9: In The Real World
If you haven't heard, the new version of SoftPlot (Version 9, for you keeping track at home) is out. Version 9 offers a host of upgrades from the previous version, inlcuding a built-in Soft Symbols library from Field Templates. Not only that, but it's easier to use and implement than ever before.
But how does SoftPlot 9 really perform in the wild? Does the program work under pressure and deadlines and with the demands that a nightly theatre performance requires?
This month, we talk to premiere lighting design, Chad Jung of Chad Jung Design. He provides us some insight into how the new version of SoftPlot holds up in the real world and how it made his life as a lighting designer so much easier.
without further ado, here's Chad to give us "The Real Story..."
Under the Hood
So, you've never used SoftPlot before for your lighting designs, but you're thinking about checking it out? Well, I'm here to let you know what sets SoftPlot apart from the rest of the competition and how it works in a real production.
SoftPlot thinks like a designer. I use it to design
every show I work on, which is not to say that I don’t use other
programs to communicate with my team as needed, but no other is specifically
geared to creative design process. SoftPlot is the
multi-tool of my lighting design tool box. I have been using the program
for 10 years now and it is a huge time saver.
I upgraded to SoftPlot 9 which has opened the door to
a number of key solutions from previous versions. Some of my favorite
upgrades are Soft Symbols & Inventory Alerts. Soft
Symbols is a SPECTACULAR addition to SoftPlot 9!
Talk about added value, Steve Shelly has created a very professional symbol
library that really keeps my plots looking clean and professional. Tracking
inventory is now a SNAP. Every time I add or delete a light the onscreen
inventory changes and lets me know where I stand.
"It’s like having a design assistant
at every turn..."
begin, it was easy to import the DWG of the scenic design, by John Aaron
Bell, into the venue drawings. SoftPlot makes it very
simple to create basic 3D drawings so that my section and front views
are automatically ready to go in no time. The first task was fixture selection,
I needed some automated fixtures to help build the movement and drastic
color changes of the production. I used SoftPlot to test
a variety of fixtures/placements to get the most bang for my buck. The
inventory included 12-VL2500’s, 10-Scrollers, & 100+ S4’s.
is a great tool for my Master Electrician and Programmer too, the Focus
Schedule makes it easy to export footages to create hang tape labels and
SoftPlot creates a shop order to make rentals fast and easy. When working
with a Moving Light Programmer, I use the software to create JPEGs of
my moving Light Focus Positions. This allows me to hand a stack of positions
to my programmer so he can focus movers while I focus conventionals.