During the past two decades, following the trend of increased use of LEDs in entertainment lighting, there has been a shift to visual design that incorporates pixel mapping, which is a method of creating arrays of individual light sources that can be programmed to create dynamic visual surfaces, shapes, patterns and images.
Because pixel-mapped lighting tends to require a large quantity of DMX addresses, new communication protocols have been developed to support its deployment. ArtNet is an industry-standard lighting control protocol that makes it possible to configure and manage multiple DMX universes using standard ethernet LAN and WLAN networking conventions, cable and hardware (routers, switches, bridges, hubs, etc.) by integrating DMX frames into Art-Net frames. ArtNet distributes DMX and RDM data through an ethernet network using UDP-based packets. In such networks, ArtNet nodes (ArtNet-to-DMX converters) are used to send DMX values to lighting fixtures.
Illustration 1 :
ArtNet output from computer to Node
Illustration 2 :
ArtNet output from computer to CQSA-E interface
with Wi-Fi remote control via Router + Wi-Light 2 app
Illustration 3 :
Standalone remote operation of CQSA-E interface
via router/switch/hub + Wi-Light 2 app (no computer)
Chromateq software and hardware solutions are designed to facilitate the process of designing and programming ArtNet-based lighting systems. Becoming familiar with the terminology used when describing ArtNet systems will be helpful to understanding the functionality and features of Chromateq control solutions, which are based on industry-standard rules for ArtNet implementation.
ArtNet 1 (1998) : Data was broadcast over 10BaseT networks. Configuration was simple but the number of universes was limited by bandwidth constraints.
ArtNet 2 (2006) : Unicasting was introduced in order to reduce network loads, increase bandwidth and allow control of a greater number of universes.
ArtNet 3 (2011) : Further increased the number of universes that can be controlled.
ArtNet 4 (2016) : Enabled use of sACN together with Art-Net (and RDM) to provide enhanced lighting control capabilities.
ArtNet protocol typically requires a subnet mask setting of 255.0.0.0 with an IP address in the range of 2.x.x.x.
As such, ArtNet compatible fixtures tend to have a default IP address of 2.x.x.x. But, in reality, default addressing may sometimes differ, and for this reason, Chromateq software allows Art-Net frames to be sent over any network configuration. However, it is necessary to check the compatibility between the configuration of your ArtNet fixtures and your computer. Be careful to apply the same subnet mask with common class for each fixture on the network or the fixtures will not be discovered.
If you are using an Art-Net fixture with the IP address 126.96.36.199. and a subnet mask of 255.0.0.0, your computer should have a subnet mask of 255.0.0.0 with an IP address 2.x.x.x (for example, 188.8.131.52).
If you are using an Art-Net fixture with the IP address 192.168.0.4 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0, your computer shall have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 with an IP address 192.168.0.x (for example, 192.168.0.5)
Open the Network and sharing center and click on the Ethernet link (you have to connect a device to the Ethernet port of your computer to allow the Ethernet network to be visible).
Click on Properties, then double click on Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) :
Finally, select Use the Following IP address and enter your IP address and the correct subnet mask:
Your computer is now configured and you can use our software to communicate with Art-Net devices.
From the Tool/Options menu, select the Art-Net page.
To detect the devices on the network, click « Refresh».
An Art-Net device is represented by a node which contains many ports, each port can receive 1 DMX universe. A simple Art-Net fixture shall be shown as a single port while an Art-Net convertor/ DMX with 4 DMX outputs for example shall be shown as a 4 ports.
Add a virtual node will depend on the equipment installed,
It is possible that the Art-Net/DMX converter does no respond to all the node and respond only to its first node (refers to the manufacturer notice). In this case, user must add a virtual node manually from the software to create the other nodes (not detected).
To manually add a virtual node from the software, you must specify the correct IP address of the fixture, its sub network, its Art-Net universe and the number of ports used (Universe DMX).
NB: With a fixture of several node, the Art-Net protocol uses consecutive universes for each of its ports. That is why it is needed to inform one universe only (the one which belongs to the device, same as for the SubNet). However, it is possible to send any software universe to each used port.
For each fixture, you can choose the DMX universes of the software you want to send on the network.
Select the relevant node in the list, then for each port choose which software universe should be applied
Glossary of Terms
Common terms that are key to understanding ArtNet basics: