The History of Capture

These are the milestones of our history. From our first version to our newest release. This page will be updated every time something astonishing happens in the Capture program.

The early years

In 1994 we began our first experiments with a computer aided design software for lighting design. We were working on creating a plot drafting tool that would allow the user to insert and move fixtures freely on a plot. During this period the Amiga, was very popular and we were programming in a language called AMOS, a BASIC dialect rich in graphical features. Unfortunately no code or working application has been preserved from our Amiga period.

Capture v1 - First version of Capture

During our early years from 1994 to 1998 we made many changes to our road plan; we reluctantly changed platforms from Amiga to the ground-winning PC, we changed programming language from AMOS to the more professional C and last but not least - we went three-dimensional.

By January the 12th 1998 we were ready to release Capture v1. It didn't feature neither a fixture library as we know it today nor any DMX connectivity - the user could insert any number of generic spots, draw his own illustrations for them as well as assign them to groups which made it possible to turn fixtures on and off. The software was compact - in fact it fit on a single 1.44 MB floppy disk!

Capture v2 - Real-time advancements

The year following the release of Capture v1 we were busy making improvements. Moving lights were becoming popular and it was clear that there was a real-time aspect to lighting design which we had not yet addressed. An Artistic License DMX Dongle II was purchased, DMX tables of moving lights were studied and we introduced DMX universes and the concept of patching fixtures to Capture.

By February the 9th 1999 we released Capture v2 - our first real-time lighting design software!

Capture v2.1

Shortly following Capture v2 came Capture v2.1 - an update featuring our second DMX reception method, RS232 from AVAB VLC Safari consoles. This was a feature developed specifically for a project in Gothenburg, Sweden, where an hour-glass effect lighting design was implemented for the millenial shift using motorized army searchlights.

Capture v2.1 was also capable of loading and saving cue information in the USITT ASCII format and was the first version to feature a number of built-in shapes like the Box and Cylinder we still have today.

Capture v3.0 - A fresh start

By the time we had reached v2.1, Capture was in desperate need of an internal overhaul so we tore everything down and started from scratch again - Capture v3.0 was to become our first "rewrite". The "Spot Illustrations" concept was scrapped, a proper library was introduced, our objects became "dynamic" (editable after insertion) and the Project window was introduced (up until 3.0 there had been four modelling views) with its tabs that reduced the amounts of dialogs poping up during design.

Capture v3.0 was released the 26th of February 2002 but remained under active development until as late as the end of 2005.

Capture 2005 - Introducing OpenGL

The rise of hardware accelerated graphics technology in the form of video cards with OpenGL and DirectX support was the driving force behind our next big technology shift. Out with wireframe style lighting visualization - enter solid beams! With our Amiga background in mind we chose the platform independent path of OpenGL which was going to prove to be a winning choice later.

Capture 2005 was released the 16th of September 2005 and by that time it was in effect more or less our second rewrite. The new OpenGL solid beam rendering was immediately put to the test during the preprogramming of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Capture Polar - Realistic shadows and Mac OS X support

Following our success with Capture 2005 we were receiving a lot of requests for more realistic looking beams with shadows as well as Mac OS X support. Fortunately, and by no coincidence, Capture had been designed with multiplatform support in mind since many years, not only due to our choice of using OpenGL.

Capture Polar was released the 1st of September 2008, featuring our new "Polar" graphics engine as well as Mac OS X support. Six years later our user base is equally divided between Windows and Mac OS X users who can now enjoy working with their designs both on Windows and Mac OS X.

Capture Argo - A leap forward in presentation tools

After six very successful years with Capture Polar we decided to raise the stakes considerably and deliver our most laborious release so far. Following a large survey among selected resellers and users, Capture's architecture underwent massive enhancements and several market leading and presentation oriented features were added.

Capture Argo was released the 14th of October 2014 with highlights such as movie snapshots, rendering and native Sketchup import. It was put to test immediately at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta by our first customer to upgrade.

Capture Atlas - Physical based rendering

Capture Argo was very well received and we decided to adopt the new high development pace and set the ambition to release a new large software update every year. As Capture projects kept growing larger and it was becoming more common for customers to run into memory-related limitations our attention turned to the migration to 64-bit support, including large rewrites for the Cocoa framework on macOS and migrating from QuickTime for Windows to the Windows Media Foundation.

Capture Atlas was released the 9th of May 2016 with highlights such as physical based rendering (PBR) and design tool enhancements focused on drawing in other than top, front and section views.

Capture Nexum - Focus on workflows

For Capture Nexum, our attention turned to the creative process and continued improvements of the realism of the visualization. Adopting the ACES colour model for the rendering pipeline allowed lifting the accuracy of colour rendering and the atmosphere of the visualization in general to whole new levels.

Capture Nexum was released the 25th of April 2017, packed with features like Cinema 4D import, fixture patch import, NewTek NDI video streaming and PosiStageNet as well as RTTrPM motion tracking.