product image BD4Beam Draw 4

For Vectorworks and Vectorworks Spotlight

The ultimate tool for visualizing lighting angles and coverage

Features Try it Buy it Download | User Guide

With this release's refinements and enhancements, you can create working drawings with even more more speed and precision.  Scroll down to see all the new features in Beam Draw 4.  New to Beam Draw?  Learn about Beam Draw 3 here.

Beam Draw 4 supports Vectorworks versions from 2012 to 2016.


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New Features

In addition to 2015 support, BD 4 includes the following improvements:

Improvements to performance, accuracy, and usability:

  • Numerous under the hood improvements result in faster and more reliable beams
  • Redesigned and reorganized Object Info palettes
  • Improved detection of drags and nudges
  • Localization improvements

Beam Object improvements:

Discrete Class Control


Discrete class control for each component of the object, including an option to automatically set classes

New Settings for Defaults



New settings preferences for default class and default Move to Layer prefix

Mirror Tool Support


All Beam objects now properly flip when using with the mirror tool and a horizontal or vertical line of reflection

Better Buttons

Get Light Info Data, Pickup Z Height, and Reset Shutters buttons now function on all selected Beam Draw objects

Beam Draw and Beam Draw PAR improvements:

Improved Redraw Modes


"Fixed Focus" for nudging or dragging the instrument location

New Cycle BD Redraw Mode command, which allows you to change redraw modes with a keyboard shortcut

Additional Cut Plane


New Additional Cut Plane parameter, to check coverage at any height. Perfect for checking shots through scenery or under masking

Coverage Map

Coverage Map

New Coverage Map feature shows full body or other user-specified coverage in plan view

Cone Edges and Focus Vectors

Cone Edge   Focus Vector

New Cone Edge Lines option to display lines defining the beam cone in plan view. The cone edge accurately adjusts to shutter cuts and bottle rotations

New Show Focus Vector option to show a line representing the light's focus


Spotlight Focus Point Integration

New parameter to focus a Beam to an existing Spotlight Focus Point

Adjust Shutters Dialog

Interactive Shutter Adjustment

New interactive Adjust Shutters dialog uses sliders to control shutter depth and angle, displaying changes right in the drawing, in both 2D and 3D views

Z Height Improvements

z height

Now use the z height to visualize beams above or below the ground plane without adjusting the beam's position height

Simple 3D Mode

Simple 3D-2

New Simple 3D mode shows only cut planes and cone bounds

NURBS Geometry


3D components drawn with NURBS, resulting in faster and more elegant rendering

Better Visualization of Low Angles

Open Conic Cuts

Improved calculations now show accurate shutter cuts and bottle rotations for low angles that create parabolic coverage areas

Improved Render Light

Add Light

Numerous improvements to the Add Light feature. Adding a rendering light now hides the beam in rendered views

Render lights now appear in the Visualization palette

Overhung Units


New indicator when a light is overhung (negative clamp distance)

When converted to Lighting Devices, overhung units now also affect the 3D component

Improved Rotation Behavior

Beams logically respond to rotate commands, depending on the mode:

    • Fixed: Rotates beam (PAR bottles)
    • Dynamic: Rotates the focus about the instrument
    • Fixed Focus: Rotates instrument about focus

Beam Draw Section improvements:

Improved Utility


  • Better handling of Focus Area beams that don't hit the floor
  • Now works in rotated plan view
  • Now works with the Reverse and Repeat command — useful for boom shots in plan view or side lights in front elevation

New Options

  • Both the beam's origin and hanging location are now drggable
  • New option to Extend Focus Point to Floor
  • Added "Flip" figure parameter to the focus area options

Mirror Tool Support

Can now unflip itself if used with mirror tool, including vertical and rotated plan

Menu command improvements:

Move Beams to Layer


Now includes options to select an existing layer, change the layer prefix, and set the visibility for new layers

New option to deselect the Show Beam parameter, converting objects to "rough plot" mode

Convert Beam to Instrument


  • Added option to create focus point at the beam's focus. If a focus point already exists at that location, both the Beam and the Lighting Device will be set to that focus point
  • Beam Object's shutters, rotations, and focus points now transfer to Lighting Devices
  • Overhung lights (Negative clamp distance) translate to the 3D component of Lighting Device
  • New option to link beams to their corresponding lighting device, which will push beam angles, position height, instrument location, over / underhung status, shutter cuts, bottle rotation, focus point, channel, and purpose, and will pull instrument location, channel, and purpose
  • Linked beams include buttons to update the beam from the light and to unlink the beam from the light
  • Now works in 3D views

New Section Beam to Pan


  • Converts the selected BD Section to a Beam Draw object
  • Insert at the focus point or instrument position
  • Specify pan angle

New Update Beams from Focus Pt

Updates beams set to a focus point, when the focus point changes position or height

New Cycle BD Redraw Mode

New command to cycle the Redraw Mode among Fixed, Dynamic, and Fixed Focus

Try it

Receive a two month demo code.

Try Beam Draw 4

Buy it

Beam Draw costs $89.00.

Upgrades start at $45.00.  You can also upgrade from a student to pro license.

A student version is available for only $14.99.

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