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Jayme McColgan

Default Fixture Mode

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Hey guys so I'm currently updating all my custom fixture symbols for 2020. Is it possible to assign a Default Fixture Profile? Ive tried adding the Fixture mode to the Light info record and that didn't work. 


any ideas? 

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The Fixture Mode field has been added to the current version of the Light Info Record. Just import a new lighting device symbol and allow the New Light info record to overwrite your old one.


If you don't want to do that then this is the text of a tutorial I wrote a year or so back....


Spotlight Preferences / Additional Default Records


This option is extremely useful if you want to start customising how you use the Lighting Device tool. What this offers is a way to pre-fill any of the other fields of the Lighting Device that are not contained in the Light Info Record.

For example, there are 16 fields in the Light Info Record, but there are 70 or more fields that you could have pre-filled for any instrument should you wish to. A good example of this would be if you wanted to always use a particular Fixture Mode with a particular Lighting Instrument. 

The best way to do this would be to create a brand new Record Format. This would hold the correct information that you want to pre-assign.


To do this you would need to go to the resource manager and in the dropdown menu select Record Formats.

  • Right-click on a blank part of the main viewer window and select New Record
  • Name the record something relevant like Lighting Device Parameters
  • Create a field with a name that corresponds to the name in the Lighting Device OIP that you want to pre-fill
  • Fill-in the value that you would like the Lighting Instrument to always carry
  • Click OK

Once the record is created, you will need to:

  • Go to Spotlight Preferences
  • Click on the Additional Default Records Tab
  • Check the Use column beside the Record Format you would like to use.

Once that is done you need to attach that record to the specific Lighting Instrument Symbol you wish to use it with. To do that:

  • Right-click on the Symbol in the Resource Manager
  • Select Attach Record
  • Check the record that you wish to use
  • Click on Edit Values
  • Fill-in the values as required
  • Click OK

You can attach the record to multiple devices using the Attach Record command in the Tools > Records Menu.

A few caveats

  • You cannot do this retrospectievly and only subsequent Instrument Insertions will take this change. However, you could run the Replace instruments command on each Instrument type and that should work...
  • You should save and re-open the document to make absolutely certain that the new record is aligned with the fields in the OIP.


I hope that works for you!

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ok i tried that and the Fixture mode still isn't filling based off the record i created. i've attached a screen shot of how i have it setup to make sure i did it right. 


Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 7.47.15 PM.png

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I think the fixture Mode field is designed to be "none" or to look up the data base of fixture modes. In which case using a Record won't work. My fault.


The other route you could try is to use the look-up function as intended and then store the Lighting Device as a Red Plug-in Symbol. That will alow you to insert the Lighting Device as normal from your library and the correct mode will be pre-filled.


To make a Red Plug-in object Symbol ,

  • Select the lighting device will all the information you want to pre-assign filled in.
  • Run the Create Symbol command
  • In the Create Symbol dialogue box, check the box that says Convert to plug-in object.
  • Click OK

A Red Symbol will appear in your resource manager.


Double-clicking the red symbol in the resource manager will acivate the Lighting Device tool and your Lighting device will be entered into the drawing with all the reevant information filled-in


PS. I would caution against changing anything about the Light Info Record as this will mean that you will get an query message every time you bring in new instruments from Vwx libraries.




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The "FixtureID" field in the "Light Info Record" determines the default for the "Fixture Mode" if it exists.

We do a simple string match search starting from the beginning of the string to match the FixtureID with the available Fixture Modes.

If there is no match or partial match the fixture mode will be set to None.


If you are having issues keep in mind that we match from the beginning of the name. So if the mode is "Vectorworks"

-"Vector" will find a match

-"work" will not find a match

-"Vector1" will not find a match

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I'm not too familiar with the Fixture Mode database, is there a way to add to it? Is there a request link for new ones? Can we personally create new ones to add to it? Is it actively pulling from a database online or is the info stored within the fixture? A lot of fixtures seem to not support it, can we add info ourselves ?

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Users can not add or create fixtures for the fixture modes, this is a complicated process.  you can request a Vision Mode here: https://www.vectorworks.net/en-US/vision

Near the top right is fixture request.

the database is shared between Vision and Vectorworks, but updates can only be pulled down from Vision, as the list can be added to more easily through there. 

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So if I'm understanding that correctly, for a lighting device for which I cannot see the modes I use (eg ETC source 4 series 2 lustr, a range of modes with a plus 7 option) the following workflows are my options.


I have to either: make my own symbol for each mode; or set the fixture mode to "none" and manually adjust the dmx footprint. Is that the case ?


Is there then a straightforward way to elegantly get the fixture mode into paperwork, alongside other heads with modes in the VW database ?


I guess a big issue will then be using the head in vision (but that last part is less of an immediate problem for me).

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Mark’s suggestion for creating a “red symbol” will give you what you are looking for. You can add a label legend as well prior to creation. 

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