Vectorworks Spotlight

(15)
4.6 out of 5 stars

Vectorworks, Inc. is a global design and BIM software developer serving over 650,000 professionals in the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries. Since 1985, we’ve been committed to helping designers capture inspiration, nurture innovation, communicate effectively and bring their visions to life. With our cross-platform software, designers can build data-rich, visual models without sacrificing the design process, while collaborating efficiently throughout the project life-cycle. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, Vectorworks is a part of the Nemetschek Group. Learn how we empower designers to create experiences that transform the world

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Vectorworks review by <span>Todd P.</span>
Todd P.
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There is a reason it is the industry standard.

What do you like best?

Makes creating a light plot or other drawing for the entertainment industry simple. This is software I use and teach. I can take a student who knows hand drafting and get the up and running in just a few lessons. There is no other resources that as many lighting symbols as Vectorworks. They keep the library up to date and constantly adding new items. The program updates every year and each year they offer new features that are helpful. The new cable management tool is revolutionary. Another great feature is Spotlights gobo textures. With this program you can try out gobos in your pre visualizations.

What do you dislike?

Every year its updated and its tough keeping up with new features. Some new versions crash a lot make sure you save often and have at least two backups for each project. You can do some pre visualizations but the control is limited and hard to do with a complex light plot.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Get as many add ons as you can afford. Renderworks is a must to go with Spotlight. If you want to do rendering make sure you have a computer that can handle the extra computer power needed.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Its allows me to easily create light plots for theatre. The resources it provides are priceless. It has more symbols in one place than any other product. Ultimately it saves time which makes me more money.

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Vectorworks review by <span>David G.</span>
David G.
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Despite some flaws, Vectorworks Spotlight is easily the best tool for the job.

What do you like best?

I like Vectorworks' intuitive design tools, handling of lighting symbols and associated data, legend customization ability, and ability to organize elements into both classes and layers. The (general) ease of data exchange between vectorworks and lightwright is particularly helpful and time saving.

What do you dislike?

Vectorworks' handling of work planes is not nearly as smooth or intuitive as Revit, though it is improving. The label legend manager could be much easier to work with as well. The integration with Lightwright would ideally also be smoother (sometimes leading to fixtures disappearing, duplicating or moving unexpectedly). Sometimes the handling of hybrid 2D and 3D symbols can cause frustrations and unnecessary complications.

Recommendations to others considering the product

There are not really any programs that can compete with Vectorworks' light plot drafting ability and integration with lightwright. Though sometimes frustrating, it is the best and industry standard tool for the job.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vectorworks saves a great deal of time in allowing for the creation of elegant and accurate plots that serve to organize and contain a great deal of important and relevant lighting data.

What Other CAD solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Vectorworks review by <span>Chris B.</span>
Chris B.
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Industry Standard for a Reason

What do you like best?

Vectorworks Spotlight is the industry standard for entertainment lighting drawings for good reason. The built-in tools make the software unrivaled in it's ease of use; the native tools in Vectorworks are add-ins for the big name competitors. Automated fixture numbering, synchronization with Lightwright, database tools, and integrated photometrics make the software a comfortable environment for drafting. It understands what you need to do and speaks the language of the entertainment professional. With each new version there are meaningful and significant improvements which accommodate real world users feedback and, as a result, ease of use and functionality improves annually.

What do you dislike?

Vectorworks, at times, doesn't feel like a precise drafting tool. A light plot usually doesn't require this but attempting to draw detailed elements can sometimes warrant a switch to AutoCAD for a quicker and easier precision drawing experience.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

A great deal of time is saved by using Vectorworks. This is the number one business benefit.

Vectorworks review by <span>Patrick I.</span>
Patrick I.
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I couldn't do my job without Vectorworks Spotlight

What do you like best?

It is arguably the industry standard for theatrical designers. The listen to their customers.

What do you dislike?

I would love to have a more integrated paperwork solution.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Do yourself a favor and learn this software.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vectorworks Spotlight allows me to do my job...I teach lighting design in the classroom and onstage.

Vectorworks review by <span>Alex F.</span>
Alex F.
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*The* industry standard lighting software

What do you like best?

The ability to create comprehensive lighting plots in 2D and 3D, with clear information for a master electrician and programmer, as well as being able to interchange information with Lightwright.

What do you dislike?

The load time is a little slow on Mac, and its 3D engine does not allow for intuitive boom arm placement. A future version with a "smart" boom arm creator would eliminate this problem.

Recommendations to others considering the product

LXFree and possibly also Capture Polar with Lightweight and Wysiwyg.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It allows me to communicate clearly to electricians, and keep track of inventory of equipment used and the the rental shop order for other items.

Vectorworks review by <span>Harrison H.</span>
Harrison H.
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Vectorworks as a Lighting Designer

What do you like best?

When using Vectorworks I find that the pre-built symbols are most helpful. It saves the time of having to build your own symbols and allows for easy data transfer out of the program. Along the lines of data transfer, I have found Vectorworks one of the most compatible piece of software. Most other programs are just now getting up to the importing abilities that Vectorworks has had for many years.

What do you dislike?

When I do have to create a symbol that is not in the file it isn't the easiest task. It is clunky and your data path can get messed up quickly. Usually it is easier just to copy a pre-built symbol and re-work it but I prefer a ground up approach. I also believe there should be some more pay brackets depending on usage, since it is such a helpful piece of software it would be nice if more people could use it, restricting file size and reducing cost would be nice for smaller theaters and one man outfits.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It is a crucial piece of software for the entertainment lighting industry. If you work in the entertainment lighting industry it is almost a requirement to learn this software. It allows for better communication and clarity of ideas.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

My use with Vectorworks is to communicate with the rest of the design team what is necessary for my light hangs. This eliminates the need for more face to face interactions to explain drawings.

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