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Protocol for communication between consoles, software and fixtures

Discussion in 'wysiwyg' started by Floriaan, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Floriaan

    Floriaan Well-Known Member

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    Will you be involved in the new GDTF standard? (http://www.gdtf-share.com)
    This is a new protocol that standardises the communication between previsualisation software, consoles and lighting fixtures. It sounds very interesting.
     
  2. Dany

    Dany Administrator
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    No decision has been made wrt to this.
     
  3. ADK

    ADK Member

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    If collective replies/opinions here carry any weight, I think it sounds like a great idea. If it becomes a thing, I'd very much like to see it implemented in WYSIWYG, as the ability to reliably exchange data with MA consoles and with Vectorworks would be very useful to me.
     
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  4. Dany

    Dany Administrator
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    CAST Software is taking a wait and see approach here. The idea is definitely a good one. If all the automated lighting fixture manufacturers come onboard and deliver the information needed (along with timely updates for fixture firmware changes) AND if the protocol is currently able or can/will be extended to cover all features that allow visualization to function properly across all visualizers, then yes, we will adopt the protocol.
     
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  5. Xavier78

    Xavier78 New Member

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    +1 for GDTF and exchange data with Vectorworks and Grandma3
     
  6. Xavier78

    Xavier78 New Member

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    Some news for Gdtf ?
     
  7. Dany

    Dany Administrator
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    Hello Xavier,

    CAST Software's President & CEO, Gil Densham, asked me to send the following reply:

    In answer to your GDTF questions, we ask you to do the same as us: please continue to monitor GDTF's progress, by going online and registering to get access to the site, then we ask you to see if you feel it is viable or not?

    We have followed this product over the years to see just how much progress it has made, it seems that not very many of our industry’s robotic lighting manufacturers actually seem to want to take part, or if their name is on the site, they have not delivered many or any of the GDTF profiles for their lights, except those who started GDTF. We also point out that there are literally thousands of fixtures in the world that you as Designers need that are already in wysiwyg, certified to be true representations of the real world products, including every mode and also every fixture update built in, but it looks like after going through the GTDF libraries to date, there are only approx 200 real fixtures that anyone would want, after you take out all the tests, knock-offs, duplicates and all of the unknown strange named fixtures that do not look like they are actual entertainment units.

    We also want you to know that even after many requests from us and other visualizer manufacturers over the years, there has not been any progress towards adding the functionality/capability for visualizers to actually take advantage of GDTF. Even VW's own Vision product cannot use GDTF properly as far as we have been led to understand, they are supposed to be in the same boat as us, unless they have a version that we are not privy to, although their marketing message would lead you to believe that Vision can take full advantage of GDTF,

    You will also notice after looking at the GDTF site, that there really is not too much activity on there at all. Since GTDF was announced, we at CAST have taken a wait and see approach, to determine if it would be useful for our users. Implementing this in wysiwyg would mean a large development cost and we would need to know that it would work for our users; our view today, based on everything we have learned and seen so far is that, this is going to be a lost cause and will disappear in the near future. This is not something we ever wanted to say, as we had high hopes that this would actually work for all and unite our industry.


    Just one more note to add, that while the three companies behind GDTF all look like they are trying to work with all other manufacturers, they seem in some cases to be doing the opposite, please ask MA why, with the grandMA 3, they are cutting of all visualizer off-line support except for their own MA 3D, therefore removing your ability to to previz your shows unless you purchase node farms or consoles from them to do it with... then you will start to see the big picture behind this one.

    Our view is that MA's strategy to remove everyone else from doing offline work with their consoles, will eventually hurt their sales, as more and more people will migrate to consoles that give users a choice and make things easier for them.


    Cheers,

    Gil

    Thanks.
     
  8. Jason Gardash

    Jason Gardash Active Member

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    In the last week or so as I been learning the MA3 software. I can say the one thing that has jumped out at me is the whole GDFT fixture thing.
    Where are they???
    It is dismal what's included with MA3 releases.
    I know of NRGSilles fixtures for the MA3D and they are good but they are also a purchase to be made. no offence but I already purchased offline fixtures thru Wysiwyg.
    So really people need to send MA or your local distributor a complaint and request for 3rd party visualizers to be included.
    They lost a big opportunity with this unexpected break and not having it included.

    Now I'm not one for doing up the EDM style shows as in real world
    I may use a stage like that once every other year for a day at some festival. but I did see and ask about the visualizer issues when I ordered my MA3 gear and thus purchased a onpc 4 node unit to go along with my other ma3 gear purchase. Figured it be the at home MA3 connection and if I had a larger show it can be the extra parameter counts needed for the show.

    I had the money saved so it was available for me to do. but most people it's not in the playing cards. so the built in visualizers was a great way to edit stuff at home or on the bus or where you wanted to work on stuff.

    So Cast is right. why jump on a bandwagon if the wagon may just crash and burn a year or two down the road.
    Had MA release MA3 software with a 1000 or even better a library of several thousand and not joe blow homemade profiles then we have a different story to tell and ask for.

    So if you like to see better imports between Wysiwyg and MA3 software or GDFT implementation then I suggest you write MA or Act or whichever distributor you go thru and request the feature be brought up to industry standards.. i.e. have more than a 100 profiles and a way to have it certified that it will work when used.

    My rant for the month lol.
    Jay.
     
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  9. Xavier78

    Xavier78 New Member

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    Hi Dany,

    Thanks for your CEO's answer.

    Sorry.. But i think that "strongertogether" is not very compatible with "wait and see"..
    Strongertogether that i really hope, is Cast to develop gateways to make life easier for users..
    Like the free wyg2ma converter from mathias schoffmann,is an example...


    That why, we hope in GDTF, especially in MVR.

    https://gdtf-share.com/?cont=who

    What is innovative in this concept, it is not only the GDTF, but the MVR which is a real gateway between the visualizers and lighting desks (but which depends on the GDTF) and why not between VW and Wyg.

    We hope to one day have a plugin what would allow us to import a VW file, and to export for VW..
    I have the impression that L8 visualizer did it.
    The workflow is most of the technical directors work on VW, and the LD who work on wysiwyg waste precious time to convert and redraw things already done. And it is the same in the other direction from WYG to VW. It s not a new subject but it gets more and more annoying.. until when ?

    Regarding gma3, we are persuading them to change policy with this petition below :

    https://www.ipetitions.com/petition...utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email_thank_you

    With what is happening in the world today, in this crazy time, your punchline "strongertogether" takes full meaning. But it must be translate into actions. Everyone can no longer stay in their own bubble and say they are waiting to see.
    So mr Gil, please take your phone and call VW, it's a opportunnity now to find a viable solution for your users because you are complementary and not competitors ...:)

    Cheers,

    Xavier
     
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  10. Floriaan

    Floriaan Well-Known Member

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    Hi,


    I think the problem is threefold.


    First of all there is the chicken-egg problem of initiatives like this where the succes of the initiative depends on the amount of people joining, and that it’s only worth joining if there are enough people that have already joined.


    Secondly wysiwyg’s connectivity with consoles is getting worse then it ever was because console manufacturers stop developing the necessary drivers. According to ETC they won’t support wysiwyg because they don’t consider it an industry standard. The head of software development wrote me: ”We have currently implemented the industry standard output protocols used by the viz community - sACN and Art-Net. We are working on implementing other open protocols used in the industry like CITP and MVR for auto patch between systems. We don’t want to have unique and proprietary integrations with multiple various 3rd party applications. This is hard to manage and upkeep.”

    At the same time they are developing there own form of vizualiser (as is MA). This has the risk of completely shatter the market in there own little pieces.


    Lastly there is a problem with the fixture library of wysiwyg (and probably of many others). There are a vast amount of fixtures in there but the quality is not consistently good. Some symbols date back to the very start of wysiwyg (e.g. Robert Juliat conventional profiles), some fixtures have been implemented from a poorly written manual (e.g. Studio Due CS4), some have been user corrected by comparing the fixtures behavior from the fixture profile in a desk, not real life.

    These problem will get worse when the user base of each of these library gets smaller due to the fractured market. Less users per library means less bug reports and less corrections. Also there seems to be only one person available for development and maintaining the library. There are so many fixtures out there that it is only possible to share the workload between viz. companies, console manufacturers, fixture manufacturers and maybe even customers and make sure the tools for testing are in place and the library is standardized.


    The solution would be indeed to be stronger together. In order to be that, the companiets must be generous and willing to share. There is such a big library available in so many places already. Much of that work is already paid for and has little commercial value. So start sharing your VL5’s library file, your CP Alpha series, your Mac2000’s. Be generous and cooperate in that platform!


    I would like every lighting professional to press there favorite companies to start the conversation with each other. Our industry is too small for either individualism or monopolists!
     
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  11. Xavier78

    Xavier78 New Member

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  12. Dany

    Dany Administrator
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    Thanks Floriaan. Gil asked me earlier to post the following in reply:

    Stepping back in here again, just to clarify what the real issues is regarding consoles and connectivity with visualizers.


    On the every console available in the world and GMA3 connectivity, there is no issue at all with WYSIWYG connecting to any of the hardware's at all, we fully support all standard protocols for lighting (including the open Art-Net and sACN protocols, as everyone knows).


    The real issue here, is about "of-line editors for the consoles, being able to connect to visualizers in a secure way" which allows you all to pre-vis and cue your shows, without any need for hardware other than your computer. As of today, this does not allow people to use "an off-line console editor" to run their shows without a real console and or nodes being involved; we can all understand why the console manufacturers want to keep things this way and totally agree with them. (This is what is in place already with GMA2 and many other consoles from CAST; it is a safe and secure encrypted method for the connection, obviously built under co-development with the manufacturers.)


    MA has now told everyone that they will no longer support this with GMA3, which is why people are getting upset and understandably so, as lots of WYSIWYG and other pre-vis users rely on this for their employment, ease of use and to be able to pre-cue shows without needing extra hardware. Yes MA has become that big company and hugely successful with their consoles, they deserve credit for what they have done for the industry, but it looks like they are no longer listening to their users and trying to force them to do things they do not want to do.


    Strand went through the same things many years ago, trying to tell their users how it is going to be and not listening anymore. Do you even know today, that they used to be famous console manufacturers? It is a story that needs to be listened too by current console manufacturers, or they themselves might just go the same way Strand did, over the coming years.


    If MA decides not to listen to all of you, they are opening the doors up for smaller console companies to continue delivering the functionality needed. You all know what happened to the BETA versus VHS tape competition, where the cheaper and less professional VHS format wiped out BETA from the public marketplace.



    Cheers,

    Gil​


    .. as of a couple of hours ago though, it looks like MA might be easing up on their visualizer output restrictions, as they posted on their Forum that they should have something similar to the grandMA and grandMA2 connections coming "within this year": https://forum.malighting.com/thread...oxgRa07xb70s1zmjp4Bh2lPJukadcFHVkG4DiiDj-ZcbE. That's a long time away though, so let's see what they end up delivering. (Tbh, knowing what I know about such connections, I personally cannot imagine why it would take so long, but, naturally, I am in no way privy to how they will implement this.)
     
  13. Dany

    Dany Administrator
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  14. Matthew Geasey

    Matthew Geasey New Member

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    Hey Y'all,

    I hope this finds everyone well! My name is Matt Geasey and I wanted to touch base about the MVR part of this conversation and see if there were any questions about it. Apart from the GDTF side of things right now, I would think it would be beneficial for MVR to be implemented into WYG as it could greatly improve some of the workflows between show production teams as a whole. Depence2 did a great implementation of MVR and reading the container file even though it contained GDTF files for fixture info, they merely did what WYG does when importing fixtures via CSV file right now, they allowed you to choose their internal library fixture and didn't affect anything from what I can tell.

    I would love to help answer any questions here if I can but also on the GDTF Share forum site.

    Hope everyone is doing good during this time!

    Cheers!

    MattG
     
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  15. Joe

    Joe Member

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    Breaking in on this discussion I have been an AVID wysiwyg user for over a decade. I even convinced my company to use wyg primarily and we have bought 4 various level licenses which we have renewed over the last 5 years continually. Due to the difficulties of using wyg with the newer standards including gdtf and mvr I am investing lots of time into vectorworks during this shutdown and its ease of gdtf and mvr files make it so much easier for us to do business and save hours not needing to redraw things. Vectorworks Vision has also come a very long way and is a very good visualizer.

    I am very close to completely ditching wysiwyg now after in person meetings at LDI and emails with the company. I've had discussions with Dany and Dino about the look and feel of the wireframe end of wyg and how inferior it looks. Almost to the point of cartoonish. Default library items are missing ALL of the details. In the age of "stepping up our game" by presenting better documents and trying to save lots of hours with workflows due to the tight budget constrictions we are all now facing I am not seeing the improvements the pro users are asking for. Importing a CSV and doing all the work redrawing elements of venues even as DWG and doing multiple imports and adjustments takes a lot of time. Time=Money

    As a wyg beta tester for a very long time I have not been impressed with how very long it took to even get a 64 bit version of the software. I know it was a complete rework of the software but they knew 64 bit was coming years before it arrived. Adding the functionality of associating gdtf files to their library items and using mvr import export could save HOURS of work but sadly we all know it will take years for them to implement something we ask for. How long did we wait to even have truss thickness instead of simple lines? I dont have time for that in this climate so switching to something that already has all these features and more which is better looking with its plots is my only option.
     
  16. Joe

    Joe Member

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  17. Floriaan

    Floriaan Well-Known Member

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  18. motiaroshas

    motiaroshas New Member

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    Bottom line I think we need to know how you see the development of the software and where you are heading.
    Certainly there are changes in the market and we need to know if you are part of these changes in both the visual and the software format.
    It is important to me personally that I can communicate with designers who use other software and connect all types of boards for programming.
    I am a client from version 19 to date and want to continue doing so but look forward to knowing where you are heading in the future.
    Thanks
     
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