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Advantages of VISION

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In my mind, there are two:

  1. There is some direct integration with fixture modes in Vectorworks, letting you bypass some of the current awkwardness with GDTF fixtures.  The Fixture Mode parameter in the Lighting Device OIP will automatically be exported into the matching Vision profile.  But this only works if there is a Vision profile (otherwise you have to wait for one) and that the Vision profile is correct (not always guaranteed).
  2. Vision is much cheaper than L8.

But that's about it.  L8 has far more features (better laser control, water features and pyro, animated models, better handling for reflection), and the final output is much more polished.  I went in on a full Vision license in 2017 right after Vectorworks bought them because of the relative ease of getting a model from Vectorworks to Vision and with the hope that having Vectorworks behind them, we'd see some meaningful upgrades.  Unfortunately, the software has mostly stayed the same with only minor changes from year to year (and some features removed because they never worked.  The "Attachments" feature that would handle things like color scrollers and remote dimmers was entirely broken between 2017 and 2019, before being completely removed in 2020.  Bad luck if you ever need to do scrollers or play with lens options in your VL500s, there's no way to do it).  And now with the ubiquity of the MVR file format and GDTF fixture profiles, the one major advantage that Vision had is largely moot.


I bought Vision primarily to do some moving light preprogramming for mostly theatre, dance, and opera and with both ETC and MA consoles having a built in solution where you have XYZ control of fixture focus, I barely ever use Vision anymore.  If I were in the market for a previs software for concert and event work, I would most definitely look into L8, Capture, or Depence2 before considering Vision.  Hell, I'd probably even look at WYSIWYG if you need something more budget conscious.  Or you could look into Carbon for Unreal, which looks pretty promising and is very affordable.

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