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What is the GDTF? Keys to the new unified format

The premium brands of spectacular lighting distributed by Stonex they join the project of unification of GDTF formats that will facilitate the conversation between devices and control and visualization software.

El GDTF (General Device Type Format) was born to transform the way designers and programmers work in the world of design and production in the entertainment sector. It is an effort to ensure that both luminaires and displays and consoles work together in a simpler way with an open format. This project, initiative of recognized brands of the sector as MA Lighting y Vectorworks, among others, aims to create a unified data exchange.

With this proposal, to which the premium brands of spectacular lighting have already been added as Ayrton, Claypaky, ETC and Portman, among others, it is possible to work in a more agile way with different files. It is an especially interesting option in the field of lighting control and design in 3D environments such as Vectorworks.

How does the GDTF work?

This new format is designed to carry information about the geometries of a device and how it reacts to a DMX signal, which will be used later in a CAD program to a console. Since its presentation in the 2018 edition of Prolight + Sound, the proposal has been taking shape and currently the most prominent brands in the sector They already work with GDTF.

Today, most manufacturers use their own system to define their luminaires. This lack of standardization requires console manufacturers to support a large number of complex files, making work with CAD visualizers and software very difficult.

Thanks to this initiative, luminaire manufacturers now have an open format for data exchange that can be read by any console and included in any CAD viewing program. This format is readable for humans, free to use and designed so that its implementation and maintenance are simple.

GDTF_general-device-type-format

Where can I download device libraries in GDTF format?

Currently users can now download numerous libraries in GDTF format in the official website of the project. The problem so far is that a show combines many elements, from luminaires to pyrotechnics, which need to be visualized and controlled. The normal process would be for the manufacturers of each product to create a PDF with specifications that would be sent to the manufacturers of controls and displays. Someone within those companies is dedicated to manually transfer all that information to your system. In this process you can lose information, in addition to the procedures for updates and improvements are slower.

These data that may be lost along the way contain information about DMX, device dimensions and features such as gobos, colors or effects, in the case of luminaires. At this point, the creation of a shared format in which manufacturers can add all the information they deem necessary and that the creators of visualization and control software can work directly with that file is a great step forward for consideration by an industry which develops rapidly in the technological plane.

Can I contribute with my own bookstores?

Yes! Now you can contribute your grain of sand to this project through the GDTF builder that you can find on their official website. Thanks to this platform, users can create their own GDTF files with device libraries.

In Spain, Stonex It's official distributor MA Lighting, ETC, Claypaky, Ayrton y Portman, among other well-known brands. With more than 35 years of experience in the sector, it is the national reference company in professional lighting and stage engineering. It offers integral solutions for the entertainment, entertainment and architectural sectors, including from the design, supply, installation and maintenance of scenic equipment and lighting for professional use.

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