Using Cyc lights from Vectorworks with Enscape

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  • This tip assumes the user has a basic understanding of the Vectorworks spotlight toolsets. If not please see the online tutorials provided by Vectorworks.


    In Vectorworks a cyc style lighting device outputs only as a single source of light from the center of the unit, not the entire length of the cyc.

    Below is a trick to make the output from a cyc light look correct in a rendering.

    Step 1

    Find the lighting symbol that you would like to use in the resource manager and import it into the current file. In this case a Colorforce 72, 48 and 12 are being used.

    Step 2

    In the resource manager duplicate the imported lighting symbol. Select the duplicated symbol and right click to edit the 3D components. Rotate the unit so the face is pointing up leaving the legs / trunnions in place. Select everything and copy the selection. Close the edit menu.

    Step 3

    Paste the edited unit in the design layer. Go to a front view and draw a vertical line from the face of the unit upward a distance of 5’. Draw another line a few inches in from the outside edge of the unit on both sides creating a total of 3 identical lines. Go to a side view and align all three lines down the center of the fixture.

    Step 4

    Select one of the 3 lines go to modify>Covert> Convert to line light. Do the same for the other 2 lines. At this point you can duplicate these line lights vertically to accommodate the height of the subject you are trying to light. Keep in mind that the real fixtures output will drop off the further away from the unit it gets.

    Step 5

    select all the created line lights and move them to their own class. Now select the fixture and the line lights then go to Modify>Create symbol. Make sure that the Convert to Group check box is selected, create a title for the symbol and click OK.

    Step 6

    In the resource browser select the newly created symbol and right click on it. Select edit 3D components. Select all the objects of the symbol and move them vertically so the legs of the unit are at a zero Z height. Exit the edit window.

    Step 7

    Delete the existing symbol in the design layer. Now double click on the new symbol that was created and place it into your current document. This can be done multiple times depending on how many of these units are needed.

    Step 8

    To change the intensity or color of these units go to the visualization – Lights pallet and select the line lights. You can select more than one at a time. Once selected right click and adjust the dimmer and color of the units to the desired look.

    Step 9

    Run Enscape, set the view to nighttime. Modify the dimmer of the lights in Vectorworks until the desired look is achieved.


    • When creating a line light it will not output past 10’ so you will need to create multiple[le shorter line lights for lengths over 10’
    • Adding large numbers of lights into a drawing can slow down rendering time and possibly crash Enscape depending on the GPU’s available ram and drivers.