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Survey regarding the current Spotlight LIR [Light Info Record]



Hi folks:


I've been constructing a Vectorworks resource for the Perseo Profile, an Ayrton moving light symbol, that will be included in one of my SoftSymbol

libraries. As usual, when it came to filling out data information about the lighting device, I ran out of data cells in the current Light Info Record [LIR.]


In this case, i wanted to mention at least some of the specific features about the Perseo Profile that sets it apart; 4 shutter blades, 7 rotating 

and 11 static gobos, 2 rotating prisms,  CMY color mix, CTO color correct, 6 complementary colors, an IP65 rating, along with many more.


There are *no* data fields in the current Vectorworks LIR for any of this. Attached is my workaround to fit as much of this info into the current LIR as I can, and it's not pretty. The nice folks at Vectorworks tell me: "why do you need this data? The way the LIR is designed it¹s a fixed length for all lighting devices where as the GDTF is a variable length and contains a lot more data in a standard format that is useable by everyone."


When i'm drawing a plot, I typically compare fixtures between one another to make sure I'm making the best selection. Beam spread and photon output are certainly two considerations, but when it comes to moving lights [or many other lighting devices,] knowledge of other attributes  can also quickly become necessary in order to select the proper lighting instrument for the job.


After a quick review, it seems GDTF is not yet ready for primetime; it is still a work in progress. [I still haven’t included it in my workflow.] So with that  in mind, here¹s a quick survey:


If you were given the choice, would you like an expanded Light Info Record listing more comparative attributes for different light devices?


YES i'd be thrilled to know more about the different attributes of each  moving light [or other lighting devices] while i'm drawing a Vectorworks light plot, *before* entering GDTF, MVR, or Vision environment.


NO I don¹t need to see that information until *after* Ilve left the Vectorworks environment.


Please respond to this survey. Yea or nay, rant or rave, I’d like to know your thoughts. I’ve been struggling to fill in additional information in the current LIR,

and if no one cares about seeing this additional data, I’ll stop doing it and save myself some time. Thanks!


All the best,


Steve Shelley

Vectorworks 2017ScreenSnapz002.jpg

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18 answers to this question

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There are endless numbers of possible features now and in the future, some real and some advertising puffery. I read about the specs before I put a light on the plot, I don't need to fill up the OIP with possibly dozens or hundreds of manufacturer-specific items that are hard to categorize and which each manufacturer may describe differently or be unique to that light.


The LIR (and by extension the OIP) just needs things that the user wants to see on the plot or in Lightwright and/or needs to use in calculations or needs to edit to modify the behavior of a lighting device.


Just my .02, of course 🙂

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11 minutes ago, Kevin Allen said:

There really should be standards.


That said, using different sets of data for different purposes in the OIP, aid in the comparison/selection of devices.


100%. The one parameter that jumped out as a common denominator was IP-rating. I do a lot of outdoor events, so that would be useful in a light plot (even as a worksheet vs cluttering LL's).


Also, I have some dumb-dumb questions, so apologies in advance:

  • Will modifying the default LIR (by adding user fields) screw up integration with Lightwright, Vision, etc?
    • I'm thinking that the default LIR should come complete with the must-haves
    • Then users can add their own nice-to-haves
  • I'm noticing that a lot of records (in general) won't automatically pull parameters from the OIP (Shape tab), so those parameters have to be manually entered in the record (Data tab)
    • From memory, part of this depends on how the record is attached to the symbol but I'm seeing a fork in my own workflow:
      • Most parameters are entered in the OIP (Shape tab)
        • Missing and/or redundant parameters are entered in the attached record/s (Data tab)
          • Sometimes I have to use the Data Manager to calc parameters across both
      • Then I pull all of that data into Worksheets, Data Tags, Data Vis...
      • Lastly, I have to save those Worksheets, Data Tags, Data Vis... for futures use in new drawings
      • Now if I change one character in a single field, that entire system breaks (the Data Manager, Data Tags and Data Vis)
      • Furthermore, this redundancy is becoming an organized mess, which is why I'm keen to have more complete standardized records (certainly not bloating the OIP with minutia but evolving with our industry in a streamlined way)
        • For example, I see three new fields added to the LIR in v2022:
          • Frame Size Metric (shouldn't this belong in the metric LIRM?)
          • GDTF Fixture Name
          • GDTF Fixture Mode
          • (also the sequence of fields has been reordered, so that was yet another game of Spot The Difference)






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the GDTF info is troubling. As I see it, and I am happy to be corrected, GDTF is not ready for primetime, and does not replace VWX symbols.

My city wants to be oriented around public transit and not cars. So we are building buildings without enough parking spaces, even if the infrastructure to live without a vehicle doesn't yet exist. GDTF feels the same.

In terms of power planning, some devices require a voltage surge to start. doesn't that need to be a part of power planning? From the LIR?

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ABSOLUTELY YES.  I need there to be one place in all the chaos where I actually have complete data, and telling interested parties (myself, assistant, electrician or shop) to go look this data up for each light is not cool.  I use VWX for complete data aggregation.  It is designed to do that as evidenced in Worksheets and its relationship to LW.  It can't offer complete data coverage and not offer this.

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Hi Mark Aceto:


don’t worry about the dumb-dumb questions, i ask them all the time.


Yes, the original default LIR [for conventional fixtures] was viewed as complete; its default data had all the “must-haves.” As long as you used that LIR without editing the record itself [by editing it in the Resource Manager], you could include any information that you wished in any of the data cells.


If you want to change any of the information attached to any symbol, so that it would appear every time that symbol was inserted in a drawing, you merely select the symbol in the Resource Manager, contextual right-click while it’s selected, and select “Edit 2D [or 3D] Component” and release. the resource is revealed, as as long as nothing is selected in the window, the OIP data tab will reveal all the default data. Change any data in the LIR and “exit symbol” and the default information for that resource will be locked in.


If you change any element of the LIR itself, however - by changing the spelling of a data cell name, rearrange how the cells are ordered, or add another data cell, for example, while *maintaining the same LIR name* - the LIR is now *different*, and any time a symbol with the original LIR is imported into that drawing you’ll be presented with the dreaded “Resource Name Conflict” window.


So the only way to add your “nice-to-haves” and not get tripped up by the “Resource Name Conflict” is to fit in your “nice-to-haves” within the confines of the current LIR.

With the massive expansion of moving lights and LEDs over the last 30-40 years, the number of attributes has extensively expanded, but the LIR didn’t really add any fields until vw2022. and as you mention, the main field name additions was in regards to GDTF.


So even now, when I import a pre-vw2022 lighting device into a vw2022 spotlight workspace, i get the “Resource Name Conflict” window. In my rough tests, choosing to “Keep and use the existing format” [i.e., the new Vw2022 LIR] has translated in the loss of weight and GDTF information in the LIR for that imported symbol. [The jury is still out on this; there may be other implications I’m not yet aware of.]


While I’m all for assigning the responsibility of data information on the GDTF format, in two experiments of importing GDTF downloads from Ayrton and then importing either of them into vw2021, results in two 2D symbols that contain no data information whatsoever. So if I’m looking for data information from a GDTF, it seems like that’s not yet regulated or scrutinized for accuracy?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

There is nothing preventing you from attaching another record to the lighting device symbols. This would allow the user to see the see the information and search the Resource Browser without the need to modify the light info record or add add additional fields to the OIP.

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On 11/23/2021 at 11:29 AM, Kevin Allen said:

Yes, but the additional Info would only be visible in the Data Pane of the OIP, correct? Harder to organize and review in the Data Pane.


There is a wider conversation to be had here about the mental overhead keeping track of what info is entered where. There's a ton of redundancy between the Shape and Data tabs in the OIP. The Data Manager is sort of a solution to that problem but I think we're all starting to get exhausted by the increased fragmentation of data, and are in need of some streamlining (read: not deprecating).


Edited by Mark Aceto
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On 11/17/2021 at 6:35 PM, Kevin Allen said:

the GDTF info is troubling. As I see it, and I am happy to be corrected, GDTF is not ready for primetime, and does not replace VWX symbols.

GDTF is pain indeed. How ever Wysiwyg implemented it in one update. To bad Vectorworks, one of the original founders of the format isn't able to do that.
I'm not using GDTF as it is not that important. The main thing is MVR that I use for most shows. You don't need GDTF for that.

On topic:
More information in LIR = no.. Sorry but the tech specs at the manufacturers website specs it all. Do your research before you start drawing. This will speed up all the processes of production a lot more. I understand more info but then attach another record with all the fixture information. And call it like that. LFI, Light Fixture Information.

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Hi LenLindhout; Glad to hear you've got a solid process for your research workflow.


I remember when comparing two fixtures from the same manufacturer or different manufacturers was as simple as pulling out two different hard-copy catalogs. But in today's world those simple comparisons are in the past.


Older friends of mine have often lamented that manufacturers websites are byzantine affairs, and parsing through and comparing attributes between fixtures can take hours of time. While double-checking information for minute details makes perfect sense, it's always seemed to me that conducting general selections between two different fixtures from two different manufacturers would be better served with accurate information provided in the LIR [or possibly an alternate LIR, but hopefully still accessible.] This thread has shown me that there is more than one possible solution to this challenge.

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On 11/23/2021 at 10:51 AM, klinzey said:

There is nothing preventing you from attaching another record to the lighting device symbols. This would allow the user to see the see the information and search the Resource Browser without the need to modify the light info record or add add additional fields to the OIP.


Is there a way to prevent the Data Manager (and subsequently, Data Sheets) from alphabetically re-ordering the field order in Record Formats?


File attached for reference.


1. Note that the field order is not alphabetical in the Record Format:


2. Note that the Data Manager has alphabetically reordered the record fields in the Data Sheets dialog pane (they can be reordered in that pane but will default back to alpha after clicking the OK button):


3. Here's the result (each of the 3 records / sections in the Data Sheet is alphabetically reordered):



LIRR Test v01.vwx

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