What if you have a lot of eDMX fixtures in the Visualizer? Then you could manually set their Start channels and Start universes so that they neatly take up available DMX real-estate, so that there are not too many gaps in between. But that would obviously be very tedious and prone to errors and mistakes. Instead you could use a Fixture connection. They tell Lightact the order of the fixtures in a sequence and you only need to enter the start universe and channel of the whole sequence. Lightact then makes sure Start universe and Start channel of each individual eDMX fixture in the sequence is set up so that there are no gaps between DMX addressing.
So let’s go through setting up one Fixture connection. First insert 3 different eDMX fixtures in the Visualizer. You can do that by right clicking somewhere in the empty area of the Visualizer, going to Add eDMX fixture and selecting one of the available ones. Repeat this process 2 more times.
If you go to eDMX tab of any one of those fixtures you’ll see that both their Start universe and Start channel are set to -1.
Now let’s create a new Fixture connection by right-clicking in the Visualizer again and selecting Add fixture connection.
A small grey cube will appear. This represents the Fixture connection.
Adding fixtures through Visualizer
The easiest way to connect the fixtures is by right-clicking on the cube and selecting Manual connect in the menu.
You’ll see a yellow rectangle around the Visualizer and a yellow label Fixture connection mode. Now you can start clicking fixtures one-by-one until all of them are connected.
You’ll see a green/yellow (or grey when the connection is not selected) line connecting them. If you’ve made a mistake, press Backspace to go one step back. Press Esc key when you are done to exit the Fixture connection mode.
If you select the Fixture connection and open its eDMX tab, you’ll see you can set its Start universe and Start channel. These are what Lightact uses to calculate the address of all the subsequent fixtures and pixels in the connection. You can also see the number of Connected fixtures as well as the End universe and channel. In the bottom 2 list boxes, you can see the Available fixtures and Added fixtures.
If you select one of the fixtures in a Fixture connection and open its eDMX tab you’ll see its DMX properties as well. Contrary to fixtures that are not in a Fixture connection, you cannot edit these properties. If you click on Exclude from connection, the fixture won’t be included in the connection anymore and you’ll be able to manually set the DMX properties.
Adding fixtures through Properties
When you select a Fixture connection, you can also manually include a fixture in the list of its Added fixtures. You do that in its eDMX tab.
Once it’s open you’ll see Start universe and Start channel properties and 2 list boxes at the bottom. On the left side, there is a list of all Available fixtures. That means fixtures that are inserted in the Visualizer and are not yet part of any other Fixture connection. And on the right side, there is a list of the fixtures in the selected connection. So, if you select a fixture on the left and move them to the right using arrow buttons below the list boxes you’ll see that the fixtures become connected in the Visualizer with an arrow starting from the little cube representing the connection. You can reorder the fixtures using Up and Down buttons.
Now select one of the fixtures in the connection and open its eDMX tab. You’ll see that you cannot edit the Start channel and Start universe values anymore because they are automatically calculated by the connection.