Bulk Fixture Population

Preparing your Data

Carbon is able to import entire show setups from a single spreadsheet. Carbon will begin reading data from the 2nd row and below on an import spreadsheet, so column headers can be any format you choose. To create this form, you may refer to the example spreadsheet displayed below. Carbon and Unreal use the metric system of measurement, so please import measurement values in meters.

(The spreadsheet above one example of format and fields you can use when importing to Carbon)

Import Patch

After creating/saving the csv file of fixtures, it can now be imported to Unreal through Carbon. In UE4, navigate to the “Patch” tab of your Carbon window. You will need to find and select the “Import Patch” button. (See image below)

(Click “Import Patch” under the Patch tab of the main Carbon panel to import a .csv scene file)

A new “Import Patch” pop-up window will appear, select the “Load File” button at the top left of this window to access the file explorer. Find and open your csv file through this explorer window and the information should now appear in the Import Patch window.

(The “Import Patch” panel allows you to import a .csv scene file into to Carbon)
(This panel is subject to change in the final version of the plugin)

Transforming Data

The imported data will now be transformed by the user to Carbon compliant headers. After loading the file, run through the column header dropdown menus and select the Carbon Mappings that align with the information populated beneath it. 

If the CSV was generated automatically from a supported preset, you can use the “Import Settings” to quickly map the column headers to the data values. Using the “Load Preset” dropdown, select the format the csv has been saved under and ensure the “Source Units” align with the default unit type of that preset. (Note: Carbon defaults to “Centimeter” units, while VectorWorks defaults to “Meter” units)

Carbon will then parse the data into tables that can be used to generate fixtures within the scene. (See images below)

(The “Import Patch” panel will populate with the information provided by an external spreadsheet for processing and importing.)

(Imported data after the user has run through and selected the associated Carbon Map values with their column information.)

Axis Setup

The “Axis Setup” section of the Import Patch tool allows you to swap and invert axis if needed. If the data was loaded from a supported preset, this data will be updated automatically and can often be left alone.

Associating with Carbon Assets

Once the mapped fields have been identified, select the “Process” button in the bottom right corner of the Preview Data section. This will generate fields and stats of the information Carbon has translated from the template. The section entitled “Associations” is where you can assign the fixture mesh and mode to the different types of lights imported from the spreadsheet. With all the Associations populated with information, use the spawn button to generate the fixtures within your scene. Once you associate a fixture in this manner, it will be remembered as the default choice for future inports within the same unreal project.

(Imported data associations are read from an imported spreadsheet that has been mapped and processed. The user can now tie mesh and mode associations with the fixtures generated.)

If successful, your fixtures should now be populated in the world at the coordinates listed on your csv document. You are now free to edit them however you wish. (See image below)

(Imported fixtures are automatically placed in the scene based on the position and orientation data in the .csv file)