unreal engine logo

Unreal Engine Announces Support of GDTF and MVR 

An Interview with Epic Games on why they are fully embracing the standard.


Why have you chosen to implement support for GDTF and MVR? 

"We added DMX support to Unreal Engine back in 2020 and noticed the incredible industry excitement that followed. We quickly realized that we needed a standard to define what a fixture is, its channel layouts including information about its functionality and geometry. GDTF came to us as the logical choice to increase adoption and interoperability with other tools. This allowed us to follow through with the creation of the DMX Previs Sample that shipped on our marketplace. The response was beyond what we expected and we knew we made the right choice. 


Since then, we decided to fully embrace the standard, including MVR support in our latest 5.1 release, so that the whole tool ecosystem can now not only speak the same language but also enjoy a cohesive workflow between UE, lighting desk manufacturers and software developers such as Vectorworks. MVR becomes the glue that further defines where fixtures are located in 3D space, their patching information and their behavioral description via the GDTF specs.  


This will greatly benefit all industries. It enables and simplifies light show and virtual production stage previs in UE as you can now simply drag and drop Vectorworks projects directly in engine. It also facilitates and improves workflow around lighting desks and fixtures as we’re seeing more and more people using DMX in and out of UE in that space. " - Sevan Dalkian, Senior Technical Product Manager, Virtual Production & Live


Unreal Engine Announces Support of GDTF and MVR
From left to right: Petr Vanek of ROBE, Jeremy Powell of Vectorworks, Patrick Wambold of Unreal Engine, Sevan Dalkian of Unreal Engine, Stephan Saremba of MA Lighting.  


How was the support you got from GDTF Group in implementing these file formats in your products? 

We are strong believers in simplified workflows and unified standards. Although implementing GDTF and MVR was quite an adventure that required multiple iterations, we were always confident that we were doing the right thing, plus we had Vectorworks support to make that happen.


Do you anticipate GDTF and MVR will continue to grow in usage? 

These are exciting times because we are right in the middle of this convergence between industries, tools and technologies. What we are currently seeing is the tip of the iceberg as it will be possible to create accurate fixtures directly in the engine through GDTF specs, spawn them at the right location with valid patching information provided by MVR and finally control the whole setup with a lighting desk. In our minds, GDTF and MVR will definitely continue to grow not only in usage but also in further refinements. For instance, adding physical light characteristics to the spec will help increase fixture renders fidelity out-of-the-box.

If you want further information about this topic make sure to visit the Unreal Engine website:

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/solutions/broadcast-live-events 🔗

Also have a look at the release notes of the recent release of the Unreal Engine:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/5.1/en-US/unreal-engine-5.1-release-notes/ 🔗