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Grand Ma2 plug in

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No one has mastered it because it behaves differently each time.

Have you read through all of the info on ACT's site?

https://support.actlighting.com/knowledgeBase/11589467

 

I use it several times a year when I have a big show that's worth the time.

Also adding Lightwright into the mix makes things even more fun, but once you get your ducks in a row your VW, LW, and MA2 will all have the same info.

That's great to know when you start a show.

Have you tried using it yet, and do you have any specific questions?

 

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The few times I've used it, it seems to have worked alright.  I've never been satisfied with the results though.  I ended up writing my own exporter which handles multi-circuit fixtures, different rotation offsets, and effectively names things and separates layers in the patch without having to alter the drawing's classes or layers.  

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I've had pretty satisfactory results from the MA plugin. Drafted in Vectorworks in 3D and everything ported nicely into MA3D, including all patch information. Saved a lot of time as opposed to manually entering patch data. The one tip I might suggest is to carefully plan how you want your patch layers on the MA console. Having patch layers on MA console by position or by fixture type drastically changes the way you should set up your design layers in Vectorworks.

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On 8/12/2017 at 11:20 AM, Gabriel Chan said:

I've had pretty satisfactory results from the MA plugin. Drafted in Vectorworks in 3D and everything ported nicely into MA3D, including all patch information. Saved a lot of time as opposed to manually entering patch data. The one tip I might suggest is to carefully plan how you want your patch layers on the MA console. Having patch layers on MA console by position or by fixture type drastically changes the way you should set up your design layers in Vectorworks.

 

I really wish the official version would allow patch layers by a user field or something.  I really don't like having to design my VW document's classes or layers around the patch.

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So Sam, are you sayin if I patch my console with fixtures then I should build my layers by fixtures and if I patch my console by areas or trusses then I should build my layers in the drawing by areas? 

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On 8/16/2017 at 0:45 PM, olallapro said:

So Sam, are you sayin if I patch my console with fixtures then I should build my layers by fixtures and if I patch my console by areas or trusses then I should build my layers in the drawing by areas? 

Currently, yes. That is how the plugin works. That's one feature I do not like, and one reason I don't use it. The VW drawing should not have to be designed specifically around export. The layers should be able to be derived from a user field. 

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On 20/08/2017 at 9:21 PM, SamIWas said:

Currently, yes. That is how the plugin works. That's one feature I do not like, and one reason I don't use it. The VW drawing should not have to be designed specifically around export. The layers should be able to be derived from a user field. 

I wouldn't actually say that the VW drawing needs to be designed specifically around the export. In fact, with the way I already draft lighting plots, the plugin sort of works intuitively; you get a few options as to how you want to approach the export, so there might be one that suits others better. As for deriving from user fields, of course that's a nice thing to have, but then that means entering data twice, once in your patch and then in the user fields. Seems like more work and room for error. The point of the plugin is to streamline workflow so having another user field data entry sounds counterintuitive?

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6 hours ago, Gabriel Chan said:

I wouldn't actually say that the VW drawing needs to be designed specifically around the export. In fact, with the way I already draft lighting plots, the plugin sort of works intuitively; you get a few options as to how you want to approach the export, so there might be one that suits others better.

As for deriving from user fields, of course that's a nice thing to have, but then that means entering data twice, once in your patch and then in the user fields. Seems like more work and room for error. The point of the plugin is to streamline workflow so having another user field data entry sounds counterintuitive?

 

Not sure I follow.  The plugin gives you four options for exporting layers from Vectorworks to MA: Design Layers, Classes, Fixture Type, or Position.  Now, I don't know how you draft your plots, or how you do your layers on MA.  But I know that my plots have layers for scenic, rigging, fixtures, cable, racks, etc.  And I have classes for lots of things, but I do not class fixtures based on layer.  In no way would I design my Design Layer and Class structure around exporting to MA, so those two are out.  Fixture Type and Position remain.  On MA, I have layers separated by "genre"...so "Conventional", "Movers", "LED", "Worklights", "FixtureMart".  Since those don't jive with anything I would do in Vectorworks, those are out.  

 

I'm not sure how having a user field for layer is entering data twice.  Where am I entering the layer info in the patch and a user field?

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On 15/09/2017 at 8:01 PM, SamIWas said:

 

Not sure I follow.  The plugin gives you four options for exporting layers from Vectorworks to MA: Design Layers, Classes, Fixture Type, or Position.  Now, I don't know how you draft your plots, or how you do your layers on MA.  But I know that my plots have layers for scenic, rigging, fixtures, cable, racks, etc.  And I have classes for lots of things, but I do not class fixtures based on layer.  In no way would I design my Design Layer and Class structure around exporting to MA, so those two are out.  Fixture Type and Position remain.  On MA, I have layers separated by "genre"...so "Conventional", "Movers", "LED", "Worklights", "FixtureMart".  Since those don't jive with anything I would do in Vectorworks, those are out.  

 

I'm not sure how having a user field for layer is entering data twice.  Where am I entering the layer info in the patch and a user field?

Interesting how we set up our lighting plots. Always so much to learn on the forum :) I usually set up my plot with layers for the venue, scenic (one layer per act/scene), and for lighting, I tend to split them into overheads, floor/booms, Front of House. They get more complicated with the DLVP for vertical positions, but that's generally the gist of it.

 

I guess it's a matter of preference as to how MA layers are setup. I usually patch by position, which granted is definitely a more laborious way of patching as opposed to "genre". I do that because its easier for chief electricians to trace patch IDs on the console and sometimes, technicians (not the chiefs of course) get rotated on shifts, so that makes things somewhat easier. So exporting layers to MA via Position came naturally in my option.

 

So let's say if we do patch by "genre", would the new class options by VWX Spotlight help? Those new classes such as "Lighting-Moving Lights", "Lighting-Conventionals" that are automatically, and somewhat annoyingly added. Just thinking out loud.

 

Gabriel

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On 9/18/2017 at 1:18 AM, Gabriel Chan said:

Interesting how we set up our lighting plots. Always so much to learn on the forum :) I usually set up my plot with layers for the venue, scenic (one layer per act/scene), and for lighting, I tend to split them into overheads, floor/booms, Front of House. They get more complicated with the DLVP for vertical positions, but that's generally the gist of it.

 

I guess it's a matter of preference as to how MA layers are setup. I usually patch by position, which granted is definitely a more laborious way of patching as opposed to "genre". I do that because its easier for chief electricians to trace patch IDs on the console and sometimes, technicians (not the chiefs of course) get rotated on shifts, so that makes things somewhat easier. So exporting layers to MA via Position came naturally in my option.

 

So let's say if we do patch by "genre", would the new class options by VWX Spotlight help? Those new classes such as "Lighting-Moving Lights", "Lighting-Conventionals" that are automatically, and somewhat annoyingly added. Just thinking out loud.

 

Gabriel

 

Sure. Then that goes back to designing my VW plot layer or class structure  around the grandMA patch: Having to build classes solely for patch. Then I have to make sure all those classes are turned on or off in whatever viewports and saved views. That is a LOT more work then just being able to specify a patch layer in a user field. 

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