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Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. along with founders MA Lighting and Robe lighting have transitioned the General Device Type Format (GDTF) website to VPLT— the German Entertainment Technology Association. This migration will ensure a compliant platform for the exchange and future development of GDTF, which offers manufacturers and users a better way of planning and controlling complex productions from design to implementation for an event. GDTF was conceived to create a unified definition for the exchange of data for the operation of intelligent luminaires. The unified standard provides a constituent and dependable way to adapt new fixtures and devices in the lighting industry. GDTF was previously recognized by DIN SPEC 15800 as an open standard for the entertainment industry worldwide. “Technological developments are part of everyday life in our industry and ensure even better opportunities to deliver creative solutions that are precisely tailored to diverse productions of the highest quality,” said Randell Greenlee, director of commerce and international affairs at VPLT. “With the publication of DIN SPEC 15800, a new and important standard for the event industry has now been created. We hope for the widest possible dissemination of the standard within the industry thanks to the companies involved — Vectorworks, MA Lighting and Robe lighting — who have strived right from the start for an ‘open’ standard.” VPLT is the German Entertainment Technology Association, representing around 800 members from the service, personnel, trade and manufacturer sectors of the event industry. The association is actively involved in all of the industry standards and standardization processes of DIN and is represented in the European standardization committee (CEN / TC 433 - Entertainment Technology). The association is also involved in standardization in the ESTA Technical Standards Program (ANSI) in the USA. “On behalf of the three founding companies, we are all more than pleased to move the GDTF website under the roof of the VPLT, an independent association,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “This step is actually underlining what was always the intention of the original website, which is a barrier-free entity for serving the entire lighting industry community of end users, as well as manufacturers regardless of products, brands and boundaries.” To learn more about GDTF, visit gdtf-share.com.
With fellow General Device Type Format (GDTF) founders MA Lighting and Robe lighting, global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. touts that DIN SPEC 15800 officially recognizes the GDTF as an open standard for the entertainment industry worldwide. “With this latest accomplishment of DIN SPEC 15800, GDTF will continue its growth and see even greater success now that it is recognized as a standard way of communicating controllable characteristics of lighting fixtures,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “GDTF has covered a lot of ground in the two short years since inception. We already have 35 manufacturers signed on to support the open standard and are grateful for their contributions to help build a solid basis for a standardized format that will advance the industry in new ways. I look forward to seeing more manufacturers, as well as more entertainment professionals contributing to the wide-spread availability of GDTF files and benefiting from it in their workflows.” DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, is the independent platform for standardization in Germany and worldwide. A DIN SPEC, is a document that specifies requirements for products, services and/or processes, and it’s a trusted strategic instrument for quickly and easily establishing and disseminating innovative solutions on the market. DIN's job is to ensure that a DIN SPEC does not conflict with any existing standards or rules of procedure. Now, GDTF will be a standard for describing the hierarchical and logical structure and controls of any type of controllable device in the lighting and entertainment industry. GDTF will be used as a foundation for the exchange of device data between lighting consoles, as well as CAD and 3D pre-visualization applications. The purpose of an existing GDTF file is to reflect the real-world physical components of the devices and to provide control based on this information. A GDTF file contains and is derived from the device’s real-world geometry, attributes and abilities. “At Robe we are thrilled by all the new development around GDTF because there are now great possibilities for providing detailed specifications of our moving head fixtures in a format not specific to a particular console manufacturer, but defined by a standard format – the new DIN SPEC 15800,” said Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe lighting. “This format covers DMX desk related use-cases and also includes data for visualization purposes, dedicated portions for media servers and for event-planning workflows. With DIN SPEC 15800 and the GDTF Builder to create the files online, there is absolutely no reason to remain locked to old, manufacturer-specific proprietary formats but rather use open standard fixture definition files.” “The recognition by DIN that GDTF offers value to manufacturers and practitioners in the live production and events industry is a monumental moment in the maturity of the GDTF file format,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “This signifies that the industry is ready to embrace the benefits of using it to standardize the definitions of real-world controllable objects, which is just the start for GDTF. Looking ahead, future revisions to the DIN SPEC 15800 will extend the GDTF to all parts of the industry including media servers, rigging systems, laser systems and much more.” “DIN SPEC 15800 is a good example of what DIN wants to achieve with DIN SPECs: support those who improve the status-quo with an innovative idea,” said Michael Bahr, project manager at DIN. “GDTF can be one of those ideas for the entertainment industry. I'm happy that we could support this project and develop a standard with the GDTF group. In a short period of time, we were able to develop the document which will build trust in the GDTF format. DIN SPEC 15800 will make the GDTF format available and usable to everyone. That's what DIN SPEC is made for: ‘Today’s idea. Tomorrow’s standard.’” To learn more, visit gdtf-share.com or watch the on-demand webinar, “Integrating GDTF & MVR into your Workflows.”
Today, Vectorworks, Inc., MA Lighting and Robe lighting announce a new development for the entertainment design and production industry that will change the way lighting designers, lighting fixture manufacturers, lighting console manufacturers and lighting visualizers will work together. The three companies have jointly led the charge to develop a new data format, named the General Device Type Format (GDTF), which creates a unified definition for the exchange of device data between consoles, CAD and previsualization software. Currently, most device manufacturers use a proprietary way to define their luminaires. This lack of a standard or unified definition requires lighting console manufacturers to support and maintain a complex web of file formats. Moreover, it makes it virtually impossible for designers to leverage CAD files into consoles and makes it very difficult to link CAD software to previsualization software. “The industry has long been plagued by the absence of a standardized way to define the description of intelligent luminaires,” said Dr. Biplab Sarkar, CEO of Vectorworks. “Today’s exchange process is fraught with challenges. The workflows are disconnected, time-consuming and often require the manual mapping of data with a high chance of error. General Device Type Format simplifies the entire process. It creates a common data exchange language that will be the basis of a fully connected workflow, from CAD to previz to console and back. We look forward to collectively working with additional manufacturers to extend the benefits of this high-quality workflow to the professionals of the industry.” With GDTF, luminaire manufacturers now have an open and universal data exchange format that can be read by any console manufacturer and be included in any CAD or previsualization software. No longer will custom, one-off interpretations of DMX values and conversions for specific control data be needed. The format is human-readable, royalty-free and easy to implement and maintain. “The General Device Type Format is a fantastic new development that will revolutionize the way professionals can specify and control our products,” said Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe lighting. “It’s easy to adopt, and it makes it possible for us as manufacturers of intelligent luminaires to fully describe our fixtures with detailed information without the need for any additional computational interpretation by control or visualization manufacturers.” “Our main motivation was to make everyone’s life easier,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “Users of any lighting control system, CAD and previz software that can process GDTF will benefit by the ease of use and the amount of details provided. GDTF contains all the information required to control and visualize all kinds of devices like fixtures, video, pyro, special FX or lasers in a standardized manner. It supports the manufacturers to structure and provide all the data to make their devices look best — onstage and during visualization. We count on the device manufacturers to contribute. They already have all the information their customers need to perform. Once our industry has adapted to the new GDTF standard, all our lives will become much easier — for good.” The three companies will discuss the announcement and present information about the GDTF during the upcoming Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany. Stop by Hall 3.0 to visit MA Lighting at C51 and C61, Vectorworks at E60 and Robe lighting at D80. A press briefing will be held at the Vectorworks booth on Tuesday, April 10 at 2 p.m. For Vectorworks users, devices in Vectorworks Spotlight are currently being updated to support GDTF. Updates will be released in future 2018 service packs.