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Bah...silly Light/Vector

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Grog12, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Does anyone know how in the heck to import data back into Spotlight from Lightwright? Going to Lightwright from Vectorworks is easy as cake and no problem...but in the 6+ years I've been using these programs I've never figured out how to go back.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2007
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    You have to make sure that when you export from LW you have it put some character in every field (usually a "-" hyphen) otherwise VW will get confuse as to what data goes where. That is the "Fill Blank Fields With:" checkbox.

    Also, you have to make sure that you export the "External ID" field. If you started in VW you need to make sure that you imported that field to begin with. That is a unique ID number given to each fixture and that is how LW and VW know which fixture is which. You need to make sure that that field lines up with the right field when you import to either program.
     
    Grog12 likes this.
  3. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    I have struggled with that a lot myself. I have found that if you download/buy Autoplot, the automated commands offered in that program allow for almost seamless integration. Its really all about trial and error unfortunately. Some versions of the two program talk better than others. When I get home later I can hopefully send you version and build numbers that seem to work together as well as the correct sequence for setting up and using the automated commands - trust me you'll love them.
     
  4. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    ah just select import data, the correct file then match the attributes as needed, takes a try or two but I have never had any trouble. I can take a look at it if you want.
     
  5. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Allright did what you said Ice...it works...now the only problem is it changes the device type in object info to blank....is that a problem?
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Device type in VW? Is that usually where it has the instrument type? YOu might have to make sure your fields line up correctly for import. I'll play with it some to make sure I am looking at the same thing.
     
  7. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    No its not...pull down menu somewhere near the top of object info when you have an instrument selected
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If you choose not to import that field when you assign fields it shouldn't change, or make sure you have the right field assigned to that.
     
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'm actually looking at VW 12.5 and LW4, so here's the routine:

    LW to VW:

    1) In LW, File-Export-Data.

    A pop up screen appears. Check marks in "Export Field labels as first record" and "Fill Blank Fields with:" using a dash "-".

    Export file type as Tab Separated

    In the field selection window above these selections, put a check mark next to every field you want exported to VW. INCLUDING, Device Type, External ID and Lightwright ID.

    Then export/save the file in a convenient location. I have all my VW show files, basic files in a labeled folder, with a special folder called LW to VW Transfer Files, which is where I dump all my LW to VW files.

    After you've exported, LW will prompt you with "Do you want to automate the file action you just did ?". Click yes and save this as "LW to VW Transfer" or whatever you want to call it. In LW- File, is an Automated selection and you can one step the process in the future by selecting this option.

    2) In VW:

    - File - Import - Import Instrument Data, a pop-up window appears, click on Browse and find and select the file you just ported over from LW.

    - Click on the down arrow in the Unique ID Field, selecting "External ID". VW calls the VW generated number particular to ea. Lighting Fixture generated in VW a "Unique ID". LW refers to it as a "External ID". LW also has it's own numbering system in addition called Lightwright ID.

    - The first time you do an Import Map in VW, you click on a Label in the left window called Incoming Data, then click on the corresponding label in the right window called Record Fields and click Link. Do this for all appropriate fields you want imported to VW, including LW ID.

    - Before you press the Import button, first Save the import map somewhere you'll remember it. You use this saved import map ea. time you import, simply pressing the Load button after selecting the file and making sure you have External ID in the Unique ID field.

    - You will see a Vectorscript action run as VW imports all the records for the fixtures. After this is complete, you need to do a Refresh Instruments. My particular Refresh selection is directly under Spotlight. Note that you can custom create/modify the Workspace, using the Workspace Editor, selecting the desired tools and where they are located on the tools menu(s).

    Note that this import to VW assumes the corresponding inofmation was created in VW forwst, and exported over succesfully to LW. See Below


    VW to LW:


    In VW:

    - Assuming the Lighting Instruments have been correctly created in VW, with correct positions assigned, go to File-Export-Export Instrument Data. (This sometimes is availble in Spotlight, depending on the Worksheet config.).

    - A pop- up box appears. Press the Lightwright button, with check marks in Export Field names as first record, as well as a check for the Export in Lightwright 4 Format. After pressing the Lightwright button, a check mark appears next to all the fields VW is sending to LW. You can deselect things you don't need (I wish this command was editable/savable), as you may have no need for Circuit Number if it's a DPC system, as example. Save the file in an appropriate location (Yes - I have a folder in labeled VW to LW Transfer Files)

    In LW,

    - File - Import Data, browse/find the VW to LW file and select that file.

    - A LW Pop-up window appears. Check's in "Do Not import first record", as well as "Ignore fields with only" placing a dash "-" in this box. Also check "All imported data is on light plot".

    - Then run Suggest Matches, editing out or changing whatever you need and press OK.

    - A popup appears detailing the number of devices imported.

    - A second pop-up appears asking if you want to "Automate the file action ?", press yes, label the automated file and save it.

    - Double check that VW correectly sent and LW correctly imported devices with Unique/External ID's. In LW, go to Worksheet-Columns and select in the lower left corner of the window "External ID + Symbol". This External ID field will now appear on the worksheet and if it doesn't the VW plot is not correct. If numbers are alongside ea. device . "2359.1.1.0.0+Practical" or some such, you are in good shape.

    Steve B.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    As a addendum to the VW to LW process (assuming a correct set of linked files in LW & VW), my method for adding stuff in VW and sending ONLY the added stuff to the corresponding LW file.

    In VW:

    - Add whatever new instruments, making sure they have Unique ID's, a position, etc...

    - Save the file and save it again on the Desktop, just for giggles.

    - Select ONLY and ALL of the newly added equipment, leaving them selected go to Spotlight - Find and Modify. Select as following - Under Find ALL - "Light, whose "Selection Status" "=" "False", then button select Delete Them and press OK

    - All of the pre-existing instruments are erased from the plot, leaving only the new stuff.

    - Do the usual Export to LW routine, saving the file under a new name.

    - Close out the VW file, DO NOT SAVE IT. Then re-open the file.

    In LW:

    - Do the same routine as listed in the prior post to get data from VW to LW, this time it will prompt you "Save - YourShowNameHere" press. No. You will then be informed that the incoming file will be opened as a Tab-Delimited File. Press OK. You should now see the quantity of new equipment listed as being added to the existing LW file. Double check for External ID's. etc...

    Steve N
     
  11. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Uhm.......question Steve.....why would you want to do that?
     
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Refering to what ?.

    SB
     
  13. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Go thru all that hassel to add just the new lights....wouldn't be simpler to send your LW info to VW add your new lights then send it all back to a new LW file?
     
  14. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    If importing back to the existing LW file, you end up creating dulicate instruments I.E. Unit 1, Unit 1, Unit 2 Unit 2, etc... with duplicate External ID's all of which is impossible to get rid of.

    Creating a "new" LW file means having to re-create all the info. for position order, dimming system, color order, color frame sizes, instrument details, etc... another PITA. Some of this can be brought back into LW as a merge with a master LW file that has all this data saved, but why bother.

    I admit I may be doing something the hard way and would love to hear about other and better methods.

    Steve B.
     
  15. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    Steve-

    -It seems as though you are executing all the right commands to make this work in both directions. Just to make sure you are aware, all of these commands can be automated.

    I have edited my workspace to contain under my AUTOPLOT tab, 2 scripts "VW 12.5 Export to LW4" and "LW4 Import to VW 12.5" which executes all of the commands you mentioned. Similarly in LW I have "VW 12.5 Import to LW4", "LW4 Export to VW 12.5" but ALSO "VW 12.5 Merge into LW4". The merge command does what you describe as "not duplicating the fixtures twice in LW". I started with scripts supplied by Autoplot and then adjusted some parts of them. I would suggest going to http://www.autoplotvw.com/. It seems like they have a solution, very similar to yours, just in a streamlined manner.
     
  16. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Hmmm...good point....what about just deleting out all the old info and importing the new? Not sure if that would duplicate the E ID's or not...
     
  17. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    There's seemingly better control of the data that gets sent out of LW to VW, in terms of the many modified text fields that I use in LW and that I want sent to certain fields in VW. LW is better at allowing choices and automating the action. The VW export to LW command is not editable AND automated. You get a Send as Lightwright button, but if you don't want certain fields sent, you have to scroll the list and uncheck. Once you have the list configured (each and every time), there's no saving the export map to LW. The result is you get stuff sent to LW into fields that you may not want, resulting in having to edit it out of LW. Thus I found it a bit easier to simply edit the VW file to have only the new data. Then it's an easy set of steps of selecting the objects, Find and Modify, Delete and send. The LW automated Data import command then works fine and everything ends up where it belongs.

    I'm sure there are better methods.

    As to Jeremys thought of using Sam Jones Autoplot, I did attempt this once but found the instructions for adding the plug-ins to VW poorly written and difficult to understand. The Autoplot website is also unclear as to what download to use if you're using VW Spotlight. On one page it says Autoplot is now VW2008 compatible, on the Autoplot Tools for Spotlight page it says the current version 1 is only for users of VW 9 and a comment that a version is coming out for 10 shortly. I assume that the download actually works for 11, 12 and 2008, but with that kind of lack of attention to the website as well as my prior difficulty with the software I did download, I don't feel like taking the time to bother with it or to e-mail Sam and tell him to update his website.

    Note also that the instructions I posted was a first time users instructions. I don't do this every time. My import/export commands in both LW and VW use the automated commands and take seconds. I'm not clear on how Autoplot speeds up the process as most of the time spent is getting the files from different folders.
     
  18. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    Since you are making them automated actions, Autoplot won't speed things up, I was just making sure you were aware that it could ALL be automated as it was unclear from your previous descriptions if that's how you were working them.

    As far as I understand, all the autoplot tools are at least 12.5.2 compliant as I am running them now with no problems.
     

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