Documentation and FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is DMX and do i need it?
    BlenderDMX is primarily a visualizing tool for entertainment lighting, which typically is controlled by DMX protocol. It is not strictly needed for BlenderDMX as you can program by using keyframes. You can learn more about DMX here.
  • Can i use Blender 2.9?
    No, you need to install Blender 3.4 or higher. Version 4.x is supported but do note that when importing MVR files, Blender 4.x can be 10x slower then Blender 3.x .
  • I get a random error, what should is do?
    Oooups, this can happen. First, make sure you use Blender 3.4 and higher, 4.x is also supported. If BlenderDMX is not working for you at all, disable all other custom enabled addons to check for collision. In BlenderDMX, set Logging to Debug, this will produce more information, saving it in the "blenderDMX.log" log file. Replicate the action leading to the error, then look into the "blenderDMX.log" logfile if you see anything obvious. Eventually, take the error message or the full blenderDMX.log log file and ask in the Discord group.
  • Are there any special shortcuts in BlenderDMX?
    Yes, several. You can use Ctrl-Left / Ctrl-Right to go between fixtures (Previous/Next), Ctrl-Shift-Left/Ctrl-Shift-Right to go between fixture's targets (Previous/Next). When in the Fixtures list, you can use Shift to select multiple fixtures.
  • Can i use DMX to control other parts of Blender?
    Yes. You can use our dedicated DMX driver for Blender to use DMX as source of values for any Blender property.
  • Can BlenderDMX output DMX and be used as a DMX controller?
    This is currently not possible but if someone comes and implements this why not.
  • Can I import full MVR scene?
    Absolutely! Use the Setup → Import → Import MVR Scene. You can also use the MVR-xchange protocol if you work with another software which supports it.
  • After MVR import, GDTF fixtures have IDs and DMX but their bodies are not visible in 3D
    This depends on how you are doing the MVR export in Vectoworks/Capture. Capture never provides any useful GDTFs, only place-holders. Vectorworks provides useful GDTFs if you previously load them to VW and link them to each VW symbol. To fix this issue, you can use the Edit fixture function of BlenderDMX: after the MVR import to BlenderDMX, edit all fixtures → uncheck the Re-address only and choose GDTF files for each fixture.
  • Why do fixtures from GDTF have different features, like Gobo or Color and some not?
    GDTF is a format to describe real world devices, meaning that there are real lights out there which someone physically built and uses on real stages. Some of them are simple with just a lamp, some have colors, others may have gobos and pan/tilt and so on. If you don't care about this, you can choose any fixture. See also the next question.
  • Is there a difference between Spot and Wash fixtures in BlenderDMX?
    Yes. BlenderDMX supports Spot, Wash, Beam, Linear Strips, MultiPixel, Front Facing and other devices, including Lasers. Spots have a hard beam edge, and if they contain gobos, their projection is supported. Washes have a smooth blend on the beam. Narrow parallel beam angles aligned with the front beam lens (beam fixtures) are also supported. Pixel devices can be pixel controlled and any device can be set to not contain volumetric beam to only provide front facing color mixing or strobing.
  • Are Lasers supported?
    Yes. BlenderDMX allows to visualize laser devices. The laser fixture definition is based on GDTF. By creating a custom GDTF, there is a lot of flexibility of the types of lasers: single beam, multiple beams, zooming, color changing, different shapes and so on. See dedicated Laser article for details.
  • What are good fixture files to start with?

    While the fixture definitions in GDTF describe and mimic real lighting devices, if you have no idea about entertainment lighting and just want to do something creative in Blender, you might not care about what light you use and just need some fixtures to play around with. One of the companies defining GDTF specification and providing well prepared GDTF files is Robe Lighting, their fixture files use correct, use 3D models in glb format with defined material, gobos are with correct transparency and the DMX description works well. There are also other manufacturers and fixtures files, check out the GDTF Share for more.

  • What is the difference between Cycles and Eevee?
    Blender has multiple rendering engines. Eevee is a realtime renderer, while Cycles is an offline renderer that calculates 3D data to produce realistic scenes. BlenderDMX has to implement each feature two times, once for Eevee, once for Cycles. Saving keyframes is a technique to prepare views and transitions for the Cycles renderer. Read about Eevee and Cycles on the web.
  • Instead of gobos i have pink beam output in Cycles
    This seems as either some combination of things or a bug in Blender. For some reason, Eevee has to be used at least once with gobos, for gobos to render in Cycles. Simply switch the renderer to Eevee and back to Cycles and gobos will show up.

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