Quoc-Huy 1:26am, 23 January 2009
Few days ago I've seen a post of someone looking for a Lighting Diagram software/tool and Wizwow have suggested:

To resume, you can have:
A PSD file containing photo object you can use: www.kevinkertz.com/fm/LightingSetup.psd.zip

And some online flash tools:

Being also a web developper, I wanted to play a bit and came out with this:
Lighting Diagram Creator
It's based on the content of the PSD from Kevin Kertz. I had to extract each object and make rotated versions of them...

It does not work with IE, but who cares... :-D
Still beta and needs some testers. Let me know if it's worth continuing to develop this tool.


- I've sent a mail to Kevin Kertz to see if he is OK with me using his PSD content for the tool and his answer was no and I need to remove them ASAP. Too bad... sorry guys but the tool will be down for a little while until I can get another set of pictures.
- Wizwow sent me his own PSD. Now the tool is working again.
That is pretty nice. Well done.

I don't have time to play with it now, but I will come back.

Will it output a jpeg or just do a screen capture?

Very nice.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
Thanks Wizwow.

At the moment there is no output, just screen capture.

As I'm not using Flash there is no easy way to generate the JPEG from an HTML content. I will have to find a solution. Maybe a sort of PHP script that is receiving a list of objects along with their coordinates and then generate the JPEG on the fly.
doesn't work with IE...when can we do that?
Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
@Wink, I don't know yet. I'm using Mac with no IE and the javascripts I'm using were not made for IE. But optimizing for IE will be the last bit in my list though as first thing is have it work. And depending on my website statistics I will see if having it for IE is of high priority. At the moment I have 49% of Firefox users...

It's nearly 2am here in UK so nite nite!
TheOriginal_kevie PRO 8 years ago
oh man this is so much fun....i could spend hours messing with this :)
minddesigns [deleted] 8 years ago
This is a really good idea. I would even go as far as to suggest that something like this could be a "standard" used to document strobist info. Here are a few things we still need (pretty please):

- some from of container into which comments/documentation can be added
- an export/print function
- something to capture the image and upload to flickr
- save/edit/store????

Otherwise this is a fabulous tool. Thanks for your considerable efforts.

- Don K.

BTW: I tested extensively using Chrome on Windows XP - no issues at all.
geekninja PRO 8 years ago
So it doesn't work with half to 2/3's of the browsers in use (depending on who you ask?

Yeah, I know, beggars, choosers, yadayadayada.
Silviano Carrillo 8 years ago
We want IE support!
I am just too lazy to open up firefox so I want you to work extra time so I can be lazy..
Silviano Carrillo 8 years ago
Ok so I decided to try it out.. it's nice but it would be helpful to have a view of the tools and just drag them instead of selecting them by name.
Bossnas PRO 8 years ago
Superb! Bravo for all of your hard work. I just had a quick test on this new netbook of mine and it worked fine. I'm running Linux Ubuntu and Firefox, fyi.

DCMR2 8 years ago
I can't believe anyone still uses IE.
eduardo_frances 8 years ago

Niceeeeeeeee +3,000 points and 1 up for you! :)
This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! Great Job!
D Kazios 8 years ago
Way cool, works great on a Mac with Safari. I think it needs to have Nikon SB flashes with DIY Grids, Card board box Snoots, Rosco Gels (in selectable colors)

additional Back Grounds would be cool, (brick wall, grubby alleyway, tree line, etc...)

Gobos, like a ficus plant, or water glasses, window blinds, etc...

It should also have a print option, and a save as JPG or photoshop layers, and maybe support a text option for descriptions.

I look forward to V2.0
looks like it works on Safari... if you are on windows... just grab that bad boy.
Kevin Eddy PRO 8 years ago
Cool beans!! This rocks, works just fine with FireFox.
Dave | daveCphoto.com 8 years ago
I couldn't get the rotate function to work--firefox on a PC.

Great idea, tho. Thanks for all your work so far!
John Leonard Posted 8 years ago. Edited by John Leonard (member) 8 years ago
Really good stuff!

works fine in firefox on my PC
Alfredk PRO 8 years ago
Dumb question, or perhaps not? What's wrong with Kevin's tool, it's esentially the same except his works with IE as well as any other browser?
flashgordo 8 years ago
Nice and easy. I would like to be able to point the light source toward the model.
minddesigns [deleted] 8 years ago
dabeed74: You need to hover over the top left corner of the object in FF in order to see the controls.
Poop Fish 8 years ago
When I hover over the items they don't show their buttons until I move the mouse to where ever the buttons should be.

Also, you need a button to rotate counter clockwise.

XP, Firefox.

Great work.
carlos.benjamin 8 years ago
It does not work with IE, but who cares... :-D

Hah! Why should you bust your chops trying to make it work with the one browser that refuses to adhere to international standards (just because they know commercial sites will cater to them)?

Nice job.....
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
Oh wow.
Thanks for testing this. I will answer them later on as I'm on the iPhone now.
donh54 8 years ago
That is just waay coool!
XP sp2 & FF 3.05

No probs once I figured out the buttons, etc

Karma 2 U
Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
- not working with IE: adding new object work, what is not working is moving the object, have the tools icon appear, PNG transparency. I've gone away from IE for quite a time and always advise people to go for alternative browsers such as Firefox/Opera/Safari to be away from bugs and security issues from IE. But I will have a look into these issues in a future, timeline not guaranteed...

- some from of container into which comments/documentation can be added. I've thought about this. Will check how to incorporate them in the tool, but at the moment as you need anyway to screen grab the result and put in Photoshop, you can add the comments/documentation in Photoshop as well, which is less fastidious than setting up the diagram.

- export/print function: this is the very important part which I will investigate. As the tool is using HTML and javascript, I will have to find a way to recreate the result in a JPEG...

- upload to flickr: hmmm I won't be looking into this any soon unless the tool is already working perfectly and there are no more task to do.
- save/edit/store?: yeah nice idea!

- icon of object instead of select box: will be included in a next version

- additional Back Grounds would be cool, (brick wall, grubby alleyway, tree line, etc...) / Gobos, like a ficus plant, or water glasses, window blinds, etc...: nice idea. If any one is good in designing those sort of graphics, please let me know.

- export to photoshop layers: phewww not sure I'll be able to export from a web tool to a PSD file...

@alfredk "Dumb question, or perhaps not? What's wrong with Kevin's tool, it's esentially the same except his works with IE as well as any other browser?"
Kevin is only providing a PSD containing layers with an photo object in each, then you need to copy/paste them in your own document and rotate/translate to create your diagram. Other online diagram tools (I've listed above) are made in Flash and are working on every OS/Browser. Some can print and save to JPEG others can't. But the graphic quality is different and you may not have as much object as the one avail in Kevin's PSD.

@flashgordo "Nice and easy. I would like to be able to point the light source toward the model."
You can place the light source and hover the mouse above the image and click on the rotate button.

@Cream of Meat "When I hover over the items they don't show their buttons until I move the mouse to where ever the buttons should be."
Yes because clicking on the object is to move it. But true, I can add a function to also display the buttons which may reveal them to new users. Cheers.

@carlos.benjamin "Hah! Why should you bust your chops trying to make it work with the one browser that refuses to adhere to international standards (just because they know commercial sites will cater to them)?"
Yeah. It's always a headache to create a web stuff that is working on all browser except that single one...

The tool is known to work on:
- XP/Chrome
- XP sp2/FF 3.0.5
- XP sp2/Opera 9.63
- Linux Ubuntu/Firefox
- Mac/Safari

Thanks guys
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
I've sent a mail to Kevin Kertz to see if he is OK with me using his PSD content for the tool and his answer was no and I need to remove them ASAP. Too bad... sorry guys but the tool will be down for a little while until I can get another set of pictures.
Robertv! (Edinburgh, UK) Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Robertv! (Edinburgh, UK) (member) 8 years ago
No popup menu's in FF3. On XP, 2000 or W7.
eduardo_frances 8 years ago
ouch it is a shame that mr Kertz said no :(... hope you find other graphics soon :) good luck!
Nionyn_ PRO 8 years ago
: ...until I can get another set of pictures.
Why not draw your own? Surely that's what Kevin Kertz had to do?
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@Nionyn, yeah I could but I'm not good at drawing vectors object. I would end up with object but not as nice. But maybe it's still better than nothing.

Kevin may be upset cuz I did not ask before creating the tool but did it at launch time... I thought that as he released his PSD for non commercial use like an open source... then he would be OK if someone uses his PSD for a non commercial tool.

But anyway, if anyone here have good Illustrator skills and want to participate in this project, please let me know. We can even end up with multiple sets of objects in different styles.

You can have mine.
I will see if I can clean it up and send it over.
Not as good of an illustrator, but I have some skills.

Should have it to you later today..

send me your email off forum if need...

Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@Wizwow, cool! Cheers mate that would be great. I'll send you my mail.

I don't use a lot of esoteric lighting, but if you need me to whip up some gridded boxes and softlighters and such, let me know.

I may have time to get them over the weekend.
Alfredk PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Alfredk (member) 8 years ago
I think you did not look very hard, there is an online version available on one of Kevins sites. Taking someones drawings and ideas is no different than stealing someones pictures! If you like to develop such a tool I would recommend to do the work and not just take someone elses work.
Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
@alfredk, I didn't know there was an online version using the same set of pictures. And my aim was not to steal his drawings, that's why I've sent him an email in first place to see if he was OK with that. My idea was to make it more easy to use his PSD file that he gives out for free for non-commercial use. It's easier to have a tool than to open a PSD, copy/paste, rotate, move, save as jpeg etc...

It's just like in the programming world, you have the open source projects. You can use an open source project to create another open source project. It's not stealing, it's community work to improve existing work. His work was to create a great PSD, my work to improve it was to develop a tool around this PSD content.

@Wizwow, I've just send you an email and I'm starting to extract your objects now. Thanks mate.
Majorlk 8 years ago
"Kevin may be upset cuz I did not ask before creating the tool but did it at launch time... "

Ya' think? At the very least it was rude; as worst, a violation of his copyright of the material involved.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@Majorlk, but then why give it away for free on non commercial use. But now I realize that's maybe for publishing his URL that appears on each diagram you create from his PSD. But then I could also include that in my tool.

But then again you're right, I should have asked the permission in advanced but was too excited to improve his contribution to the community.

I'm sorry if I did the wrong move and chocked any one here.

At least it made me develop the engine for the tool and now I just need to gather a new set of images.
Alfredk PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Alfredk (member) 8 years ago
I do see your point, but I think you conveniently mixing up rights and laws, how about if we use your images under the open source rules and we tell you after we used them.

If it is under Creative Commons, anyone can use it.

I think people get so hot over the smallest things.

Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
The open source rules does not requires ones to notify its author of the usage in another open source project. I've developed several open source plugins for Joomla CMS and other website related libraries. They have been downloaded thousands of times and I don't know in which website or project they have been used in. I've released them for the community and anyone in the community is allowed to use and include them in any other project that can help the community. But using an open source project does requires that your project is also open source.

Photography and programming are different worlds and I do respect Kevin Kertz and his work and will just comply to his request. It's just that it would be a great contribution to the photographers community to have a cool tool with a great design.

But I don't want to start a debate/war about my mistake so I will now concentrate my time on the new set of pictures I've received from Wizwow.
oh god....the guy enhances something and everyone was praising him....now some are jumping all over his throat.....

dude that was an awesome way to ENHANCE someone elses idea....glad wiz let you use his graphics......

honestly don't see what kertz's deal was....but IMO....what an a**.
Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
@bigboydrums, no he's not. In first place he did gives to us a fantastic piece of work and it is his way to promote his service. But that's fair. Just a bit deceiving that I can't add my own ideas to his. But he did asked me not to use his work in a completely polite and respectful way so don't think bad of him.
BigBoyDrums (www.hectorcruzphoto.com) Posted 8 years ago. Edited by BigBoyDrums (www.hectorcruzphoto.com) (member) 8 years ago
@quochuy....I understand that....but I still think it was a** move on his part.....how was this tool taking anything away from his.....it was enhancing it.
Alfredk PRO 8 years ago
Yea but it is not under the Creative Commons license and no one ever say it was or will be.
josh.r 8 years ago
Hello fellow internet people. Kindly remove your head from the sand and realize that not everything works the same way. He didn't try to sell the new tool so what difference does it make? Even better than that though I don't think there is anything wrong with what he did and he doesn't think there is anything wrong but when Kevin had an issue he complied. As far as I can tell, by doing 0 research, he didn't have to but he did.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
The tool is now back on track thanks to Wizwow!!!
I still have to extract and generate rotated version of the rest of the objects but have been able to do a few of them already. Enough to re-activate the tool.

/me is happy :-D
Kimages01 Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Kimages01 (member) 8 years ago
Hi, this looks fantastic, thanks for taking the time to make it, but I can't seem to move anything, is there a trick besides left click & drag?
udijw 8 years ago
I think the tool is great. I will definitely use it when not around ,my computer.
One one hand, it would have been wonderful to have all the great Kevin gizmos on the tool. On the other hand, it give us all an opportunity to contribute the missing pieces.
While I am not aware of Kevin's motives, I assume there is a reason behind his request to stop using the PSD. So I think it is our challenge to make the new tool as complete as possible.
Huy, If it is OK with you, I'll put on a call on DIYP for the missing modifiers.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@Kimages01, are you using IE? because it's not working for IE at the moment.

@udijw, Wizwow sent me more modifiers but I did not have the time to extract them yet. I will do slowly as this weekend is the Chinese/Vietnamese new year. If I spend too much time on programming my wife is going to kill me. You could maybe put a call for more image sets or optimization of current ones for example.

CSD_Images 8 years ago
Works in Windows 7/Vista 64Bit , XP SP3, Windows 2008 Server with Opera and Firefox.

Win 2k8 Server threw a hissy fit due to security but it works.

Nice work ;)
Felix Neiss 8 years ago
Thanks quochuy! I will definitely be using your tool as soon as it's finished. As of yet, it hasn't got enough objects, but I see great potential in this. Also I am really grateful for the work you put into this.
You should definitely put your URL at the bottom of every output, you deserve it!
W.G.W. 8 years ago
dang, shut up alfred
badtz_maru Posted 8 years ago. Edited by badtz_maru (member) 8 years ago
Hrmm, this looks like its working in IE8, I haven't played with it for more than about 2 minutes but I can add, move and rotate object(s). Nice work. Now just need to figure out a way to export a jpg and this is a win.

Ok after a bit more playing it looks like the layer selection thing doesnt work, but I might be misunderstanding what it does.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@badtz_maru, yeah? it works with IE8, that's cool news.
For the layer stuff, it is supposed to bring object in front or behind other objects. But there is a little bug, so that the button does not work on the newest object added to the diagram. Will fix it.
Alfredk PRO 8 years ago
It is an honor for me to be told to shut up by such an established photographer as you. I can only marvel at your level of expertise and creativity!
If I can ever assist you in any way please find me able and ready!
CAPTURA- 8 years ago
Settle down there grumpy!!
Works nice in Firefox. nice work.
Thiago Sanna F. Silva 8 years ago
Let the shit flinging begin!
TwomasC 8 years ago
I can add, rorate and move in Opera 9.51 beta for windows mobile. :-)

I didn't play to much as the grab to scroll function has to be turned off everytime you want to move an object and then back on when you have to scroll the screen - which is a lot as my screen is only 320x320. So it works but is close to useless.
David Sr. - 8 years ago
Agree or disagree with someone, that's fine.
Challenge then on something they say, is fine.
Ignore them is fine (even advisable).
State why you disagree is fine.
Tell someone to "shut up" is childish and I feel uncalled for.
Unless of course you follow it with a wink or smile face.

And when you make a misstatement, a simple apology goes a long way. [hint]

@guochy - I will check it out. But NOT with IE.. blech!!

carlos.benjamin 8 years ago
Dude wants to give something to the photography community.

He makes a tool using someone else's graphics because, as an open source developer, he thought it would be OK since the graphics are freely given away.

Later he starts to think about it and contacts the originator of the graphics, explains what he's doing and asks if it's OK to use the graphics. Originator says, "No".

Dude pulls tool offline and removes graphic components.

He tells the folks in this thread that the tool is down because he contacted the originator and is abiding by their request to not use the graphics.

Several people totally ignore that he did the right thing by contacting the originator and did another right thing by taking it offline and start firing up the torches, heating up the tar and gathering goose down......

Nice.... Glad I don't live in your villages.....
Airchinapilot PRO 8 years ago
carlos.benjamin +1
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
Hi guys,

I've added a new image set coming from the open source world :-D
naezmi PRO 8 years ago
(The PSD file) works fine with Gimp. You're an opensource hero, thankyouverymuch! :)
Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
Big news. The tool can now save diagrams into JPEG files!
A javascript code is generating a list of objects including their coordinates, rotation angle & layer position. It then send the infos to a PHP that is generating the JPEG with GD.

Please checkout and let me know if it works for you.

Airchinapilot PRO 8 years ago
Seems to work pretty well.
Quoc-Huy Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 8 years ago
Just found a bug I think... looks like there is a problem on more than 1 object... into it...

Looks like an issue with the layers' order.

Fixed, I forgot to sort the array of object by layer priority.
SVR Photography 8 years ago
I can understand this if you're thinking up possible lighting setups and you want to record your thoughts. But in terms of recording the lighting setup for a shoot, why not just include a photo of it in the comments? That's what I've started doing, and people seem to like it.

One thing I don't like about lighting diagrams is that they often don't do a good job of expressing height. Height of the light source is important in more setups than not.
Airchinapilot PRO 8 years ago
SVR Photography, in terms of recording the lighting setup for a shoot, why not just include a photo of it in the comments?

Why worry about getting the setup shot when you should be shooting?

Would be nice, I know, but there are those of us who don't take wide angle lenses to shoots just so we can do a setup shot.
badtz_maru 8 years ago
Heh, new hotness no longer works with IE8. So much for compatibility from MS!

For those who bleh IE, I work in IT. My users mostly use IE. I have to make sure stuff we design and implement works in IE. *shrug* FF is my main browser, I use chrome, and keep IE on my windows machine cause well, its a windows machine. Do I care that this doesn't work in IE, no. It would be nice if it did, but you wont see any tears from me over it.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@SVR Photography, sure having a setup shot is great, but I'm sometimes too concentrated on the shoot that I forgot to take a setup one. And on some complexe setups you can't tell exactly where the lights are, unless they are taken from above: what angle is the one at the back, is there a flash hidden behind the model head or is it a window light, did you set the flash under the car or behind it at ground level etc...

@badtz_maru, do I care about IE, no either. I'm using Mac OS on my PC so no access to IE, except from the office as well. But I will give a little debugging time when the tool is considered stable. Next step will be to have a nicer GUI with icons instead of the drop down menu. Then try to have it work for the iPhone. So still a lot to do...
Dave | daveCphoto.com 8 years ago
Is there a way to make the objects rotate by clicking and dragging? Or perhaps allow clockwise/counter-clockwise rotation by using the arrow keys?
BroschPhotography.com 8 years ago
Fantastic market niche you have found, love it already!

Just my £0.02:
I think you shall consider to fix the few minor bugs, make it available on a clean dedicated website and find a good domain name for it. You should be all set to rule the world of lighting diagrams soon :) Once it became the standard for most strobits out there, you may get paid back e.g. via the targeted google ads you have on that site (similar to Strobist).

On the long run, maybe allow different diagram sizes and ultimately save/load existing diagrams. Have fun!

PS: I have not forgotten (a) about the London strobist meetups, (b) the Cambridge strobist meetup we discussed at the Strobist seminar recently and (c) the charity photo project we discussed. However, until end of September I am rather busy finishing of my PhD work, so not much will happen until then. But I am still interested to invite you guys over to Cambridge for a city and strobist tour and I'd love to join some of your meetups in London.

All the best,
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@dabeed74, not currently. This will be a feature to enhanced in a future version. My idea is to put all features I can imagine with most useful first then optimize others. This will come soon.

@theArtOf.... Hi mate, long time no see. Thanks for the suggestions. Good luck for the PhD. Hope to see you after to celebrate the success!
David Sr. - 8 years ago
I like it!!! I haven't read the entire thread, so excuse me if this has been mentioned. Something to consider adding... A text layer to label F-stop or minor detail of each object.

Very clean and easy to use. I did notice the Grid (floor) changes screen location when I resize the browser window (Chrome), but the objects do not move, the objects stay put. Not a biggie, just thought it worth mentioning. I am no web guru, but I assume this is do to your frame being center aligned rather than Left justified??

Nice work, Can't wait for the 3D version! ;-)

Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@ all, IE is now kind of supported...

@David Sr... I will add a text layer soon. For the resizing, yeah it's an issue. The grid is actually a "real" element of the page and then javascript is adding floating object on top of it and they have absolute positionning so they are not moving along with the resizing.

3D version! :-O HELP!!!! LOL
Valdo! 8 years ago
Wow justs came across this project. Well done and thank you!
Ole_Overgaard [deleted] 8 years ago
This is awsome. Very nice.

I miss a few objects:

The sun (which is often used as a main or secondary light in outdoor portraits),

A window frame (Light coming through a window).

The only photographic objects are persons. If you photograph stills (e.g. a vase, glass, flowers, model car, etc), you are left in the cold.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@OleDK, the project is still very young.
More objects and props will be added along the development.
badtz_maru 8 years ago
Neato, took another look and I see IE8 seems to be working. Thanks for the time and effort, now I just need to get motivated to I can use this to document some setups =)
strobist PRO 8 years ago

If you need it tested, I have ~320,000 absolute unique beta testers... how's that bandwidth?

Lemme know via Flickrmail if I can be of help.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
David, bandwidth should be OK, I've got unlimited. Just don't know how my server's resource is going to cop with the traffic :-P
But maybe it would be good to test the next version of the tool which will feature a graphical UI for selecting/adding object to the diagram.
TwomasC 8 years ago
quochuy: let me know if you can think of some way a second server (in europa) can help. Even if it only for the 'sorry, try later' message.
myDefinition 8 years ago
Sweet tool, works really well... Thank you quochuy!
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
@tc, thanks mate. I will consider that. I will soon upgrade the server to a xeon quad core with 8GB of ram so hopefully it will be ok. At the mo it's a dual core 4GB but one of the virtual machine is eating resources to run Zimbra a java mail server.
Quoc-Huy 8 years ago
The graphical user interface is going well. Still in the development environment but working great.
Here is a preview:

Currently, the development version includes the GUI, few fixes, the possibility to clear the diagram to re-start from scratch. But before it goes live, few more objects will be added and the possibility to create your user account and save multiple diagrams along with result photographs and test shots if you wish (searchable knowledge database suggested by Antonio).

Online Lighting Diagram Creator
Morgoth-JEV PRO 8 years ago
I tried and really like your tool.

I agree with you, open source is there for people to have access and create tools.
KluZz 8 years ago
Neat! Now make it 3D. :)
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