3D Window and custom content

  • I don't see any way of inserting 3DS content as we did in MA2.... I see a catwalk object to 'Insert' but then it appears to be written in .XML format?

    Am I right in believing that this is how 'custom' content to be visualized? It must be written as .XML formatting?

    Are there any Manuals on this subject or forward looking statements about how we do 'custom' 3D work/content for MA3?

    Inquiring minds want to know, ;).


    The 3D Window information was pretty limited, even more than the earlier versions, which had a great manual.

  • Hey Rex,

    at the moment there are two ways to get custom 3D Objects into the 3D.

    1) MVR

    You can already export Vectorworks Drawings using MVR. MVR can of course contain your whole lighting setup but scenery as well.

    Or in your case only scenery....

    2) GDTF Builder

    The GDTF builder can be used to create Fixtures.

    You can also import 3ds files to create a scenery as well.

  • I tried to generate a GDTF 'environmental'/set model and that did not render when I Inserted the 'fixture'....

    Is it possible to outline the steps involved in achieving this result--Importing a 3DS file into GDTF FixtureBuilder and having it arrive as a 'fixture' fro the Environment/Scene. I'm assuming this is the paradigm now; all 3D assets are considered 'fixtures' as well? That is a whole new ball of melting wax....under the Hot Summer Suns of tomorrow and yesterday over how it was done in previous versions.


    MVR seems like a wonderful addition and useful for larger production layouts/previz...but 3.7K$ to bring in simple models for a small--midsize environments of Scenics in free software[onPC]--pretty restrictive??!! Or a base subscription[far more reasonable]?? MA2 was far more user-friendly to previz, at this moment, it seems.

    Thanks for any information on the process!


  • Hi Rex,

    your posting brought me to the idea to try it out. I created a fixture type without any DMX modes, just one model, wich is assigned to the main geometry. It is an evironment model of a nightclub. Textures are unfortunatly replaced by the stageplane texture. Here is a screenshot of the result.

  • Yep, fairly simple once I understood the paradigm a tad better, nothing like Trial Del Fuego and help from MGeasey.... No DMX, just link the Geometry to the Attribute/Module. Also, I would assume that the way MA3 digests the 3DS files, it is always considered a 'single group/mesh/object' and any UV mapping would be resource intensive to keep track of bitmaps and UV coordinates for 3D Window render. We'll see...how things develop with future versions.

    MA2 never handled bitmaps and Materials very well[did not share/instance Materials across Groupings utilizing same bitmaps]....I would not expect to see them render, perhaps later; I see MA3 as moving away from Ad hoc 3D hackdaggery...Hence my reflection; "Good-bye the Bugatti", trending into, "Hello,'Mini-Coop!'" I get a decent 60 FPS on any 3D Window, multiples as well at the same time--might be capped?? In MA2 3D I could get well into the 100's FPS....It will be some time, ihmo, before MA3[D] comes close to v3.7 MA3D, could make that engine do about anything I needed it to do, FTW! Now, sad clown face as I put around in a Mini-cooper....beep-beep!

    Good luck!

    Work Safely!!

    Edited once, last by Rex (December 29, 2019 at 3:54 PM).

  • I also tried to import scenery via mvr, but the stage model is again listed as a fixture profile with the same result - have found out, that the textures have to be in the textures folder in the resoures directory.

    Its not very nice solution to treat scenery like fixtures, I hoped it would appear under the layers tab in a different object tree. Maybe someone can explain how to proper import scenery via mvr - I attached the scene description file I used to import a mobile stage and a screenshot of the result.


  • Rex & Sille,

    The gma3 Fixture Schedule is a representation of the real world.

    The real world includes not only lighting fixtures, but also any other physical items.

    When you hang a fixture on a truss, or put a floorcan on a drum-riser, they all need to be able to be connected in the same object tree, - you should recognize this from gma2 3D

    for virtual, nonphysical relations, e.g. "Wash Lights" you have two dimensions, Layer and Class, which can be used to group items you feel belong together, across any physical relations, which you later can filter by.

    Please also remember that this is version

    I am sure that we in the future will see improvements in workflow on the subject of importing scenery and other custom objects.

  • Andreas, I do know the 'Release Candidate status' of software and I can see the 'empty spaces' that will be filled in, ;). I can see the Material entry field for the Mesh Objects in the Pool. A much easier 'path' to selecting which bitmap/Material you'd like enrobing the object, lol....to these eyes. I also feel that perhaps further down the road that 'Scenic Elements/Environmental Assets' will be droppable[dragable too?!!] into the 3D Window, but if not; alas, through the Stages Tab would be the container to do the work. I am unaware of how these constructs, Layers||Class, will help with Asset Organization; I am positive that the manual will outline all the necessary steps. Just seems 'wacky' to start generating all these extraneous 'fixture types' to keep track of in the Patch Sheet. I see the total number of 'objects'/IDs that can be applied; something like over 4 million?? That's a lot of objects in the Scene! That will make for a large Listing of Fixtures.--Right now, Andreas; I cannot visualize any 'Shaper'/'Blade'/'Iris' attributes in the 3D Window yet--havent' looked for a 'Prism' yet...not even from existing MA2/MA3 profiles inside the console. A 'forward-looking' statement on what the visualizing Attributes are, at the moment, would be supreme, ;)! I'm getting a handle on how things are rendering in MA3 now...has taken a few days of Trial/Error to discover this much.

    @nrgsillie , I've not done any MVR at the moment and am looking for the /textures folder you speak of, but of which; I can find no evidence...?! Is it the /images folder in the Resources container?? I did place my bitmap texture for a 3DS object inside the /images folder but it did not render in the Material Viewing Pane of the Mesh's Parameter dialog. Is there an actual /texture folder in the Tree, or does it get generated upon MVR Import; I don't know or have experience with this aspect yet. I'll gladly 'ham-fist'/'button mash' the folder into place manually if needed, but at the moment; I get no render of my 3DS object if I Import it into the Mesh Pool and then point to it with a fresh/new Fixture Type under Models Tab?? Building it as a GDTF seems viable at the moment.

    Thanks all!

    I'll get this 'new' 3D information out as quickly as possible to the Masses as soon as I uncover it! I beat on this software nearly every day in the Rex3D Studio, to see what's capable of visualizing.

    AHA!! Got the model rendering, took another pass through Fixture Type Edit to find the entry field for pointing to....but no bitmap Material...and the Scale of the object is off. Dialog seems to say it's 1 M each side, but visualizing it; off by factor of 10 as nrgsillie states...dialog and 3D window show different things?!?

    Edited 2 times, last by Rex (December 30, 2019 at 2:41 PM).

  • Thanks, found it with your hep; I thought it had the 'lib_' appendage and was only looking there for the location; gotta go try this now with a simple Mesh Pool--Fixture Type--Model Import.


    Happy,Safe,Healthy,Prosperous New Year!


    UGH: remember to keep your bitmap namingConvention to 8-bit. No more than 8 characters in a 'name' or things may truncate on ya....LOL. Still haven't seen it yet, but am still trying and uncovering little gems like the 3DS convention of 8-bit janky.

    Edited once, last by Rex: finding little secrets is fun! that are not 'splained anywhere! (December 30, 2019 at 4:43 PM).

  • Rex

    The Stage tab lets you define objects that divides the whole Schedule into different physical Location, and are userdefinable top-level objects in the object-tree, each with its own bounding box and own origin/zero-point. Use multiple stages if your system covers multiple venues, rooms or stages.

    A 3D Window (Formerly known as Stage Window) will visualize one Stage (or Room, Venue etc)

    With the Stages concept you can visualize different venues/stages/rooms in different 3D Windows, within the same showfile

    Try to get familiar with the Filter button. (shaped as a funnel in the top right) When your object tree grows, using Filters to only see what you want is a big help for navigation.

    If you want to filter on your own terms, not only by Fixturetype, or DMX address etc, head over to the Layer and Class tabs, and create your person grouping preferences.

    e.g. Layers: Floor, Roof etc

    e.g. Class: Wash, Spot

    assign the appropriate Layers and classes to your fixtures, and use Filters to easily find your Wash fixtures that are on the Floor.

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