Lightact allows you to send and receive OSC messages. OSC stands for Open Sound Protocol (opensoundcontrol.org | Wikipedia page). The protocol is built on UDP but includes some features that make it more useful for entertainment. For example, an OSC packet can include several variables of different types.

Receiving OSC

To receive an OSC message open Devices window by going to Window and clicking on Devices (or press F7). When it’s opened, insert an OSC Reader node by right-clicking on the left side, hovering above OSC and clicking on Reader.

insert osc server

After that, a popup window will open where you insert the port number on which Lightact will be listening for OSC messages.

port number for TCP

If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry – you can always change it later. Click OK.

When the node is created you can select it and you’ll see its properties on the right.

osc reader properties

Here you can change the name of the node, you can see the current IP address of your computer and you can also change the port this OSC Reader node is listening on.

osc server node

Before this node will actually start listening you have to check the Listening checkbox.

Setup in Layer Layouts

That’s all we had to do in Devices window. Now we just have to create an OSC Listener node in a layer layout and select our OSC Reader 1 node as its parent.

Open a layout of an existing layer or create a new one. Once it’s opened right click somewhere on the left side and enter OSC listener in the search box.

osc listener insert

Click on OSC Listener to insert the node.

osc listener node

OSC Listener node has a New message lifeline output that executes whenever a new OSC message is received in the selected OSC Reader node.

osc listener parent device

Then, select it and in the properties on the right select the OSC Reader node you created before in the Devices window. Then type in the OSC address into the text box above. OSC address usually defines which user control the value belongs to.

osc listener add buttons

Now in the OSC Listener node click one of the Add buttons, depending on what type of a variable you are expecting to receive.

This should be it. You simply connect the output of the OSC listener node to another node in the layout.

Please note, you can map several Listener nodes in a Layout to one Reader node in the Devices window.

Sending OSC

osc writer add

Sending an OSC message is similar to receiving it, except that in the Devices window you insert an OSC Writer node.

osc client

Make sure the IP address and port number are what you want them to be. Check the Streaming checkbox after.

Then you open a Layer Layout and instead of an OSC Listener node, you insert an OSC Sender node

OSC sender

Make sure to select the correct Parent device.

osc sender parent device

Similarly to when we were setting up OSC Listener node, we should type in the Address.

osc sender layout

The only thing that’s left for us to do is to click on one of the Add buttons on the OSC Sender node and connect its Lifeline input.

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