DMX/openFrameworks Lighting workshop with Andreas Müller

Belgrade New Media Festival, Serbia


DMX/openFrameworks Lighting workshop with Andreas Müller

Building from the simple idea that everyone gets a bit bored of screens from time to time right, at Resonate 2012 Andreas Müller together with 12 workshop participants explored different outputs from custom openFrameworks software to different light fixtures. Andreas went through the basics of the DMX, the standard protocol to interact with light fixtures of every shape and size. Andreas also looked at how a few different types of light fixtures are controlled by it and will wrote openFrameworks applications that take control of the lights. Participants in the workshop left with a better understanding of DMX and it’s interaction light fixtures and gained some hands on experience by creating their own light controlling software.

The following is an example by Ross Cairns ( working with Accelerometers and incandescent light bulbs using OpenFrameworks, iOS & DMX App.

An openFrameworks app is running on a laptop connected DMX dimmer controlling four incandesents. The openFrameworks app maps screen pixels to DMX channels and is receiving an OSC data feed from the iPhone’s accelerometers. The iPhone is running a prototype iOS app that can record sensor data (as CVS, JSON and XML) and stream live or pre-recorded sensor data via and OSC or a WebSocket connection. If anyone is interested in testing out this iOS app drop him a line at

In this other example, Bjørn Gunnar Staal uses openCV to track phone position and DMX Pro to communicate with the dmx fixture over serial port. Once again made with openFrameworks, DMXPro, ofxUI & ofxOpenCV. Code is available at

Yet another example shows openFrameworks application controlling light bulbs. For this you will need a 4 bulbs, enttec usb and a dimmer. But if you don’t have access to these  you can comment dmxOut lines in testApp.cpp. To run add this folder an app folder of openFrameworks directory then run project file. Download xcode project here.

Full code from the workshop provided by Andreas is available for download here. You will need the latest version of openFrameworks together with xCode or Visual Studio development environment.

Andreas’ early career included working as Rich Media Director at the world renowned design studio Hi-ReS! for 5 years before founding Nanika together with Hi-ReS! founder Florian Schmitt, to create a company focused on up and coming technology. On top of his contributions to various award winning projects while at Hi-ReS!, in 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Tokyo Type Directors Club Grand Prix for his piece “For All Seasons”, the first and (so far) only interactive piece to receive the Grand Prix. In 2007, his pieces “Wind” and “SwimmingMessageSystem”, created for Nokia’s Flagship Stores were selected by Wired magazine to go on display at the yearly Wired NextFest festival. In 2009, Nanika worked on a groundbreaking mix of interactive and video visuals for Diesel’s S/S 09 show in New York. 2011 saw Nanika bring their love for strong visuals and high technology to the Kasabian 2011 tour, creating unique interactive visuals for a number of their songs. A well known figure in the digital art scene, Andreas takes great delight in pushing the boundaries of digital expression.

You can find out more about Andreas at or follow him on twitter @nanikawa


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