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Design Issues and Solutions Lighting Software

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lightblaiser, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. lightblaiser

    lightblaiser Member

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    I am from a community theater & work as the TD which also serves as the light designer & set designer & builder so.....It's a lot of work & am trying to make it easier in any way...One way would be to have a lighting design software for making plots but, as being in a community theater....there isn't a great deal of money to throw around....:(

    I am interested to know if there is any software that isn't an arm & leg in price that can be used in Windows Vista(good luck right?;)) for light plots. 3-d isn't necessary but is nice. Also...any tips you have for me would be nice! I am working with little amount of instruments
    & little space...

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. listerofsmeg

    listerofsmeg Member

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    I am involved in a professinal theatre and our theater ops administators just use Microsft Office Visio. Its easy for setting out a plot in a neat format. If you did have the money, I would say WYSIWG for the win, however its very pricey.
     
  3. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    I use SoftPlot by stage research ..::Stage Research::.. I have lots of issues with it - but it is the cheapest reasonable solution that I have found ( $295) and I am stingy.

    Good luck
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Softplot is definitely a program to look at - I have issues with it as well, but have used it before and it's not half-bad for what it is. It is listed as Vista compatible on the website.

    I've never done more than take a quick look through the demo, but you might check out Microlux (Microlux Lighting Design Software). For 70 bucks for the basic 2-d version, it might be a good program. However, Vista compatibility is not listed on the website, so download it and see if it works - it's not the most up-to-date website from what I see.

    If LXfree ver becomes win compatible, that'll be useful, as it's a decent program for being free, but it's just a mac program right now.

    For $700 there's WYSIWYG report (the non-3D WYSIWYG version, just does 2-d stuff), but that's probably waaay too much. And I won't even talk about the prices of VW Spotlight or the full version of WYG...
     
  6. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Yeah, there's aslo LD assistant, there was a great issue in PLSN I'll dig it out.

    Check out this post, Vecorworks & WYSIWGY
    Nick
     
  7. lightblaiser

    lightblaiser Member

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    This seems to be the most reasonable solution:grin: but what sort of problems do you encounter?:neutral: & also, I really only need it to work for the plot itself.....paperwork is not necessary.....
     
  8. lightblaiser

    lightblaiser Member

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    How do I get Microsoft Office Visio? Could you please provide a link?
     
  9. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    In no particular order:
    • The ergonomics of the user interface reek. Lots of extra button pushes, awkward to use, etc. Hard to pick colors.
    • Flexibility of what you can do with the ground plan is limited. You can add in square shapes, but you can't really build complex shapes. If you are willing to do it the way the program does, it is not too bad - but you will hit the limits pretty quickly
    • Graphic symbols are ( at least with my version - not the latest) sub-standard.
    • Occasional strange errors. For example, I am having issues printing paperwork due to an unexplained exception from the printer driver.
     
  10. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Should be on your Office CD depenging on what OS & Version,
    Nick
     
  11. doctrjohn

    doctrjohn Active Member

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    Are you using the latest version? I was a long time SoftPlot user before switching to WYSIWYG (for a number of reasons, though primarily file sharing at the time) and I don't recall it being that bad. I also seem to recall Steve Shelley (Field Template™ and SoftSymbols™) working on the symbol library for the current version, so they should be more than adequate for most users.

    I think for the described application, and pricepoint, SoftPlot is probably an ideal solution.

    Best,
    John
     
  12. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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  13. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    I am using version 8. I looked at version 9, but it did not address my top five ergonomic issues so I have not upgraded. I agree with you that SoftPlot would probably be a good match for the original poster.

    John
     

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