Updates revealed for GDTF standard
Monday, 22 November 2021
gdtf-din-specThe updated DIN SPEC 15800:2021 will be published by Beuth Verlag sometime after LDI
Europe/USA - With fellow General Device Type Format (GDTF) founders MA Lighting and Robe Lighting, global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks has revealed several updates to GDTF - the standard for describing the hierarchical and logical structure and controls of any type of controllable device in the lighting and entertainment industry.
The GDTF file format has continued to evolve with input and involvement from manufacturers across the globe and critical feedback from its many adopters, resulting in a newly published update to DIN SPEC 15800:2021.
“Receiving recognition in the form of a published update to DIN SPEC 15800:2021 is a testament to the continued evolution and success of GDTF,” comments Vectorworks CEO, Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “The necessary work will continue to take place to ensure GDTF’s bright future so that its benefits can not only advance the work of the designers utilizing it, but the entertainment industry as a whole.”
DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, is the independent platform for standardization in Germany and worldwide. A DIN SPEC is a document that specifies requirements for products, services and/or processes. It’s a trusted strategic instrument for quickly and easily establishing and disseminating innovative solutions that do not conflict with any existing standards or rules of procedure.
“The update to DIN SPEC 15800:2021 is a good example of how DIN SPECs can evolve and stay current with specifications that meet the needs of the market,” said Michael Bahr, project manager at DIN. “GDTF and DIN SPEC 15800:2021 are clearly succeeding in serving the needs of the entertainment industry. I'm happy that we could support this project and update this standard with the GDTF group. The updated DIN SPEC 15800:2021 will make the GDTF format easier to use and more scalable for the future. That's what DIN SPEC is made for: ‘Today’s idea. Tomorrow’s standard.’”
DIN officially published GDTF as a public available specification for the entertainment industry worldwide in June 2020. Since then, the original creators of the file format have been joined by manufacturers and users across the industry to ensure it remains the standard to truly benefit the end users. Open communication, addressing feedback and continuous improvement efforts have led to the latest version of the file format, GDTF 1.2. GDTF 1.2 includes several major changes that address prior criticisms of the standard and key enhancements.
GDTF 1.2 includes SVG support for defining 2D representation and .gITF support for defining 3D representation, allowing for better graphical rendering for GDTF objects. The additional support of these object types makes GDTF truly universal, not only targeting fixtures, but all kinds of objects that are used inside of an event.
The updated GDTF file format will provide support for non-linear behaviour of channel functions inside GDTF with DMX Profiles and better descriptions of the physical behavior of channel functions with SubPhysicalAttributes.
GDTF 1.2 delivers support for non-DMX based control protocols like OSC. This support for OSC demonstrates the file format’s ability to not only support DMX, but also other formats, providing design and production professionals with more flexibility and control.
GDTF 1.2 also provides support for more object types like trusses, lasers, hoists and power distributors with new geometry types.
“A seemingly impossible task to allow standardized cross-manufacturer data exchange between devices in the lighting and entertainment industry has turned into a success story of industry-wide cooperation with the GDTF specification,” said Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe Lighting. “The continuous engagement of the GDTF group resulted in another GDTF update in the form of DIN SPEC 15800:2021, incorporating the feedback and work of many industry experts who contributed their expertise and time into a standard that allows their own products to utilize simpler yet more comprehensive workflows.”
“The GDTF group maintains a strong commitment to developing the format using open sources, while demonstrating responsiveness to critiques and requests to improve the formats,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “All in all, we emphasize that GDTF and MVR are made by the industry for the industry.”

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