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Thoughts from a Visualiser user


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Just thought I would share my experience with some lighting software for those who are interested?


I currently use two lighting visualiser packages; Wysiwyg and Capture.


I only picked up Capture last year and have only recently had time to start digging into it while I've had Wysiwyg for more than 10 years now.


My versions are Wysiwyg Perform R28(latest is R38) and Capture Nexum Quartet (latest release).



The packages target different users, traditionally Wysiwyg has always been about a total design-to-visualise approach where until recently Capture has only really been about visualisation.


The reason that I have been looking for an alternative to Wysiwyg is simply cost. It is easily does everything that I want but it is just too expensive for me to justify keeping up-to date. You only get access to fixture libraries of the age of your release version.


My primary use of Wyg is to test concepts and produce plots, It has rudimentary CAD tools and I rarely need to use any other software. Over recent years I have been using Wyg to produce visuals commercially as well. I haven't tried Live visualisation for some time as my version has few of the current fixtures available. (for plots and visuals I just substitute similar fixtures)

I have had my eye on other packages for a while now, and last year Capture Atlas caught my eye and talked me into giving it a try.


Capture has almost no CAD tools and expects users to use a seperate package for CAD then import into Capture. Atlas was the first version to attempt proper paperwork support, hence my interest.


A short while ago Capture released a new version; Nexum, which I have upgraded too (even though I had still barely touched the software).



All of my projects this last year have been repeats of previous events which I had already done in Wyg so it has not made sense to attempt to rebuild in Capture, and I just haven't had time to simply play with the software.




Finally (and only over the last couple of weeks) I have been experimenting with transferring one of my projects from Wyg into Capture.


It's still early days, but already it has been an interesting experience.


First I wanted to get the CAD model from Wyg into Capture, I exported from Wyg to .DWG and imported into Capture. The model imported basically as one piece with only a few oddities. All of the heads from Wyg were imported just as CAD models, but it was easy to manually replace them with fixtures from the Capture library.


I then tried importing the DWG into Sketchup Pro first (I got that at the same time as Capture last year, and I still barely know how to use it!) and then imported the sketchup version into Capture. That cleared up most of the oddities that were in the direct DWG-Capture import.


None of the texture or colour information survives this process, I will have to figure out how to redo items in Sketchup and then they should import into Capture OK. (and break the model down into individual items)



I have been blown away by the Live lighting visualisation in Capture. I know that is it's main purpose but still the quality is impressive and recreates most of the fixture features well. (to be fair I am comparing it to a much older version of Wyg)


I haven't had time to explore the plot paperwork side yet but I will share my thoughts when I do.





A promising start, it will be interesting to see what I find once I've got into things properly. http://www.blue-room.org.uk/public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have now completed moving my first project from Wysiwyg to Capture and it has been an interesting experience.


My first thought is that I am happy with my decision to give Capture a try, it looks like it will meet my needs nicely and at at much lower running cost than with Wysiwyg Perform.


The paperwork abilities of Capture are much less comprehensive than Wysiwyg but it is enough for my needs. Some aspects are actually better than my outdated version of Wysiwyg although current versions of Wyg are better still.


In terms of running cost, Capture seems to be about £100-£200 a year to keep upto date while Wysiwyg Perform is closer to £1000, so staying upto date is much more viable now.


I need to get myself upto speed on Sketchup, it appears to work well with Capture. Even with my current unfamiliarity it has been easy to export models from Wyg as dwg and import them into Sketchup. Once that is done you can re-texture and colour objects with ease and from there everything imports into Capture almost perfectly.

There is the added benefit of being able to use models from the 3d warehouse and even quite complex models seem to import well and with surprisingly low impact on visualiser performance at that.


The quality of the visualiser engine is exceptional, most of the fixture functions are supported which allows for a really useful level of pre-programming and it also produces great image quality which is good enough for pitch visuals.


The user interface is very different to what I'm used to but it's all kind of beginning to make sense now. I find the manual to be a bit lacking and feel that there are lots of techniques and shortcuts which are not covered in it.


Hopefully the Capture team will revise the manual or maybe produce some new video tutorials to cover those.


I thought it might be useful to cover my pc hardware and the performance levels experienced.


My desktop PC is fairly high spec i7 machine with Nvidia GTX1080 gpu and my laptop is similarly specced but with Nvidia GTX970m gpu.

Capture runs really well on both. My current project has about 80 moving lights and a very complex model with a lot of seating and detailing and performance is great on both.

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I agree with you about the Capture documentation. It seems to basically just go through all the features without really telling you how to do anything in depth. Also some sort of index or reference would make it more useful.

So here's one I found by accident - when rotating an object if you hold shift (after you have started rotating), it jumps in 5 degree steps. Makes doing an accurate 90 degree rotation a lot easier.


The Capture/Avo Titan integration is also very interesting but it's still early days with this and a lot of things don't yet work how you might hope they would (e.g. if trying to import an existing Capture design into Titan there is no good way to link the Capture fixtures to the Titan fixtures. And the Titan Capture library doesn't seem to have all the fixtures that the "full" Capture library has.)

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And the Titan Capture library doesn't seem to have all the fixtures that the "full" Capture library has.

I don't think this is the place to discuss but I just want to clarify that this is not true. The Capture library in Titan is the same as the stand-alone version in terms of lighting fixtures. Mail me if you think there's a problem.

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And the Titan Capture library doesn't seem to have all the fixtures that the "full" Capture library has.

I don't think this is the place to discuss but I just want to clarify that this is not true. The Capture library in Titan is the same as the stand-alone version in terms of lighting fixtures. Mail me if you think there's a problem.

Uh ok... it is probably me doing something wrong then, sorry to cast untrue accusations.

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Out of interest, which version of Capture is included with Titan?

Does it update automatically to match the current release version?


It is some sort of embedded version, they call it "Capture Component". Nic might be able to tell you more. It is possible, with some limitations, to transfer files between them.


See http://www.capturesweden.com/Support/Blog/Post/2824/Avolites-release-Titan-V10-with-Capture-Component

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At the time of writing the latest version of Titan (v10.1) uses the Atlas component. Titan v10.0 used Argo.


Essentially the 'component' is the rendering engine which is integrated into Titan. It does not automatically update to the latest version although the Titan personality library is updated daily with the latest version of the Capture library.


You can load standard Capture theatres as long as they are Atlas or earlier (the stand-alone application has an option to export theatres that are compatible with earlier versions), similarly you can export standard Capture theatres from Titan which will be compatible with Atlas or later (assuming you are using Titan v10.1). I'm not aware of any limitations in this regard other than the version. It's true that fixtures are not currently linked between Titan and the integrated Capture when using a theatre imported from the stand-alone application although I think this should be possible in the future.


I think it's important to consider that the integration of the rendering engine in Titan provides a way for Avolites customers to have high quality visualisation without needing to purhase a third-party product and (at least when using a console) another potentially expensive computer to run it. It also has the advantage of patching automatically and an integrated UI. But ultimately it is not intended as a replacement for the stand-alone application which has many other benefits.


Regarding the library to clarify the entire Capture library is included but in order for the automatic patching to work the Titan personality files need information to tell them which Capture file they should be associated with. Many of the personalities now contain this information but unfortunately some do not. The library is constantly being updated and if you need Capture support adding to a personality it can be requested via the request form on the Avolites website (select 'Capture Visualiser (.c2o)' from the desk type options).

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