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I have tried a few tools for creating lighting diagrams. There is a good list on this question.

While these tools are pretty good, they only provide a "top view" of the scene, so vertical distances of objects from the floor can only be entered as notes. Also, representing two elements one above the other is kind of messy.

Short of building a scene in a 3D application like Blender or Maya, are there any simple 3D lighting diagram tools that can output top and side views for a given scene, or better yet, a perspective view from any place in the scene?

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Assuming you don't want to view actual simulations of lighting, then Google SketchUp might be the right product for you. I haven't used it for lighting diagrams specifically, but by and large it's a pretty easy 3D modelling tool.

  • Good suggestion. Models for studio photography aren't in abundance at the Google 3D warehouse, but there are some. Thanks! – Miguel Jan 4 '12 at 5:57

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