Edit Mode | Options | Stealth Mode | Selection | Multi-Move | Rigging | Pointers and Beam Spread | Exposure | Hide, Solo, Lock, Opacity | Color | Detail Table | Display Settings | Lock | Undo/Redo | Special Editors
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.
The top layer of your Plot. Add and edit Groups and assign objects to them, and change the opacity of different Plot elements. You can also use marquee selection and multi-move to move groups of objects that would not normally be multi-selectable (like Units and Notes).
Note: Plot edit mode also shows your Plot in its “display” form; this is how it will appear when rendered.
On the iPad, different buttons will appear on the top left of the screen when you switch; on the iPhone in portrait orientation, these options appear on the bottom toolbar.
When you switch to Plot edit mode, you’ll see five buttons that change Plot display settings. These control how you see the Plot, and how its objects behave.
Note: The first three buttons have multi-touch shortcuts. Double-tap on an empty part of the workspace with the same number of fingers as the order of the buttons, and the same thing will happen as if you tapped the button, except you didn’t have to switch to Layers edit mode. (The other buttons don’t have tapping shortcuts because double-tapping with more than three fingers is awkward, and those functions aren’t used as often.)
Zoom to Fit (double-tap with one finger)
Zooms the workspace to see all objects on the Plot.
Snap (double-tap with two fingers)
When snap is enabled (and the icon is orange), objects align themselves on the Grid (if it’s displayed) or with other objects. Objects can only rig onto others if Snap is enabled. Units can target only on grid points (making it easy to set a Unit to a specific angle, like 90°), and Rails will only resize to even-numbered foot lengths. All objects will rotate in increments of 15°.
Grid Display (double-tap with three fingers)
Toggles among no grid, axes only, and full grid.
Units of Measurement
Cycles through feet, yards, and meters. Changing this will change the spacing of the grid lines, as well as the values displayed in the detail table and anywhere on the Plot.
Choose whether or not your workspace rotates as you change the orientation of your device. The default orientation of the Plot editor is landscape-right (with the home button on the right). If this option is set to “With Device,” it will be like holding a piece of paper; turning your device to landscape-left will flip your Plot upside-down (though the text will rotate to stay upright). If this option is “Upright,” your Plot will remain upright, with the positive Y-axis pointing up no matter how you rotate your device.
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.
Stealth Mode is the opposite of Bright Mode, which has been LD’s default display mode since its beginning. Bright mode is built on light backgrounds and dark text, while Stealth 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 Bright and Stealth; for instance, an object with a blue Stroke and yellow Fill in Bright Mode will have a yellow Stroke and blue Fill in Stealth Mode. Typically that makes it ideal to have a dark Stroke and light Fill (in Bright Mode).
In Stealth 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 Stealth Mode, or always switch back to Bright 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 option off. 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.
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 the 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. Multi-selection is automatically enabled.
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.
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.
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. If your rotation is zero, the circle of the crosshairs will turn green; if your position change is zero, the hash marks turn green.
Multi-move also follows the snap conventions, moving your crosshairs to snap points and rotating in 15º increments when snap is enabled.
When Snap is enabled, objects can be attached to others: Units onto Rails, Lifts, or other Units; Rails onto Lifts. 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 what 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 Units also have beam spread information published by their manufacturer. Based on this, approximate beam spreads can be shown on the Plot.
Some Crescit Units’ information includes brightness values, which can be used to calculate exposure for one Unit targeting another object. To see these values, set up your exposure in the Settings table and make sure your Pointers are set to display them. (You can also see them in the Unit detail table in DMX Edit Mode.)
Note: Because of variables like bulb life, lens imperfections, exact voltage, and various others, exposure calculations should be treated as guidelines rather than guarantees.
Brightness is based on the distance between a Unit and its target, and this DOES include difference in height. It’s common practice in LD to ignore objects’ Z position, but just remember that difference in Z is included in distance calculations for exposure. 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. These values can be changed in the Settings detail table, Plot Edit Mode.
Each unit can be dimmed in DMX Edit Mode, which will change its estimated exposure value based on its dimmer curve, which you can change in the Unit detail in DMX Edit Mode:
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. A Gel will not be included in the calculation if it is hidden.
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 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 unique 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.
If you open the objects table when an object is selected, it will open with that object’s info, including its position, rotation, 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 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.
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, Nicknames, Gels, and user notes. You can sort them by Channel, Address, or Nickname, or change any of their properties. There are some shortcut buttons in the bottom right (on iPhone, visible only in landscape orientation), which will apply to any selected Units:
Chan – set Channel
Addr – set Address
Chan->Addr – patch 1:1 by copying the Channel to the Address
Chan<-Addr – patch 1:1 by copying the Address to the Channel
To select multiple Units, tap the “Select” button in the upper right.
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 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.