After almost a year in the making, the new 4.0 series of ShowSim has finally been released! This exciting new version adds many new features based on customer feedback, and brings all versions of ShowSim under the same user interface and simulator. Thus all versions of ShowSim are being simultaneously released as 4.0, which includes the Lite, Pro and 3D versions. The XL version no longer exists because it didn't fit into the new feature break-down.
All versions of ShowSim now use the same high quality graphics previously available only in the 3D version. The 3D version is still the only version that features smoke, 3D models, camera animation and the ability to view the show from different angles, but all versions can now share the same effect library files. Thus regardless of which version of ShowSim you use, you will get the best simulation graphics on the market today.
Installation problems that were becoming an issue in the older versions as the SQL component tried to keep pace with new operating systems has also been cleaned up. Installation is very fast and easy now, with far less probability of encountering any problems.
Multi-language support has also been made much easier, as the need to download specific versions for each language has been eliminated. Now you can switch between any of the supported languages instantly using a menu selection within the program.
The layout of the main screen has been simplified to a single tool bar on the bottom of the screen, leaving the maximum amount of viewing space possible for watching simulations. Improved support for dual monitor configurations allows more flexibility and viewing area while you work, making it possible to work with the show script on one screen and the inventory database on the other screen to see more data with less scrolling. You can also render video on the second monitor while continuing to use your computer for other work on the primary monitor.
Among the most substantial changes is a complete re-write of the scripting and inventory editors. These two screens now feature a highly customizable data grid that displays many additional columns of data, with the ability to hide unwanted columns, change their position, adjust the column width and change the colors. Multi-level sorting has also been added, as well as filtering on the inventory browser which makes finding the effects you need quickly even with very large databases. The combination of these settings can be saved as custom views, allowing multiple views with differing criteria to be quickly accessed with a single click. Support for changing any given column data on many selected rows at once has also been added. Many custom columns have also been added, allowing the ability to accommodate data from other script formats that normally is not used by ShowSim.
Custom angle notation has been added that allows you to display angles in various notations. Some prefer zero degrees to represent straight up, while others are used to working with ninety degrees being straight up. Some prefer negative angles to shoot to the left while others might want negative angles to shoot to the right. The choice is yours.
An export option has been added to the script and inventory grid which allows you to create Excel, PDF, text or HTML files containing all the data from the grid. These give you a way to share data with other programs as an alternative to the hardware export options. Since you can now control what data appears in the grid and in what order, this is one way to create customized exports.
Full support for metric units has been added to all areas of the program, including the layout rulers. A horizontal ruler has also been added to aid in measuring accurate distances between buildings and other site structures, and both horizontal and vertical rulers can be moved around in any direction.
The camera animation in the 3D version has also been completely overhauled with an improved sequencer that features automated rotations, stop and start transitions and integration with the timeline to show cue markers where camera events occur. The camera animation control panel is now a tab on the effect browser for faster access.
A bar graph display has been added to the 3D version which shows event durations attached to each cue marker. This collapsible graph helps analyze overlapping effects at a glance without running the simulation, allowing you to see where long running effects such as cakes and gerbs will expire.
Many other features have been added, as well as cleaning up all known bugs from the previous versions.
A new subscription price structure was also implemented to help make using ShowSim more affordable in these times of economic hardship and uncertainty.