Designers who use Vectorworks Spotlight software can now export their lighting designs to the grandMA2 console, removing tedious duplications and allowing the console’s built-in visualizer and patch to use the project data from the light plot. This new, free plug-in works on both Mac and PC platforms and was one of the most often cited requests by Spotlight users, according to Peter Neufeld of Limelight Lighting Design and OzCAD, the Vectorworks software distributor in Australia.
“Pre-programming is essential due to the expense and time it would otherwise take to program from scratch once the rig is set up,” said Neufeld. “This pre-visualization/pre-programming allows more time at the end of a production week when the pressure is really on to have the show already ‘in the can,’ and thus be able to finesse and detail the lighting onsite during last rehearsals.”
MA Lighting, an international leader in computer-controlled lighting consoles, networking components, and digital dimming systems, is one of the biggest names in lighting design. This new plug-in will turn the integral pre-production part of a lighting designer’s craft into a simplified, virtual process. Some of the other features that support the transfer of show files include:
- The device locations in Vectorworks Spotlight carry over to MA3D and the stage view environment in grandMA2.
- Patch, fixture/channel numbers, gel color, and many other Vectorworks fields are converted to grandMA2 console fields.
- Vectorworks symbols are converted to MA fixture profiles and MA3D fixture objects.
- Updates only need to be done in Vectorworks Spotlight. User can quickly export the updated information into grandMA2.
“The new plug-in from Vectorworks and MA Lighting has streamlined my workflow in preproduction and visualization,” said Lighting Programmer Benny Kirkham of Overnight Production. “Before this plug-in, my drawings couldn’t communicate with my control system. Now, turnaround times are smaller, control patches and show files are going together more quickly, and data miscommunications between design and construction phases have almost disappeared.”
Customers in the U.S. and Canada can download the plug-in from the ACT Lighting website. Other locations can download directly from the MA Lighting site. Watch this instructional video to learn how to install and use the plug-in.
Also, be sure to visit our Vectorworks Partner Community webpage to learn about other solutions that can help make your design process easier.