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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Stage Research Introduces SoftPlot 9.1

softplot 9.1Stage Research, Inc., the developer of audio, sound design and lighting software, has released SoftPlot 9.1 updating the lighting design application popular with professionals and students alike. SoftPlot enables users to create light plots and manage paperwork from gel lists to instrument schedules.

“With SoftPlot 9.1 we have once again listened to and addressed the specific needs of longtime SoftPlot customers,? notes Bill Kirby who created the software in 1992. “Professional users have requested more reporting options, focus status view and pictorial views of fixtures — all of which are new features in SoftPlot 9.1. And teachers and students will be pleased to know the upgrade remains easy to use while offering many new features. The key to SoftPlot is that it’s a lot easier to learn than a CAD program. Teachers always tell me it takes so long to teach lighting design when they also have to teach how to program CAD.?

SoftPlot is a graphical design tool that makes it easy to drag-and-drop lighting fixtures, trusses and other elements onto the design surface. Users can take a bird’s-eye view and see their design in Plan, Cross Section and Elevation views to make sure sightlines and focuses are correct.

The SoftPlot 9.1 release adds:

* A Focus Status View mode, which can be accessed from the View menu. Focus Status View colors all instruments in red, yellow or green to depict the focus status condition of all lighting instruments as set in the Instrument Attributes Editor.

* A Pictorial View mode which can also be accessed from the View menu. Instruments and distribution items are displayed with their picture images instead of graphic symbols for a pleasing, easy-to-read drawing.

* A Group Schedule report which lists all instruments sorted by their group name.

* Two new Gel Cut reports, one of which lists all gels by instrument type and the other which lists all gel cuts by lighting position.

* Additional option selections in the CAD Import window to improve the response time of very large CAD files.

* Command button options for quick level setting in the Show Beam window.

* Shortcut keys for Assign Channel, Ctrl C, and Assign Dimmer, Ctrl D.

SoftPlot 9.1 also offers an array of enhancements. The Inventory Tree Listing displays a new category of symbols named ‘Sound’ with the speaker graphic featuring many more symbols for creating Sound Design drawings. The Legend Builder now provides for the selection or rotation of graphic symbols used in the legend; instrument types may be removed or included in the legend. Default font sizes have been modified to be a more useful size, and the legend outline has been changed to draw at
width 2 instead of 1.

(please check this paragraph, not sure I got it right). With enhanced data export to Lightwright4 DMX universes are now exported by extending the Dimmer or DMX setting; for example DMX address 2.24 is now exported as DMX address 536, Focus Status and Focus Points are now exported, all export fields default to LW4 field names, and accessories and DMX-controlled accessories are also exported.

Additionally, Gobo Inventory importing from the database file has been improved. Users can now select all categories of the selected manufacturer to more easily find a desired gobo. And Auto and Manual Instrument Renumber now renumbers the unit number of DMX accessories and appends an A, B, C, etc., suffix to associate them with the host instrument.

“From new reporting options and improved data exporting and helping keep track of what’s focused and what’s not to adding a pictorial view to aid location lighting people, SoftPlot 9.1 demonstrates Stage Research’s intention to meet customers’ needs while maintaining the software’s user-friendly appeal,? Kirby concludes.

About Stage Research
Stage Research is the developer of SFX, Soft Plot, Light Factory, ShowBuilder: Sound Design and other audio and lighting software. For more information, call WHO at 1-888-267-0859 or visit www.stageresearch.com.

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