wysiwyg – 'What You See Is What You Get' – is an award-winning software suite that is the graphic application tool used by production professionals to create stunning pre-visualisations of lighting and video designs at home or in a studio, without having to spend time and money programming at the actual venue. The software gets its name from its ability to deliver renders that are identical to what the designer can expect to see at the event itself, helping users become more professional, more productive and more profitable.
Building on the success of R29, launched in this earlier year – itself the subject of solid critical acclaim by leading lighting designers such as Tim Routledge – R30 continues the trend of accelerating workflow that has been seen in recent releases. The latest version of the software features a myriad of functional enhancements that shave hours off the event design stage, leading Beta testers to remark that R30 is by some margin the most productive version of wysiwyg yet. Among them was video designer and lighting visualisations specialist, Miguel Ribeiro.
“The numerous improvements made to R30 make it essential, really,” notes Ribeiro. “The workflow has been sped up enormously – where it used to take me a full day to do something big, it now takes me just half a day, simply because all the things I'd previously had to correct manually are now done automatically. It's the best new wysiwyg I've seen in a long time, for sure. If you know wysiwyg already then you're going to absolutely love R30, and if you're a beginner then you're going to really appreciate some of the features that simplify the design process. But for a regular user like me, it's a must-have release. I couldn't fault this version.”
Features new to R30 include: fastFan and fastFocus for Conventionals in CAD Mode and Automated Fixtures in Design Mode, Shaded View Selection in CAD Mode, File Merge, Layer Merge, Interactive Rigging Points for lighting and audio, Pipe & Drape Wizard and DMX control for camera path playback in Live Mode. There have also been a number of enhancements made, including the ability to select fixtures by position, group or type in CAD and Design Modes, enhanced resolution with the Fine Focus Key and additions to the Intensity Designer Tool. Shaded Views now have object, fixture and circuit counts, enhanced camera information and fastRender, which significantly increases the speed of realtime rendering.
Beta testers were particularly impressed with the new fastFan and fastFocus tools. fastFan simplifies aerial focuses and any other fan-like focus by allowing users to grab a group of fixtures, tilt and pan them in unison or spread out the focus with a simple wheel. fastFocus is a new type of linear focus point that allows the user to draw a line and then select fixtures to assign directly to the line. If the line is resized or relocated, the assigned fixtures will move with it. fastFocus lines have many of the same properties of a Focus Point, but considerably more functionality.
The new merge features were also highly commended. In R30, when merging a file, the current editable state of layers is now ignored for both the file being merged and the active file. This means that objects being merged in will no longer have to be put on the current layer. A new Layer Import dialog appears when merging one wysiwyg file into another, which allows users to rename layers instead of combining them and will display the state of the layer in both files. Furthermore, R30 allows the merging of two or more layers together in Layer Manager, for straightforward combining of layers within a drawing.
“WYSIWYG has become a lot faster for LDs and more of a lighting design tool as well as a technical tool for visualisation,” continues Ribeiro. “R29 already saw some of that and R30 continues solidly on that theme. This is exemplified by features such as fastFocus which dispenses with the need to manually focus individual lights in a theatre setting, for example, saving a lot of time. Likewise, Layer Merge really speeds things up – when I do drawings I usually end up with 100 layers because I'm very particular about control and isolation. But I'll often end up simplifying something and have to delete 20 layers. In the new version, it just happens in a flash.
“I was so impressed with the beta version of R30 that I put it straight to work on an enormous and unusual project,” he adds. “The nature of this is still a secret but I can say that R30 worked really well; it was very stable. I threw everything at it, from mesh consolidation to really complex CAD shapes, and it behaved impeccably.”
wysiwyg R30 is available now from the Members Only Area of the CAST website: www.cast-soft.com, where a demo version and product information are also available. New releases are free for members.