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MVR from MA3

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So with the release of MA3 1.0 I tried patching some GDTF files (Mac Aura XB and Encore performance) from GDTF-share, exported MVR and imported to VW 2020 sp2, screenshots below show that patchinfo got through, but I cannot believe that both those files just look like rectangles in 2d and 3d, should they not show the enclosed 3ds-model of the fixture like they use in MA?

Or how is it meant to work? Do I really need to exchange all fixtures again? Was this not what GDTF was fixing?

See attached ma3mvr of 2,7mb which is the export from MA.

 

After giving them some X, Y and Z positions I wanted to export back to MA3 or Vision via MVR from VW, I get the MA export file of 1kb that does not open in Vision or MA..

So please find out what is broken with the link that was meant to fix this workflow.

 

Next question:

How do I open a GDTF-file from GDTF-share in VW? I tried importing, dragging in and now importing MVR, but it does not seem to work, so how do you do it?

 

/Bjorn Stolt

 

enc.PNG

aura.PNG

Ma.PNG

MA export.mvr ma3mvr.mvr

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Hi Bjorn

 

Currently for Spotlight to correctly import an MVR containing GDTF for the fixtures you should merge it into an existing Spotlight file. At the moment Spotlight cannot read the geometry part of a GDTF directly into an empty file, or create a GDTF internally. This is why you have the rectangular bounding boxes when you import an MVR, created in a console, into an empty file.

The work around

You can fix this by group selecting each type of fixture and using the 'Replace Lighting Device' button in the OIP to select the correct Spotlight symbol, this will maintain the patch data and so on but swap the bounding box graphic for the correct Spotlight symbol. You may need to adjust the X/Y positions for the fixtures slightly in Spotlight as the bounding boxes are smaller than the actual dimensions of the fixtures

 

The reason your file will not export correctly back from Spotlight into the MA is that is that Spotlight cannot create GDTF's internally yet and will not export them unless you have them downloaded and saved into the correct folder in Spotlight.

 

Download GDTF's for any fixtures you wish to use from the GDTF share website and save them into

Vectorworks2020(or what ever your installation folder is called)/Plug-Ins/VW_Spotlight/Data/GDTF

Once they are saved into this location, they are usable inside of Spotlight.

We are planning to improve this workflow, as we get more feedback from users and gain more experience with the new formats.

 

If the fixture you wish to use does not have an existing GDTF you can create a new GDTF yourself, either using the online fixture builder or by uploading one you have created

in your console.

 

The current workflow with MVR and GDTF in Spotlight,

 

First prepare you design as normal in Spotlight, making sure to assign fixture modes and channel ID's to each fixture. Addressing the fixtures is optional at this stage, if you plan to use the file in Vision it is easier to address them in Spotlight first, otherwise you can do this at the console side and export an updated MVR back to Spotlight.

 

Once you are happy with your design in Spotlight you must assign a GDTF fixture mode to the fixtures, personally I do this as the last step before exporting the MVR

To do this, group select all the fixtures of a single type and use the 'GDTF Fixture Mode' drop down menu in the OIP to select the appropriate mode. This will link the Spotlight symbol to the appropriate GDTF.

 

Important note, Spotlight only ships with a couple of generic dimmer and LED GDTF's, if the GDTF that you want is not visible in the drop down, you need to check whether you have saved the GDTF from the Share site in the correct location

 

Once all the fixtures in your design have GDTF modes assigned you can export the file as an MVR and read it straight into the MA3 console.

 

TIP when exporting an MVR look at the right hand side of the export MVR dialogue and check the GDTF fixture types included in the export, if it shows generic in front of the fixture name or default in the fixture mode column it that fixture type is not correctly prepared for export

 

If you make any changes at the console end and want to update your Spotlight file, simply open the original file and then use the import MVR command to import the MVR from the console and this will update your Spotlight file.

 

Regarding Vision and MVR

Vision is not yet able to read the GDTF format (at all). This means that if you want to import an MVR created in the MA3 software you will have to first send it to Spotlight, convert the fixtures to spotlight symbols and then make sure they have the correct Spotlight fixture modes assigned (this is vital as the Vision symbols are defined by the Spotlight fixture mode). If the MVR is first created in Spotlight it should work with both the console and Vision.

Our engineering team are currently working to implement GDTF into Vision and we will be releasing this soon in a service pack update

 

File sizes and MA3 parameter count

An important thing to be aware of when using MVR and GDTF is that every data point in the MVR file will increase the patch parameter count in the MA3 patch, so the more layers, classes, sheets, etc, etc that you include in the MVR export the higher the patch parameter count at the MA3 console side. Make use of the different export options in the Export MVR dialogue to help control this (selected objects and visible objects)

 

We will be creating better documentation and how to guides in the near future to make using GDTF and MVR easier.

 

hope this helps

Jesse

 

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Currently for Spotlight to correctly import an MVR containing GDTF for the fixtures you should merge it into an existing Spotlight file. At the moment Spotlight cannot read the geometry part of a GDTF directly into an empty file, or create a GDTF internally. This is why you have the rectangular bounding boxes when you import an MVR, created in a console, into an empty file.

The work around

You can fix this by group selecting each type of fixture and using the 'Replace Lighting Device' button in the OIP to select the correct Spotlight symbol, this will maintain the patch data and so on but swap the bounding box graphic for the correct Spotlight symbol. You may need to adjust the X/Y positions for the fixtures slightly in Spotlight as the bounding boxes are smaller than the actual dimensions of the fixtures

 

 

Thank you for the quick answer!

So when do you/we expect Spotlight to be able to read the geometry part? As it can import 3ds already since many years ago this sounds very strange, I understand GDTF is a different format, but geometry is based on 3ds.

Currently this sounds way to complicated and counterintuitive. As I have been told on tradeshows and the main reason for GDTF/MVR to be great, is that it should not matter in which application I start as they all use the same files and I can update the parts that make most sense in any application at any given point, so is that still the intention or is fixture replacing the only way intended to make VW/Vision to work?

If this is the way to do it, how do I update my existing VW-symbols in my template file to correspond to the correct GDTF-file? I do not see it as an option in "light info record" only in OiP meaning I have to do it manually for every new file after replacing symbols...

 

Quote

 

The reason your file will not export correctly back from Spotlight into the MA is that is that Spotlight cannot create GDTF's internally yet and will not export them unless you have them downloaded and saved into the correct folder in Spotlight.

 

Download GDTF's for any fixtures you wish to use from the GDTF share website and save them into

Vectorworks2020(or what ever your installation folder is called)/Plug-Ins/VW_Spotlight/Data/GDTF

Once they are saved into this location, they are usable inside of Spotlight.

We are planning to improve this workflow, as we get more feedback from users and gain more experience with the new formats.

 

If the fixture you wish to use does not have an existing GDTF you can create a new GDTF yourself, either using the online fixture builder or by uploading one you have created

in your console.

 

 

Understood and hoping for some kind of timeframe for when that will be possible, is it 2021, 2022 or even more years forward?

Ideal workflow in my opinion would be to tie the "GDTF-share server" with the "VSS-server" so that every time a fixture gets added to GDTF-share it gets uploaded to VSS-libraries and autoupdated every month or so in our computers with the subscribtion libraries and quicker if going manually in to update. (same with vision update of course.


 

Quote

 

The current workflow with MVR and GDTF in Spotlight,

 

First prepare you design as normal in Spotlight, making sure to assign fixture modes and channel ID's to each fixture. Addressing the fixtures is optional at this stage, if you plan to use the file in Vision it is easier to address them in Spotlight first, otherwise you can do this at the console side and export an updated MVR back to Spotlight.

 

Once you are happy with your design in Spotlight you must assign a GDTF fixture mode to the fixtures, personally I do this as the last step before exporting the MVR

To do this, group select all the fixtures of a single type and use the 'GDTF Fixture Mode' drop down menu in the OIP to select the appropriate mode. This will link the Spotlight symbol to the appropriate GDTF.

 

Important note, Spotlight only ships with a couple of generic dimmer and LED GDTF's, if the GDTF that you want is not visible in the drop down, you need to check whether you have saved the GDTF from the Share site in the correct location

 

Once all the fixtures in your design have GDTF modes assigned you can export the file as an MVR and read it straight into the MA3 console.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, not really what I was hoping for after 18 months+ since announcing it, but maybe in a few years more the workflow will allow for better workflow where it does not matter where you start. Is there any progress with Cinema 4d integration for creation of UV-textures for videoinput? If using Stage-plugin could work with MVR like it did on VW2019 it would be an ideal partner, how come that broke with VWs changes in 2020?

 

Quote

 

TIP when exporting an MVR look at the right hand side of the export MVR dialogue and check the GDTF fixture types included in the export, if it shows generic in front of the fixture name or default in the fixture mode column it that fixture type is not correctly prepared for export

 

If you make any changes at the console end and want to update your Spotlight file, simply open the original file and then use the import MVR command to import the MVR from the console and this will update your Spotlight file.

 

 

Good tip.

Quote

 

Regarding Vision and MVR

Vision is not yet able to read the GDTF format (at all). This means that if you want to import an MVR created in the MA3 software you will have to first send it to Spotlight, convert the fixtures to spotlight symbols and then make sure they have the correct Spotlight fixture modes assigned (this is vital as the Vision symbols are defined by the Spotlight fixture mode). If the MVR is first created in Spotlight it should work with both the console and Vision.

Our engineering team are currently working to implement GDTF into Vision and we will be releasing this soon in a service pack update

 

 

Understood. 

Not as vital for me if I have MA3d working.

 

Quote

 

File sizes and MA3 parameter count

An important thing to be aware of when using MVR and GDTF is that every data point in the MVR file will increase the patch parameter count in the MA3 patch, so the more layers, classes, sheets, etc, etc that you include in the MVR export the higher the patch parameter count at the MA3 console side. Make use of the different export options in the Export MVR dialogue to help control this (selected objects and visible objects)

 

What do you mean by that statement? Does geometry, classes, sheets count as parameters just because it was exported as MVR-file?

Would you then have to export fixtures with MVR and the rest as 3ds? what is the benefit in workflow in that and how does that work when something has changed in one of the programs and I want to stay synced? Or am I misunderstanding?

 

Quote

We will be creating better documentation and how to guides in the near future to make using GDTF and MVR easier.

That would be highly appreciated!

 

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I will try to answer as many of your points as I can,

 

There are several reasons that currently Spotlight cannot directly read a GDTF into an empty file by just converting the 3d geometry,

Yes we can read a 3ds file, however our lighting instruments are not just 3D geometry but also have 2D geometry, and both the 3D & 2D geometry has been hugely simplified,

to reduce performance issues.

This means we need to find a way to not only convert the 3D geometry to a 2D representation as part of the import process, but to also simplify the geometry to optimize it   for performance purposes.

The next point, as you mentioned is the data records, Spotlight currently documents a far larger and different range of data for each fixture type than is in a GDTF.

We are working on solving these issues, but I am not sure how long this process will take

 

Currently I do not know what the release schedule is, the only thing I can say is that we plan to release incremental improvements in each service pack.

 

Regarding our progress you need to take into account that although the GDTF project was originally announced 18+months ago, the development of the standard was only finalized earlier this year. When you consider how long it took our industry to finalize and accept the DMX 512 standard (as far as I am aware it was around 15 years!) we are making pretty good progress.

I'm afraid I have no direct knowledge/experience with Cinema 4D or the stage plug in, you will need to talk with their developer to find out what is going on there. If they want to make use of the MVR format, the GDTF group will be more than happy to support them.

 

Parameter count, symbols, objects, classes and layers that are included in the MVR export will add to the parameter count when it is imported into the MA3 console.

Best practice it to use the Export MVR dialogue to control how much of your spotlight file is exported. To do this use either the 'export visible objects' option and use the class/layer visibility settings to control what is exported, or select the objects you want to export and use the 'export selected objects' option.

There is no need to export a separate 3ds file, you just need to make sure you do not use the 'export all objects in drawing' option unless you actually need all that content!

We have tried to give you options to tailor what you export and import depending on what your particular needs are at that point in your project.

 

 

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