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Vectorworks, Inc. Announces GDTF 1.0 Availability—Drives Entertainment Industry Standard

The entertainment industry’s first open file format is now moving forward with enthusiasm and adoption by key participating manufacturers.

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On its first anniversary, the entertainment industry’s open file format, General Device Type Format (GDTF) version 1.0 is here. Through collective feedback from the GDTF founders, MA Lighting, Robe lighting and Vectorworks, Inc., as well as other participating manufacturers, the file format has received numerous updates since it was first introduced and can now be used by manufacturers around the world. GDTF 1.0 and the My Virtual Rig (MVR) file format — which creates a two-way connection between planning, previz and console systems — are now implemented with Vectorworks 2019, Vision 2019 and grandMA3.

“A driving force for creating the GDTF was to fix a glaring problem of disconnected workflows for professionals within the entertainment community,” said Dr. Biplab Sarkar, CEO at Vectorworks, a global design and BIM software solutions provider. “With this latest version of GDTF, it marks a monumental step of this initiative with GDTF and MVR in our products.”

GDTF 1.0 — Updates

Most recently, revisions to the new file format include improvements to the following:

  • DMX mode
  • Geometry type
  • Physical descriptions of emitters, filters and color space
  • Date and user stamp on all uploaded GDTF files

Further, official documentation now lives online and offers GDTF and MVR file descriptions, GDTF tutorials, an MVR portable library and more.

Further, official documentation now lives online and offers GDTF and MVR file descriptions, GDTF tutorials, an MVR portable library and more.

01 – MVR support in Vision is now standard since SP3 which was just released. Vectorworks has been a driving force in the entertainment CAD industry so pushing this new standard out is unsurprising.

Previously in private beta, the web-based fixture builder, which allows manufacturers to create GDTF files for their fixtures, is updated in GDTF version 1.0 and available at https://gdtf-share.com/. The fixture builder also allows manufacturers and end users to create GDTF files for lighting fixtures. Manufacturers interested in moving forward with creating GDTF files for their fixtures can receive access to the fixture builder and a private beta of grandMA3 onPC xPort Node and grandMA3 onPC software to import GDTF and MVR files for testing their build process with real output.

“We’ve covered a lot of ground quickly since the GDTF was announced at last year’s Prolight + Sound to support the needs of the entertainment industry,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “We’ve also made substantial progress with implementing GDTF and MVR and are excited to share that we have working versions of GDTF 1.0 and MVR implemented with our grandMA3 console line. Moreover, we have decided to also develop and provide a converter to take advantage of the GDTF database also for our renowned and commonly used grandMA2 series. We look forward to sharing the groundbreaking advancements during demonstrations at the upcoming Prolight + Sound show.”

This announcement comes a week after Vectorworks 2019 Service Pack 3 was released with significant advancements to the MVR connection between Vectorworks’ products. Now, you can import and export MVR in Spotlight and import MVR into Vision, providing a more efficient workflow to designers.

“As a moving lights manufacturer, the intense collaborative development of the General Device Type Format in the past year has been crucial for achieving the goal of having a unified, technically sound, comprehensive specification for lighting fixtures, as well as sharing all of the intricate details of our devices with our customers, planners, designers and operators,” said Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe lighting. “The fixture builder has been yet another important milestone in the whole process, and it provides an accessible way of creating the GDTF files. Besides the fresh 1.0 version, the news about MA Lighting planning to provide a converter from GDTF to grandMA2 series is the most exciting news I’ve heard since we started developing GDTF itself.”

GDTF 1.0 and MVR will be on display during the Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany at Hall 12.0, C51 (Vectorworks), Hall 12.0, C69 (MA Lighting) and Hall 12.1, D10 (Robe lighting). Media interested in learning more should contact Vectorworks Senior Media Relations Manager Lauren Meyer at [email protected] to book a press interview.

Currently, twenty manufacturers have signed on to support the GDTF. Other manufacturers interested in participating should email [email protected] or post in the GDTF forum.

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