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Lighting Designer v3 represents a big step forward for the app, taking advantage of the new features in iOS to make it easier than ever to create and share detailed lighting plots. You can also use iCloud to sync Plots across all your devices, so you can always pick up your work right where you left off.


Split Views
In iOS 8, Apple greatly expanded the functionality of UISplitViewController, a class that presents two views side-by-side, like in the Mail app. I’ve made use of this view controller in several important places, most notably the Show/Plot browser and the Plot editor. This meant switching the detail tables to the left side of the screen, to follow Apple’s UI guidelines, but the change makes more sense overall. The biggest benefit is that you can see detail tables next to your Plot on your iPhone, when it’s in landscape orientation.

Size Classes
The many different screen sizes now available demanded a new way of laying out views, and Apple introduced auto-layout and size classes to fill that need. All LD’s views have been re-designed to respond to continually changing screen sizes, including the possibility for split-screen viewing in iOS 9 and beyond.

Since the introduction of the iPad Pro and its Smart Keyboard, there’s been more demand for the ability to use keystrokes. LD offers key commands for several plotting functions. The screen layout is also more responsive to the keyboard’s appearing and disappearing, keeping relevant items in view rather than allowing them to disappear underneath.

The keyboard also allows you to use keystroke shortcuts. For a list of keystrokes, see the Reference page.

Table views implement the swipe-to-modify protocol, when applicable. For instance, swipe right-to-left on a Plot to Copy or Delete it, or swipe a targeting Unit to Remove it.


You’re no longer restricted to unused Show and Plot names, or prohibited from including certain characters. File names are no longer dependent on Plot titles, so feel free to name them whatever you like (even emoji).

Dates are now more descriptive, letting you know visually whether a Show or Plot is in the past, present, or future. You can also choose the formatting, and sort your Show and Plot tables based on shoot dates.

After years of use, it’s clear that the [Templates] Show isn’t necessary. From now on, it won’t be automatically created on new devices. Of course, if you’re updating from a previous version and you have Template Plots, the Show will remain on your device.


Cut, Copy, Paste
You can now copy objects from one Plot and paste them into another Plot. Just tap and hold an object (or the workspace, if multiple objects are selected) to bring up the menu.

Plot Object Text
Plots can get crowded, and a bunch of text labels don’t help. Now, you can choose the position and orientation of an individual object’s text label.

Zooming and panning around your Plot is now smoother than ever. The grid also shows and hides its dividers in a more gradual way.

With object(s) selected, touch and drag/rotate with three fingers to move all selected objects as a group (maintaining their spacing and angle relative to each other). You can still drag with one finger to move all the objects without rotating, or rotate with two fingers to rotate all selected objects in place.

The Note is the newest type of Plot Object. Any notes you currently have on your Plots (which are actually just Units with a large text field) will be converted to the new Note object. The new Note has its own edit mode, so you can arrange your annotations without other objects getting in the way. They layer just like Shapes, and you can also create pointers to other objects.

Shape Editing
I’ve removed the bring to front/send to back buttons from Shape editing. To re-order the Shape layers, open the Shapes table, tap the Edit button, and drag the Shape row. The buttons have been replaced with buttons to edit a Shape’s stroke and fill colors. You now also have the option to replicate and multi-select Shapes the same way you can with other Plot objects.

Image Shapes
You’re no longer constrained to one background image for your Plot; instead, you can add any number of images from your device Photos, as Image Shapes. These Shape objects will maintain their aspect ratio as you position and resize them, and you can layer them however you like.

Previously these were called Labels, but now these collections of objects are called Groups, for no other reason than it’s more intuitive. Labels could be (and has been) misinterpreted to mean plot object text.

I’ve given the undo/redo functionality a complete overhaul, making it more reliable and better at grouping actions. Now when you tap the Undo and Redo buttons, you’ll actually get feedback on what action you’re undoing, and it’s all iCloud-safe.

Sometimes you make a number of changes to a Plot, but don’t have any need to render it when you close it. Instead of making you wait for the render, which can take over a minute for more complicated Plots, you have the option to skip. Just close the Plot and select Skip instead of Render (or Cancel and continue editing).


Starting with this version, you can sync your Show and Plot data, rendered Plot images, and app preferences among all your iCloud devices.


Email Composition
The email composer has been completely redesigned to offer more options and an instant preview of your email message.


By checking device’s memory capacity, several potentially performance-limiting functions are kept in check (for example, workspace size and undo/redo steps).