Terminology
A description of some of the most commonly used terms in LightAct

Layer

A layer is an entity that exists on a Timeline in a Sequence and has a beginning and an end (determined by the Duration parameter). A layer can perform a variety of functions such as content processing & playback, video/image/image sequence/Notch block reading and playback or just some logic.

Canvas

A canvas is an entity that holds one texture. The texture can be of an arbitrary resolution. Content is pushed to a canvas with Render to Canvas nodes. There can be several Render to Canvas nodes rendering onto the same canvas at the same time. In a typical workflow, content from canvases is pushed to video screens, 3D models or some other LightAct object, however, it is also possible to push it directly to a video output.

Video screen

A video screen is a virtual representation of a physical video screen.

Thrower

A thrower is a helper virtual object that facilitates mapping of content onto various viewport objects by taking into account their position in the 3D scene of the viewport.

3D model

A 3D model is a virtual representation of a physical object. 3D models are usually imported as an .obj or .fbx assets.

Primitive

A primitive is a simple 3D model of a cube, a plane, a sphere or a cone

Null object

A null object is an ‘empty’ object that can be used as a container of other objects.
It allows you to group objects

Marker (Timeline)

A timeline marker indicates a position on a timeline.

Marker (Viewport)

A viewport marker indicates a 3D position in the Viewport window.

Asset

Asset is an external resource that LightAct uses in a specific project. Examples include: images, image sequences, video files, Notch blocks, 3D models or Unreal Engine projects. At the time of writing this document, LightAct supports the following asset formats:
  • Images: jpg, png, tif
  • 3D models: obj, fbx, dae
  • Notch blocks: dfxdll
  • Image sequences: jpg, png, tif
  • Video containers: mp4, mov and others
  • Video codecs: NotchLC, HAP, HAPQ, HAPA, H.264, MPEG and others
You can find more info about video playback in Video playback guide.

Video output

Video output is a virtual representation of a physical output on the system’s GPU.

DMX

DMX stands for DMX512, which is a communication standard commonly used to control lighting and effects.

Art-Net

Art-Net is a UDP based protocol used to transmit DMX data over Ethernet. It was developed by Artistic License.

sACN

sACN is a UDP based protocol used to transmit DMX data over Ethernet. It was developed by ESTA. In many aspects it is comparable with Art-Net.

Fixture

Fixture refers to a DMX light fixture, i.e. a light fixture controlled by DMX.

Variable

A LightAct variable is a container holding information. The information can be a number (integer or float), color, texture or something else.
There are 2 types of variables:
  • Layer variables are available only within one layer
  • Global variables can be accessed from any layer.