As part of the DMX lighting control course at HTW Berlin, a team of students looked at using Epic Games' Unreal Engine to visualize a show with DMXControl 3. The aim was to investigate whether this game engine could be an alternative to the outdated EasyView visualizer. Frank has summarized the results of the students' work in a document that you can read, the first version of which is available for download here in the forum in the Alternative Visualizer for DMXControl thread. The document is also partly a guide to try out the tool yourself and get an overview. This analysis is not specific to DMXControl 3 as the engine is only addressed via the Art-Net protocol
In addition to the visualization using the Unreal Engine, there was also a development that might be of interest to Blender users: the “Blender-DMX” add-on. Devices can be inserted here where the device definitions are also generated in the GDTF standard. All further information on using this addon can be found in the GitHub project mentioned.
The students’ result on Unreal Engine can be described as follows:
- This tool, which is free for personal use, can deliver very impressive graphical results. An extremely realistic and accurate representation of a DMX show and stage can be achieved.
- Comparatively high PC resources are required, not only GPU but also hard drive space.
- You have to take a lot of time to familiarize yourself with the tool (the students came from the fields of media information technology and game design, so they got started very quickly). However, the complexity of Unreal can seem daunting.
- The usual problem is that you have to set up and patch your devices in the game engine in parallel; there is currently no automatic transformation of the DDFs. However, a lot of things could be automated here in the future. However, just like Blender-DMX, Unreal Engine can handle GDTF specifications.
For those who have a more or less fixed device configuration, the one-time effort of configuring with one of these tools is definitely worth it. Since Epic Games expands the DMX features with every new release, many positive surprises can be expected in the future. The project at HTW has ended for the time being, but perhaps there are interested parties in our community who would like to keep an eye on the further development of both tools together with Frank.
Finally, for the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that the DMXControl team itself is not involved in development in either case. Rather, with this news we would like to look outside the box with you and discuss with you a bit how you are positioned in the area of 3D visualization and whether one or two of you have already used one of the two tools mentioned.