The team behind lighting documentation software FocusTrack are delighted to mark the new year by announcing the release of FocusTrack 2.100.
Continuing to respond to the needs of lighting professionals, the new version adds QuickFocus, a new, dual-purpose and invaluable function for documenting and then viewing the use of each moving light in each cue.
"FocusTrack was conceived as a way of creating precise documentation of show lighting, making use of the information available from the lighting console once the lighting was nearing completion," explains FocusTrack's Rob Halliday. "When used like that it works fantastically well. But we know that a lot of people still prefer to track what their moving lights are doing as they are making the show, with either the designer or programmer jotting down notes of their own, or on larger shows with this task being undertaken by a moving light tracker. They could use FocusTrack, but it was a bit awkward. QuickFocus was conceived as a way of making their work easier."
QuickFocus presents a grid for each cue in the show; into that grid can be placed an image for that cue, so a storyboard, set drawing or, once things are a little more advanced, a photograph of the lighting state. Channel numbers can then be placed on that grid in the spot where that light's beam lands; the focus palette the light is using can also be recorded, and a focus note can be added. This gives a very clear overview of what the lights are doing in each cue, and one that is easy to fill in as the cue is made.
If the show is subsequently imported from the console showfile, FocusTrack can reconcile the focuses in the QuickFocus grid with those imported from the console to provide. Alternatively, those using FocusTrack in its original manner can use the grid to define where each light falls in each focus; FocusTrack can then build a QuickFocus grid for each cue.
In every case, it is now possible to quickly and easily produce paperwork summarising what each moving light is doing in each cue - a great reference for designers, associates, programmers and those running the show from day to day.
"We hope this satisfies the needs of those who've been enticed by FocusTrack, but have found it doesn't quite fit in with the way they want to work," Halliday notes. "We are very pleased with QuickFocus and its ability to offer a clear, concise summary of how each cue state is formed."
In addition to QuickFocus, FocusTrack 2.100 continues the software's ongoing evolution, with screen displays re-designed for greater clarity and other refinements and improvements. The new version can be downloaded from the FocusTrack website, www.focustrack.co.uk; a version with a demo show pre-loaded can also be downloaded for those who want to try it with some existing show data.
FocusTrack has been in use on shows around the world since 2005; it can currently be found providing precise lighting documentation to the new UK tours of Les Miserables and We Will Rock You, the US tour of South Pacific, productions of Billy Elliot in London and New York, Cirque du Soleil's Zaia in Macau, and many other shows. Further information about FocusTrack and its companion software SpotTrack, for producing followspot cuesheets, can be found at www.focustrack.co.uk.