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Updated: 9/15/2022


What are the MINIMUM system requirements for Vision?


On Windows: Windows 10 (64-bit), Windows 11, a 2.5 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 4GB video card, and a mouse with a middle button or scroll wheel.
On Mac: macOS 12 (Monterey), macOS 11 (Big Sur), a 2.5 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 4GB video card, and a mouse with a middle button or scroll wheel.


For both PC and MAC, it requires a dedicated graphics card supporting GL_ARB_draw_buffers extension. It is recommended to have 8 GB of VRAM, preferably 12 GB of VRAM or more. A graphics card released in the past three years (e.g., NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series, AMD
Radeon RX 6000 series) is also highly recommended. We do not recommend any integrated Intel video chipset. While Vision may run, we do not support integrated graphics cards due to their lack of performance and speed. For the full list of system requirements and system
recommendations, see Vectorworks System Requirements.


Does Vision run macOS M-series?

Yes, Vision runs on M-series machines. We recommend a M1 Pro or greater with a minimum of 32 GB Unified Memory.

How many lights can I run in Vision?
The speed of your video card and rendering settings directly impacts the number of lights that you can run.

You can improve the performance of Vision by adjusting the Vision Preferences to better match the capabilities of your graphics card.


This is most easily accomplished by adjusting the Performance-Quality slider in the Vision Preferences . If more control over the settings is
desired, enter the Advanced portion of the Vision Preferences. From here, turning off Render shadows and Use haze texture; reducing the Texture Quality; rendering fixtures as black or turning off fixture rendering, and many other settings, can significantly increase the performance of Vision.

If you are running a slower video card and are still experiencing sub-optimal framerates, you
should consider upgrading to a faster video card.

What is a dongle? Do I need one to run Vision?
A dongle is a USB key that contains your license information, including the number of universes that you own and subscription data. Vision dongles are not compatible with macOS M-series computers.

You do not need a dongle to run a Vision license. However, if you need to use grandMA2 with MA-Net2 as your DMX provider, MA Lighting requires the use of a dongle for Vision. The Vision dongle can be purchased directly from Vectorworks.

Vision 2022 or higher: MA Lighting supports visualizer connectivity on the grandMA3 via MANet3
using the viz-key. The viz-key is available from purchase from your local MA distributor.

How do I control Vision?
Vision is listening for DMX-512. Any console or onPC/off-line editor that outputs Artnet, Hognet,
MA-Net, MA-Net3, or sACN can be used to control Vision. MAC product integration is limited to Artnet, sACN, and MA-Net3 at this time.


How many lights are in the Vision fixture library?
While the numbers are continually changing, you can be assured that the fixtures from the major manufacturers are included. These include High End, Martin, Coemar, Vari*lite, ETC, and many others.


What if I need a fixture that isn't included in the library?
Vision customers are entitled to request a maximum of 4 lighting fixtures per 30 days, using the “SPOTLIGHT AND VISION FIXTURE REQUEST” form available on the support page of the customer portal.

What exactly is Update Dongle, Update Library and Update Vision?
The Update Dongle command contacts the Vectorworks server to update your dongle. It should only be necessary to run the Update Dongle command when you renew your Dongle Vision license. If you have an online activation license, there is no need to run this command.

The Update Library command contacts a cloud-based internet server that all of our customers can access. When you access the Update Library server, it compares the latest library files against what you have on your computer and updates any files that have been added or changed.This ensures that you always have the most recent data available. We recommend that you run the Update Library command before you begin any major project. You must have an active Vision license to access the Update Library server.

The Update Vision command contacts the Vectorworks server to update your Vision software to
the latest available service pack.

Do you have a trial version?
Yes. Vision has a free downloadable 30-day trial which will allow you to run Vision. This will allow you to test Vision's capabilities and see the superior quality of Vision. You will find sample files, DMX recordings, and detailed information regarding patch, etc. in the "Demo
Documents" folder within your Vision Trial installation.



Do I need any other programs to install Vision?
All necessary support files are included in the Vision installer package.

Should I plug my Vision dongle in before I start the install?
We recommend installing using the provided serial number. For Vision 2023 the dongle is only necessary for using the MA-Net2 dmx provider.


Can I change the installation directory?
It is not recommended to manually change the installation directory of Vision. If you need to
relocate Vision it is recommended that you uninstall the current version and run the Vision
installer to install in a new directory.



How do I navigate in Vision?
All navigation within Vision is accomplished using the middle mouse button. To pan up, down, or around, hold down the middle mouse button and move the mouse. To zoom in or out, hold Ctl+Alt and the middle mouse button and move the mouse in and out. To rotate the scene, press Alt and the middle mouse button and move the mouse. You can also use the tools that are provided in the tool window to zoom, rotate, pan, and tilt. Find a complete list in Vision online help.

How do I focus conventional fixtures in my rig?
Select the lights that you wish to adjust in the scene. All the lights are turned on. Another way to select the fixtures you want is to use the  
Once the lights are selected, you can move them all in sync by using the four arrow keys.


These keys correspond to the pan and tilt of each fixture. If you wish to focus all selected lights to the same position, move your mouse to that position, right-click and select "Focus selected lights here." If you wish to focus each light individually, be sure to have the main window picked and hit the page down button which will highlight a single fixture. Focus that fixture using the arrow keys. When you complete, hit page down again and the next light is highlighted. Continue the process until all fixtures are focused.

How do I adjust the haze in the scene?
Haze can be adjusted in the Document Preferences window or by select the ROOT from the Scene Graph window. The movement of the haze is controlled by Haze Vertical Speed, Haze Horizontal Speed, Haze Depth Speed, and Haze Turbulence. By setting these to 0, the atmosphere will be constant without any movement. To set the amount of haze in the scene adjust the Haze Amount up or down, to suit your needs. A setting of 0 will assume no atmosphere (such as in a theater setting). If haze texturing is on, you can increase and decrease the density or cloudiness of the haze with the Haze Density setting. The performance and quality of haze renderings can be adjusted in the Vision Preferences window. This is most easily controlled with the Performance Quality slider. More detailed control of haze quality and
performance can be unlocked in the Advanced section of this dialog. Haze Rendering Style, Haze Rendering Quality, and Use haze texture all impact the quality and performance of haze. Haze in its entirety can also be enabled or disabled at an application level with the Render haze

If I am running a complex scene, how can I increase speed?
The easiest way to increase the speed of renderings is to adjust the Performance Quality slider in the Vision Preferences dialog box. By moving this slider towards Performance, quality will decrease but performance will increase. Try different slider settings to see what works best for the given scene. If you want more detailed control over performance and quality, the Advanced section of the Vision Preferences window may be helpful. You may consider eliminating the geometry associated with the lighting fixtures by setting Render Fixtures to Off in the Vision Preferences. You will notice that the fixture will disappear from the Vision, but the light is still emitting from where the fixture used to be. Significant speed increases can also be achieved by turning off Render shadows in the Vision Preferences . If your file contains multipart fixtures, checking the Force Emissive option for these fixtures will also improve performance. Lowering the Haze Rendering Quality or lowering the Haze Rendering Style may also improve performance.

For files with a very large number of fixtures, disabling the High Precision option may increase performance with minimal impact on rendering quality.


How do I connect my console to Vision?
To begin, check out the forums on DMX Connectivity, which contains detailed instructions on connecting Vision to a number of the most popular consoles. In Vision, you only need to select the DMX Provider under the DMX menu. See the DMX Connectivity Articles for more details.

What is the optimal resolution for running Vision?
Once again, this is somewhat determined by your video card. Generally, you should run Vision at 1280x720. This will give you the optimum performance and quality for your real-time visualization. Vision is capable of running at much higher resolutions, but lower resolutions
allow for better performance. Resolution is configurable from within the Vision Preferences and should be adjusted to best fit your needs based on the hardware being used.



I have an expired Service Select membership; how do I get the latest build?
Contact the sales team at sales@vectorworks.net and renew your Service Select membership. Vision Support will be able to reactivate your dongle remotely so that you can update the software to the latest version.


My Service Select membership has expired. Can I still run Vision?
Yes. Your version of Vision will still be available for you to use. However, you will no longer have access to the latest versions of Vision. To ensure that you have the latest and greatest versions of Vision at your fingertips, you’ll want to make sure that your Service Select
membership stays current. Be aware that any fixtures released following your subscription date will not be visible in your Vision model.


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  • 6 months later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Scott Campbell No. Vision running in demo mode only gives you access to the sample files that ship with Vision and has no time limit.

The 30-day trial is a fully functional version of Vision that reverts to the demo version when the trial expires.

Also remember that as of 2020, Service Select members that have Spotlight or Designer have a 2 universe license of Vision as part of their Service Select benefits.

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