Using WYSIWYG by Cast Lighting of Canada or the Martin Show Designer from Denmark, designers can create artistic lighting images and present them either as stills or as an animated movie providing an accurate photo-realistic rendition of environmental and show designs. Since he’s been one if its higher profile users, we invited LD Durham Marenghi, to explain why he’s so keen on the virtual route . . .
Over the past month I’ve been commissioned to create virtual designs with WYSIWYG for a temporary exhibition and event environment and a major car launch reveal, the intention in each case to provide a graphic presentation of what will eventually become reality.
Historically, artistic impressions have been used to provide the client with a pictorial representation of a concept, in some cases this led to disappointment or even refusal of payment when they realised the event looked nothing like the art work originally sold. Recent technology has seen CAD draughtsmen using architectural lighting programmes to illuminate their 3D models which provide reasonably realistic lighting treatments, but no knowledge of how to physically achieve them.
It is now possible for lighting professionals to illuminate these CAD models with accurate ‘virtual’ luminaires which behave realistically in terms of photometrics, colour and shadow. Aside from the realism of images rendered using this virtual lighting rig, an equipment specification for the project is created by default, enabling the cost and time parameters to be established. The programme created to demonstrate the virtual design is then connected to the realised system greatly decreasing programming time in the real environment. Should the cost of the proposed system be greater than the budget, the rig can be reduced and the resulting effect re-rendered. This gives us the opportunity to inspire our client to find the extra finance for the original design and is a most effective business tool.
Once packaged as a fly-through movie or slide show presentation, the resulting artwork illustrates to even the most unimaginative client what he might expect to see in reality. If you are interested and have the time, check out Stage Electric’s virtual lighting studio in Waterloo. Learning CAD drawing is made simple with WYSIWYG and can also produce fine lighting drawings and associated equipment and accessory lists. Do not be intimidated by the art: grasp it wholeheartedly, for it is the future and can open up a whole new world of Virtual Lighting Design.