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Anyone using visualisers other than Capture and Wysiwyg?

Why exclude those? Wysiwyg is $3k, Capture starts at a more reasonable 395euro but you only get one universe for that.

Purely on price, I'm attracted to L8, starts at 88euro for two universes.

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Personally I'm a big fan of capture, but as you've ruled that out let's explore some other options...

L8, as you mention, has some vey cheap options, but with limitations. For the €88 option you have fixture limitations, no paperwork, limited input universes. A nice helpful table of what you get with each license: https://l8.ltd/m/

Depence2 is a very pretty visualiser, can be used to create some really good looking renders. Also not much cheaper than a Capture Symphony license.

Lightconverse: also not cheap, but has lower tiers as well.

Vectorworks Vision: similar price, but can be a one off purchase, very "industry standard".

There are loads of really terrible abandoned projects where people have thought "lets build a visualiser and make it free and amazing", and then realised that making something usable is quite difficult. Also: https://xkcd.com/927/

What's worth considering is that many lighting consoles come with some level of visualisation. Avolites (capture), MA (MA3D or built in on MA3), Chamsys (magicVis), are freely included with the consoles. You can also use merging to use these visualisers with other controllers by sending data through the native console (or pc based solution). Using MA3D or magicVis with a different data source is very simple to set up and completely free. Avo would require licensed hardware of some kind.

Really depends what you're going to use it for, and if you're going to need to produce files other people can work with.

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  • What features are you looking for?
  • Where/which formats do your 3D theatre and set models come from?
  • Which formats do you need to export?

All the upper-end consoles have some level of 3D viz built-in - Eos/Augment3d, Avolites/Capture, MA/MA3D, Chamsys/magicVis.

However, AFAIK none of them do any paperwork or exports other than the console's normal ASCII/CSV exports for Lightwright et al, their 3D rendering are all simplified compared to what things like Wyg and Capture can do.
(MVR doesn't really count yet, the spec is currently too limited and changeable)

For actual pre-viz packages, the main distinguishing factors are paperwork, realism of live and pre-rendered stills/video clips and which data formats they can import/export.

Not much point in buying a package that can't import the formats you get sent the sets in, or can't export data your consoles and other tools can use.

For example, I'd be very worried by a package that's proud of being able to load "3DS" (as opposed to just mentioning it in a long list of others).
That format was obsolete in 1996 and is "unitless" - it doesn't say anything at all about the actual size.

Edited by Tomo
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