6 Fixture Data Import and Export

6.1 Using the Import Fixture Data Command

The Import Fixture Data command can be found in the File menu and allows you to import a CSV text file containing fixture instance/patch information which can be used either to add new fixtures to or update existing fixtures in your project.

CSV files are text files with information structured in a spreadsheet-like manner using (typically) commas as column dividers and linebreaks as row dividers. Because they are text files they can be opened and modified in text editors such as TextEdit or Notepad, but they are more typically produced an consumed by spreadsheet applications such as Numbers or Excel.

Capture attempts to configure itself automatically based on the headers Capture uses itself when using the Export Fixture Data command, but also based on headers produced by other popular softwares. However, because ultimately any columns may be present in a CSV file it may be necessary to manually map some columns from the CSV file to Capture fixture properties. This is done in the File column mapping section.

In order for Capture to know whether to update an existing fixture or add a new fixture it is also necessary to select a property by which to uniquely identify fixtures. This is done with the Identify fixture by dropdown choice.

When Capture finds fixtures in the data file that do not exist in your project it can add new fixtures based on the information in the file. How to determine the type of fixture to add is decided by the column selected for the Fixture property of the New fixtures subsection.

Optionally, Capture can also replace imported objects in your project file with new fixtures. This behaviour is enabled by selecting a column for the Drawing name property of the New fixtures subsection. Capture then uses the Drawing name property of imported objects with the selected column of the data file to find matches. It is possible to choose whether the match needs to be exact or only partial using the Drawing name matching property.

6.2 Using the Export Fixture Data Command

The Fixture Data Export command in the File menu can be used to export CSV data files as well as grandMA 2 and Hog 4 XML patch files of the fixtures in the project and their associated data.

Exported CSV files can be opened in any text editors such as TextEdit or Notepad as well as spreadsheet software such as Numbers and Excel. Exported XML files can also inspected in text editors even though they are only intended to be imported in the grandMA 2 and Hog 4 consoles.

To export, go to the “File” menu, select “Export Fixture Data..” and specify the desired location and name of the exported file. Following this some exporting options are available as well as the ability to change the exported file format.

6.2.1 Exporting to grandMA 2

When exporting to grandMA 2, a number of layer schemes are available:

  • Project layers creates one MA layer for each Capture project layer with exported fixtures.
  • Fixture types creates an MA layer for each type of fixture exported.
  • Single creates one MA layer which contains all fixtures exported.

On export a dialog is also shown where it is possible to specify the manufacturer, product name and fixture numbers of each fixture type exported. If left as is, the fixture types can be assigned in grandMA 2 after import, but if you wish to to avoid this step (and have already imported all required fixture types in your grandMA 2 show), then use these fields to set up the matching information.

6.2.2 Exporting to Hog 4

On export to Hog 4 it is important for the exported file to contain the exact same manufacturer and product names as in the Hog 4 fixture library as otherwise fixture will be skipped on import.

On export an additional dialog is shown where you can adjust the manufacturer and product names exported for each fixture. Crosscheck these with the names of the fixtures available in your fixture library or use it to change fixture types on export, for instance in order to swap fixtures for desk channels.

6.2.3 Importing exported fixture data in grandMA 2 onPC

First copy the exported MA 2 XML file to C:\ProgramData\MA Lighting Technologies\grandma\gma2_V_x.x.x\fixture_layers. Then, on the command line, enter the following commands, assuming the name of the exported file was exported_file.xml:

  1. cd EditSetup
  2. cd Layers
  3. import exported_file.xml at 1
  4. cd /