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Martin Show Designer


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Greets, yah, I'm the newbie here. So far this looks like a forum I'm going to enjoy. Lots of info on pretty much everything. :)


I'm looking for some info. I am looking to buy a copy/key/dongle/whatever for Martin Show Designer Gold. I've looked everywhere I could on the internet, but even Martin's page has no price listing or information on where I can get this at. I did email their sales team, but being the weekend and all, it's taking a bit to get back.


Also, do you think the program is worth the investment? One thing I like most about it is that it has a visualizer where I can see a live version of everything I've programmed. Comes in handy since a lot of my work gets done while I'm traveling and I just like being able to see an animated version of what I've programmed so I can decide if it will work or not. But that's pretty much what sold me on it. That and that I trust Martin products. Anyways, I hope this isn't a question that comes up TOO often.


*Puts up newbie shield*



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Can’t find it on the net? There are quite a few places that sell it. For instance of the top of my head AC Lighting.


AC Lighting


Below is the link to the Martin AC Lighting price list and MSD is listed on there on one of the last pages of the PDF so you can get an idea of the price range.


AC Lighting Martin Price List


I presume you are located in Pennsylvania (your profile suggests). AC Lighting will probably ship to you, along with most other major UK companies which stock it. Try the Martin website for distributors nearer you as well.


Edit: Oh and welcome to the blue-room :blink: were quite a friendly bunch so there is probably no need for your shield ;)


Moderation: Link fixed.

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Hi TerraSin,


MSD is a good software, and I can give you a price if you contact me, but you might also want to consider other options before you purchase.


I'm sure a lot of people here will recommend WYSIWYG from Cast software (have a look here), which is fairly common in the industry.


You could also look at the Capture visualistion/CAD software which does very good visualisation (have a look on our website here for more details). You can also download a free demo copy of Capture from there to evaluate.


The best way is to get a demo of all three pices of software and make your decision on what best meets your needs, and which you find the easiest to use.

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Having tried out the demos, my opinion is:


If you want to produce masses of paperwork, with huge numbers of fixtures, loads of bells and whistles, near-true-to-life still renderings and ok live renders, AND you have lots of available cash, get WYSIWYG Perform.


If you mainly want live rendering, get Capture. IMO it's the best looking right now.


MSD didn't look very good to me as it has very simplistic renderings - but that may be what you want anyway.


However - this is purely a personal opinion.


I highly recommend that you download the demos of all three and build some stages and rigs using them, because even if you love the renders and visualisations, if you don't like the way you put them together you won't get much out of the software.


All 3D software uses slightly different paradigms to get the model into them.

If the paradigm doesn't click with the way you think, you will spend far too much time messing about with the modelling tools and not enough time thinking about your design.

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I'd also encourage users to look at multiple packages. I've never been a particularly big visualizer fan, but after having played with many of them the last few weeks I have to admit they have come a long way. But the different packages have different strengths.


I found Capture very easy to use, and the live view looked surprisingly good to me. But, if you need to generate a lot of CAD drawings, it seems a bit weak. You can export to DXF files, but generating paperwork is still a bit of work.


WYSIWYG is probably the industry leader, but you pay a premium (they even charge console makers an annual fee if they want to interface without DMX). Also, the learning curve can be substantial.


ESP Vision is just a rendering tool, I didn't think it looked any better than, say, Capture, but it has some interesting extras, like pyro and special effects, that some users might find very useful.


I thought MSD was a pretty good all around package. I had a little trouble getting things working (probably the 'different mental model' problem mentioned above), but the Martin online forums were very helpful.


Good Luck,


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Thanks for the replies, guys. I am glad to finally find a forum with people who know what they are talking about. I'm pretty new (compared to most here probably) to the whole thing so don't mind my ignorance on some topics. Good to find such a well balanced source of information here.


I am going to check out the other programs right now and see how they look. I have a demo of WYSIWYG from about a year and a half ago that never got installed so I'm guessing it's updated by now. I will have to check it out, though it is a bit above my price range I can imagine.


Again thanks and I will let you know what I think and drill some more info. :blink:



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