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LXFree is a special purpose CAD/database application designed to integrate the process of drawing a light plot with creating the necessary paperwork. LXFree combines typical drawing tools with databases of the properties of lighting instruments, colors, symbols and other libraries. LXFree's libraries are in open XML format and LXFree includes extensive AppleScript support allowing expansion and customization of its capabilities.

What's New

Version 1.8.0:
  • "Draw Symbols in B&W" no longer affects "Other" or misc. kinds of symbols.

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later

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LXFree User Discussion

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Knastrasa Member IconReview+1
Knastrasa
+1

A very good app with absolutely marvellous support!

Im an old Maclux user but since a few years I use only the LXBeams version of LXFree so maybe I shouldnt review the LXFree, but most stuff of any importance is in the free version as well so I guess it´s OK.

The part I use most is its integration with LXConsole, Qlab MIDI, OSC and Applescript.
Its a strong side of the LXFree project with great potentials.

Of course I also do all my lightplots in LXFree or LXBeams and encourage venues, collegues and others who may have any opinion of value regarding my plans to download this app.
Its great to be able to communicate editable plots. Sending pdf attachments and a list of requests and questions to touringsites or guesting groups is finally a thing of the past!

Now anyone who understands the basics of lightdesign can create and edit a lightplot, easily and for free.

The part I like the least in this free app is the Symbol Editor and the way symbols and "Keys" are connected. Ive never managed to make much sense of it.
Setting up devices like moving lights is also a bit of a weak spot I think. It can be done, but it's a bit messy.
However I can tell since Im an old user that the software has evolved greatly and just keeps getting better and better everyday.
I gladly stick with it confident that its a mighty good choice that will keep evolving, with mine and other users help and feedback, from great to fabulous.

And seriously, if you look around, which are the comparable alternatives to the prize of 0 bucks?

I know of none.
So lets support this one.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.8.0
Ean Member IconReview+223
Ean
+1

Wow. Very serviceable FREE application.

Currently at version 1.7.1, the symbol libraries are great--no moving fixtures, but that's okay with me. The database side of things is very good in general. I couldn't find a way to edit in a list view though, with sortable columns and multiple selections. It may be there somewhere, or perhaps some other means of editing data for groups of symbols meeting some criteria. There is even a database field for "Group," though no apparent way to select all the members of say, the Cool Torms group and change the color for every instrument. It's either a deal-breaker or I'm just being stupid. Doing this graphically, in the plot window, works very well but isn't always practical after the first hundred instruments. Heck, the first fifty instruments. The documentation is a little old and occasionally references material in later chapters without making it explicitly clear that you haven't read something yet, but we're talking about it anyway. A fix might be as simple as reordering a few sections.

The plot side of things is a little messier. Don't get me wrong, LXFree will make absolutely beautiful plots. I just think getting there is harder than it needs to be. Man I want a Hand tool. Or some other means of navigating around a plot. Command + Arrow maybe. (The Arrow keys without a modifier nudge selected symbols around.) It is hard to select an entire instrument symbol sometimes. One ends up accidentally moving only the color label or circuit number. I think they should be grouped by default, and one should see a larger indication that you've got the whole symbol selected without having to zoom way in. It would also be great if the user could set default preferences for symbol attributes--which legends are showing, relative positions of the labels, et cetera. This may not be a problem if you always work from templates, always recycle old drawings or simply like the default settings. The duplicate array function does not accept negative values or y-axis offsets. No radial arrays, but how often do you find circular grids? Isn't that even an oxymoron? Anyway, arrays and some other drawing commands are executed in an inspector window panel and not in the menus where they could easily have keyboard equivalents. One could then duplicate symbols without ever having to navigate away from the symbol info panel in the inspector. I'd love to see a GUI means of linking instruments to particular hanging positions--Option + drag or something. The layer function works well and there are enough drawing tools to make layers with Acting areas, rough sets, seating plans and so forth. A few chair symbols might be handy at times. The coloring of instrument symbols vis a vis the gel color is gorgeous.

All in all, a good tool with room to grow, well-suited to smaller projects. And, it's FREE.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.4.1
Ean Member IconReview+223
Ean
+1

Wow. Very serviceable FREE application.

Currently at version 1.7.1, the symbol libraries are great--no moving fixtures, but that's okay with me. The database side of things is very good in general. I couldn't find a way to edit in a list view though, with sortable columns and multiple selections. It may be there somewhere, or perhaps some other means of editing data for groups of symbols meeting some criteria. There is even a database field for "Group," though no apparent way to select all the members of say, the Cool Torms group and change the color for every instrument. It's either a deal-breaker or I'm just being stupid. Doing this graphically, in the plot window, works very well but isn't always practical after the first hundred instruments. Heck, the first fifty instruments. The documentation is a little old and occasionally references material in later chapters without making it explicitly clear that you haven't read something yet, but we're talking about it anyway. A fix might be as simple as reordering a few sections.

The plot side of things is a little messier. Don't get me wrong, LXFree will make absolutely beautiful plots. I just think getting there is harder than it needs to be. Man I want a Hand tool. Or some other means of navigating around a plot. Command + Arrow maybe. (The Arrow keys without a modifier nudge selected symbols around.) It is hard to select an entire instrument symbol sometimes. One ends up accidentally moving only the color label or circuit number. I think they should be grouped by default, and one should see a larger indication that you've got the whole symbol selected without having to zoom way in. It would also be great if the user could set default preferences for symbol attributes--which legends are showing, relative positions of the labels, et cetera. This may not be a problem if you always work from templates, always recycle old drawings or simply like the default settings. The duplicate array function does not accept negative values or y-axis offsets. No radial arrays, but how often do you find circular grids? Isn't that even an oxymoron? Anyway, arrays and some other drawing commands are executed in an inspector window panel and not in the menus where they could easily have keyboard equivalents. One could then duplicate symbols without ever having to navigate away from the symbol info panel in the inspector. I'd love to see a GUI means of linking instruments to particular hanging positions--Option + drag or something. The layer function works well and there are enough drawing tools to make layers with Acting areas, rough sets, seating plans and so forth. A few chair symbols might be handy at times. The coloring of instrument symbols vis a vis the gel color is gorgeous.

All in all, a good tool with room to grow, well-suited to smaller projects. And, it's FREE.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.4.1
There are no Ratings for this App yet.
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Ratings

Overall
(3)
Current Version (1.x)
(3)

Details

Downloads 3,129
Version Downloads 1,467
License Free
Date 25 Nov 2010
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free
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