Best design software?

SketchyCroftPpl

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Dec 28, 2004
Location
Near Worcester, Mass
I dunno if its the BEST, in fact I know its not. But a while ago I did some posts and I got a bunch of visio stencils for making plots and all that. I'm not sure if they were just deleted from my comp actually but they can work pretty well if you basically know what your doing. Hope that helps!

~Nick
 

SteveB

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Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Ditto Vectorworks Spotlight and Lightwright, both arguably the most widely used programs for plot and paperwork. WYSiwyg is a better rendering for program PreVis, though VW now is well linked to ESP.

Note also the VW is now at version 12, not sure they still sell 11.5. Haven't seen any reason to upgrade though...

SB
 

thorin81

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Dec 5, 2003
Location
Salt Lake City, Utah
Is there a free option anywhere?

I am looking for a freeware/shareware light plot program. Pretty much all the demos are not any good for an extended period of time , so I need a cheap/free option to use.
If anyone knows of an option let me know!!!

Thanks
-Nick
thorin81
 

SteveB

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Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Riffraff54 wrote:

"what makes VW better than WYS or Soft Plot? i know nothing about plotting software."

Well, better is very subjective. WYSIWYG is a terrific Previs program, probably the most widely used for this functionality. Others are catching up though, the MA program for GrandMA is pretty cool as is ESP Vision for Vectorworks. WYG paperwork sucks though, if that’s important too you (IMHO).

Can’t say much about Softplot. Tried it years ago when it was in it’s infancy. It was easy to learn but had major issues with getting all kinds of bugs fixed. At that time, Softplot could not figure out that a strip light was one fixture with 3 potential channels, colors, dimmers, etc… Thus the hookup was useless. In fact I remember the general paperwork section as useless in general (Note that the current version of VW has a poor paperwork section as well), and finally gave up when big fixes were not forthcoming.

VW when combined with LW is quickly becoming the standard among LD's though, especially for pure drafting and terrific paperwork.

There's a thread along these lines on the LightNetwork as well as the Stagecraft list. Scott Parker (Pace University, NY) recently did a quickie survey on this list about software used by theater folks, and overwhelmingly, Vectorworks and Lightwright were mentioned. I think I saw 1 user with A-Cad, possibly 1 who used Softplot and 1 or 2 who used plug-ins for A-Cad. I cannot remember anyone mentioning WYG. I also see VW/LW used almost exclusively by folks on tour who play our road house, as example.

Thus I'm comfortable saying that if you want a drafting program, VW is the way to go, and if you're not an Emphasis user, I'd go with ESP Vision for rendering.

SB
 

futurecm21

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Software

I've been a pretty old school designer for a long time now, and am trying to expand my horizons.

Does anyone have any recommendations for the best design software? and if so where I can find it? (is it downloadable or does it need to be purchased?)

Thanks!







futurecm21
 

Esoteric

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Jan 6, 2009
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Dallas, TX

rochem

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May 20, 2008
Location
New York, NY
Without a doubt, Vectorworks for drafting plots, and Lightwright for creating paperwork. Neither is very hard to learn, and you can even exchange data between the two programs. You can download a free demo of Lightwright, which is fully functional for an unlimited time, the only restriction is that you can only have up to 75 units. I don't believe there's any similar demo for Vectorworks, besides the student version.
 

iLightTheStage

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Dec 29, 2008
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Re: Software

I've been a pretty old school designer for a long time now, and am trying to expand my horizons.

Does anyone have any recommendations for the best design software? and if so where I can find it? (is it downloadable or does it need to be purchased?)

Thanks!

futurecm21
For doing plots, I would recommend VectorWorks with Spotlight (the lighting side of it). They now have version 2009 out, I believe. After version 12.5 they changed the way the program is organized a bit, so I would get the 2008 version or 2009. There are a bunch of tutorials out for it, one of which is at: VectorWorks 2008 Tutorials for Theatre

You can download an "Evaluation Copy", or order the CD for Vectorworks at Vectorworks by Nemetschek North America - 2D/3D AEC CAD Design Software for Windows and Macintosh

For paperwork, I would recommend Lightwright, which I believe is still in version 4, but I've heard they might be working on a new version that integrates with Vectorworks better.

You can download a demo, or find out how to order at:
John McKernon Software

Hope that helps you. Btw, next time you may want to post this as an original post instead of replying to one that is 4 years old.
[edit by DL: Actually, futurecm21, did post this as a new thread, but I moved it here. Since the topic has been covered so many times already, I felt we didn't need another new thread.]
 
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Sony

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Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Location
Massachusetts
Re: Software

VectorWorks and Lightwright without a doubt. They are the international standard for design for a reason.
 

nelakluwos

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Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Location
Lewisburg, PA
I use both WYSIWYG and Vectorworks regularly. I find that WYSIWYG lets me do exactly what I want with my plots, no questions asked. Also it's extremely customizable to fit how I design, and easily allows me to see what I want to see.

Vectorwors IMO is a bit harder to use it seems to be geared more towards engineers, even in Spotlight mode. I don't like the way you have to place your fixtures on the plot, then rotate, and hope your rotation does what you want it to. It's much more streamlined in WYG (unless they have updated that in VW 2009 or there's something I don't know about).

Shaded view in WYG is much better than VW.

There are some of the little things in VW I really wish they would add to WYG that would make me 100% say that WYG is superior. Right now though, they are evenly matched in my book.

Someone who uses both please respond, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are as well. :)
 

tcahall

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Location
Mount Airy, md
All of the replies are right on. However, if you are on the ultimate budget (ie need it free), you can download lighting .dxf s for free and use Sketchup or Inkscape and put together some very professional looking plots for free.

Or course, you will only get some plots from this. If you are looking for complete paperwork solutions, read above.

Tim.
 

futurecm21

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
If its not to much trouble can anyone provide me to links of websites where I can download software for free?

Thanks!
 

icewolf08

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Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
If its not to much trouble can anyone provide me to links of websites where I can download software for free?

Thanks!
If you are looking for free full versions of the software mentioned in this thread, you will have to figure that one out yourself. There are links provided for trial copies of Vectorworks and Lightwright in the thread. If you are a student you can get the Educational version of VW for free from their site by filling out a form.
 

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