In 2014 we celebrated our 20 year anniversary and to commemorate this we compiled the following overview of our milestones!
Our early years
In 1994 we began our first experiments with a computer aided design software for lighting design. We were working on creating a plot drafting tool that would allow the user to insert and move fixtures freely on a plot. During this period the Amiga, was very popular and we were programming in a language called AMOS, a BASIC dialect rich in graphical features. Unfortunately no code or working application has been preserved from our Amiga period.
Capture v1 - First version of Capture
During our early years from 1994 to 1998 we made many changes to our road plan; we reluctantly changed platforms from Amiga to the ground-winning PC, we changed programming language from AMOS to the more professional C and last but not least - we went three-dimensional.
By January the 12th 1998 we were ready to release Capture v1. It didn't feature neither a fixture library as we know it today nor any DMX connectivity - the user could insert any number of generic spots, draw his own illustrations for them as well as assign them to groups which made it possible to turn fixtures on and off. The software was compact - in fact it fit on a single 1.44 MB floppy disk!
Capture v2 - Real-time advancements
The year following the release of Capture v1 we were busy making improvements. Moving lights were becoming popular and it was clear that there was a real-time aspect to lighting design which we had not yet addressed. An Artistic Licence DMX Dongle II was purchased, DMX tables of moving lights were studied and we introduced DMX universes and the concept of patching fixtures to Capture.
By February the 9th 1999 we released Capture v2 - our first real-time lighting design software!
Shortly following Capture v2 came Capture v2.1 - an update featuring our second DMX reception method, RS232 from AVAB VLC Safari consoles. This was a feature developed specifically for a project in Gothenburg, Sweden, where an hour-glass effect lighting design was implemented for the millenial shift using motorized army searchlights.
Capture v2.1 was also capable of loading and saving cue information in the USITT ASCII format and was the first version to feature a number of built-in shapes like the Box and Cylinder we still have today.
Capture v3.0 - A fresh start
By the time we had reached v2.1, Capture was in desperate need of an internal overhaul so we tore everything down and started from scratch again - Capture v3.0 was to become our first "rewrite". The "Spot Illustrations" concept was scrapped, a proper library was introduced, our objects became "dynamic" (editable after insertion) and the Project window was introduced (up until 3.0 there had been four modelling views) with its tabs that reduced the amounts of dialogs poping up during design.
Capture v3.0 was released the 26th of February 2002 but remained under active development until as late as the end of 2005.
Capture 2005 - Introducing OpenGL
The rise of hardware accelerated graphics technology in the form of video cards with OpenGL and DirectX support was the driving force behind our next big technology shift. Out with wireframe style lighting visualization - enter solid beams! With our Amiga background in mind we chose the platform independent path of OpenGL which was going to prove to be a winning choice later.
Capture 2005 was released the 16th of September 2005 and by that time it was in effect more or less our second rewrite. The new OpenGL solid beam rendering was immediately put to the test during the preprogramming of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Capture Polar - Realistic shadows and Mac OS X support
Following our success with Capture 2005 we were receiving a lot of requests for more realistic looking beams with shadows as well as Mac OS X support. Fortunately, and by no coincidence, Capture had been designed with multiplatform support in mind since many years, not only due to our choice of using OpenGL.
Capture Polar was released the 1st of September 2008, featuring our new "Polar" graphics engine as well as Mac OS X support. Six years later our user base is equally divided between Windows and Mac OS X users who can now enjoy working with their designs both on Windows and Mac OS X.
Capture Argo - A leap forward in presentation tools
After six very successful years with Capture Polar we decided to raise the stakes considerably and deliver our most laborious release so far. Following a large survey among selected resellers and users, Capture's architecture underwent massive enhancements and several market leading and presentation oriented features were added.
Capture Argo was released the 14th of October 2014 with highlights such as movie snapshots, rendering and native Sketchup import. It was put to test immediately at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta by our first customer to upgrade.