Jump to content

Visualisers, Light Converse, Capture..


Recommended Posts

Firstly, I know this topic has been covered pretty heavily amongst members of this forum.. and I promise you I have just spent some time looking through answers through the search function; so bare with me!


I'm an LD who at the moment does mainly small/medium events but am looking to push the design side of things over the next year or so and would like to introduce some design and visualisation software into what I can offer. I currently own a Pearl 2004, but will soon be upgrading that to an Expert or Tiger Touch which I'm hoping to use to pre-program shows via said software.


Now, after searching.. I know of Cast's WYSIWYG which is out of the question due to price. So, I've been steered towards Capture Polar; I've downloaded the demo version and student version and it seems to be a great bit of software from what I can see, plus I know it's quite highly respected within the industry.


But, I have a few questions about the software.. and I'm hoping members of this forum can give me a hand!


Firstly, where is best to purchase the design version of the software? There aren't any UK distributors listed on their website and the cost seems to be 1089€ which seems relatively reasonable, but I can bet there's somewhere I can get it a bit cheaper in the UK? If anyone has information about a retailer and pricing, I'd appreciate the pointers!


Secondly, I'll obviously need something to get from my console outputs into a laptop.. most of my shows won't exceed 2 universes at the moment but may well do in the future so I need something initially to cover 2 universes.. I think Entecc DMX Pro dongle should be fine and I'm sure it'll be covered by Polar. Hopefully someone can give me their experiences with what works best.



Next, I've also had a look at Light Converse which initially looks like a great product and also a better price. The design version is only 400 euro+vat which is great, but there's no great detail on what you really get for that. By 512 fixtures, does that mean actual fixtures or 512 channels IE 1 universe? I'm not fussed about video inputs or outputs at this stage so if the basic version covers 512 fixtures as oposed to channels and will work with an Enttec type dongle.. that'd be ideal too..




If you have the answers to my questions, it'd be brilliant. If you have any more information that you think might be helpful about either of these bits of software, please let me know on topic or via PM :)


Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can buy capture direct from their we store. You can buy LC either direct or through Aziz at Avolites.


They are both similar on price and performance. But Capture is more of a Mac OSx type work flow and LC is more of a windows peice of software. Capture runs on both but certainly better on Mac IMHO.


IIRC the design version of LC doesn't allow visualisation. If you want a purly offline viz system go for the "Net in" dongle. It doesn't do video inputs and doesn't do art net output but IRS great for Art-Net input and pre-programming.


Capture takes most protocol inputs and doesn't require much configuration. It's almost plug and play!!


I know both peices of software quite well, so any other questions please ask :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

IIRC the design version of LC doesn't allow visualisation. If you want a purly offline viz system go for the "Net in" dongle.

Hi Joe!

You are right in "Net-In" recommendation, but as for "Design" you wrong. It does allow visualization, the same as Net-In, minus ArtNet and sACN protocols.

Both are 512 fixtures, 96 Universes.

The main pros of Design license is DMX Onboard Control Mode, which allows to design and plot show before console work.


PS. As for graphics quality and performance, I think LC is far away from others, youtube me if you think not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As mentioned, LC and Capture are much of a muchness, both do the job for pre vis while not being great for the paperwork side of things. However, LC does have a Vectorworks plug in, if that's what you are into.


Both applications are very much pre-vis, although the graphics are better than they used to be, they don't provide that photorealistic look that other 3D modelling software such as Max, Maya etc. that can be used to sell concepts to clients, particularly in corporate events.


If it's simply for making your life easier by pre programming, I've worked with either. You need to bear in mind the time overhead to setting them up in terms of the rig etc.


As an LD, I've never run pre vis software of my own - lighting companies have a suite if I really need it. I'd pre program, sure, but not vis, because you don't need that to deal with patching, groups, creating placeholder palettes and cues and rocking up with a lot in the desk, having not seen it on screen. I'm doing this at the moment for a show next week, the desk is highly programmed for a one-nighter and I'm using the MagicQ Output grid to deal with colours, dimmer FX etc. and generally getting everything ready, simply to update the palettes on the day.


I do run 3D modelling software (Max) along with the CAD and paperwork stuff, for concept selling. All of these things increase your "offer", but you need to decide which you REALLY NEED (vs really want) as no one is actually going to pay you for that extra work. It's just a question of making your life easier and hopefully making your lighting workflow better on the day, because their ain't no cash in owning it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Aaron and Joe,


Aaron, I thought of stepping in to answer your first two questions as there is a UK distributor for Capture and it is Shock Solutions .

Now regarding your next question for connectivity of the Pearl 2004 indeed you can use as many Entecc DMX usb pro boxes as you like to connect DMX universes to Capture. Keep in mind that Capture doesn't have any limitations in the number of DMX universes so you can even connect all 4 universes of the Pearl 2004. What you can also do is connect the pearl with an acdi license and the serial-midi cable that came with the console, but when I tried it myself it was too slow...after all it is a serial connection...

However since you are buying a new console then you need nothing of the above because Titan broadcasts artnet and you can have all 12 DMX universes connected to Capture simply by being on the same network. In other words you only need a network cable between the console and the laptop running Capture be that a Mac or PC. You can reach the ultimate performance in both platforms simply by making sure you have the latest graphics drivers...


The demo version is unlocked to try all the above on your own and decide which software meets your needs. Simply download the demo version of capture, download also the offline titan simulator and enable the artnet broadcast. Capture will pick it up, cause as Joe said "it's almost plug and play" ...





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had to give up with WYSIWYG, for the amount of paperwork I need to do, I couldn't make anymore excuses really to keep renewing subscriptions. I ended up with Capture Polar and I have been happy certainly with visualisation, it runs native with Mac as well, I found it very simple to set up and seems to have a high level of features for its price. They seem to have been doing a lot of work to the paperwork side, a couple of tuitional videos popped up on youtube and I have been producing paperwork that seems credible, it was a very weak part of the package, but I am impressed with this side of Capture at the moment, the last couple of months have seem a marked improvement in paperwork.


Backup seems very good, emails replied to very quickly, they even did some symbols for me with a very quick turn around, so from this punter I have been happy I went with Capture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For your current situation this may be less relevant since as far as I can tell from the Avo website the pearl 2k4 does not feature ethernet outputs but both consoles that you are considering to upgrade to are fully capable of outputting ArtNet so you would not need any special node/dongle, just configure Capture to "listen" to the right ArtNet universes, make sure the desk and the computer can communicate* and you should be fine....


*) same network, netmask etc, dhcp router may do the job though "officially" artnet I think is supposed to work on 10.x.x.x or the internet accesibale [and assigned who chose this??] 2.x.x.x, but as far as I can tell if you're just dealing with a computer and a console any network should work, when you're dealing with simpler output nodes they may only "know" about [2 10].x.x.x and have selection knobs limited to those networks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For Capture and the Avo Titan consoles you can use any subnet ranges - there's no worrying about 10.x.x.x or 2.x.x.x.


Download Titan Simulator and Capture Polar demo and try it out. Works fine and I use it for testing regularly.


I've always thought LC was a good option but I've been told by dependable sources it is very demanding on GPU for visualisation and difficult to get good performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.