DMX Template Overview

Information about the DMX Template, including information about DMX Plugin Proxies and Fixtures.

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Prerequisite Topics

This page assumes you have prior knowledge of the following topics. Please read them before proceeding.

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DMX Blueprint Template

Unreal Engine 4 provides additional DMX-enabled fixtures and VFX Blueprints that you can use within your projects or use as a foundation to create your own. These are showcased in the DMX Template, including the following.

  • An updated and improved C++-based modular DMX fixture system that enables you to toggle available sub-features such as pan, tilt, gobos, strobe, and more.

  • A volumetric beam shader with adjustable quality levels.

  • A set of base DMX-enabled VFX Blueprint Actors so that you can use as examples:

    • Fireworks

    • Pyro

    • Water fountain

    • Lasers

The following are popular categories of DMX fixtures used throughout Live Venues.

  • Static

  • Matrix/Pixel Bar

  • Moving Head

  • Moving Mirror

  • Strobe

The DMX UE plugin will ship with an asset pack composed of BP actors for each of the previously-mentioned fixture categories.

  • These actors can be placed in a level and will have the most features and attributes of typical fixtures of that category.

  • They have exposed Components that will allow the selection of the DMX Library and fixtures.

  • They contain DMX BP logic that will bind with received values to fixture attributes.

All default fixtures inherit from a base DMX fixture C++ class ADMXFixture.

DMX Components

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Provided with the plugin are a set of DMX components to be used to design and configure custom DMX fixture functionality. Any actor inheriting from the ADMXFixture class can utilize the provided DMX components. These components are responsible for responding to incoming DMX packets and updating the parent actor accordingly. Each template fixture has a range of components added by default as seen below.

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Each component has a set of editable properties that can be changed via the details panel on the right.

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Initialize Fixture

Every fixture needs to be initialized to ensure the components and meshes respond properly to the received DMX. To do this, use the Initialize Fixture node and input the Lens mesh component and the Beam mesh component, if applicable.

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DMX Input

DMX input for all fixtures happens through the OnFixturePatchReceived event provided by the added "DMX" component. Upon DMX received, normalized DMX data is pushed to all attribute components added to the BP. Each then updates and applies the change to the actor.

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Attribute Animation/Interpolation

For each component, the user has the option to have the fixture characteristics be interpolated (animated) for a smoother more realistic look. Interpolation mimics real fixtures in which elements such as pan and tilt take time to move from one location due to motor speeds and hardware limitations. In the DMX Fixtures, interpolation can be changed and modified to fit the users desired looks via properties in the attribute components. Each component has two properties for controlling interpolation characteristics.

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Property

Description

Use Interpolation

Enables interpolation.

Interpolation Scale

Sets interpolation speed.

All interpolation updates are handled on tick through the "Interpolate DMX Components" node.

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DMX Fixture Proxy Blueprints

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Here is a complete breakdown of all the included BP with the DMX plugin.

BP_MovingHead

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Pan

  • Tilt

  • Dimmer

  • Shutter

  • ColorWheel

  • Gobo

  • Zoom

  • Frost

BP_MovingMirror

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Pan

  • Tilt

  • Dimmer

  • Shutter

  • ColorWheel

  • Gobo

  • Zoom

  • Frost

BP_StaticHead

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Dimmer

  • Strobe

  • Zoom

  • Color

BP_StaticStrobe

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Dimmer

  • Strobe

BP_StaticMatrix

This node has the following default attributes.

  • MatrixPan

  • MatrixTilt

  • MatrixColor

BP_WashLED

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Pan

  • Tilt

  • Dimmer

  • Strobe

  • Zoom

  • Color

BP_MovingMatrix

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Pan

  • Tilt

  • MatrixPan

  • MatrixTilt

  • MatrixColor

BP_LaserModule

This node has the following default attributes.

  • StartStop

  • Angle

  • NumBeams

BP_PyroModule

This node has the following default attributes.

  • StartStop

  • Burst

BP_WaterSource

This node has the following default attributes.

  • StartStop

  • Velocity

BP_FireWorksLauncher

This node has the following default attributes.

  • Launch

DMX Template Guide

This node has the following default attribute.

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This template is dedicated to live events previsualization and virtual production workflows requiring DMX protocol. It includes examples for addressing, patching, and controlling proxy lighting fixtures as well as recording and playback of live DMX data streams in and out of UE.

Use as a starting point to start pre-visualizing your live show using professional lighting consoles, for controlling external physical DMX enabled devices from within Unreal, or simply for triggering custom events inside your project using DMX. Experimental pixel mapping features and additional controllable effects such as pyrotechnics, fireworks, and water fountains are also showcased.

Three levels are included within this Template:

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The first default map is Fixtures and contains all lighting fixtures demonstrated alongside a short pre-recorded DMX input sequence that is automatically played when starting the level.

The other two levels are small technical demonstrations of how to use the experimental PixelMapping feature as well as the provided WaterFountain fixtures.

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