Vectorworks GDTF Image Image courtesy of Vectorworks, Inc.

Vectorworks, Inc., MA Lighting and Robe lighting Pioneer Open Data Standard

General Device Type Format will revolutionize the entertainment industry by offering professionals a seamless way to exchange luminary data from design to production

Columbia, Md. (March 27, 2018)—Today, Vectorworks, Inc.MA Lighting and Robe lighting announce a new development for the entertainment design and production industry that will change the way lighting designers, lighting fixture manufacturers, lighting console manufacturers and lighting visualizers will work together. The three companies have jointly led the charge to develop a new data format, named the General Device Type Format (GDTF), which creates a unified definition for the exchange of device data between consoles, CAD and previsualization software.

Currently, most device manufacturers use a proprietary way to define their luminaires. This lack of a standard or unified definition requires lighting console manufacturers to support and maintain a complex web of file formats. Moreover, it makes it virtually impossible for designers to leverage CAD files into consoles and makes it very difficult to link CAD software to previsualization software.

“The industry has long been plagued by the absence of a standardized way to define the description of intelligent luminaires,” said Dr. Biplab Sarkar, CEO of Vectorworks. “Today’s exchange process is fraught with challenges. The workflows are disconnected, time-consuming and often require the manual mapping of data with a high chance of error. General Device Type Format simplifies the entire process. It creates a common data exchange language that will be the basis of a fully connected workflow, from CAD to previz to console and back. We look forward to collectively working with additional manufacturers to extend the benefits of this high-quality workflow to the professionals of the industry.”

With GDTF, luminaire manufacturers now have an open and universal data exchange format that can be read by any console manufacturer and be included in any CAD or previsualization software. No longer will custom, one-off interpretations of DMX values and conversions for specific control data be needed. The format is human-readable, royalty-free and easy to implement and maintain.

“The General Device Type Format is a fantastic new development that will revolutionize the way professionals can specify and control our products,” said Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe lighting. “It’s easy to adopt, and it makes it possible for us as manufacturers of intelligent luminaires to fully describe our fixtures with detailed information without the need for any additional computational interpretation by control or visualization manufacturers.”

“Our main motivation was to make everyone’s life easier,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “Users of any lighting control system, CAD and previz software that can process GDTF will benefit by the ease of use and the amount of details provided. GDTF contains all the information required to control and visualize all kinds of devices like fixtures, video, pyro, special FX or lasers in a standardized manner. It supports the manufacturers to structure and provide all the data to make their devices look best — onstage and during visualization. We count on the device manufacturers to contribute. They already have all the information their customers need to perform. Once our industry has adapted to the new GDTF standard, all our lives will become much easier — for good.” 

The three companies will discuss the announcement and present information about the GDTF during the upcoming Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany. Stop by Hall 3.0 to visit MA Lighting at C51 and C61, Vectorworks at E60 and Robe lighting at D80. A press briefing will be held at the Vectorworks booth on Tuesday, April 10 at 2 p.m. 

For Vectorworks users, devices in Vectorworks Spotlight are currently being updated to support GDTF. Updates will be released in future 2018 service packs.

ABOUT VECTORWORKS, INC.

Vectorworks, Inc. is a global design and BIM software developer serving over 650,000 professionals in the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries. Since 1985, we've been committed to helping designers capture inspiration, nurture innovation, communicate effectively and bring their visions to life. With our cross-platform software, designers can build data-rich, visual models without sacrificing the design process, while collaborating efficiently throughout the project life-cycle. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Newbury, England and London, England, Vectorworks is a part of the Nemetschek Group. Learn how we empower designers to create experiences that transform the world at vectorworks.net.

ABOUT MA LIGHTING

MA Lighting International as master distributor is responsible for worldwide sales and marketing of the professional lighting control solutions of MA Lighting Technology. The product range offers the grandMA3 and grandMA2 series, the dot2 range and the MA Network Switch. 

Today, MA Lighting is respected for its technical knowledge and has achieved a unique international reputation for its operational philosophy. The company offers several decades of experience and strictly follows a professional user-centric approach, getting as close as possible to the market via its own international offices and support centers in the UK, North America, Latin America, the Middle East/India, Asia Pacific and Scandinavia/Eastern Europe/Russia – supported by a world-wide distribution and service network.

ABOUT ROBE LIGHTING

Robe lighting is based in the Czech Republic and manufactures innovative, high quality moving lights and digital lighting products. Central to the company’s philosophy is the practice of working as closely with our business partners and end users as possible, listening to their needs, thoughts and wishes and understanding their markets and requirements. Knowing our business is based on the talent and imagination of numerous individuals, we endeavor to meet as many of them face-to-face as possible. Building the "Robe Family" means that all comments and feedback are welcome. The future is full of ambitious plans and ideas. Robe continues to focus on designing and producing well-engineered products utilizing the very latest available technology to meet the creative, technical and practical demands of our wide range of users and investors.

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