Demo 21 – LightBurn New Features

The Lightburn Software Series

The Lightburn Software is probably the best generic laser cutting software available (I use it for almost all of my laser work). This series has tutorials, hints and tips as well as the occasional speed comparisons between it and RDWorks. My thanks to the team at Lightburn for allowing me to embed their videos.

Lightburn new features - file size reduction features with duplicate objects
LightBurn New Features – File Size Reduction Features with Duplicate Objects


A brief preview of some of the new features that came out in LightBurn 0.9.21, including the new ‘Adjust Image’ tool, measure tool, printing, multi-image scanning and compositing, and smaller, faster project files.

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0:00 hey folks it’s been a while since we’ve

0:02 done a lightburn video

0:04 and i thought that since we have a new

0:05 release coming fairly soon that this

0:07 would be a good opportunity to

0:09 go over some of the features that are

0:11 coming in the 9.21 release

0:14 first and foremost lightburn has a new

0:15 file format so if i load

0:17 this vector graphic which you’ve seen me

0:19 use before in other videos

0:21 it takes about two seconds to load just

0:24 about 2000 milliseconds

0:26 and this file on disk is approximately

0:28 53 megabytes 52.8 megs

0:32 if i load this file in the new lightburn

0:35 2

0:36 file format the same file with the same

0:38 content in the same graphics

0:41 everything identical takes milliseconds

0:44 or

0:44 half a second to load and the file on

0:47 disk

0:47 is 13.3 megabytes and so what that means

0:51 is

0:51 this file same content same everything

0:55 loads four times faster and takes one

0:57 quarter the space

0:59 now not every file is going to get those

1:01 exact same savings some will actually

1:03 save more

1:04 some slightly less but in general you’re

1:07 looking at about four to six times

1:09 a speed improvement and about one

1:11 quarter the size on disk

1:13 and this is across the board we’ve just

1:15 changed the way that the content is

1:16 stored

1:18 we’re not using compression yet or

1:19 anything super clever

1:21 so this data format is still easy to

1:24 work with

1:25 it’s just much faster it’s designed to

1:26 be parsed more quickly

1:29 on top of that we’ve added a new sharing

1:32 mechanism now this is not something that

1:34 you have to know about and you

1:36 probably won’t be affected by it at all

1:38 other than

1:39 the reduction in memory requirements so

1:42 this file is actually two copies of the

1:44 same stump

1:45 if i were to make more copies like this

1:50 in the original version of lightburn

1:52 the

1:53 current releases these are actual

1:56 new copies of the same data they are

2:00 just replicates and if i was to save

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

2:03 this to disk

2:04 it would save all of this data and all

2:06 of this data and all of this

2:08 data and so on in the new lightburn

2:11 and new lightburn file format each of

2:13 these copies

2:14 until they’re edited retain a link to

2:18 the original and so what that means is

2:20 that this outline here with all of these

2:22 nodes

2:24 doesn’t store itself again it knows that

2:27 it is just a copy of this one and hasn’t

2:29 been edited

2:30 so it just saves a reference to the

2:32 original now this happens

2:34 in the new file format as well as in

2:36 memory

2:37 so your memory requirements when using

2:40 large files or large arrays of content

2:43 will be lower so that’s going to improve

2:45 performance particularly on lower end

2:47 machines

2:48 who are somewhat ram constrained and it

2:50 will help out

2:51 users using the 32-bit version as well

2:56 this has been extended also to images

2:59 so for example if i bring in this

3:01 plumber

3:02 this file on disk right now takes about

3:07 136 kilobytes of data if i

3:11 make a grid array of this and make this

3:15 let’s say we’ll do 8 by 5

3:18 so that’s 40 copies of that original and

3:20 i save that

3:23 something strange happens this file is

3:26 actually smaller than

3:27 the other one and the reason it’s

3:29 smaller is

3:31 the thumbnail gets a little bit

3:32 different and so the thumbnail in this

3:34 case is actually taking up a significant

3:36 amount of room

3:37 uh in the light burn file

3:40 but the having 40 copies of this image

3:43 map

3:44 makes it not much bigger

3:47 and changes the thumbnail enough that

3:49 the thumbnail itself got smaller and

3:52 making the thumbnail smaller made the

3:53 file smaller it’s a little bit

3:54 counter-intuitive but

3:56 the upshot of all of that is having 40

3:58 copies of this graphic

4:00 in lightburn or on disk no longer takes

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

4:04 up

4:04 40 times the amount of space in memory

4:07 or on disk

4:08 so this is a good thing your projects

4:10 are smaller you’ll be able to work with

4:12 larger project files in general

4:15 without having memory issues or

4:17 requiring as much ram

4:20 we’ve also added multi-image scanning so

4:23 to give you an idea of what i mean by

4:25 that

4:25 normally in lightburn if you were to

4:29 fill these images or run this image as a

4:33 job if i preview this

4:34 you’ll see it scans one image at a time

4:40 moving from left to right however

4:43 when i bring this page up i can now

4:45 choose four images

4:46 to fill them by groups or fill them all

4:48 at once which you couldn’t do before

4:50 and so now previewing shows that all of

4:53 these plumbers get

4:54 scanned at the same time and so if you

4:57 do

4:58 large batches of graphics that contain

5:01 images

5:02 you’ll save a lot of time with this it

5:04 used to be that they would scan one at a

5:05 time and now we can do

5:07 multiple scans together

5:10 we’ve also extended this

5:13 to work with transparent images as well

5:16 so if i take this

5:17 cartoon rhino which you’ve probably seen

5:19 me use before

5:22 reorient it rotate it a little bit scale

5:24 it do

5:25 fun things with it if i preview this

5:29 you’ll notice that this is composited

5:33 together properly you can’t see

5:35 the plumbers or the other rhino the

5:37 bigger rhino behind the smaller one

5:40 lightburn is now properly handling both

5:42 transparency and

5:44 compositing when using multi-image

5:47 scanning so if i

5:48 set this layer to scan shapes

5:50 individually and

5:52 run the preview again you can now see

5:55 that these things are all overlapping

5:57 and muddy

5:58 the way that the current version of

5:59 lightburn does work

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

6:01 if i go back into the image property

6:04 settings and change this to fill

6:06 all shapes at once now when i preview

6:10 you can see that things are properly

6:11 hidden

6:13 and properly cut out and this works for

6:15 any image mode

6:16 dithering threshold in grayscale and so

6:18 on

6:19 and transparency is supported so if i

6:21 change this to

6:23 let’s say just dither and run that

6:27 preview again

6:28 you can see that those dithered shapes

6:29 are still doing what they’re supposed to

6:34 we’ve also added and this is kind of a

6:37 big deal

6:39 we have a new feature in light burn

6:42 specifically for doing

6:43 image adjustments i’ll bring in a

6:46 graphic here just

6:47 to work with so

6:51 current versions of lightburn and for

6:54 quite some time have had

6:56 shape properties which allow you to

6:59 adjust

6:59 properties of the image so for example

7:01 gamma is sort of a mid-tone

7:04 curve by lowering the gamma value i’m

7:07 raising the brightness of the middle

7:10 brightness levels in this image but i’m

7:12 leaving black and white

7:13 where they are so you can play with

7:16 gamma you can adjust contrast you can

7:19 adjust brightness and so on and you’ve

7:21 been able to do this in lightburn for

7:23 quite some time

7:25 but most people i feel don’t know that

7:27 these controls are here

7:29 we also have image enhancement so

7:33 edge enhancement i guess would be the

7:35 better thing to call it

7:36 this basically makes edge

7:40 detail much much stronger it bolds it

7:44 effectively so if i set this off

7:47 or let me do turn this back on but i’ll

7:50 turn it off from here

7:51 if you watch the whiskers as i turn this

7:55 up you can see that they develop a black

7:57 halo and that gives you a much stronger

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

8:01 much more defined edge when you burn

8:04 this on a laser

8:05 and when engraving images in general you

8:08 actually want

8:09 the edges and the overall image quality

8:12 to look a little bit harsh

8:14 to your eye and when it runs on the

8:16 laser

8:17 that harshness will end up basically

8:19 giving you a slightly stronger punch on

8:22 those edges

8:23 and allow you to see more detail in the

8:26 end result it

8:27 uh it’s a little counter-intuitive but

8:29 it tends to make things look better and

8:30 not worse

8:32 the biggest problem that we have with

8:33 this is that most people don’t know that

8:35 they are there

8:37 so in the next version of lightburn

8:39 we’ve added

8:40 the adjust image feature and so this

8:44 allows you to change these settings in

8:46 real time

8:47 and it shows you all of the settings for

8:50 images

8:51 including your dithering mode whether

8:55 you’ve got this image set to negative or

8:56 not

8:57 if i choose half tone for example i can

9:00 adjust the halftone

9:02 cell count and so on in real time

9:05 i can change my dpi here so i’m going to

9:08 do that

9:08 to make this a little finer and so on

9:11 and i’m looking at a side by side

9:13 of the original image here and

9:16 the dithered end result that lightburn

9:19 is going to send to my laser

9:21 over here and i can zoom this in or out

9:24 it matches the two displays so that i

9:26 can make meaningful comparisons of these

9:28 two things

9:29 so if i put this on stookie which is my

9:31 personal favorite dithering mode

9:34 for images at least for photographic

9:36 things you can see

9:38 individual dots here i can go and look

9:41 to make sure that various details that i

9:43 want captured in the output

9:45 look correct and this dithered

9:48 output version is live so for example

9:51 i’m going to change this to newsprint

9:52 just because it updates quickly

9:54 if i modify my contrast you can see that

9:58 the contrast of the

9:59 output image is changing change my

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

10:02 brightness change my gamma

10:05 these things are affecting this output

10:07 image

10:08 on the fly in real time as i make these

10:10 changes and so

10:12 you’ll have a much easier time adjusting

10:15 your images

10:16 and tuning them and just a much easier

10:19 time accessing these settings than you

10:21 could in previous versions of lightburn

10:23 having them all

10:24 in this same place means that they’re

10:26 much easier to find

10:28 these settings here are all settings on

10:32 the image layer

10:33 on the cut cut layer i mean so those are

10:36 the settings that you would normally

10:38 access by double clicking here

10:40 and changing them in the image layer

10:44 and the others uh enhance radius and

10:48 amount

10:48 contrast brightness and gamma these are

10:50 settings that would normally be on shape

10:52 properties and they are set

10:54 per image so it’s important to remember

10:56 that these settings are layer settings

10:58 and these settings are image settings so

11:00 if you have more than one image

11:02 in your file on the same layer these

11:04 settings here are going to be affecting

11:06 all of them

11:07 so just a key point to keep in mind

11:11 we’ve also added for the next release

11:14 a measuring tool and so this is

11:16 something that lightburn has

11:18 had at least in some form

11:21 for quite a while but we’ve

11:24 made a fairly significant improvement on

11:26 what’s there already so

11:29 in the current version of lightburn if

11:31 i wanted to measure how far apart the

11:33 midpoints of these two hexagons were

11:36 i could do this using the line tool now

11:38 if you watch down here at the bottom in

11:40 this status bar

11:41 as i drag out a line from here

11:44 to here you can see there is a length

11:47 value

11:48 on the end there and that length value

11:50 is telling me how long this line is that

11:52 i’m creating

11:53 if i right mouse click or just hit

11:55 escape it cancels the current line

11:57 and so this has always been the way

11:59 we’ve recommended people to take

12:00 measurements so if i want to measure

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

12:02 from this dot

12:03 or from sorry from that corner to this

12:04 corner i can see that that was

12:07 31.7 millimeters long and now i just

12:10 right click and i haven’t made a new

12:12 line

12:14 that’s useful but there’s a lot more

12:16 information that we could present and so

12:17 we’ve now added

12:18 a measurement tool in lightburn and so

12:21 with this

12:22 if you hover over a shape it highlights

12:25 the shape in green

12:26 hovering over a line segment will

12:29 highlight that segment in purple

12:31 and you can see over here the shape has

12:33 six nodes

12:34 connected by six lines there are no

12:36 curves in this hexagon shape

12:38 the area is this many millimeters

12:41 squared

12:42 the perimeter length is 150 millimeters

12:44 so that means it is exactly 150

12:46 millimeters around

12:49 and then the segment i can see this

12:51 segment is 25 millimeters long

12:53 where it starts and ends uh what the

12:55 difference is in the start and end point

12:58 uh the angle of this line and so on and

13:01 if i’m pointing at an arc

13:02 like on this circle i can see that the

13:04 arc radius is 20 millimeters and that’s

13:07 where the center of the circle is

13:09 um so perimeter length area number of

13:13 nodes

13:13 segment length start point end point all

13:15 of this you can also

13:17 click hold and drag and the snapping

13:20 behaviors will affect this dragged line

13:22 but this isn’t creating new geometry if

13:25 as soon as i let go

13:26 it’s gone this is a temporary transient

13:28 line just used for measurement

13:30 and so i can see when i click here and

13:32 drag over to here

13:34 the distance between the two center

13:36 points of these hexagons

13:38 is 71.8 millimeters shown in the box

13:42 and i can see where the start and end

13:43 points are i can see what the angle of

13:45 this line is

13:46 and so on so this is quite useful

13:50 and the view controls are also still

13:53 live while this box is up so i can pan

13:56 and drag and move the view around zoom

13:58 in zoom out

14:00 just hit escape to cancel it like any

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

14:02 other tool and it’s gone and i have made

14:04 no changes so that’s also fairly handy

14:09 next up we have a new text editing

14:12 feature

14:12 so this is a test of some

14:16 text

14:19 normally to edit text you would just

14:21 double click and place the cursor

14:24 and make your adjustments and so on this

14:27 works well

14:28 but if you have something like this

14:31 where your text is

14:32 upside down or scaled or bent or things

14:34 like that sometimes it’s

14:35 counter-intuitive

14:36 to use the cursor in weird orientations

14:40 and you can’t drag select a portion of

14:42 your text and edit you know parts of it

14:45 replace parts of it easily that kind of

14:46 thing so we’ve added

14:48 a right click edit text shape box

14:52 and with this box up i can

14:55 make changes make selections change the

14:57 font

14:58 and so on only for the entirety of the

15:01 text for font changes

15:03 but individual things like if i want to

15:05 replace this word

15:07 or these words this is some text

15:12 of some kind it’s much easier to make

15:16 larger edits uh move the cursor around

15:19 uh bulk click and copy uh delete that

15:22 kind of thing so

15:23 this is an easier way to edit larger

15:26 volumes of text

15:27 and you still have access to all of the

15:29 other text controls in here

15:30 as well so the last thing that i’m going

15:32 to talk about today

15:33 is lightburn’s new print feature now

15:36 we’ve always had the ability to

15:38 save from the preview window for example

15:40 so if i hit alt p

15:42 to bring up my preview i could click

15:44 save image here

15:45 and it would save whatever you’re

15:47 looking at and

15:48 that works it’s possible to send client

15:51 proofs

15:51 in that form for example but if your

15:54 graphics are complicated

15:56 that may not be ideal the image may not

15:58 be at the scale that you want or give

16:00 you the quality that you want

Video Transcript for Lightburn New Features (Cont…)

16:02 so we now have the ability to say print

16:04 in black only or

16:05 keeping colors and so to give you

16:08 an idea of what that means if i put an

16:11 outline around this

16:12 in red we’ll call that our cut out line

16:15 and i say save this

16:16 in black only or print this in black

16:18 only

16:19 i’ll call this plumber

16:24 so if i open up that plumber file you

16:27 can now see

16:27 he’s right there in the middle i can

16:29 zoom in and the quality is great

16:31 at a variety of zoom levels so it’s

16:34 stored

16:34 at the resolution of the printer not at

16:37 the resolution of your job

16:39 and the outline has been converted from

16:40 red to black so this would be an ideal

16:43 proof to send to a client

16:45 if you have a laser that uses a print

16:48 driver

16:48 so for example epilogue trotec

16:51 gravograph

16:52 gcc they use print driver based

16:56 laser control so if you have coreldraw

16:58 or

16:59 adobe illustrator or things like that

17:01 you can print directly from those

17:02 software packages

17:04 to your laser lightburn has never been

17:06 able to drive those

17:07 but now we can because we can print

17:10 while keeping color

17:11 so i’m going to print this to that same

17:13 pdf file just to show you

17:18 so when i open that file now i can see

17:20 my

17:22 image in the middle and my vector

17:23 graphic around the outside

17:25 properly in the color that i chose and

17:27 so this means that

17:28 you can print from light burn to a print

17:31 driver based laser and it should

17:33 just work there may be issues with this

17:36 we

17:36 haven’t been able to test this as

17:38 thoroughly as we would like but if you

17:40 encounter any issues with it please let

17:41 us know

17:43 that’s all i have for now um

17:46 we’re hoping to have this out sometime

17:49 between

17:51 mid-march to the end of march um so you

17:53 should look for these soon

17:55 thanks for watching

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