog, there's an issue with your library. If you do see the fixture modes, it's probably a typo on my part and I can fix it.




  5. Hi Mark,


    When I checked the fixture on my end and everything looks to be working as expected. I'd start by making sure your library is up to date by going to Help>Update Library in Vision. Also, it's never a bad idea to double check that your patch is correct, both in Vision, and in your console. If you still can't get them working, please contact support directly Tech@vectorworks.net so we can provide further assistance.

  6. Hey Scott,


    I'm assuming you're referring to pre-vizing a mirror ball in Vision. If I'm mistaken, feel free to ignore me. Currently there's no way to actually simulate a mirror ball in Vision. Light in Vision doesn't "bounce" the way it does in the real world, mostly because that's very calculation heavy. Basically, it would turn your frame rate from frames per second, to minutes per frame. Over the years, I've tried to figure out a way to fake it, but I've never found anything that looks good.

    The one thing that you could try is basically placing fixtures inside a textured ball facing out, and using a gobo to cast light. You can also hide the geometry of the fixture so it's not sticking out of your mirror ball, and use xforms to move the ball. The real issue with this method is that visions light emitters are always flat. That's not the best way to say it but, basically there's no way to make the light emitter follow the surface of a sphere. So if you look directly at the ball, it's obviously wrong. I've thrown together a quick demo file in case seeing it, makes it easier to understand.


    I've also included a video of what it looks like. I've just used some Source4 90degs, with a random dot gobo. Then I've got the xform in the parent layer so I can spin it. If you kind of squint and never look directly at the ball, I guess it sort of doesn't look terrible. As I said, this was the best idea I could come up with, and I've never actually been happy with it. Maybe this will give you an idea for a better solution.






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  7. Hi Thomas,


    If you ever have any questions about a fixture request, you can email the support team, and they will be able to assist you. Unfortunately, we are experiencing a higher than normal amount of requests and we are very far behind. I wish I had a time frame to give you, but there's just so many requests, I have no idea how long it will actually take. If you're pressed for time, you also have the option of using GDTF. You can go to the GDTF website and create an account, then you'll be able to search the existing database of fixtures, as well as create your own, which can be used in Vision.


    Yes, there is currently a bug in the updater. If you find that you're effected by this bug. Just email the support team, and they will be able to assist you with manually updating Vision. We do have a fix for this bug that is currently in beta testing, and we expect it to be released in the near future.




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  8. There's currently no way to adjust beams in vision.


    It's not unusual for manufacturers to not publish actual photometric data, so in those cases we'll either look to similar fixtures or make educated guesses. It's also not usual for different aspects of fixtures to change without notice.


    In the case of the Q7, my guess is that at the time the fixture was created, the information just wasn't available. This was actually brought to my attention last week, and I've already made adjustments to the fixture files. If you update your Vision library, you should see those changes take effect.

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  9. Hi Steve,

    Connecting the MA3 in MA2 mode to Vision, works exactly like connecting an MA2 to Vision. In fact, we had an MA3 in the booth at LDI, running in MA2 mode, and it worked great.

    As with the MA2, to connect the MA3 to Vision via MA-net, you will need a Vision dongle. This is a requirement that MA set for supplying the MA-net driver.

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  10. You probably missed it because, once you have a fixture mode selected, it removes the text box and reads the footprint from the vision fixture profile. I usually scroll past it at least once while looking for it.

    I've highlighted it in this screen shot for you. If you're ever unsure about a fixture profile, you can email tech@vectorworks.net, and we'll be able to answer any questions you have.

    dmx footprint1.JPG

  11. Just in case someone else comes across this post later, I can help with most of this.


    At the time the VLZ Profile was added to Vision, there wasn't a 56 ch mode. This is actually pretty common. On the Varilite website, you can check their DMX Map in the downloads, and it's version 2.01, which is a good indication changes were made. If you put in a fixture request for the mode, I can add it in for you.


    Unfortunately, this is the one bit of bad news I have for you. Vision does not currently support HSI fixtures. So I won't be able to fill any requests for those fixture modes. It's not that I don't want to, it's that there's no way for me to replicate it in Vision.


    Looking at the VL 1100 TID profile in MA2, and the VL 1000 T-TI in Vision, the profiles look the same so I don't think you'll have any issues there.


    The mac TW1s are kind of oddballs. They supported an external dimmer which, at one point, we replicated in Vision, and that's what the extended mode was. In the future we will again, which is why they are still in the library.


    As for seeing the DMX footprint, that's already available just in a different way. In Vectorworks, once you've selected a fixture mode, the object info pallet will show the number of channels used under DMX Footprint. In Vision, if you select the fixture, either by selecting it in the viewport, or selecting it in the Scene Graph, it will display the footprint in the Properties Window, under Num Channels.


    In the future, once GDTF is implemented in Vision, you'll be able to view, edit, and create your own fixture profiles. So, that is in the works.

  12. LJ is correct. Since MA makes the driver, we have no control over what it does, or when it gets updated.

    I forget exactly what the MA driver is doing that's outdated but, I think it was a registry entry and maybe one of the DMX provider files on the Vision side.

    At one point we did have the driver installer bundled with Vision, but we removed it because it's a third party's property.


    2 hours ago, Phsion1 said:

    However, as a dongle is apparently required for MA OnPC, the whole thing was moot.


    That is correct, the MA requires the use of a dongle instead of the normal serial number, to be able to use the driver. Your sales rep should be able to help you get set up with a dongle.

  13. After installing the driver did you setup the driver?


    The driver doesn't actually start working until you set it up and run it. You'll need to go to the Windows Control Panel, and select grandMA - ESP Vision Driver. By default the control panel is set to Category which won't display the MA driver, so you may need to change to icons at the top right by View by. Once you select the driver, in the window that comes up, you'll change the MA-Net Mode to MA-Net2(unless you're using an MA1) Station IP Address you'll set to if you're using MA2onPC on the same computer that you're running Vision on. For any other setup, like an actual console, you'll pick whatever the other option is. It's different for each setup. Then for MA Session ID, you'll set that to whatever is in the MA, default is 1 for the driver and console. Then press Ok, and start Vision, you should see grandMA in the DMX Provider dialog.

  14. Hi All,


    I just wanted to pop in and give a little clarification here. 

    7 hours ago, bbudzon said:

    VW models all fixtures, regardless of type, to be in the "hung position". Vision models all moving light fixtures in the "floor mounted position" and all other lights in the "hung" position. (...mostly... this is where a lot of discrepancies occur between the two products... VW has always has a standard for modeling fixtures, Vision has not) 



    Brandon is mostly correct here. Most, Vision fixtures that do not have moving heads are modeled as hung. In this particular case, it is not.


    7 hours ago, bbudzon said:

    2. If you are using ESC, this flip actually happens at export time rather than import time. In this case, the ESC Exporter checks to see if the type of the fixture in VW is "Moving Head". If it is, it gets flipped. If it is not, it does not get flipped. So you can play around with the fixture type in VW to control how lights are flipped in ESC 😉



    As Brandon has said, the exporter looks for moving heads and flips them. Everything else is left alone, which is what's causing your issue. That particular fixture, needs to be flipped during the export, but isn't. So the quickest and easiest fix is the one he described. Here's a bit of extra detail in case it's helpful.


    In Vectorworks, select all of the fixtures that are being exported incorrectly. In your case, the SGM P-5.

    Under the Shape tab of the Object Info Palette, the first data field under the Edit button is the Device Type drop down box. By default, it is set to Light. Change that to Moving Light as highlighted here:

    Device Type.JPG


    Vectorworks may take a moment to update the OIP, once you've selected Moving Light. When it does, reexport your file, and open in Vision.

    All of your P-5s in Vision, should now be oriented to match Vectorworks.


    Vision P-5.JPG

    Vectorworks P-5.JPG


    I've attached my test file as well. I've set the right fixtures Device Type to Moving Light, and the left to Light, so it should be easy to see the difference.

    P5 Orientation.vwx


    Hopefully this helps,


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  15. Hi Liam,


    I'm sorry to say I haven't tested with Vista in quite a few years, and when I did it was still V2. That being said, iirc it worked at the time.


    Generally speaking, if the offline editor outputs Artnet or sACN, Vision should be able to see it. The only thing you might have to watch out for is, if Vista is picky about it's IP addresses. At one point, having the correct IPs was a major issue, but in recent years offline editors and consoles have become more capable of adapting to whatever your computers IP happens to be. For specifics, you'll need to check Vista's documentation. Beyond that, there shouldn't be anything other than the editor that needs setup.





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  16. Hi @GloriamLT 


    I'm going to jump in real quick and try to get you pointed in the right direction.


    In the real world, a console is how you control lights. There's a bunch out there, so take your pick. I can't teach you how to use any of them, because they're all different and, that's why we have youtube. So the console and the lights need to be patched, this will be covered in most console tutorials. The important part is that the console and light need to have matching patch information. Beyond that, you're going to need to do some research on how all these things work together in the real world.


    As for using Vision, you'll build your scene in Vectorworks, and then export it to Vision, assuming you have a license. In your case, since you're using the demo, you can still use the scene you've made but, you'll be limited to 5 lights. Vision acts the same as a real light. So you'll need a console to control the lights in Vision, the same as you would in the real world. Also, just like the real world, the patch information that's in vision for each light needs to match what's in the console. I can see from your picture of the patch window that your patch information isn't exporting correctly. That's why there's a bunch of lines highlighted in red. What you'll need to do to correct that is go into Vectorworks then go to File>Document Settings>Spotlight Preferences and a new window will pop up. Click on the Lighting Device tab if it isn't already selected, and then click the bottom right button labeled, Edit Visualizer Data Mapping. This will give you a new dialog box with a bunch of options. The only ones you really need to worry about are the ones labeled Universe and Channel. This is how you tell Vectorworks and Vision where to find the patch information in Vectorworks. As a guess, judging from the picture of the OIP you posted, you'll want to set Universe to Universe, and Channel to Address. Then send your file to Vision again, which should give the lights the correct patch information.


    As for getting the patch information from Vectorworks into the console. In the case of QLC, and most others, there's no way to do that. Patching is usually a manual process. So, once again, google some videos, there's lots.


    Also, here's a link to our getting started guide, which may give you some additional insight into how vision works.



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