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  • Episode 19 – How Do I Visualize My Lighting on The PC?

 June 5

by David

Lighting News!

This week in lighting news there wasn’t much that really caught my attention but I wanted to share with you a project I’ve been working on.

On our YouTube Channel, we have a new video series, 30 Days to Become a Lighting Ninja. Be sure to check it out, subscribe, and let us know what you think!


Main Segment

In most of my videos and tutorials, I use a visualizer to show you in 3D how I do things. Visualizers are a great tool because it allows you to see your lighting without having to set them up.

Visualizers aren’t free to develop. In fact, there’s very complex from what I understand! A lot of people want to 3D visualize their lighting – it’s cool! But it’s not free – however, it may be worth it.

Free Versions of 3D Visualizer

Some consoles may include a Free 3D Visualizer. If your console does come with a Visualizer it may not be the most advanced program but it will do what you need it to.

MagicVis – A free version that comes with ChamSys Consoles

Capture (student edition) – Comes with some Avolites Consoles. The student edition has a limited fixture library but you’re able to save, move files, and do things in the software.

Capture (demo edition) – The Demo edition you are limited to 90 minutes before your work is erased but you can open and manipulate files. You’re also not able to save your work since it is a Demo version.

All of these free versions listed above will work with either a Mac or PC system.

Purchasing a 3D Visualizer

If you need a visualizer it may make much better sense to actually purchase a Visualizer Program. For this, I do recommend Capture. Capture is great because you only have to purchase it once, and right now 1 universe goes for about $420 US.

If you purchase Capture you have the option to upgrade for the next 5 years for roughly 20% of the license cost. You have a couple of options for purchasing one, two, four, or unlimited universes.

What Hardware You May Need

Capture runs great on just about any computer but what about hardware? For starters, you’ll want a good graphics card. A good graphics card will help the program run really well.

There are some settings within the Visualizer program that you can reduce the quality to help your computer to keep up with the program.

Now, what about performance? What does it take to visualize?

Setting up Capture can be complex. Capture has videos and demo shows aimed at professional users, and inside of Learn Stage Lighting Labs, I have a guide which will give you all of the step-by-step information you need along with downloadable demo shows.

Full post on Capture and the “console” visualizers: https://learnstagelighting.com/want-lighting-visualizer/

How to Connect DMXIS with Capture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzGFBGrrqE


Kevin: Beginning to design a show with synchronized audio and video. Has DMXIS and ShowBuddy. Wants to program the length in ShowBuddy, export the cues for each song as MIDI file, and playback the MIDI File with DMXIS in the Digital Performer (DAW Software).

Has some no-name brand lights and to do what he wants he will have about 512 channels. His question is, is there a software lighting console that can handle 2 Universes instead of DMXIS.

There’s a couple of options for Kevin. The best recommendation for what he wants to do is go with ENTTEC D-Pro. This is designed for those who aren’t completely pro and has a learning curve to it.

You’re able to share the same type of files in DMXIS. It can be triggered by MIDI and you can even bring in audio files if you wanted to. You can set up your Cues and Cue Lists.

How to Program With DMXIS

How Do I Begin with ENTTEC D-Pro

Information on Art-Net and sACN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GVkX8iOws8

You can also use M-PC that will do what you need it do but it may have a steeper learning curve for you. For the no brand fixtures I would recommend visiting https://fixturefinder.com tell you the profiles of the lights.

Sam: Trying to do some Outdoor Lighting for a gig. He has 6 LED Par Lights that he will get control with his DMX Board. He wants to know where he should set them up at.

Depending if it’s just you or if it’s a band you have a few options. I would recommend getting your front light set up first and build off of that. I am actually going through set up in my Youtube Series: 30 Days to Become a Lighting Ninja. So, I recommend checking out these videos to get some ideas.


Aaron: Currently use a Smartfade ML by ETC and thinking about going to MyDMX 3.0 software, would you recommend it?

Honestly, I am not a fan of MyDMX because it’s found to have bugs and it’s just not a great software. First, consider what did you not like about Smartfade. I would recommend looking at ENTTEC’s DMXis or LightShark.

Choosing My First Lighting Console

DMXis: How to Program With DMXIS

LightShark: My Review

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