LightTools Enewsletter

September 2016

LightTools User Group Meeting Presentations Now Available from the Customer Support Portal

In September, Synopsys' Optical Solutions Group held a LightTools® User Group Meeting featuring presentation topics ranging from LightTools case studies and usage tips to what's new in the software.

If you weren't able to attend the meeting, we've uploaded the presentations to the Customer Support Portal so you can benefit from this year's topics. When you log in, you'll find the following presentations:

  • LightTools 8.4 New Features 
    LightTools 8.4 features the Configuration Manager, Hybrid Simulation, Light Guide Designer, and other enhancements to LightTools.

    Training videos are available for many of the LightTools 8.4 new features from the Customer Support Portal, in the LightTools New Feature Videos section.

  • Case Study – Illumination Analysis of an Automotive Heads-Up Display
    This case study covers modeling an Automotive Heads-Up Display (HUD), and various analyses to visualize what the driver will see, the impact of stray light, and demonstrate how a driver’s visibility can be affected by sunlight. The LightTools HUD model used in this presentation can be downloaded from the Customer Support Portal. 

  • Functional Geometry in LightTools
    Functional Geometry in LightTools is specified by using a desired performance target, rather than by specifying the geometric shape alone. This presentation describes how to effectively use the functional geometry features of the Advanced Design Module (MacroFocal Reflector, Procedural Surface Rectangle Lens, and LED lens), with an example of each. Examples from this presentation can be downloaded from the Customer Support Portal. 

  • Effective Usage of LightTools 2016
    The 2016 edition of Effective Usage of LightTools features topics about Receiver Data Window Controls and Ray Paths (including an example of collecting ray footprints on surfaces), Color Analysis Based on Angle, Table View Review, Multiple Surface Selection, and a discussion of multi-threading and expected performance benefits. Examples and utilities from this presentation can be downloaded from the Customer Support Portal.

  • Getting the Most Out of Hybrid Simulations
    Hybrid Simulation propagates rays using a combination of forward and backward rays. Under certain conditions, ray trace efficiency can be improved. This presentation covers the usage of Hybrid Simulation and how to get the most out of these types of simulations.

LightTools New User Orientation Webinar

Orientation for New Users

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT) Find your local time
Duration: 1.5 hours

We invite new LightTools users to attend this orientation webinar, which will provide an overview of how to quickly get started with LightTools. We will also show you how to access resources that will help you use the software more effectively. Topics include:

  • How to obtain the latest LightTools software and license file from SolvNet
  • Basic functionality in LightTools, such as setting up analysis models, running simulations, and measuring performance
  • The resources available to you through LightTools Technical Support and the Customer Support Portal

Notice about PCs with NVIDIA Graphics Cards and LightTools Simulation Performance

We recently discovered an issue where some versions of NVIDIA graphics card drivers can severely degrade LightTools simulation performance. We have seen degradation on some workstations with Quadro series graphics cards, but it may affect others as well.

If you are operating on a PC with an NVIDIA graphics card and you have noticed a recent degradation in simulation speed, please ensure you have installed the latest graphics card driver from NVIDIA. If the performance is unchanged after installing the latest driver, please follow these steps:

1. Log into the PC locally. Settings changed when logged in remotely may not be applied correctly.

2. On your Windows desktop, right click and open the NVIDIA Control Panel. If you don’t have the NVIDIA control panel already, you can download this from NVIDIA.

NVIDIA control panel

3. In 3D Settings > Manage 3D settings > Global Settings, choose “Dassault Systemes CATIA – compatible”. Other presets related to other CAD programs might work as well, but have not been confirmed in testing.

Dassault Systemes CATIA – compatible

4. Click Apply.

5. Reboot your PC, then try running a LightTools simulation.

We apologize for this inconvenience. We are working with NVIDIA to address this issue as part of a NVIDIA driver update in the future.

If you have further questions about this, please contact us at