As a lighting designer it can be a challenge to design a large show and really “picture” what the final event will look like.  This is when the wonderful world of CAD comes in to play.  CAD isn’t just for architects and civil engineers anymore. Programs like Vectorworks can alter how you attack a design from a 150 fixture full blown, rockin’ concert, to a smaller, one-act play.

Programs like Vectorworks give you a visual representation of your lighting rig, while assisting you in the delicate design Gobos:Painting process. This includes complex operations such as a gel cut sheet displaying information on how many gels you need, what color, and the size of the gel needed.  You can also generate information on how you patch your console, both on the hard and soft patch side. The invaluable information that Vectorworks provides can really take your planning, design, and execution to the next level.

A copy of Vectorworks 2011 will set you back around $2,000.00 and is not for the novice designer. But don’t worry! Programs like LuxArt are free and simple to use. LuxArt gives you many of the features Vectorworks offers while giving you the benefit of a streamlined user interface. These programs have many options and can be very powerful when used properly. For more information on CAD programs and design contact Sight & Sound @ 904-645-7880.

Happy PLOTting!

By Andrew Ayers, Lighting Technician with Sight & Sound Productions