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lighting plot software

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by visigoth, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. visigoth

    visigoth Member

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    Does anyone know where i can obtain inexpensive or better yet free lighting plot software. I need just basic stuff, as I only rehang about 2 or three times a year.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yep, pencil and paper works, and its about 95c's. If you are a student, vectorworks is available for students for free. Do a search, this question comes up about every 6 months. Remember, you get what you pay for.
     
  3. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I use Field Template, Desk, Scale Rule, Triangle, Pencil, and Eraser. Works well enough for me.

    In my college years I used Autocad. Much easier to move a light than with the other stack, but it also takes having access to Acad. It also takes having a plotter to export useful data off of the system.
     
  4. VeeDubTDI

    VeeDubTDI Member

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    The IT guys here just installed AutoCad on my computer so I can do plots. :)
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Look into LD assistant if you actually want to use AutoCAD for lighting.
     
    VeeDubTDI likes this.
  6. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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  7. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Steve gave me one of his business-card templates at USITT '05; it's always with me and has come in quite useful a few times. The local theatrical supplier (Norcostco) stocks his regular ones as well as somebody else's blue ones. They're all slightly different, but they all work. The blue kind also has a section version with Leko field angles on it, which is very handy.
     
  8. VeeDubTDI

    VeeDubTDI Member

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    I'll check into that. Thanks!
     
  9. Guitarhero2441

    Guitarhero2441 Member

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    I dont know whetere this may be a wee bit late but i recently discovered a technique i use a program called Turbo CAD andf i downloaded the symbols free at modelboxplans.com

    Its not as good as programs such as vectorworks or wysiwyg or softplot, but for a freebie, it does its job.

    Hope this helps
    ciao
     
  10. StewTech

    StewTech Member

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  11. EBB

    EBB Active Member

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    Field templates are great. scale rules, paper, rulers, right angles and a few other items are all you need. Less than 50 bucks spent.
    I personally use AutoCAD and I loved LD Assistant 08. I got to use the newer versions of it and dread the layouts. But if you know how to render in 3D you can get a decent idea of how your plot will look before you hang it. I know that program best as far as my computer tools. Also it connects to several programs like lightwrite. I believe you can get a student version of LD Assistant for $99. But I could be mistaken. And it lasts a year.
    Vectorworks is also a great tool. I don't use it all that much but most of my friends that use it brag about it- and often how better it is than AutoCAD. I don't see any major differences so I can't really speak on that behalf. But there are student versions and trial versions I believe on the website.
     
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Vectorworks has a student/educational edition (Spotlight). Free if you're a student/educator. About $2000 if not.
     
  13. EBB

    EBB Active Member

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    I really haven't played with it enough to give it a download. I work well enough with AutoCAD to not have much reason to learn another piece of software at the moment. Not to say I won't do it eventually. Just have no reason to at the moment. Pluuus... I'm no longer a student. And that means no way for me to get it legally. But I am curious what are the major differences between the two softwares? Because the way it has sounded to me from friends makes it sound like the Apple vs PC people. Mostly being the Vectorworks people are douchey. Haha.
     
  14. Lightguy5

    Lightguy5 Member

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    The staff TD at the HighSchool across town also does something similar. He even color codes the cell-units by gel color for easy grouping. It takes some getting used to, but it's quick, clear, and easy. It helps if you are strict about 18" centers (each column is an 18" 'slot').
     
  15. LXPlot

    LXPlot Active Member

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    I do not believe anyone has mentioned Lxfree. It is free (obviously), simple to use, and fairly decent for what it is supposed to do. If you are using Windows or Linux, you need to use the java version. The original is for OSX
     
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  16. zmb

    zmb Well-Known Member

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    I can not manage to use that program to create scaled drawings. Just doens't work for me. I will use it (LX Java) to create rough plots devoid of measurements.
     
  17. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    So it looks like I am going to take a flyer in LDing our next show as well. The director isn't after anything especially complicated, so that will give me some room to run.

    Being a computery kinda guy, I'm inclined to try to plan the hang in software; is there anything that does that that doesn't cost a million and a half bucks? :) I have a relatively decent idea how to do it interactively, and I'm a good book-learner, it will be even better by Hell Week... but I don't know how to figure the floor ovals/cones based on beam width and pipe position, by hand.

    My inventory is about a dozen Source Fours, and half a dozen Par Fours, plus some traditional parcans; I might look at renting some, say, Hotboxes or Puck 12s for the month, if I can find them cheap enough, just to get some experience playing with them, but that's out of scope for this request.
     
  18. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I think you will find the most expensive software costs significantly less than $1,000,000.50. You can do paperwork with any spreadsheet program. There are examples here if you look. For instance, this collaborative article on Visualization software.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  19. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the industry standard is Vectorworks with Spotlight. If you have a legit claim as a student or educator, you might get it for free. Otherwise going to be a couple grand. I don't have experience with cheaper options, but they probably exist.

    Or you could do it by hand. For the ovals: on your plot (top view) figure out the distance from the light to the focus point. The do a scale drawing of a side view, with the light that distance out and at the correct height. Remember that your focus point should be at head height, not stage level. Faces are more important than feet. Draw a cone from that to the focus point that is the width of the beam spread (36 degrees, for example). Draw a horizontal line across the cone at the focus point. The length of this will be the long (US-DS) axis of the oval. The distance between the two line of the cone, perpendicular to the cone will be the short (cross-stage) axis.

    Now you know the size of the oval. Remember to overlap the ovals by at least 50% for even coverage. (Not that I don't push that with small inventories).

    I'll try to do a sketch of this, as words probably are confusing.

    Also, get a drafting template from your theatrical supply for all the symbols for your plot.
     
  20. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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