By the end of this tutorial, you’ll create a simple eDMX fixture in Lightact and send content to it using Art-Net control protocol.
Before we can send content to an eDMX fixture in Lightact, we first have to send it to a canvas. We’ve covered the required steps to do that in Output to a video screen tutorial in more detail, so we are going to explain it very briefly here:
- Create a canvas and a layer.
- Import a video file.
- In the Layout window of that Layer create a Render to canvas node and a Video reader node.
- In the Render to canvas node, select your canvas and in the Video reader node select your video file.
- Connect Run node and Video reader node to the Render to canvas node.
This should display your video file on the canvas.
In the next step, you’ll learn how to map the content from the canvas to an eDMX light.
1 – Create a Thrower
Contrary to video screens, eDMX fixtures cannot source the content directly from Canvases. Instead, they source it either from Content throwers or from video screens. In this tutorial, we’ll go through the Thrower workflow. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
Right-click somewhere in the Visualizer and select Add thrower. A black plane similar to a video screen will appear. Make sure it is selected and then, in the Source tab of its properties, select our canvas.
Double click the canvas to open its setup window. There you should see your Thrower on the left side. Right click on it and click on Place on canvas.
Feel free to move the thrower’s rectangle on the right side around to adjust which part of the content it will grab.
This is it. In the next step, we’ll create an eDMX fixture and map it to this thrower.
2 – Create an eDMX fixture
Right-click somewhere in the Visualizer and hover over Add eDMX fixture. A submenu of available fixtures will appear. When you click on one of them, it will appear in the Visualizer.
Lightact ships with a few sample eDMX fixtures in its library, which are all based on Art-Net protocol. You may have other fixtures in your library, which might cause the required steps to differ from the ones below a bit.
Select the newly inserted fixture and in its properties open the Source tab. Select our Thrower from the available options. Go to the Common tab and move the fixture so that content from the Thrower appears on the fixture. A bit of background: throwers project content from a canvas in a parallel way onto all objects that are assigned to it. So if you want to see content on your eDMX fixture, the easiest way is to position the fixture parallel to and directly in front of the thrower.
Select the fixture again and go to eDMX tab in its properties. By default Start universe and Start channel should be both set to -1, which effectively disables Art-Net sending. You should set it to positive numbers, so let’s set both to 1. Don’t forget to click Apply button after you’ve changed the values.
We are almost done now. All we have to do is to create an Art-Net node in the Devices window.
3 – Create an Art-Net node
Open Devices window by going to Window and Devices or by pressing F7. When it opens, click somewhere on the left side, hover over Art-Net node and click on Add new.
A popup should appear where you enter the IP number of your Art-Net node.
If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry, you can always change it later. After clicking OK an Art-Net node will appear.
If you have a physical Art-Net node connected to the network you can check the Streaming checkbox to ensure Lightact sends Art-Net out. If not, you can leave the checkbox unchecked.
If you select the Art-Net node you’ll see its properties on the right side. Among those you have the name, the IP address, the number of ports and the start universe.
The Number of ports determines how many outputs or DMX universes this Art-Net node has and the Start universe property determines which fixture should send its content to this Art-Net node.
This should be it. When you press Spacebar or click on the play button, the content from our eDMX fixture will be sent to our Art-Net node starting from channel 1.
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