Edit Mode | Options | Dark Mode | Rendering | Borders | Selection | Multi-Move | Snap | Rigging | Pointers and Beam Spread | Beam Setup | Exposure | Hide, Solo, Lock, Opacity | Color | Detail Table | Display Settings | Lock | Undo/Redo | Special Editors | Patch table
In the top right corner of the Plot, there are five Edit Mode options to choose from: Floor Plan, Lighting, DMX, Notes, and Plot. The order of these buttons reflect the bottom-to-top layering of the Plot workspace. Use this selector to switch what type of objects are enabled for editing.
The bottom layer of your Plot. Add and edit Shapes, including background images and text objects.
Edit channels and addresses for Units only.
Create and edit Notes, and assign them to Plot objects.
This displays your Plot in its “finished” state. All layers are displayed as they would be when rendered, and all objects will ignore touches so you can scroll and zoom around your whole Plot without changing anything. You can also use marquee selection and multi-move to move groups of objects that would not normally be multi-selectable at the same time (like Units and Notes). Add and edit Groups and assign objects to them, and change your Display Settings.
On the iPad, different buttons will appear on the top left corner of the screen when you switch; on the iPhone in portrait orientation or iPad partial screen, these options appear on the bottom toolbar.
In Plot edit mode, The gear icon will open a detail table that shows you many more options for configuring your Plot’s display, rendering, and usage preferences. For a full list of functions, refer to the Reference page.
Note: settings that appear in blue are specific to the current Plot, and will be saved with it. Settings in grey are universal to your device (or all your devices, if you use iCloud Sync).
Light mode is built on light backgrounds and dark text, while Dark Mode inverts the colors and displays dark backgrounds and light text. This scheme can be switched at any time, and doesn’t change any user data, just displays it differently.
Objects’ Stroke and Fill colors will be switched between Light and Dark; for instance, an object with a blue Stroke and yellow Fill in Light Mode will have a yellow Stroke and blue Fill in Dark Mode. Typically that makes it ideal to have a dark Stroke and light Fill (in Light Mode).
In Dark Mode, you can choose whether or not to invert images, which includes Shapes and Gels on your Plot. Gel (specifically, Gobo) images are usually white on a black field, and Shape image floor plans are usually black lines on a white background. Inverting these performs a true image inversion, like a film negative, so black becomes white, orange becomes blue, etc.
You can also decide whether you want to render your Plots in Dark Mode, or always switch back to Light Mode for rendering. If you plan to print your Plots, it’s better if they have a white background, so you’d want the Render Light option ON. LD will dim the workspace while it renders so you don’t get blinded by the white background, then restore Stealth Mode when it’s finished.
Starting in v3.6.0, LD also has an option to obey the iOS system dark mode. It also retains the capability to be always Light or Dark. Everything works the same way, except for what’s determining the look.
Note: Dark Mode will not be synced among devices; each device has its own setting. However, the “Invert Images” and “Render Light” settings will sync.
To send an image to your crew, or print your Plot, first you’ll need to Render it. This means creating an image file (a .PNG in this case) from your workspace. In the Plot menu, tap Render Plot (or hit Command-R if you have a keyboard) to open the Render Options.
The first option is Render Full Resolution. This will divide your Plot into screen-size pieces, snap an image of each one, and combine them into one large image. You can cancel at any time during the render by tapping the “Tap to Cancel” text at the bottom of the render view, if you realize there’s something you forgot, but this new render method uses the device’s GPU power, so it’s quite fast. When it’s finished, you can Save to Photos, or just close the render window. Either way, the image will be saved as the Plot’s image, and you can do other things with it from there. This image will always over-write the Plot’s previous image.
You can render a Plot in any device orientation, and the image will appear in that orientation. If you turn the device during a render, it won’t break anything, but you cannot change the rendered image orientation after it has begun; you’d need to cancel and start over.
Obviously, a larger Plot will render faster on devices with larger screens, because it would be split into fewer pieces. However, any device can perform a render as long as it can handle the image size.
Note: images are memory-intensive! If your app crashes while rendering a very large image, it will automatically enable an option to Save Full Res Pieces to Photos. This will save each frame to your device’s Photos so you can put them together in an image editing app.
The second (or third; see above) option is Save Screen to Photos. This is handy if you have an area of your Plot that you want to make a specific image of. This will create an image of only what’s on screen currently, and save it to your device’s Photos. If your Plot doesn’t have an image, this screen will be saved as the Plot image, but the Plot will not be marked as “rendered.” Every time you change something on your Plot, it will once again become un-rendered. LD will warn you later if you try to send an image that isn’t up to date with the latest changes.
There are several options for rendering, which you can find in the Display Settings table; many of them are just a “Render” switch next to Grid, Null Objects, Locked Objects, etc. This just indicates whether this item will appear on a rendered image. You can also turn the Save Full Res Pieces to Photos option on or off (which just means the option appears in the Render Options choices).
You can determine the exact frame of your full-resolution render by using the Plot border as a guide. This shows the exact rectangle that will be rendered later, with the “outside” area in grey. By default, a Plot will automatically determine its border using the positions of all of your Objects, and update it as you make changes.
If you want to set the borders manually, just switch to Plot edit mode and drag the handles, just like resizing a square Shape. Dragging any handle sets it to manual mode; you can also tap any handle and change the mode.
Open the Display Settings table to see more options. Set the border locations numerically, set line width and color, and position the stroke line a certain “inset” distance from the border.
Note: if Automatic borders are enabled, increasing the Inset will actually increase your border size. LD uses the border line as the reference point for calculating spacing around Objects on the Plot.
The “Always Display” option ON means you can see the border and grey area in edit modes other than Plot. You won’t be able to make changes directly, but in Automatic mode you will see it re-calculate if you make changes to other Plot Objects (and if you set the border manually, you can make sure not to stray outside; the full-res image will ONLY include what’s inside the border).
We’ve already encountered the mechanics of single selection: tap once on an object to select it, tap somewhere else to deselect it. To select more than one object, you can do one of four things:
Double-tapping an object, or tapping an object that is already selected, will turn on multi-select mode. The selection ring (or drag handles) around the object will change from solid to dotted to indicate multi-selection is on.
If you’re using a hardware keyboard, you can hold Shift to turn multi-select mode on. The currently selected object will change to multi-selected, and you can tap other objects to add them to the selection. Once more than one is selected, you can release the Shift key and multi-select will remain on.
This is a particularly useful way of selecting a large grouping of different objects. Press four fingers on the screen at once, and you will see a dotted shape appear. As you move your fingers, you’ll see that the objects inside the shape are selected, and objects outside are de-selected. Multi-selection is automatically enabled, and you can manipulate the selected objects after releasing your four-finger touch.
Tapping the Objects button will bring up the objects detail table, which shows all objects currently on your Plot. Tapping on these object cells or selecting their details will select the objects.
Once multi-select mode is on, tapping a non-selected object will select it (while keeping all other selected objects) and tapping a selected object will de-select it. You’ll notice your detail table will show you how many objects you have selected, and will allow you to change some of their properties en masse; for instance, you can give them all the same nickname, add the same description to all of them (either appended on the end of existing notes, or replacing them altogether), or move them all as a group. You can also make changes using the controls at the bottom of the screen; the crosshairs will target multiple Units on one spot, Swap will change out all selected objects for another object of your choice, and Delete will remove all selected objects from your Plot (again, with the option to send to Truck instead).
To turn multi-select off, just tap in an empty space on the Plot, and all objects will be deselected.
Beginning in v3.6.0, you MUST select an Object before moving it. You can do this by tapping it, or by long-pressing. This makes it much easier to scroll and zoom around the Plot without accidentally moving an Object.
With multiple objects selected, you have several options for moving them. If you drag one, the rest will also be moved by the same amount. If you rotate one (by performing a rotation gesture with two fingers on the workspace), all selected objects will be rotated by the same amount, while staying in place. If you press and hold with three fingers, you can move and rotate all selected objects as if they were all on a moving platform; they will maintain their spacing and rotation relative to each other, while moving and rotating as a group relative to the center of your three-finger touch.
When you first perform your three-finger touch, a grey crosshairs will appear at that location. As you move and rotate your fingers, you’ll see the crosshairs move and rotate with your touch, while keeping another crosshairs at the original point as a reference. A blue disc shows how much you’ve rotated the group of Objects, and if the detail table is closed, text will appear that tell you the translation and rotation of your grouping.
Multi-move also follows the snap conventions, moving your crosshairs to snap points and rotating in 15º increments when snap is enabled. Beginning in v3.6.0, it also uses the original reference point as a snap point, so you can move your grouping in only X or only Y directions.
You can enable/disable the Snap option by tapping the Snap Button (the large magnet button in the lower-left corner). You can also double-tap with two fingers in an empty section of the workspace.
When Snap is on and the button is orange with a lightning bolt, you can use other objects to guide the movement of your current object, as well as rig objects onto other objects. Snap uses the center point of the selected objects – and for scalable objects like Rails or Shapes, uses the left, right, top, bottom, and corner points as well – and compares it to the values of these same points on all other objects on the Plot. If your moving or scaling gesture lines up with other points, your selected object will “snap” to these values, making it easy to line objects up with each other. It will also rotate objects in increments of 5º or 15º depending on the type of object.
In addition, the vertical and horizontal snaps can be found simultaneously for two separate object control points, so you can snap the left end of a rail at a Y-axis grid value while lining up the right end vertically with a Unit. This makes it much easier to line up Rails and Shapes to build grids and floor plans. These rules apply to Notes ONLY if the Fit Text and Floating Size options are turned off, because those make their sizes variable as you zoom in and out (you can still snap to the centers of Notes and other floating Objects).
If snap is on but no snap matches are found on the Plot while you scale an Object, the Object will snap its size to half-unit-of-measure values.
If you tap the Snap button, it toggles Snap on and off; if you press-and-hold on the Snap button, it opens a menu that allows you to customize which objects are included in the calculation, as well as choose your grid display and units of measure.
You can limit Snap’s reach, if you’d like. “All” means every Object that isn’t hidden is fair game; “Screen” limits it to Objects currently visible on the device screen. “Close” only considers Objects that are within 10 feet (~3 meters).
When Snap is enabled, objects can be attached to others: Units onto Rails, Lifts, or other Units; Rails onto Lifts; Lifts onto Rails, Gels onto Units. You’ll see orange points and lines appear while you drag an object if rigging is available.
When you select an object that has other objects rigged to it, those rigged objects will automatically be locked so you can move the selected object more easily. To select one of these locked objects, either de-select the selected object to unlock the rigged objects, or open the selected object’s detail table and choose one of the rigged objects listed.
Pointers and Beam Spread
If a Unit is targeting another object, it can be helpful to see which object that is. Starting with v3.1, selecting a Unit will display an arrow that points to the Unit’s target. Also, selecting any targetable object will display arrows to any Units that are targeting it, and text labels with information about distance, channel, nickname, role, dimmer level, and estimated exposure. In the Object’s detail table, you can choose when to show these pointers: when selected, always, never, or on the Plot render. In the Display Settings detail table, you can configure pointer opacity, refreshing and rendering options, and what information is shown.
If you find that moving objects has gotten too slow with pointers, you can turn off the “Draw while Dragging” option in the Plot Settings table. This will hide the pointers while you move objects, and re-draw them when you finish moving.
Many Crescit LightShop Library Units also have beam spread information published by their manufacturer. Based on this, approximate beam spreads can be shown on the Plot. Starting with v3.5, you can configure any Unit’s beam and exposure settings.
Many Crescit fixtures already have light output values built-in, but beginning with LD version 3.5, you can set up light output for any fixture. You can either take meter readings from an actual fixture, or look up these values from a manufacturer’s specs, but once you set them up, LD will perform exposure calculation for any Unit.
To begin, open the Beam Setup table from any Unit’s detail table. If your Plot has exposure settings, the table will open with them, but changing the table’s settings (ISO, shutter, FPS) will not change your Plot’s settings.
Beam Angle: set the angle in degrees for the Spot (narrow) and Flood (wide) beam spreads of your Unit. You’ll be able to set the Unit’s actual beam spread anywhere between these two angles. Minimum of 0º, maximum of 170º.
Output: “Candela” is a measure of light emitted in a certain direction, which is the basic value that we’re solving for. If your light has Spot and Flood values, it will probably have a brighter output for Spot than for Flood. If the lighting manufacturer publishes these numbers, just enter them here and you’re done; otherwise, you’ll have to solve for them.
Exposure: here’s where you can solve for Candela at Spot and Flood, using a set distance and combination of settings, whether it’s foot-candles, lux, or f-stop. This uses the inverse square law to calculate the Candela value required to achieve the selected illuminance. Toggle between the orange Spot and Flood values to change the correct value (when Spot is selected, the changes you make will affect the Unit’s output value at Spot position; when Flood is selected, its Flood value will be calculated).
Dimmer: you can also set dimmer minimum, maximum, and curve; all of these are taken into account once you put your Unit on a Plot, target another object, and calculate exposure.
Some Crescit Units’ information includes light output values, which can be used to calculate exposure for one Unit targeting another object. To see these values, set up your Plot’s exposure in the Settings table and make sure your Pointers are set to display Exposure. (You can also see these values in the Unit detail table in DMX Edit Mode.)
Note: Because of real-world factors like bulb life, lens and reflector imperfections, exact voltage, dimmer curves, and many others, exposure calculations should be treated as guidelines rather than guarantees.
The first thing a Unit needs to calculate exposure is a set distance, so you must target some other object before exposure will be displayed. The output of a light falls off over distance using the inverse square law. This distance DOES include the difference in height between two objects. It’s easy enough in LD to ignore objects’ Z position, but it’s good practice to set heights for your lights and your subjects if you plan to use Exposure functions.
Starting in v3.5, if a Unit has light output values and its Plot has a Mid-Tone exposure selected (in foot-candles, lux, or f-stop), the beam will be drawn so that it stops once it reaches the Plot Mid-Tone. This provides a quick visual reference for exposure, even if the Unit doesn’t have a target.
Note: if a Unit is targeting another object with a different Z Position, it will take that into account when calculating exposure AND drawing the beam. Essentially, the beam will appear shorter as if the Unit is tilted up or down to point directly at its target.
The amount of light incident on a target can be displayed as foot-candles (fc), lux, or as an f-stop value. If you choose f-stop, you’ll need to specify values for ISO and exposure time (in shutter angle/frames per second, or speed in fractions of a second) for your Plot. If you like, you can also specify a mid-tone for your Plot, and exposure calculations will include over/under values. You can adjust all your calculations by a number of f-stops as well, to accommodate camera filters or other adjustments. These values can be changed in the Display Settings detail table, Plot Edit Mode. Each Plot will save its own values for exposure settings.
A Unit can be dimmed in DMX Edit Mode, which will change its estimated exposure value based on its dimmer curve. You can change the curve in the Unit detail table in DMX Edit Mode, and each Unit will have its own individual curve. The dimmer slider that appears at the bottom of the workspace when a fixture is selected shows the appropriate curve:
Linear: a straight 1:1 ratio (useful for LED fixtures)
Square Law: dims up faster at low values and slower at higher values (common for modern tungsten fixtures)
S curve: slow low end and high end, with a faster middle (used mostly in older theatrical dimmer systems)
If a Unit has Gels, their transmission will also be factored into the exposure calculation. In a Unit’s detail table, each attached Gel will display how many stops it takes away from the fixture’s exposure. A Gel will not be included in the calculation if it is hidden.
Exposure is calculated using the formula N²/t = ES/C, in which:
N is the mathematical f-stop, which is then simplified to a standard stop value and decimal
t is the time (seconds), based on frame rate/shutter angle or shutter speed
E is the illuminance (lux), or light hitting an object, based on the fixture’s output, distance from target, spot/flood value, dimming level and curve, and Gels
S is the ISO, or light sensitivity
C is the “light meter calibration constant”, which you can select in the Display Settings table; it represents either a flat surface or a hemisphere on a light meter
Hide, Solo, Lock, Opacity
You can Hide, Solo, Lock, or change Opacity for any object. There are two ways to do this: first, press and hold on an object to bring up a menu with these options. Second, select it in the detail table; the options will appear at the bottom of the view (the active ones will be blue, and tapping the opacity % will display a slider with some presets).
The object will only be visible in the detail table.
Only objects that are solo-ed will be visible in the workspace.
The object will be partially transparent (the degree of which you can set in the Display Settings table), and will not be select-able except in the detail table.
Note: You can press and hold on a locked object to open the Hide/Solo/Lock menu.
Object opacity is multiplied by object-type opacity and Group opacity to determine how it displays on the Plot.
Plot Objects are created with your default colors (a black Stroke and white Fill by default), but you can change them at any time using the color buttons that appear when the Object is selected, or through its detail table.
An Object’s text labels (name, DMX channel, etc) will use its Stroke color unless the Object has a primary Group, in which case the labels will appear in the Group’s color.
When Stealth Mode is on, all Objects will switch their Stroke and their Fill colors, to maintain their visual identities but keep proper contrast in the Plot. Keep this in mind if you’re plotting in Stealth Mode but intend to render in Bright Mode.
If you tap the Objects button without anything selected, you’ll get a list of all objects in the Plot, which will open to the left of your workspace (unless you’re in portrait orientation on an iPhone, in which case it will open full-screen). These object lists are searchable; drag down to reveal the search bar, then select it and start typing. This will narrow the list down by nickname, DMX values, Note content, and Shape type or text. Tap the info button or DMX channel to open an object’s detail table.
If you open the objects table when an object is selected, it will open with that object’s detail table, including its position, rotation, scale, text display preferences, Stroke and Fill color, targeting and rigging relationships, Notes that refer to it, object description, and Groups to which it belongs. You can change any of these values by tapping the Edit button and see that change reflected in the workspace.
When you open the Objects table with multiple objects selected, you’ll get the multi-selected detail table, in which you can change some of the properties of all selected objects.
See the Reference page for more information about navigating the detail tables.
The gear button opens the Display Settings table, which allows you to customize the appearance of different elements of your rendered Plot.
Turn on or off, plus image inversion and render preference. (more info)
Choose your Plot’s ISO, exposure units, and settings. (more info)
Choose opacity, whether or not to render on your Plot image, the display mode, and the units of measurement.
Turn on or off, and choose which objects are eligible for snapping to.
In addition to opacity, choose what information appears on Unit Pointers.
Null and Locked Objects
Choose whether or not to make Objects invisible on rendered Plots.
Customize the opacity of the Floor Plan, locked objects, text labels, and other Plot items.
In addition to opacity, pick the display mode for DMX information on the Plot.
Grow or shrink relative to the the default text size.
The padlock button on the bottom left of the screen locks the Plot. This allows you to look around, but you cannot select or modify any objects. This is useful to avoid unwanted changes. In fact, you can lock a Plot from its detail table, and eliminate any risk.
Note: Locking the Plot also prevents your device from automatically going to sleep. For example, if you have to set up your iPad as a reference while operating a lighting console, and are annoyed with having to tap it every couple minutes to wake it up, just lock the Plot (and bring your charger).
The u-turn arrow buttons in the bottom right represent the Undo and Redo functions. Whenever you move an object, assign a Group, or change the nicknames of fifty Units at once, you can always Undo it. The number of Undo actions saved depends on the memory capacity of your device; older devices will have as few as 25 steps, while the newest will have as many as 100.
There are several unique editors that appear in a number of places, which allow you to pick specific attributes.
Used to set dates for Shows and Plots, the date picker allows you to set start and wrap dates, as well as cycle through different date formats by tapping the output in the bottom toolbar. The date picker will also prevent you from putting your end date before your start date, and attempt to preserve the number of days of your shoot (so as with a Calendar event, change the duration by changing the wrap date).
The color picker allows you to choose colors for Object stroke and fill, Gel color, and Group color. The top of the picker will show your old color on the left, and your new color (updating as you change it) on the right. At any time, you can return to your old color by tapping on it.
The color picker has four modes: color field, RGB, Hex, and HSV. Tap the color value at the bottom to cycle through them; your current color is maintained and shown in the new mode. This will be your chosen color mode throughout the app, and will sync among all your devices if you have iCloud sync enabled.
Color Field: the default option. Allows to you choose hue, saturation and brightness by dragging one block around, and sets alpha using a slider at the bottom. (Values display as RGB percentage.)
RGB: Four sliders, controlling red, green, blue, and alpha.
Hex: Same as RGB, but displays in hexadecimal values rather than percentage notation.
HSV: Four sliders, controlling hue, saturation, brightness, and alpha.
You also have eight color presets at the bottom of the picker, which are set by default when you install LD. Tapping a preset will set the picker to that color; pressing and holding a preset will replace that preset with your current picker color. These preset colors will also sync among your devices as you change them. On the bottom right, Black and White remain as non-customizable preset color buttons.
Tapping the Channel or Address button will open the DMX Picker. The top bar allows quick settings to 0 (null setting with no display) or 1, as well as quick decrement and increment of selected Units. The bottom bar toggles among keypad, scrolling, and dip-switch picker modes. Tapping the screen of the keypad cycles through four universe notation modes: three that use / . : symbols to denote the universe of the address, and one that shows the cumulative address (for instance, universe 2 address 34 could display as 2/34, 2.34, 2:34, or 546). You can also change the notation mode just by typing a new number with a different symbol or four digits, if you’re using a connected physical keyboard. You cannot change the universe in dip-switch mode; instead, it will remain in whichever universe the Unit is currently in.
The Patch table, which can be accessed in DMX edit mode, is a full-screen view of all of your Units and their DMX Channels, Addresses, Models, Nicknames, Roles, Gels, and descriptions. You can sort them by Channel, Address, Range, Model, Nickname, or Role, and they are grouped with addressed Units at the top and unpatched Units below.
Tapping any text allows you to change it. For more options, swipe from the left side of the row:
Unpatch – set Channel, Address, and Range to zero
1:1 – change the Address so it matches the Channel
+Description – expand the cell to reveal the Description field, where you can enter a note about the Unit
When a Unit has Gels, they are displayed with their short code and their color on the right. Tapping a Gel allows you to copy or delete it; pressing and holding allows you to re-order the gels on a Unit, or if you drag that Gel to another Unit, it will copy the Gel to that Unit as well.
Swiping from the right side of the row allows you to copy a Unit’s Gels (if it has any), or paste copied Gels to the Unit (if any have been copied). Most of these swipe options also have buttons on the bottom, which can be applied to multiple Units at one time. To select multiple Units, tap the “Select” button in the upper right, and choose multiple rows.
The Patch table also shows Undo and Redo buttons in the top left. Be aware that these buttons control the undo/redo of your current Plot editing session, so if you undo past your first patch change, you will be undoing actions from before you opened the Patch table. However, this also means that once you close the Patch table, you can undo individually every change you made while it was open.