Like most interface items in VDMX, the Color Pickers can send their current state over the DMX protocol for syncing with lighting consoles and fixtures making it possible for a VJ to control both the visuals and lights at a live event. In this video tutorial we'll set up a DMX controllable lighting fixture and set up a Control Surface plugin with interface items for adjusting each of the available parameters.
Before getting started you may need to configure your system Network settings in System Preferences and the DMX / ArtNet settings in the VDMX preferences. The exact settings will vary depending on the equipment being used. Also note that the hardware being used may come with additional setup software you may need to run.
For this basic setup we have a single port ENTTEC Open DMX Ethernet converter but any ArtNet compatible device will work. We're connected directly to the device over cat-5 using a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter as pictured above. The fixture being used accepts 4 DMX channels, 1 for strobe / brightness level and 3 for the RGB color.
To begin we'll add a Slider to the Control Surface and set it to send on channel 1 for the strobe rate / brightness level.
Next to control the color of our light we'll add a Color Wheel element and use the UI Inspector to add a DMX Sender. From the sub-inspector we can adjust the channel offset to match the template of the fixture.
Notes and Next Steps:
- Similar but different from MIDI, each DMX port represents a single “Universe” consisting of 512 “Channels” of values ranged 0-255.
- If multiple universes are needed there are devices with multiple ports, or you can connect several single port devices to a network router or switch.
- Read more about using the Control Surface plugin to make custom interface layouts.
- The “Video To DMX” Plugin VDMX can be used to convert a video stream into DMX values.
- Automate changes in color elements using the Step Sequencer plugin color tracks.
- For tips on receiving DMX from a lighting console see the tutorial Using VDMX as a 2 Channel DMX Controlled Video Mixer.