11 Design Tab

11.1 Project

Properties in the Project category contain general information about the project. This information can be shown in design views using the Project Information option. It is also used to populate some fields in plot headers and reports.

11.2 Selected Items

Here the properties of the currently selected objects are listed.

11.2.1 Fixture Plot Properties

Symbol will control which symbol is used on the plot for the selected fixture.

Symbol Usage will control which views the symbol actually appears in.

Direction snap is set to 30 degrees by default, this property controls the direction the fixture is facing on the plot.

Color by filer will set the fixture color to match the gel filter it has.

Focus is the property that allows text to be placed in front of the fixture to indicate where that fixture is focused. Ie, drums.

Show Optics is the property that controls whether or not the plot displays the optical information of the fixture.

Show Wattage is the property that controls whether or not the plot displays the wattage information of the fixture.

11.2.2 Smoke Box Properties

Control the overall amount of smoke in a smoke box using the Density property. You can also adjust the Variation from perfect haze to puffy clouds. Edge softness adds a soft edge to smoke boxes.

Smoke boxes are animated in real-time and the speed of the animation is controlled through the Speed property. This property is shared by all smoke boxes.

Smoke can also be patched to DMX. A smoke box can be patched by drag and dropping it in a DMX universe view like any fixture, or by assigning an address to the Patch property in the Design tab. See Appendix A for details on the DMX channel layout.


Each of the three design views’ properties that are not available in the View menu can be accessed here.

The Grid width and Grid height properties determine the distance between grid lines.

The Vertical field of view property lets you control lens angle of the view’s camera.

The Aspect ratio of a view can be set to follow 4:3 as well as 16:9.

The Brightness, Exposure and Atmosphere settings controls the look of the view when in Live mode. If you have enabled the “Simpler Graphics” option of Capture, Brightness and Exposure are replaced with Fixture Lighting and Fixture Lighting Differentiation.

11.3.1 Rendering Settings

Rendering settings apply to all design views in Live mode.

The Quality option contains three settings for automatic rendering quality as well as five fixed level rendering quality settings.

When Quality information is checked, a frame rate counter and quality level indicator is shown in the top right corner of all design views in Live mode. 100% quality corresponds to the visualisation running in full detail on a 4K monitor.

11.4 Layers

Layers provide a means of grouping and colouring objects. Layers also provide some additional options for the objects in them, see Layer Properties.

11.4.1 Layer Properties

Objects in layers of higher Paper priority are always drawn on top of objects in layers with lower Paper priority.

Objects in a layer with the Locked property set cannot be modified using the mouse in a design view.

When the Unselectable property is checked, objects in that layer cannot be selected using the mouse in a design view.

When the Include in reports property is unchecked, objects in that layer will not appear in reports.

When the Live information property is unchecked, fixtures in that layer do not show any live information in design views in Live mode that have the Live information option enabled.

When the Fixture simulation options is unchecked, fixtures in that layer are not simulated.

11.5 Filters

Filters are essentially just groups of layers and universes. As per our previous example, having a layer for “All Moving Lights”, “All Generics” and “All LED” could be useful. They could then belong to the filter - “All Fixtures”.

Adding filters is done in the same way as layers. Click on the Add button in the Filters category of the Design tab and name the filter. Once the filter has been created, in the right hand section of the window, a list will appear showing all the layers and universes. You can use the check boxes to control which layers and universes belong to the filter you created.

11.6 Fixture Groups

Each fixture can be part of any number of fixture groups. Fixture groups are numbered with up to 3 decimal places. Fixture groups do not preserve any order between fixtures in them.

The Add command creates a new fixture group based on the currently selected fixtures.

The Delete command deletes any selected fixture group(s).

The Update command updates the selected fixture group with the currently selected fixtures.

The Clone command clones the selected fixture group.

11.7 Scenes

Working with scenes allows you to modify the position and visibility of objects in different parts of a performance. Scenes are not stored or recalled – you are always working in one scene at a time and you can safely switch back and forth between scenes without risking loss of any position information.

It is possible to trigger scene changes using DMX by patching the camera of a design view in its extended mode and assigning the scenes DMX control slots. Each DMX control slot, numbered 1 - 64, can hold one scene. See the DMX Tables appendix for more information about the channel layout of patched design views.

In order for the position and visibility of objects to be recorded in scenes, the Include in scenes property of the objects need to be set.

The Recall selected objects command recalls the position and visibility of the selected objects, from the selected scene, into the current scene.

The Store selected objects command stores the position and visibility of the selected objects, into the selected scene(s), from the current scene.

11.8 Materials

11.8.1 Material Properties

The Color property defines the base color of the material. Capture utilizes the Physical Based Rendering (PBR) material model in which absolute white or black should normally be avoided.

The Texture image, Texture generator and Texture media choices are mutually exclusive and allow you to apply a texture to the material. This texture is combined with the base color and unless you wish to tint the texture with a color, the Color property is then best set to pure white.

Use the Texture Width and Texture Height properties to define the physical real-world dimensions of the image, generator or media texture applied. These dimensions define the size of the image regardless of the object it is applied to.

The Smoothness property defines how rough or smooth a surface is on a microscopic level. A material such as concrete would have a much lower smoothness value than for instance varnished wood.

The Metallic property allows you to mimic metallic looking finishes for metal items such as a car or steel beam. This should normally only be set to either 0% or 100%.

The Luminance property allows you to create materials that simulate light emitting surfaces such as flat screens or LED panels.

Transparency allows you to set transparency for an object so to act like glass or gauze. This property works together with the Tint which determines whether items behind the object assume the colour of the object itself, as is the case with glass but not gauze. Finally Frost allows you to to give transparent objects a frosted effect.

11.8.2 Texture Generators

Texture generators are a kind of crossover between media servers and static image textures. Texture generators produce a matrix image where the cell colours are controlled by DMX. This can be used for a number of effects, for example dimming a luminous object or simulating an RGB LED tape.

Texture generators support a number of DMX modes. In Dimmer mode each cell is coloured from black to white, based on a single DMX value. In the other RGB modes each cell’s colour is controlled by three to five DMX channels.

When patching a texture generator the number of channels required is determined by the DMX mode chosen and the number of rows and columns configured. Ie. a 3 by 3 matrix in RGB mode requires 3 x 3 x 3 = 27 DMX channels.

11.9 Custom Gobos

Custom gobos can be added by clicking the Add button. Once you have given the gobo a name you can choose an image for it. Use a square image, up to 256 by 256 pixels in size.

Finally drag and drop the gobo onto any fixture with a gobo slot to add it to the fixture. If you have selected multiple fixtures as you do this, the gobo will be added to all of them.

11.10 Reports

Use the Add button to add new reports. A selection of report templates are available.

The Delete button deletes any selected reports and the Clone command can be used to duplicate a single report.

When a report is selected, a preview can be seen on the right hand side. To edit a report or access other functions such as exporting and printing, use the Edit button which opens the Report Editor.