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Software To Make Your Life Better

The title is a big boast, but it is the slogan of software program F.lux. F.lux is an application which adjusts the color temperature of your computer monitors based off of the time of day. Our monitors are designed with a daylight color temperature, however the majority of us rely on our computers outside of the daylight hours, and staring at daylight color temperature fixtures can negatively impact your sleep schedule. And we all don’t get enough sleep as it is!

F.lux Enabled

F.lux Disabled

F.lux allows users to pick any color temperature between 2700 and 6500K on desktop for daytime and nighttime respectively, with markers for common sources. On iPhone users pick between a list of common light sources including candlelight, halogen, and fluorescent. F.lux takes care of the rest.

F.lux is very compatible with fluctuating schedules as well, for example, if you have a nocturnal working schedule (here’s looking at you, Mouse!), you can set a daylight temperature for your nights, and an incandescent for day. Another way I find F.lux useful, is as an assistant lighting designer it is sometimes easiest to keep track of what is happening on the stage via computer. I set my monitor to a similar color temperature as the stage, so I can more accurately document the colors of different fixtures and cues.

The iPhone app hosts an interesting feature, “turn off for color sensitive work.” So far, I have not noticed it take effect, having opened applications such as camera, photos, and Photoshop Express. However it does seem like an interesting feature which they plan to port to the desktop applications. For the time being, you can easily disable for an hour at a time on your desktop, if you are doing work where exact renderings of colors are vital. There seem to be many more exciting features in store for f.lux to allow for even more precise and intuitive control.

My preferences for F.lux

F.lux specifies in the installation directions, “Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it.” How very true. F.lux feels so natural, I often forget I have it running until someone opens their laptop at a tech table next to me, and I am blinded by the glaring, icy light.

F.lux is available on most Mac, Linux, and Windows OSes. If you have a jailbroken iPhone, you can also join the party via Cydia. Download here.

WYSIWYG R24 COMES OUT NEXT WEEK!!!!

wysiwyg r24

The makers of my favorite lighting design software, WYSIWYG, are releasing a new build to members this coming Tuesday, August 4, 2009.  If you’ve never tried WYSIWYG for anything, I highly recommend just giving it a go for a week.  Richard Cadena, who we all know and love, says that R24’s new features are “amazingly responsive.”  Hell, R23’s features are still amazingly responsive!

Some notes on the new features that are included in R24:

  • LED: New LED models use a point source to better represent a diode for LED fixtures and LED walls that look better and enhance overall efficiency and performance when dealing with all LEDs. New LED light sources and LED flare capability offer better representation in Shaded Views.
  • Improvements in visualization: including enhanced beams, improved beam footprints and shadows.
  • Inverse Square Law: A new upgrade in R24, it calculates accurate beam drop-off in visualization calculations.
  • Colour temperature: Information from wysiwyg Libraries includes different bulb wattages to more accurately display the photometrics of different bulbs.
  • Hot Spots: Hot spots add another aspect of realism to wysiwyg visualization. Formerly, uniform footprints are now distributed based on the photometric data of the fixture.
  • For outdoor events: R24 introduces a time-of-day capability in Shaded Views. Use climatic or environmental conditions specific to the time, place and even weather, specific to an event’s geographical location anywhere around the world to test ideas and demonstrate work.
  • Geometry Smoothing in OpenGL: This new shading technique delivers better-looking sets and people, plus a performance boost.
  • CITP Protocol for Video: The new feature allows consoles supporting this protocol to stream video content across a network into wysiwyg to be displayed on a video screen or DL fixture.
  • R24 also has more intuitive and logical Design Tools and an Improved Dongle Security System.

wysiwyg r24

Go check out WYSIWYG Release 23, and read up on R24 as well.  You won’t be disappointed.  It’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to my pre-viz work, ever.