Wysiwyg Lighting Design Software Crack: A Complete Guide
By 1981, MicroPro advertised that its WordStar word processor had WYSIWYG, but its display was limited to displaying styled text in WYSIWYG fashion; bold and italic text would be represented on screen, instead of being surrounded by tags or special control characters. In 1983, the Weekly Reader advertised its Stickybear educational software with the slogan "what you see is what you get", with photographs of its Apple II graphics, but home computers of the 1970s and early 1980s lacked the sophisticated graphics capabilities necessary to display WYSIWYG documents, meaning that such applications were usually confined to limited-purpose, high-end workstations (such as the IBM Displaywriter System) that were too expensive for the general public to afford. As improving technology allowed the production of cheaper bitmapped displays, WYSIWYG software started to appear in more popular computers, including LisaWrite for the Apple Lisa, released in 1983, and MacWrite for the Apple Macintosh, released in 1984.
Wysiwyg Lighting Design Software Crack Works
With an updated article on a popular topic at On Stage Lighting, we look at stage lighting design software and CAD options when it comes to planning and communication in our lighting world in an extended Guide To Choosing Stage Lighting Design Software.
Using a computer to help the lighting design process has many advantages over traditional hand drawn lighting plans and manually collated data methods. These range from A for Accuracy all the way to Z for, well, Z: The 3rd dimension in 3D CAD modelling (a useful part of getting those calculations, angles and distances right). There are also great possibilities in digital storage and collaboration, reuse of previous hard work and just generally getting a computer to take the donkey work of repetition or maths when planning lighting design and system.
The collaborative possibilities of this kind of workflow are currently changing the way many of us work in all walks of a life and lighting design communication is no exception. Being able to work directly in a cloud based spreadsheet while the Production Electrician is also accessing the latest version is the kind of real time collaboration that makes Google Apps great for me. I must add that as a web publisher that is against monopolies and market domination I have plenty of issues with Google as a whole, but currently still find myself at the mercy of the free crack that is Google Apps (with Gmail etc.) :(
While Lightwright has some great lighting design specific tools and a huge amount of thought has gone into it, such a collaborative concept can be also be found generically in a shared Google spreadsheet. Different stakeholders have access at different levels, changes can be made and are and can be reverted to. All in real time and for free in the case of Google Docs, if you are prepared to put in the time create your own. Perhaps in the future On Stage Lighting will do a series of tutorials on using Google Docs in lighting design.
When considering the choices of stage lighting design software for any or all of the above requirements, the issue of cost forces one to ask some tough questions. While there are a range of software options ranging from free to mega-expensive, some of those questions might be:
There is also an argument for you making your own life more bearable or enjoyable with the use of dedicated lighting software, but this should not be confused with an actual business case. In order to even need to be more productive with fancy software, you need to have a whole lot of relevant lighting gigs in a year.
To generate simple schematics and two-dimensional lighting design layouts so that your crew can rig and set up correctly is the minimum software requirement by any Lighting Designer. The ability to cleanly draw a lighting plan, print it out or email it.
Any mainstream vector drawing software will produce a nice lighting plan with annotations showing colours, circuits and focus information. If you are already familiar with Adobe products, we are looking at Illustrator rather than Photoshop, and there are plenty of vector titles available including free software. The downside to using a non-lighting specific CAD packages for the production of 2D lighting plants is their lack of scaled stage lighting symbols to drag and drop into your plan and the immediate availability of other stage lighting data such as manufacturer details or specific calculations etc.
The difference between vector based graphics software and dedicated CAD products is only really the presentation of the tools, in particular dimensional and other data entry and reporting. The difference between generic CAD software that might be used by architects or engineers and stage lighting specific drawing packages is again the presentation of the tools, with developers putting what the lighting designer needs front and centre. Professional CAD software generally has the functionality that we could shape for our needs, stage lighting design drawing packages have just already shaped them and put them into toolbars with names that we recognise.
The cheapest form of visualisation of show that is yet to happen could be images from a previous show that have corresponding design elements. If no relevant image is available then the Lighting Designer might create something, either using their art material of choice or even lighting a 1:25 scale model of the set and taking photos of it. The digital step up from this is photographic images that have been through a Photoshop style editing software to create an impression of what the Lighting Designer wishes to communicate. This might be based on a venue shot or an artistic impression created by another key designer.
The longer I studied 3D CGI graphics, the further I got from the idea that if only I used all the data and the right materials, it would look how I wanted it to. This ignores the vagaries of the rendering engine and all the maths involved in ray tracing, shader specularity and radiosity calculations. This does mean that the Lighting Designer needs to know what the show will look like in order to create the images. If the LD is hoping that the modelling software will show them the end result in lighting terms, they are going to be disappointed. Visualisation software in stage lighting should be used to communicate to someone else, you know in your head to be true. And what you produce at that point may well be the difference between getting the gig and not.
At the top end of lighting design software functionality, real time plotting of your rig is the name of the game. The software enables you to set up your virtual lighting rig with control systems, plug in a compatible lighting desk and plot your show before even committing lantern to pipe. This facility is most useful with large moving light rigs and helps the Lighting Designer and Operator build up some of the elements of a show before setting foot in the theatre. Conventional lighting dimmer circuits can also be programmed although the light intensity levels cannot really be accurately depicted however posh the software is.
What pre-programming does assist with is the setting up of moving light positions, palettes and effects and even base cues without the cost of time in the venue with all the kit. This saving is real in the world of performance, but the question of who should bear the cost of running a pre-programming suite is often answered by when you know that lighting production companies are increasingly providing the best software and facilities, along with the actual lighting consoles themselves. The option for cheaper owner/operator consoles may also be linked with the development of cheaper pre-programming visualisers designed to be run from more modest laptops with fewer functionality in the other areas of stage lighting design software.
The different software packages available to do this vary in cost, with the cheaper ones often trading off CAD or paperwork capabilities against the facility for real time programming of your light show. All require you to also have a fairly decent PC to run them on plus the hardware to input a lighting control signal (DMX or Ethernet) that will control the virtual lights.
The latest addition to the console visualisation market is the alpha version of the MagicQ vis from Cham Sys. The visualiser is free, basic and works with the also free MagicQ lighting control desk and software, and is certainly going to be of interest of the growing number of MagicQ users around the world.
Rob Sayer HND PGDip FHEA is a Senior Lecturer in Technical Theatre Production, mentor, and consultant in stage lighting and education. As a professional lighting designer, Rob designed and programmed theatre performances, music festivals and large corporate events for blue chip companies while travelling all over Europe. With a background in theatre, he combines traditional stage lighting knowledge alongside fast moving lighting and video technology in the world of commercial events.