Free Trial Downloads
Download 3D (Password Reqired)
min, 77.3 MB
min, 74.0 MB
min, 277 MB
7 min, 148.3 MB
min, 161.3 MB
min, 94.8 MB
min, 87.0 MB
min, 115.2 MB
min, 84.5 MB
The display scripting
software of choice is now available with a completely
redesigned 3D graphics engine that takes virtual show design
to a new level. While other 3D simulators have been around
for some time, many users have found the simulations to be
lacking in realism or just outright incapable of producing
certain kinds of effects. ShowSim 3D uses advanced gaming
technology and a revolutionary particle system to create the
most realistic firework simulations ever produced by a
computer, and there's virtually no effect it can't handle.
But don't take our word for it, download the sample videos
shown here and see for yourself!
- particle physics
- 3D viewing environment
- 3D site modeling
- camera animation scripts
- 1800 stock effects
- import effects from XL\Pro
- colored smoke
- horizontal wheels
- multi-stage rockets
- improved shell editor
- programmable effect engine
- use your own sound samples
- control volume level per sample
- sound delayed over distance
- same great user interface
- import existing effects from XL\Pro
- import existing shows from XL\Pro
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a motion picture is priceless.
ShowSim frees your imagination to focus on the creative aspects of your
pyrotechnic show designs by integrating a ground breaking scripting and
choreography interface with realistic effect simulations, allowing you to
preview your shows in real time color animation with sound effects and
music. ShowSim takes the guesswork out of fireworks show visualization for
both designers and clients!
with integrated simulation
time line editor
browser with search & filtering
& shoot effect browsing
& drop show creation
different effects on same cue
1200 stock effects
screen simulation mode
running show cost as you work
reports with accurate rack counts
directly to hardware formats
PyroDigital audio feeds
your existing inventory database
Main scripting interface.
Script complex chains on a single cue.
Arrange panels however you like.
Simulation with timeline at bottom.
Effect Browser with filters and
Dragging a cue marker on the timeline.
Script complex timed effect fronts.
Visual Effect Browsing
Clicking any effect listed in the effect browser will immediately
fire it right on the screen. Rather than trying to figure out what
the effect name means or looking at a static picture that shows just
one frame of animation, ShowSim allows you to see exactly what the
effect will do before adding it to your show!
Script Complex Cues
Script your cues exactly how they appear in real life, even when
different effects of different sizes need to be fired from the same
cue. No more confusing scripts resulting from software limitations!
Timer Chain Support
Timer chains are a common way to make bigger shows using less cues.
ShowSim provides full support for these delay chains, both during
simulation and when printing setup and chain fusing reports.
Data Loss Prevention
ShowSim is driven by a powerful database server that runs outside
the main application. This means your data is continually saved as
you work, rather than requiring you to periodically click “Save” to
make changes permanent. Data loss due to unexpected power outages or
system crashes are minimal to none.
Effect Browser with Search and Filter
A powerful effect browser allows you to sort through the thousands
of categorized effects within the effect libraries. Filter effects
by size, type or manufacturer, or search for effects containing
Drag and Drop Show Creation
Once you find the effect you are looking for, simply drag it from
the effect browser and drop it right into your cue list.
Cue-Drop Record Mode
A special record mode allows you to drop blank cues in real time
while listening to music. This is a common choreography technique
preferred by many designers.
A special clipboard allows you to copy single effects, single
buckets on a given chain or an entire cue into memory. You can copy
as many items as you want, then select them from the clipboard list
when reusing them elsewhere.
Build From Inventory
The fastest way to script a show is to work from an inventory of
pre-defined effects. Prefire times, effect size, effect type and
other parameters are automatically set when placing effects from an
Running Show Cost
When building shows from inventory, a running total for the cost of
the show is displayed on the main menu bar. Keep an eye on cost
overruns as you work, or just keep adding shells until the budget
limit has been reached.
Visually Test Single Effects & Cues
The advantage to having scripting and simulation integrated into the
same development tool is the ability to get instant feedback on the
appearance of your show at any time during the creation process.
Test fire a single cues or even effects within a cue to see how it
looks before moving on.
Auto Cue Numbering
Cue numbers are automatically assigned as you work, but a more
powerful tool allows you to reassign all cue numbers at once based
on several grouping criteria. Group cue numbers by position or
segment to insure that modules are not split across large distances.
Cue numbers can also be ordered according to time, shell size or
effect type in addition to the grouping requirements.
Auto Cue Descriptions
Even when you are not working from inventory, the descriptions for
each cue are automatically generated using a default naming
convention. This optional feature can be turned off on a per cue
basis, but the amount of work it saves makes it valuable in most
Multiple Time Formats
A variety of standard time formats are supported, including 10ms,
100ms and SMPTE 24, 25 and 30. Formats can be changed at any time
while working, and all display times will adjust to reflect the
Metric or English Units
English and metric units are supported throughout the application,
depending on your preferences.
View Launch or Burst Times
The time line and cue list can show either burst times or lift
times, depending on what you prefer to work with. These modes can be
quickly toggled back and forth with the click of a button.
Batch Cue Removal
A utility for specifying groups of cues to be deleted makes removing
portions or entire segments of a show fast and easy.
Batch Time Adjustments
A utility for adding or removing time from groups of cues makes it
easy to expand a show by adding new segments between existing
Front Wizard Tool
A utility for automatically creating the spacing and angles for
fanned effect front configurations makes this task go much faster.
Finale Wizard Tool
A utility for creating large chains containing hundreds of effects
makes this otherwise monotonous task go much faster.
Show data that has been exported into a .sho file can be merged into
an existing show, allowing several designers to work on portions of
a given show and then merge them all together.
Sort by Column Type
The cue list can be easily sorted by one of six column data types,
and also supports second and third order sorting to insure your cues
are listed in the most readable order.
Adjustable Screen Layout
The size and position of all screen elements are fully customizable
by the user, and your changes are remembered even after the
application is shut down. Do you like to work with the time line at
the bottom, a full length cue list or an effect picker at the right
side of the screen? No problem!
Placing firing positions.
Setting show preferences.
Custom Background Images
Use digital photos of your actual shoot sites as back drops for your
simulations. Photos can be resized from within ShowSim, and effects
can be fired from behind images as well as in front of them for
added 3-D realism.
Unlimited Firing Positions
Use as many firing positions as it takes to get the job done.
Dragable Position Markers
Firing positions are easily positioned by dragging arrow icons
around on the display area. You can even relocate positions after
cues have already been assigned to them, allowing you to fine tune
the appearance of your shows after all the scripting is done.
Adjustable Viewing Distance
Effects are scaled according to a viewing distance that you can
specify. Viewing distances can be set for each firing position,
allowing some effects to be fired up close, such as cakes and gerbs,
while other effects can be set back further from the viewer.
Music in 8-bit or 16-bit WAV Format
For choreography applications, ShowSim can support scripting to
music soundtracks recorded in either 8-bit or 16-bit WAV format.
Sound data is streamed from your hard drive, so very large music
files are not a problem.
Multiple Cue Naming Formats
Three cue naming formats are provided, allowing you to choose the
format you are used to working with. These include the alpha-numeric
format (example: A-1), the numeric-numeric format (exmaple: 1-1) and
the PyroDigital hexadecimal format (example: 0F-1).
Adjustable Module and Cue Limits
Specify the maximum allowed module count and the cues allowed per
module, preventing cue numbers from exceeding your hardware
Manufacturer Specific Default Prefire Times
For shows where the exact prefire times for each effect used is not
critical or not known, a table of manufacturer specific prefire
times can be used to assign default prefire values to each item as
you build your show. You can also create your own table of default
The task of setting up a full inventory can be ominous if starting
from scratch. However, if you already have an inventory setup in
another scripting application, then a lot of work can be saved by
importing this directly. ShowSim supports a variety of common
inventory database formats used in other applications. If the format
of your inventory is not supported, then you can contact ShowSim to
have a new import filter developed for your specific file format.
The Inventory Manager panel is a central location where you can
manage the way your inventory is organized, view statistics, update
stock quantities, do cost analysis and other useful functions having
to do with inventory items.
Show Product Removal
Rather than adjust inventory quantities while you build your show,
ShowSim allows you to complete your show and then deduct it from
inventory all at once when the show is completed and ready to fire.
This method of inventory deduction also allows you to subtract the
same show stock more than once, which is useful for “canned” shows
that you may fire on a regular basis.
Show Product Replacement
ShowSim allows you to add the products consumed by a show back into
inventory with a single button click. This feature is useful for
replacing stock that was previously removed for a show that was
rained out or canceled for some reason.
The Inventory Editor is where all items in your inventory groups are
created and edited. A scrollable list similar to the Cue Editor is
used to manage all information associated with each inventory item.
In addition to stock number and effect description, each inventory
item is assigned price, manufacturer, stock quantity, size, prefire
time, weight and setback distances. These fields are necessary in
order to take advantage of other features in ShowSim, such as
dynamic cost tracking during show construction, safety reports and
inventory stock alerts.
Since the number of inventory items in your database can get very
large and distributed into many groups, the task of checking for
reorder status or missing data would be unmanageable if you had to
do it by browsing items in the Inventory Editor one at a time. The
Inventory Alert utility was created to make this task much easier
and fully automated, giving you ten different kinds of alerts to
choose from. These alerts are broken down into two basic types:
inventory quantity checks and incomplete data entry checks.
Product Restock Alerts
Each inventory item is given a restock threshold when the item is
added to inventory. When the quantity of an item falls below the
restock threshold, a restock alert will be generated for the item.
Missing Data Alerts
Incomplete inventory data can cause false reports when doing cost
analysis or even result in improper effect performance during
simulation. Missing data alerts give you a way to search for
incomplete data in your inventory so you can insure the integrity of
Mortar Stock Alerts
ShowSim allows you to enter your mortar and rack inventory into the
database, which can then be used to alert you to rack shortages
based on the firing dates of your shows. If several shows overlap in
a given time period, ShowSim helps you insure that you have enough
racks to cover your needs.
Video mode title screen.
Lampares, mines and crosettes.
A double petal silver chrysanthemum.
A gold brocade shell.
A canister shell of shells.
A pair of Saturn shells.
Silver gerbs with micro-stars.
Real Time Graphic Animation
ShowSim can display your shows instantly at any time, giving you
full color feedback with the proper height, scale and effects
specified in your script. Unintended effect combinations or dead
spots in your shows will be instantly revealed on your screen
instead of during the live show. You will also have the ability to
give clients a preview of your proposed shows, giving you a large
advantage over competing bids. Simply route your video and sound
output from your computer to a DVD recorder, burn a disk and mail it
to your client!
Fast 2D Graphics Allow Complex Shows
ShowSim avoids the unnecessary complexity and speed requirements
brought on by 3D simulations by employing simple yet effective 2D
graphics. The reduced overhead resulting from 2D graphics means many
more shells can be fired at once without bogging down your computer,
allowing for more complex and dense segments in your shows.
ShowSim effects still appear to be 3D, as the pictures to the
left reveal, even though they are technically 2D images. The
shading, motion, velocity and other factors are controlled to give
the illusion of depth and space without the computation intensive
processing required by true 3D modeling.
Digitally Sampled Sound Effects
Realistic sounds sampled from real fireworks are used for lift,
burst, crackle, crosettes, cake shots, salutes, whistles and other
effects. Crank up the volume and get psyched for your next show!
Adjustable Sound & Music Volumes
The volume level for both music and sound effects can be adjusted
independently, allowing you to lower the effect volume to account
for further viewing distances. The sound can also be muted for both
effects and music independently.
Video Playback Controls
Simulations are controlled using buttons similar to a standard VCR
or DVD player. These include rewind, play, stop and a pause button
that will freeze the current animation frame. A slider bar allows
you to quickly adjust the play position anywhere you like, and also
indicates the current play position of your show relative to the end
of the show.
Full Screen Display Mode
During a simulation, clicking on the display area will toggle the
view between full screen mode, which removes all the window control
frames so that only the fireworks and background images are visible
on an otherwise black screen. A special video record mode begins the
show in full screen mode with a title screen delay, giving you time
to start your recorder if burning a video for a sales presentation.
Start Simulating from Any Cue
Each cue in the cue list has a Test button that allows you to begin
a simulation starting from that cue. Individual buckets and effects
on each cue also have Test buttons for quickly viewing effects
without actually playing the show.
Most Common Effects Supported
A large variety of the most commonly used effects are supported in
all standard colors by the simulator. These include pattern shells,
ring shells, Saturn shells, multi-break shells, Maltese shells,
insert shells, crosettes, comets, mines, complex cake items, roman
candles, strobe pots, flares, gerbs, Niagara falls, go-getters,
flying fish, falling leaves, colored salutes, lampare salutes,
titanium salutes, rising effects on any shell and more. Almost any
shell you can think of either already exists or can be produced
using the custom shell editor in ShowSim.
ShowSim can produce a variety of printed reports that can help you
setup and fire your shows. These reports can be reviewed and printed
from the Print Preview screen, which allows you to view each page
This is a short report that gives some basic statistics for your
show, such as location, date, duration, cue count, shell count etc.
A Product Summary breaks the shell count down by size, and also
includes the number of racks in each size that will be required to
setup the show. The rack counts calculated by ShowSim take firing
angles and locations into account in order to produce accurate rack
counts that won’t leave you short in the field.
The product report gives a detailed listing of every effect needed
to produce the show. The effects are listed by size in order from
smallest to largest. The quantity of each effect required is listed,
along with the product ID, size, type and description.
Setup reports are used to assist crew members in setting up a show.
There are three types of setup reports available, which represent
how the mortar racks are to be organized: segment, module or
position. The report you use will depend on how you organize the
layout of your show. This report will give you a separate sub-report
for each mortar group, which can then be handed off to the crews
assigned to setup each position.
Chain reports are used as a blueprint for constructing all the
effect chains required by your show. In the case of computer fired
shows where each effect is cued as a single shot, then the chain
list will not contain any real chains and each effect will just be
listed individually. For shows were every shot is e-matched like
this, the chain report is not useful. However, for lower budget
shows where many timer chains are used in order to lower the cue
count, the chain list can be a valuable construction aid.
The Firing Script reports show the sequence of effects that will be
fired in the show, listed in order of time. This type of report is
more commonly used when manually firing a show using a switch panel.
There are two varieties of firing scripts that can be printed:
verbose and brief. The verbose report tells you the cue number, fire
time, fire position and a description of what will be fired. The
verbose reports will also note when the module needs to be changed,
giving the operator an indicator for what module to switch to. The
brief report only lists the cue number and the fire time, and does
not give the module change indicators.
Spotter scripts are used by show watchers during a display as a way
to spot misfires or duds that will require retrieval later. Thus the
script must list everything that goes up in order to watch for
things coming back down. The firing script only lists each cue hit,
while the spotter script will list all the individual shells fired
by each cue, with the actual times that each will fire.
ShowSim is designed to operate independent of any specific firing
system hardware, allowing you to script shows for a variety of
different firing systems without actually having to purchase
scripting software specific to each system. This hardware
independence means you only have to train yourself on one scripting
application to have the ability to create shows that will run on any
hardware system. The data resulting from scripts created in ShowSim
can be exported directly into the native file formats required by
industry standard hardware such as PyroDigital, FireOne, Pyromate
and Q-fire systems.
||Importing 3rd Party
While exporting shows from ShowSim into native hardware formats is a
critical feature, ShowSim also allows you to import scripts and
inventory databases created by other applications. If you have
pre-existing scripts created in other applications that you would
like to transfer into ShowSim, importing the data directly can save
considerable setup time. Following an import, the only tasks left to
do are firing position setups and effect assignments.
Importing an existing Inventory database created in another
application can likewise save you considerable amounts of time when
making the transition to ShowSim. Like show imports, inventory
imports will still require the manual assignment of effect types
after the import is complete.
Audio Tape Feeds
Some firing systems require data to be transferred into the system
via FSK encoded audio signals, such as the PyroDigital system.
ShowSim can convert your show data into the FSK signals required by
PyroDigital, which are stored in the form of a WAV file. These WAV
files are burned onto a CD, and a standard CD or MP3 player can then
be used on the field to transfer your show into the system prior to
firing the show. PyroDigital and other firing systems that don't
rely on a PC to fire the show are preferred by some show operators
for their reliability (ie- they are far less likely to crash or
lock-up during a show compared with PCs).
The addition of new hardware support as customer needs arise is an
ongoing development effort at Passfire Labs. If your hardware is not
supported by ShowSim, then our developers will work with you to
determine your required data format and add it to the list of
supported hardware. New Import and Export plug-ins are generally a
simple matter to develop, after which they are made available via
online upgrades that can be downloaded free of charge.
Q: During the install process, the MSDE installer freezes
up and just sits there for a long time. Then it finally
reports that there was an error and aborts the install. If I
run the installer again, it indicates that MSDE is already
installed, but then I get another error when trying to
install the ShowSim component.
A: This is an infrequent situation caused by a bug
in Microsoft’s MSDE installer program. The unfortunate
consequence of this rare occurrence is that a partial
installation of MSDE is left on your computer, which will
prevent ShowSim from installing properly. All traces of the
incomplete MSDE installation must be manually removed so
that the installer can run again. This is a rather
painstaking process that our tech support can walk you
through either over the phone or via email. Luckily this
does not occur very often and the second attempt at
reinstalling MSDE will be successful. Once MSDE is
installed, the ShowSim installer will work properly.
Q: How do I get the license key for the downloaded demo
A: The demo key is automatically emailed to the
email address specified on the download form. If you used a
bogus email address here, then you will not be able to get
the key. Email addresses are not collected and released to
any third party organizations, so there is no risk in using
a valid email address here. If you still don’t trust our
behavior of many internet marketing organizations, then
create a new email address that you don’t ever intend to
check very often, which you can then use once in a while for
situations such as this.
Q: How long will the demo version keep running?
A: The demo version is good for 30 runs. Each time
you close ShowSim and then run it again, it adds one to your
run count until 30 is reached. Thus if you want to play with
the demo over a longer period, try not to close it very
often during your trials.
Q: How does ShowSim work with my existing hardware?
A: Direct hardware support allows ShowSim to
export the scripted show data into the native file formats
of industry standard firing systems like FireOne,
PyroDigital, PyroMate, Firelinx etc. In most cases it means
generating a manufacturer specific data file that can be
read by the firing software specific to each system. ShowSim
does not fire the shows directly, so you still need the
manufacturer supplied firing software specific to your
hardware, but you don’t need a separate scripting
application to generate the data read by the firing
software. In the case of PyroDigital, an RS-323 link or a
.wav file containing FSK encoded show data can be loaded
directly into the hardware without any additional firing
software. In some cases the scripting and firing software
are combined into a single application, such as PyroMate’s
SmartShow. The scripting in SmartShow is pretty basic and
provides no simulation, so operators using that system would
still benefit by using ShowSim even though they would still
need to p
Q: Sometimes my background image disappears and I don’t
see any effects when firing my show. If I quit ShowSim and
run it again, then everything works fine.
A: Whenever your screen saver takes over and
blanks out your screen, there is an unknown situation that
causes the graphics to stop working in ShowSim. Until a
remedy for this problem is found, the current solution is to
restart the program. It is a good idea to extend the timeout
period on your screen saver so that it does not activate for
at least an hour.
Q: Sometimes the effects “stick” for a brief moment
during simulations, and the timing gets slightly off where
it should be in relation to the music.
A: When your computer is unable to keep pace with
rendering the graphics, playing the music, scrolling the
graph and playing sound effects all at the same time, there
can be brief moments where everything freezes. This is a
symptom of inadequate resources within your system and
usually occurs more frequently on laptops running the XP
operating system. Many times it does not necessarily mean
that your hardware is not fast enough to run ShowSim, but
rather too many other tasks are running behind the scenes.
Spyware and adware are notorious for this kind of hidden
resource hogging, as are many unnecessary bloat-ware
utilities that often come pre-installed on new computers.
See the article on ShowSim Performance Tips for some
guidelines on making your system run faster.
Q: My browser security setting are preventing help files
from being viewed in explorer.
A: From the Tools menu of Internet Explorer,
select Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab and then
make sure the ''allow active content to run in files on my
computer'' option is checked.
Q: When I use custom names for the cues, why doesn’t the
name appear in the Product reports?
A: The custom names get used on the setup reports,
but on the chain list and product reports there’s an
inherent problem that prevents them from being used. The
issue is that the custom cue name represents the name of the
overall cue, but there can be more than one effect assigned
to that cue, such as multiple different effects on different
buckets etc. The problem is that the cue name, which is a
summary for everything on that cue, is an inherently
different piece of information than the actual names of each
effect on the cue. If the program looked to see if the cue
name was custom, then assigned it to all the effects under
that cue when generating a product report, a different
problem would arise in the case where the original effect
names were the desired ones and the operator just renamed
the cue for some other reason.
Q: How can I output the reports to PDF or Word document
A: The general technique for getting document
output into a format you want is to find a virtual printer
driver that will do the conversion for you. For example, if
you wanted to output to PDF format, you could use this tool:
This is a $35 app that installs as a printer driver, and you
just select it as the printer you want to use when printing
the reports from ShowSim. While it is hard to find printer
drivers that will convert directly to Word format, there are
plenty of converters out there that will convert PDF to Word
The nice thing is that once you own these conversion tools,
you can make any program output to the formats you want
Free Trial Downloads
Download 3D (Password Reqired)
ShowSim PRO Virtual Choreography Software $2,750.00
ShowSim XL Virtual Choreography Software $3,750.00
ShowSim 3D Virtual Choreography Software $4,750.00
Software Policy, any Software from
Pyromate Inc. is Machine specific and can not be sold or transferred!