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Avenue 4.5 and Arena 5

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DMX Output

DMX Output is only available on Resolume Arena!

Resolume Arena 5 can output the color or brightness of your pixels to LED strips or other light fixtures via DMX.

This means you can play your videos on low resolution LED strips or other lights that support DMX input. Make it part of your stage design and take charge of the lights as well as the video.


Using DMX Lumiverses

To do anything with DMX Fixures, first you will need to create a DMX Lumiverse.

A DMX Lumiverse is basically a DMX universe, except it only exists virtually, within Resolume. Like a regular DMX universe, it consists of 512 channels. You use a Lumiverse to arrange and order your fixtures. By arranging your Lumiverse, you assign which channels you will send your DMX output to.

This way, you can prepare your pixel map at home. When it's showtime, you can then quickly assign a whole Lumiverse to a physical device or Art-Net node. Also, you can quickly change between different DMX output devices, without having to rebuild your pixel map from scratch.

You create a Lumiverse simply by adding one via the + menu.

A Lumiverse has the same Opacity, Brightness, Contrast and Color options that a regular Screen has. They behave the same way.

In addition, it has a Framerate and Delay setting.

Framerate - The framerate determines how often (per second) you send out the Lumiverse data. Higher values make fixtures more responsive but cost more performance (you are sending more data per second down the cable).

Delay - The delay determines the time between rendering the frame and outputting it to DMX (in milliseconds). This is used to keep lights/projectors in sync. The default value of 120ms will give a good result when matching lights and projectors. When using Resolume to control pixelstrips or lights only, you can change this value to 0 for immediate output without delay.


Using DMX Fixtures

When you first create a DMX Lumiverse, it will create one default DMX fixture for you. The default fixture contains 1 pixel of RGB data.

Unless you’re controlling the sun via DMX, it’s quite likely you’ll need to use a different kind of light fixture than a single RGB pixel. You can select a different fixture preset by selecting the fixture and using the drop down on the right hand side.

Tip! If your fixture is not in the list, don’t worry. You can very easily and quickly create your own fixture presets. The process on how to create a new entry in the fixture library is described in Using the Fixture Editor

Let’s say that you have a set of three LED tubes. Each tube has 16 RGB lights and they’re arranged in a triangular shape on the centre of the stage.

The first thing to do is to change the default fixture to the corresponding entry from the list.

You’ll notice that the fixture name has changed. Also the Input Selection area of the fixture has become 16 times as wide. This is because you can now assign colours for 16 pixels, instead of only 1. Bazinga!

You can move, scale and rotate the input of this fixture to match the physical location of the light in your stage design. Let’s make it 800×50 pixels. Assign its input to the bottom centre of the composition by placing it in the bottom centre of the Input Selection window. Resolume will sample the very centre pixel of each square as input for the RGB channel. You’ll see exactly which colours it’s sending in the preview on the bottom of the slice info.

Tip! Of course changing the input size in pixels doesn’t change the size of the LED tube. Also the location in the composition doesn’t change anything to its physical location. But it makes sense that you need to match the input size and position of your other stage elements, such as projection surfaces or LED wall tiles. This will create a matching picture on all your screens and lights when you start playing video on them.

Create another DMX fixture via the big + drop down menu. You’ll notice that this new fixture is also a 16 pixel LED bar. Resolume will take the previously used fixture as the default for newly created DMX fixtures.

Make this fixture the same width and height as the previous one, but rotate it to -60 degrees. Place it so that it makes the left leg of a perpendicular triangle.

Create the third fixture by duplicating the second fixture. You do this by right clicking on the fixture, either in the list on the left or in the Input Selection canvas itself. Rotate it to 60 degrees, and use it to finish off the triangle.

Tip! Use the scroll wheel or CTRL + and - ( CMD + and - on a Mac ) to zoom in and precisely position your fixture slice. You can use the pan tool or hold down spacebar to pan the canvas.


Setting up a Physical DMX Output

After setting up all your inputs, it’s time to actually send out some output to your LED tubes.

Open the Resolume Preferences, and navigate to the DMX tab. Here you can manage connected DMX devices, like the Enttec DMX Pro or ArtNet nodes.

Tip! Because USB boxes are limited to one or two universes, we recommend to use an Art-Net based solution. Showjockey and several other companies have options to get up to 8 or even 16 universes of DMX over a single Art-Net connection. If you're not afraid of some DIY there are also plenty of cheap alternatives.

Support for Enttec DMX USB devices is deprecated. We'll continue to support Enttec DMX USB devices for the lifetime of Arena 5.x.x. Arena 6 will support Art-Net based devices only.

Create a new output. If you are using an Enttec box, you can choose it from the Device drop down. If no devices are detected, Resolume will default to Art-Net output.

When using Art-Net, you have the option to use Broadcast or Unicast. Broadcast will simply send DMX to all devices on your network. Unicast will let you pick a specific IP to send to. For moderate setups up to about a dozen universes, it's fine to use broadcast, even on a consumer router. Broadcast is the default mode, so in most cases, Art-Net will start working right away.

When you start hitting 30 universes or more, it's a good idea to start using gigabit switches and unicast. You can switch to unicast by choosing a destination from the Target IP drop down. Resolume will show you a list of detected Art-Net nodes. You can either select a specific node from the list, or enter an IP manually. This last option is useful if you are using a device that does not respond to ArtPoll messages, like an Arduino.

When sending Art-Net to a specific named node, Resolume will remember that node's name, and keep sending to it, even if its IP address changes. When sending to a specific IP address, Resolume will keep sending to that IP, even if the device changes or if there's nothing there anymore.

Tip! Resolume sends Art-Net on the first available Network Interface Card / adapter. Most modern computers have an Ethernet and a Wifi adapter. So if you're using both a wired and wireless connection, Resolume may not automatically pick the NIC that you are using to send Art-Net. To make sure Resolume picks the right NIC, disable all the other adapters before starting Resolume. After Resolume is running, you can re-enable them.

For both Unicast and Broadcast, you have to select which Subnet and Universe to send on. Resolume supports 256 Art-Net universes per network interface. The first 16 universes are on subnet 0, Universe 16 through 32 are on subnet 1, Universe 33 through 48 are on subnet 2 etc etc.

Now you can choose which Lumiverse to send to this device. Choose the Lumiverse you have just been working on. Bam! Resolume is now sending pixel data to your LED tubes and you can close the Preferences.


Patching your Lumiverse

Switch back to the Screen Setup, select your Lumiverse and switch over to the DMX Output tab. The DMX Output is the overview of how your fixtures are arranged in your Lumiverse. You’ll see that the first fixture takes up 48 channels. This makes sense, as it has 16 pixels, each with a R, G and B value ( 16 * 3 = 48 ! ).

The second fixture starts at channel 49, right after the first one finishes. The third fixture starts at 97. These Start Channels should correspond to how your dip switches are set up on your LED tubes. This way Resolume knows which set of pixels need to be sent to which tube.

Tip! For those of you that don’t regularly count in binary, you can see how your dip switches should be set up visually in the bottom of the fixture info tab.

If your LED tubes are set up differently, you can simply drag the fixtures around in the DMX Output window. You’ll notice the Start Channel and the dip switches update themselves accordingly. If you prefer, you can adjust your dip switches directly or just type in the Start Channel. Your fixtures will then arrange themselves in your Lumiverse. Just make sure the channels do not overlap, otherwise you might get weird results. Resolume will warn you when this happens, by marking the overlapping channels with red.

After you have set up the correct start addresses, your LED tubes should correspond to what you’re playing on them. If one or more tubes were placed upside down or the wrong way round, you can use the Pacman icons to flip their output. Also you can adjust their brightness and contrast should that be necessary.

Tip! To check whether your outputs line up correctly, you can use a Lines source from Resolume’s Sources tab. Set it to a single thick line and let it animate across the composition at various rotation values. You’ll quickly notice if your LED tubes are somehow placed different in the physical world, than how you placed them in the Input Selection tab. If something is wrong, first make sure the Start Channels match up using the DMX Output tab. Also, it might be necessary to use Pacman to flip the output horizontally and/or vertically before its sent to the fixture.


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