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RKS: Common GDTF Authoring Dos and Don'ts

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Here is a list of frequent errors we can see some new GDTF authors are making, together with description on how to eliminate these issues. By following this advice you will be creating GDTF files of much better quality.


Custom GDTF Attributes

Do not define custom attributes. If you think that the attribute you are needing is not in the GDTF Builder, look more closely. In 99%, the needed attribute is already defined in GDTF and thus it allows all software utilizing GDTF to know which real world behavior is described by that GDTF attribute. If unsure about creating a new attribute, ask in the forum, especially if you want to be sure that your GDTF file is correct. Here are some commonly missed GDTF attributes:

  • Dimmer, which is controlling intensity of the device. Do not create an attribute "Intensity".
  • Colors. Do not create "Red" of "Green". These already exist as for example ColorAdd_R, ColorAdd_G, ColorAdd_B for direct color mixing, ColorRGB_Red, ColorRGB_Green, ColorRGB_Blue for indirect color mixing, ColorSub_C, ColorSub_M, ColorSub_Y for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow subtractive color mixing. You can view the list of all GDTF attributes with extended description for each item here.



Coarse and Fine Channels

When defining a DMX Channel, you can choose a Resolution of the channel. This then allows you to assign a DMX offset for Coarse and Fine, as per image below. Do not create channels "Dimmer Fine" or "Red Fine" channels.



Only define a color Emitter or a Filter if you have measurements of the colors. Do not define Emitters/Filters to just click some random R, G, B values.



3D Models

Ideally, use a real 3D model of the device. If you do not have a 3D model of the fixture, you can use the default head, yoke, base models provided by the GDTF Builder, if these default models look like the real device you are describing. If the default head, yoke, base models do not describe your device correctly, it is often better to use the predefined cube or cylinder as a model. Do not use for example the default base instead of a generic cube, it will look very ugly.



Beam Geometry

For beam geometry, typically use a cylinder with a small height. Do not use randomly some other predefined models like the head or base.


Hope this helps. If unsure, just ask here in the forum.





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  • Petr Vanek - Robe changed the title to RKS: Common GDTF Authoring Dos and Don'ts
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