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  • Writer's pictureQI jiajing

Connecting TouchDesigner to grandMA3 via Artnet

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

I had this idea for a long time, what if we use TouchDesigner as a programming tool to trigger lights via grandMA3 console. Thanks to Covid, I had time to sit down and tried this out.

The goal for this post is to integrate TouchDesigner in to grandMA3 via Artnet.

The technique we will be using :

  • grandMA3 which is lastest release of MA3 upon this time.

  • TouchDesigner 2020. 24520

If you are new to those two software/hardware, I will have their websites at the end of post.

Okay, let us get started.

In TouchDesigner, we put down a CONSTANT chop , a MATH chop and a DMX OUT chop.

* CONSTANT chop : Create certain amount of channels, those channels will be fixture's parameters.

For instance, Clay Paky SuperSharpy Standard mode occupies 19 DMX channels. You will be able to find those fixture DMXfottprints via MA3 Patch( PATCH - FIXTURE TYPE - SUPERSHARPY - EDIT - STANDARD LAMP OFF)

* MATH chop: Convert data range from 0 to 1 to 0 to 255.

* DMXOUT chop: Send out DMX value via Art-Net We do not need to change DMXOUT chop parameters since we will be working locally. However, if we work on network, we change Network Address to the client's address that will be receiving data.

NOTE: grandMA3 is using Art Net V4, Art Net V4 supports any range of IP address. However , most devices are still taking 2 or 10 IP range.

Alright, now we can look at settings in MA3. Before set up for ArtNet, we have to create a session in order to make MA3 talking with other devices.

Go to MENU - NETWORK, and tape on the "session" icon on low right corner to create a session, once the session been created, the icon will turn to green and also console status become "IdleMaster".

Pay attention to the interface we have here. It has to match in Art-Net setting.

Then we navegate to Art-Net setting by going to MENU - DMX PROTOCOLS. Following window pops up.

Couple things we need to change here:

First, if there is no default Art-Net, simply click INSERT NEW ART-NET-DATA button on the lower left side. It will create a new Aet-Net session for you.

Then we need to change interface matching the one we used in session. also modify Art-Net MODE to be INPUT.

About Local Universe and Amount settings, we change Local Universie to the starting universe of patched fixture. In this instance, fixtures been patched starting with universe 2, Amount is the consecutive universes been sent starting with Local Universe.

Finally, toggle on ENABLE INPUT at top of the window to enable Art-Net. Once this gets done, we will notice a yellow or a green bar shows up above the Art-Net tab at top left corner.

Let us test it out if we have TouchDesigner communicating with grandMA3.

Well, this does not look very exciting. However, if we can make UI in TouchDesigner or even using TouchOSC, it does facilitate off line programming or playback. Keep in mind, grandMA system does not output any parameters unless it hook up with its hardware.

The problem I am having here is how to sync them across the platforms, meanning either using TouchDesigner(TD) on PC while MA3 on mac or vice versa. MA3 on mac is not responding to TouchDesigner for some reason. If you have better idea, please leave a comment.

Link to grandMA Lighting :

Link to Derivative (TouchDesigner) :

Happy integrating.

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