GDTF and MVR: Unlocking the potential of data driven design

Live entertainment technologists unite to provide end users with access to standardised and easily accessible ones and zeros to ‘unify the industry’ and create a landscape where a production design can work the first time, every time.

GDTF, developed by the GDTF Group, is an industry standard for live entertainment technology, intended as a unified definition for the exchange of data for the operation of lighting consoles, visualisers, CAD programmes or similar tools. Integration with My Virtual Rig (MVR) – a file format that is used to share data for a scene between technology associated with live entertainment – allows the transfer of parametric and geometric data between different programmes. 

At LDI 2022, GDTF & MVR originators – Vectorworks, MA Lighting and Robe – put aside their competitive differences to provide TPi with an exclusive update on these developments and how this unifying open-source format is impacting the entertainment industry. In a somewhat fragmented and labyrinthine industry, in which the design of a production is often shrouded in mystery and so far removed from the knowledge of an average audience member, seeking out sector-wide support to improve this creative process can be equal parts challenging and rewarding for its forebears. Hoping to turn the tide in the favour of end users who are frequently faced with a lack of, or nonexistent data, to build a project are Vectorworks Chief Marketing Officer, Jeremy Powell; MA Lighting Managing Director, Gerhard Krude; and Robe Customer Service Manager, Petr Vanek.

Words: Jacob Waite

Photos: TPi, GDTF and MVR