• grandMA3 User Manual
    • About the manual
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    • grandMA3 onPC
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Version 1.7


The 3D window shows a 3D visualization of the virtual space where fixtures can be positioned and rotated.

The fixtures can project a light beam that moves and changes color when the values for the fixtures are changed.

All the fixtures and other stage objects can be positioned and rotated in the Patch, Live Patch, or using this window.

The 3D window with some fixtures

The Stage object can be visualized as a box or just a floor. The box can be looked into, but not out of. Read more below.

There are virtual cameras that are used to see the 3D space. These define the position, direction, and other settings from where and how the 3D space is viewed. The cameras are stored in the Camera Pool.

Title Buttons

There are several buttons in the title bar. Most of them are swipe buttons that open a list of the available options.

Three of them are toggle buttons that turn On or Off labels and turn On or Off the Setup mode.

The others give fast access to select Selection Mode, Stage object, Render Quality, and Camera selection.

There can be several stages in the patch. Each 3D window can show one of these stages. Read more about stages in the Stages topic.

Read about the settings below.

Left Side Tool Buttons

There are some tool buttons on the left side of the window. These tools are used to control what happens when the window is touched and to change camera positions (read more about the cameras below). The ones that change the touch mode are tapped to select the mode and when the window is touched the mode dictates what happens. The selected mode is displayed with a yellow color and in the window title bar. Most of the tools are grayed out and disabled if the selected camera is locked.

This is the explanation of the different tool buttons:

  • (fit):
    Tapping this button moves the camera to fit the entire stage area into the view.
  •  (camera):
    This button reloads the selected camera to the settings set in the camera pool object.
  • (select):
    Sets the touch mode to Select. This is used to select fixtures in the window. The fixtures can be tapped or selected using a selection lasso.
  • (follow):
    Sets the touch mode to Follow. This makes all the selected moving lights point to the stage area that is touched. The follow function obeys the Align settings.
  • (move):
    The mode is set to Camera Move. Move means changing the position of the camera without changing the pan and tilt values of the camera. The scroll wheel on a mouse moves the camera forward and backward in the view based on the location of the pointer (not necessarily the center).
  • (rotate center):
    Sets the mode to Camera Orbit. This mode orbits the camera around the center of the window keeping it pointed towards the center. The scroll wheel on a mouse moves the camera closer to or away from the location of the pointer (not necessarily the center).
  • (zoom):
    Changes the mode to Camera Zoom. This mode moves the camera in and out of the 3D window. This can also be done in the other modes using a scroll wheel on a mouse.
  • (rotate pivot):
    This mode also orbits the camera, but this orbit around a pivot point that does not have to be the center. The pivot point can be set (read about the next button) and is remembered until a new point is set. The scroll wheel functions just like the rotate center mode.
  •  (set pivot):
    This button is used to set a new pivot point in the window. As soon as the point has been set (by clicking or touching the window), then the rotate pivot mode is selected.
  • (fit selected):
    Tapping this button moves the camera to fit the selected fixtures into the view without orbiting the camera.

Moving the Camera

The cameras are pool objects in the Camera Pool. A camera can be moved to different locations and pointed in different directions.

This information can be edited in the pool, but the position and direction are easier to change in the 3D window - read about the left side tool buttons above. There is one camera mode that cannot be accessed in the menu on the left side (Camera Pivot). This can only be changed in the window settings.

Camera Pivot is a lot like camera orbit - the difference is that the camera pivots around the point touched in the window instead of always around the center of the 3D space. A scroll wheel on a mouse moves the camera closer to or away from the location of the pointer.

Editing the camera in the pool allows changing the camera mode and type. Read more in the camera pool topic (link above).

Moving the Fixtures

The fixtures position and rotation can be set in the patch or live patch. But they can also be positioned live in the 3D window.

Read more about this in the Position Fixtures in the 3D Space topic.

Window Settings

The settings can be opened by tapping the MA logo in the upper left corner of the 3D window.

This opens a settings pop-up. In this pop-up, there are tabs called Rendering, Misc, and Label.

Rendering Settings

The rendering settings are about light levels, colors, and rendering quality.

Rendering tab in 3D Window Settings

There are four on-screen faders:

  • Beam:
    This is the visibility of the light beam from all fixtures.
  • Spot:
    This is the general intensity of the visualization of the light beam reflection where it hits a surface.
  • Ambient:
    This is the ambient light level inside and outside the stage box. It is a very diffuse light that removes some of the contrast in the 3D window.
  • Point Light:
    This is a light source from the direction of the camera. It is used to light up the elements in the 3D space.

The ambient and point light can be colored, similar to putting a gel in front of the light. The area above the faders can be tapped to open a color selector pop-up.

The Background can also be colored. The ambient light needs to be turned up for this color to be visible.

There are several buttons:

  • Dynamic Gobo Resolution (Dyn. Gobo Res.):
    This is the resolution of dynamically created gobos.
  • Bloom Intensity:
    The blooming effect can be turned On or Off. Tapping this button toggles between the two.
  • Setup:
    Turning setup On makes it possible to move the fixtures and 3D objects using the 3D window and encoder bar. Read more about this in the Position Fixtures in the 3D Space topic. This is also a button in the title bar.
  • Camera:
    This is used to select one of the cameras from the camera pool. If it is set to follow the selected camera then the name is inside angled brackets. Read more about cameras in the Camera Pool topic. This is also a button in the title bar.
  • Stage:
    This selects what stage the 3D windows display. A 3D window can only display one stage at a time. Read more about stages in the Stages topic. This is also a button in the title bar.
  • Render Quality:
    This is used to select one of the render qualities. Read more about render qualities below. This is also a button in the title bar.

Some of these are swipe buttons, so remember that the options can be reached easily by swiping out of the button.


Misc Settings

The second tab is called Misc.

Misc tab in the 3D Window Settings

The Misc. tab has the following settings:

  • Show FpS:
    Turning this On displays frames per second information in the upper right corner of the window.
  • Wireframe:
    Turning this On shows the 3D window as a wireframe instead of a shaded view.
  • 3D Priority:
    Turning this On gives the 3D window a high priority. It is only recommended to turn this On when used on a computer with a high-quality graphics card. It takes away resources from a console interface making it react slower to user input.
  • Lens Shading:
    This defines whether the selection is shown on the lens of a geometry type “Beam”. The shaded selection is drawn when it is On.
  • Mark Faulty Meshes:
    This marks meshes that are unloaded or faulty.
  • Touch Mode:
    Touching and swiping in the 3D window can interact with the window in different ways. This setting defines how. Tapping it toggles through the following options: Select, Follow, Camera Orbit, Camera Zoom, Camera Move, Camera Pivot, and Camera Set Pivot. The Camera options move the camera - Read more above. The Select option is used to select fixtures in the view.
  • Selection Mode:
    This defines how the fixtures are selected and positioned in the Selection Grid. This is also a button in the title bar. The selection mode has two different options:
    • 2D Grid:
      The 2D grid selection offers two different modes, Planar and Perspective. Using the lasso selection to select fixtures in the 3D window adds them as a two-dimensional selection to the selection grid. In planar mode, the camera position does not affect the selection order. Only the real position of the fixtures is significant. In perspective mode, the orientation of the camera additionally influences the order of the selection in the selection grid. 

      To select fixtures in the 3D window using the planar selection, draw a lasso starting with a horizontal or vertical mouse movement. The color of the lasso changes to green when selection is locked to planar mode. To select fixtures in perspective mode, draw a lasso starting with a diagonal mouse movement. The color of the lasso changes to cyan when the selection is locked to perspective mode.

    • Linearize
      The selection is linearized to only the X-axis of the selection grid depending on which direction the selection lasso was created (top/bottom - left/right). This selection mode is indicated with a yellow lasso.
The projection distortion of the camera of the 3D window may affect the position of the fixtures in the selection grid if the perspective selection is used. In order to prevent this, use a 2D camera in the 3D window.
  • Mark Unpatched:
    This marks unpatched fixtures with a dark red color when On.
  • Prism Lines:
    This shows a line for each prism facet when the Beam Quality is set to Line.
  • Arrangement:
    This is a collection of settings regarding the visualization of the purple arrangement "ghosts" markers. They are seen when using the arrangement tool to position fixtures.
    • Mark Type:
      There are two options: Dynamic or Small. Dynamic shows a box matching the size of the fixture. Small is just a small square marker.
    • Depth:
      Set if the depth of the 3D space is considered when showing the marks. This could lead to marks being hidden behind objects. If the depth is switched off, the marks are always drawn in front of other objects.
    • Alpha:
      Define the transparency of the marker objects.
  • Draw Target Spaces:
    This setting show or hide a square wireframe for MArker fixtures target spaces.
  • Show Title Bar:
    This setting shows or hides the title bar for the window.

Label Settings

The tab is called Label. It is settings about the labels that can be turned On or Off for the spots and the fixture bodies.

Label tab in the 3D Window Settings
  • Show Label on Body:
    This On / Off button enables labels to be drawn on the fixture's body. This is also a button in the title bar.
  • Show Label on Spot:
    This On / Off button enables labels to be drawn in the center of the fixture's spot. A fixture can also be selected using the rubber band selection on a label. This is also a button in the title bar.
  • Add Fixture ID / Add CID / Add Patch / Add Name:
    These On/ Off buttons define what kind of information is displayed on the label.
  • Background Alpha:
    This on-screen fader sets the transparency of the label's background.
  • Text Alpha:
    This on-screen fader sets the transparency of the text that is displayed in the label.
  • Font Size:
    This button sets the font size of the text that is displayed in the label. Tapping this opens the small Select Label Font Size pop-up with the size options.
  • Max Label Count:
    This input field sets the maximum count of labels that are displayed at the same time. If the number of labels exceeds the maximum label count, the labels closest to the camera will be displayed.
  • Selection Only:
    This On / Off button defines whether labels are displayed for all fixtures or if they are only for fixtures that are selected or partly selected.
  • Selection Priority:
    This On / Off button defines whether labels of selected fixtures are displayed on top of not selected fixtures.
  • Spot Subfixture ID:
    This On / Off button defines if the label of the spots shows the Fixture ID of the corresponding sub fixture (On). Otherwise, all spots of a fixture show the Fixture ID of the main fixture (Off).
  • Reset Properties:
    Tap this button to reset the label properties to their factory defaults.

Render Quality

The render quality defines how the light and fixture bodies are rendered in the 3D window.

All the render settings are stored in a Render Quality pool object and can be easily selected in the pool.

RenderQualities pool

There are some predefined render qualities in the pool. There is always a selected object. The 3D can use any of the render qualities or be linked to the selected pool object.

New pool objects can be made and edited to change the render settings.

Render Quality Editor

The editor has the following settings:

  • Name:
    This is the name of the pool object. Tapping it allows changing the name.
  • Scribble:
    This is the assigned scribble and tapping it allows select a scribble or create a new one.
  • Appearance:
    This is the assigned appearance. Tapping it allows select a scribble or create a new one.
  • Beam:
    This toggles through a list of different simulation qualities that can be selected for the light beam. It goes from low to high quality. The higher quality uses more computer resources.
    • No Beam:
      This does not render any beams. This mode does not show any gobos or spot rendering.
    • Line:
      This renders a simple line as the beam. This mode does not show any gobos or spot rendering.
    • Standard:
      This is a simple light beam from the fixture.
    • High:
      This mode adds more reality to the light beam.
    • High Fancy:
      This is a more precise calculation of light dissipation.
  • Shadow:
    Turns On or Off if the beam shall throw shadows when hitting another object. Therefore the 3D object needs the setting Cast Shadow enabled within the patch.
  • Gobo:
    This setting defines if gobos shall be rendered within the beam and spot, or not. It has three different options:
    • Disabled:
      Gobos are not rendered.
    • Enabled:
      Gobos are rendered.
    • Animated:
      This means that in addition to the gobo also gobo animations like gobo shake or gobo wheel spin are rendered. When gobo is only set to enabled, these animations will not be rendered.
  • Body Quality:
    This defines the quality of the fixture body rendering. It goes from not rendered to ultra render quality. The options are: None, Box, Low, Simple, Standard, High, and Ultra.
  • Multi LED Beam Mode:
    This defines how multi-emitter fixtures render the light beam. The options are:
    • Separated Beams:
      This renders a beam for each emitter.
    • Single Beam Mean Color:
      This renders a single beam using the mean color.
    • Single Beam Dynamic Gobo:
      This takes the output of the emitters and creates a "virtual dynamic gobo". This is then rendered as a single beam.
  • Light Scale:
    This changes the resolution of the light rendering in the 3D window continuously. 100% means that the 3D window is rendered with its native resolution. 0% means that the resolution of the light in the 3D window is divided by 5 in width and height. Default: 100%
  • Render Scale:
    This changes the resolution of the whole rendering in the 3D window continuously. 100% means that the 3D window is rendered with its native resolution. 0% means that the resolution of the 3D window is divided by 5 in width and height. Default: 100%
  • Shadow [Pix]:
    This changes the resolution of the rendered shadows. The higher this value is, the higher is the resolution of the shadows. This only affects the rendering in Beam Quality "Gobo Shadow", "High Shadow" and "High Shadow Fancy". Default: 128
  • Snap:
    If "Snap" is enabled, the Render Scale and Light Scale are divided with integer values. The fader then indicates the scale (1/1 to 1/5).

Render Scale and Light Scale can be used in combination. Setting both to 1/2 means that the whole 3D window is rendered with half of its resolution, while the light is rendered with a quarter of its resolution.

Setting Up a 3D Computer

The grandMA3 consoles can show a 3D window with the fixtures and the stage setup. But the consoles are optimized to be the human interface that are used to program the light.

If a high-quality and high framerate 3D render machine is needed then the best solution is to have a high-performing computer with really good graphics cards. This computer needs to have the grandMA3 onPC installed and be optimized for 3D graphics.

The grandMA3 onPC needs to be in a session with the console. The grandMA3 onPC could be logged in as the default 3D user who uses a different Screen Configuration (read about screen configurations in the User Settings topic) but is the same user profile as the default admin user. The grandMA3 onPC should be logged in with a user that has the same user profile as the user looking at the 3D computer. This ensures that the 3D computer follows the user into preview mode.

The 3D computer could have one big 3D window with all the render settings set to the best quality and the 3D window setting called 3D Priority should be On (see settings above).

The window can also be set to hide the title bar to maximize 3D space using the Window Settings. Other elements like the view buttons, encoder bar, etc. can also be hidden using the Configure Display pop-up.

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