Wysiwyg Explained

Wysiwyg (What You See Is What You Get) is a software tool used by many lighting designers and programmers in the entertainment industry. With its ability to be used for the full creative process from drafting/designing to workshopping ideas. Furthermore with the ability for the lighting designer/programmer to be able to pre-program their lighting show without the need to hire the full production equipment for longer than production rehearsals would require.

Design & Drafting

As somebody who finds it difficult to draw and sketch by hand, I find doing this in CAD a much easier and quicker process. The added benefit I find to doing this directly in CAD is the precision. Knowing for sure that something will fit in the space available to me saves having to try and fix problems later on.


Additionally, drawing directly into CAD lets me test out possible ideas to make sure they would work in a real-life situation as there’s nothing worse than having a wonderful idea, spending time and money to test it out, and then finding out it doesn’t work as you would have expected. Using Wysiwyg to workshop the idea in a 3D environment I can confirm proof of concept before taking it to the next level.

Plots & Paperwork

After testing out ideas and making sure they would work in reality I can create all the paperwork design drawings and renders required for sending off to the client directly in Wysiwyg. Once things are approved I can also use Wysiwyg to create the plots & plans for rental houses to quote a project and build the lighting/set elements to make the end result even more fabulous than I originally had in my head.


The last benefit to using Wysiwyg is its ability to help pre-program shows.
After the design process it’s easy to use Wysiwyg for programming a show with its build in visualise engine. After connecting a lighting console to the software I can manipulate the fixtures in the exact same way as if I am in the venue with the real lighting fixtures in-front of me and design/program the looks.

Wysiwyg Example – Wilkinson

Wysiwyg sketch view example
Wysiwyg’s Sketch View
Wysiwyg shaded view example
Wysiwyg’s Shaded View
Real Life
Wilkinson Live at Brixton Academy 2020 (by Luke Dyson)
Show photo by Luke Dyson

Wilkinson’s sell out Brixton Academy show in 2020. Lighting design: Vision Factory

My entry into the Wackit Contest. The video was created using Wysiwyg’s Live Shaded view.
Read more about my Wackit Contest win here.