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


A layer is an entity that exists 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.


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.


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.


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 in Timeline window

A Timeline marker indicates a position on a Timeline.

Marker in Viewport

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


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:

  • 3D models: obj, fbx, dae

  • Notch blocks: dfxdll

Image and video formats & codecs are described on the page below:

pageVideo Formats & Codecs

Video output

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


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


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


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


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.

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