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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

GDTF Fixture Import Failed or Imported Incorrectly

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


When attempting to import a GDTF fixture profile into Eos, the import may fail or result in a profile with missing or incorrect data. This article explains the limitations of the current GDTF import system in Eos, emphasizes the importance of GDTF file quality, and outlines some steps that can be taken to get your fixture profile working as intended.

Limitations of GDTF in Eos

As of version 3.2.4, Eos does not support all the features of the GDTF file format. Below are some of the limitations of the current implementation of GDTF import.

  • Multi-cell fixtures cannot be imported. Instead individual parameters will be created for every parameter of each cell.
  • Colors and images (such as color frames and gobos) will not be imported. Images can be imported separately and attached to fixtures as with any other profile.
  • Fixture models will not be imported. GDTF fixtures will appear as a Source Four in Augment3d.
  • Virtual mode parameters, such as strobe mode, will not be created automatically. They can still be created manually in the fixture profile editor.

GDTF File Quality

As the General Device Type Format is a schema rather than a standard, anyone can create and publish GDTF profiles for any fixture. Some of these profiles may contain no data, incorrect parameters, parameters incompatible with Eos, or even corrupted data incompatible with the GDTF schema itself. Unlike fixture profiles from the official Eos fixture library published by ETC, we do not test or certify GDTF profiles in any way.

Some GDTF profiles are verified by the manufacturer of the fixture in question. These profiles can often be found on the manufacturer's product page for the fixture, or at by filtering to "Uploaded by: manufacturers only". Please note that just because a profile has been verified by a  manufacturer, it is not guaranteed to work flawlessly in Eos. These profiles are generally free of corrupted data, but they may still use parameter names and definitions that are incompatible with Eos. However, they are a good place to start to create a functional Eos profile for a given fixture (subject to the limitations outlined above).

On the other hand, many GDTF profiles are created by other users and are unverified. These profiles should be used with caution, and will likely require significant editing before they will function in Eos. User-created profiles on can be marked as tested either in a visualizer or in real life, but these marks should not be taken as a verification that the profile contains the correct data and will function.

Troubleshooting GDTF Files

If a GDTF file fails to import into Eos or does not function properly on import, it may still be possible to edit the contents of the file and get it to work as desired. When importing files from, it is often useful to open the profile in the website's built-in GDTF editor before importing it into Eos. When troubleshooting GDTF profiles, you should also have on hand the fixture's DMX chart and datasheet as published by its manufacturer.

The simplest issue that may cause a failed import is unrecognized parameter names. Eos recognizes parameters from a finite list of names, and does not know how to interpret data for parameter names outside this list. To view the list of recognized parameter names, open the Eos fixture profile editor from Patch (tab 12) with the softkey {Fixtures}, then click the {+} button in the profile list to start a new profile from scratch. The first parameter in the new profile will default to Intens, and clicking this row will open a drop-down menu where any parameter recognized by Eos can be selected. These parameters cover almost any function of any luminaire currently on the market, but the names may not exactly align with those chosen by the creator of the GDTF profile. For example, a GDTF profile containing a parameter called "AnimationWheel1PosRotate" may not know that it should map this channel to the Eos parameter "Animation Mode". Changing the parameter name in the profile to "Animation Mode" will ensure that it is mapped correctly on import.

If all parameter names are within the list recognized by Eos, any further editing can be done in the fixture profile editor within Eos. Profiles imported from GDTF files appear in the fixture profile list by default for further editing. Common edits that might need to be made include adjusting parameter ranges to line up with those specified on the DMX chart, setting parameters to Snap to prevent them from fading between values, and ensuring parameter home values are set correctly. You should refer to the manufacturer's published DMX chart while editing, and if possible, verify functionality of each parameter and range in the real world. Note that ETC Technical Services will be largely unable to assist in editing or creating GDTF profiles for non-ETC fixtures, and the fixture's manufacturer should be your primary source of support.

Requesting Fixture Profiles from ETC

If you are unable or unwilling to get a functioning fixture profile by editing GDTF profiles, an officially verified profile can be requested from ETC at the Fixture Library Hub. You will need to supply the manufacturer's DMX charts for the profile to be built from. Official profile creation may take a significant amount of time. If you need a profile immediately, building one from scratch using the DMX chart or using/modifying an existing GDTF profile are generally the best avenues to obtain one.

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