Unleashing the Full Potential of DMX Lighting in BlenderDMX with Lasers, Gobos and IES Photometrics

Posted May 20, 2024  ‐ 3 min read  ‐ Categories: GDTF, MVR, BlenderDMX

BlenderDMX, the powerful DMX visualization and rendering tool, has continued to evolve, unlocking new levels of creative possibilities. Leveraging its strong foundations in the GDTF and MVR formats, as well as the robust capabilities of the Blender engine, BlenderDMX now offers an even more comprehensive solution for lighting designers and visual artists.

BlenderDMX has expanded its feature set to enable super high-quality rendering of both static and dynamic lighting scenes. This is now used by creative artists to create static and fly-through renders of stage designs:

21 Production - Porin 2024
21 Production - Porin 2024

Artists can now seamlessly integrate a wide range of DMX-controlled elements, newly including also:

  • DMX Lasers
  • Gobo, Color, and Macro wheels
  • IES Photometrics
  • Cameras

Keyframe-driven animations

BlenderDMX’s Auto Keying feature can record sACN or Art-Net based DMX data, as well as manually adjusted fixture properties. You can insert keyframes using the “Add Keyframe” button, and delete them from selected fixtures or across all fixtures using the “Delete Keyframes” function. Additionally, you can leverage Blender’s native keyframing tools for even more control over your animations and lighting cues.


GDTF Attributes

The list of supported GDTF attributes has expanded to the following:

  • Dimmer (8/16bit),
  • Pan (8/16 bit),
  • Tilt (8/16bit),
  • Shutter1 (used for Strobing in BlenderDMX),
  • ColorAdd_R, G, B,
  • ColorRGB_Red, Green, Blue,
  • ColorSub_C, M, Y,
  • ColorAdd_C, M, Y,
  • Color1, Color2,
  • ColorMacro1,
  • Zoom,
  • Gobo1, Gobo2,
  • Gobo1Pos, Gobo2Pos,
  • XYZ_X, Y, Z,
  • Rot_X, Y, Z,

Physical real-world values from GDTF are not utilized at the moment.


BlenderDMX allows to visualize laser devices. The laser fixture definition is based on GDTF. By creating a custom GDTF, there is a lot of flexibility of the types of lasers: single beam, multiple beams, zooming, color changing, different shapes and so on.

Laser with bloom filter

The following laser specific GDTF properties are currently utilized for lasers in BlenderDMX:

  • number of laser geometries
  • position and rotation of laser geometries
  • laser diameter

Other GDTF properties like pan, tilt, zoom, color, dimmer can also used on laser devices.

DMX driver for Blender

The BlenderDMX addon provides a custom DMX driver for Blender, allowing to use received DMX values and use them as input for any Blender property. To utilize this feature, #bdmx(universe,channels(s)) keyword can be used, universe is desired universe, channel is an address and it can either be a single one for 8 bit value or multiple, for 16, 24, 32… bit values.

IES, Color and Gobo wheels

For Gobos, the Gobo1 and Gobo2 attributes are supported for selection and Gobo1Pos and Gobo2Pos for gobo indexing and rotation. Only one gobo is projected at one moment (no gobo morphing or two gobos animation). All images from media folder are utilized, so if for example animation wheel image is in there, it is possible to select it. The beam can be adjusted to be filling the whole from lens or to come from the center. Up to 255 gobos and Color wheel colors can be used, except for a split colors.

Gobo projection

IES Photometric files allow more photo-realistic volumetric beam rendering. Example of beams without (left) and with (right) IES:

IES Photometrics

Beyond real-time pre-visualization

This expanded toolset of BlenderDMX empowers lighting designers to plan, visualize, and render their visions with unprecedented levels of detail and realism. Whether crafting intricate stage setups, designing immersive architectural lighting, or bringing dynamic visual experiences to life, BlenderDMX provides a versatile and powerful platform.

The combination of DMX integration, advanced rendering capabilities, and Blender’s renowned 3D modeling and animation tools makes BlenderDMX an indispensable resource for professionals and enthusiasts alike. By unlocking the full potential of DMX lighting in Blender, this tool continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of lighting design and visual effects.