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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

General Device Type Format (GDTF) Fixture Import for Eos Family


As of v3.2.4, Eos can import General Device Type Format (GDTF) fixture definitions. Once imported, GDTF fixture definitions can be patched and used in your show file similar to any other custom or user-generated fixture profile.

Parameter types and DMX ranges may need to be edited after import. Some imports may dynamically create parameters in the fixture profile as needed for optimal performance from Eos and the fixture.

3.2.4 Limitations

The initial implementation of GDTF import has some limitations, including:

  • The current import mechanism will not create multi-cell fixtures
  • Media (color and images) will not be created or attached to imported fixtures
  • Color calibration information is not imported. DMX parameters will get mapped to the generic option that uses the most outputs possible. 
    • Example: When Importing an RGBAW fixture, colors will be mapped to default RGBAW values, rather than RGBA and ignoring the white channel.
    • See the Color Configuration tools available if there needs to be some adjustments. Manual link here.
  • Fixture models are not imported
  • Eos will not create “virtual” mode parameters (e.g., when “Strobe Mode” is created for a multi-mode “Shutter Strobe” parameter).

GDTF imports will continue to improve in future releases with planned work and user feedback on the forums.

To import a GDTF fixture definition

  1. Load the GDTF fixture definition onto a USB drive, ensuring it is not compressed.
  2. Save curent showfile on console.
  3. Insert the USB drive, and make sure Eos is running.
  4. Go to Browser, select {File}, then {Import}, and then {GDTF Fixtures}.
  5. Navigate to the directory containing the GDTF file.
  6. Select the GDTF fixture definition to be imported, and double-click or hit [Select] or [Enter].
  7. Eos will ask “Do you really want to import items into your show?”. Click OK.
  8. All modes in the GDTF fixture definition are now stored in your show file as Eos fixture profiles.
  9. Don’t forget to save your show file with your imported GDTF fixture definitions.

To patch an imported GDTF fixture definition

  1. In Eos, go to Patch by double-hitting [Address], or using the add-a-tab section.
  2. To view fixture profiles in the show file, on a blank command line, select {Type}, and make sure {Show} is selected. You will see all fixture profiles stored in the show file - unpatched profiles will be gray.
  3. To patch to specific channels, select the channel(s) and choose the Type as you normally would. For example: [1] {Type} {My GDTF Fixture}.
  4. You can now add an address and change other patch properties as usual.
  5. You should check that the fixture definition is functioning correctly with a real fixture attached, and make any corrections needed in the Fixture Editor.

To edit an imported GDTF fixture definition

  1. In Patch on a clear command line, select {Fixtures} to get into the Fixture Editor.
  2. Select the profile you wish to edit from the list of fixtures on the left.
  3. Make the edits you choose in the right pane, as you typically would with any other fixture.
  4. Don’t forget to save the fixture profile before leaving the Fixture Editor.

Tips for getting the best import

These tips will help to get an optimal fixture created in Eos from a GDTF fixture definition import or edit:

  • Make sure the GDTF fixture definition uses DMX parameter names from the existing parameter set in Eos. GDTF imports will handle all parameter types, but they may not match between fixture imports and show files. For example, Eos knows how to handle “Red”, but it may not know how to handle “Cardinal” or “Crimson”.
  • Simplify channel DMX ranges when possible (0-255 is better than 0-10, 11-20, 21-30 unless the detail is significant).
  • In an import, mistakes in the original GDTF fixture definition will be present in the Eos profile as well. Problems like DMX range overlaps, missing a referenced DMX mode parameter, and missing DMX mode names and ranges will not automatically be corrected. Be sure to inspect the quality of the GDTF fixture definition in advance of import, and use the Eos Fixture Editor to correct any issues in the definition after import.
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