Blocks has built in support for controlling lighting fixtures based on the Art-Net/DMX512 Control protocol. Controlling single channels and common basic functions is straightforward, and is built into Blocks as standard. For more details, see under "Art-Net/DMX-512 Lighting" in the Blocks manual.
Controlling more advanced fixtures, with numerous controllable parameters and operating modes, can be more challenging. To help keeping things manageable, such complex fixtures can be described by a fixture description file, specifying its function-to-channel mapping.
Lighting Fixture Definitions
A fixture definition describes a lighting instrument, such as a multi-color light or a moving-head light, controllable over Artnet/DMX-512. Using such a definition makes it easier to use by assigning meaningful names to its functions, rather than working with raw DMX channel numbers.
A set of lighting fixture definitions usable with PIXILAB Blocks can be found here:
To use any of these definitions, do as follows:
- Download the entire github repo as a ZIP and unpack (or clone the repo if yu're familiar with git).
- Copy the desired brand name folder(s) into the fixtures directory located inside your PIXILAB-Blocks-root directory.
The fixture definitions now appear grouped by brand and model under Manage, Artnet in Blocks.
A few basic and common fixture types can be found under the Generic brand. Due to the simple file format, it's quite easy to add a definition for other fixtures you want to use with Blocks, based on the information found below.
NOTE: These definitions were partially derived from the excellent Open Fixture Library found at https://open-fixture-library.org
The fixtures directory holds a simple folder/file structure:
- It contains one subdirectory per supported brand, plus one named Generic, containing a few common definitions that aren't brand specific.
- Inside each subdirectory, there's a description file for each fixture, with the fixture's model name. These files have a .json extension, and are formatted according to the JSON standard.
Ceating a Fixture Definition
As mentioned above, it's quite straightforward to write a definition file for a fixture. Please refer to the documentation found on our github page for details. If you make a definition file that you know work with a particular fixture, we'd be happy to add it to the github repo. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a zipped copy of the definition, along with the make and model it describes.