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Art-Net is one of the most popular protocols for transmitting DMX data over the network. Lightact can both send and receive this type of data. Lightact can also receive Art-Net timecode.

In this chapter, we’ll walk through setting up an Art-Net node to send DMX data to. We’ll also set up an Art-Net listener node and use it to receive DMX and timecode data.

Sending Art-Net

To send Art-Net to an Art-Net node on the network you first have to insert an Art-Net node in the Devices window. You can do that either manually or automatically.

adding art net nodes in devices

To do it manually click on Add new and in the popup that appears enter the devices IP address. To do it automatically click on Scan and Lightact will broadcast an ArtPoll message, which will cause all the Art-Net nodes on the network to send their data back. Once Lightact receives the messages the corresponding nodes will appear.

automatic adding art net nodes

If you select a node you will see its properties on the right.

art netNodeProperties

  • Number of ports means the number of DMX ports on the node
  • Start universe means the universe number of the first DMX port on the node. If a node has more than 1 port, Lightact assumes the universe numbers will be sequential. You can set these numbers up in the settings of your physical Art-Net node.

After you’ve setup the properties of the node, you just make sure the Streaming checkbox and this is it. Now it’s time to setup your Art-Net fixture in the Visualizer so you can close the Devices window now.

Insert an eDMX fixture in the Visualizer

In the Visualizer insert an eDMX fixture by right-clicking, hovering above eDMx and then clicking on one of the eDMX fixtures available.

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When it appears in the Visualizer you just have to make sure that the eDMX settings in the eDMX tab match those of the Art-Net node.

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For more information on mapping the content to the eDMX fixture please refer to Output to an Art-Net fixture Quick start guide or some of the articles in the Controlling lighting category starting with eDMX fixtures chapter.

Receiving Art-Net

You can receive 2 types of Art-Net data in Lightact: DMX packets and Art-Net timecode. First, we’ll explain how to receive DMX data and then how to receive and sync with Art-Net timecode. Both start with an Art-Net listener node which you insert in the Devices window (right-click opens up the menu). In order to start receiving data, make sure the Streaming checkbox is checked.

art net listener node

Getting DMX data in Layer Layouts

To receive the incoming DMX data inside Layer Layouts you simply insert an Art-Net DMX reader node into a Layer Layout and in its properties select the Art-Net listener node you inserted in the Devices window.

Art Net dmx reader node

You select which channel you are interested in and the node will output an integer value between 0-255.

Syncing playback with Art-Net timecode

Syncing the sequence with Art-Net timecode is very simple. You just check the Timecode sync checkbox in the Sequence properties and if the time is within the Sequence duration, the transport will start moving as per the timecode. The transport will turn to grey and thus become un-movable manually.

timecode sync

Getting Art-Net Timecode in Layer Layouts

To read incoming Art-Net timecode inside Layer Layouts you insert an Art-Net timecode reader node and make sure the correct Art-Net listener node is selected in the Parent device section of the Properties.

Art Net timecode reader

The output of the node is Time and Frame. Time includes all the timecode’s values except the frame number and you can access individual values using a Time splitter node.

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