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Basic Last updated: September 29, 2019

4 Differences between Hobbyist and Pro versions

Both the Hobbyist and Pro versions of Finale 3D have no limitations on number of shots, shell size, or any other metric. The only differences between the two versions are a few features that are available in Pro but are either disabled or limited in Hobbyist.

Our aim was to give the Hobbyist version all the scripting capabilities of Pro, and to make the Hobbyist version cover the needs of users ranging from back yard enthusiasts to budding choreographers showing off their skills with professional-grade shows at clubs or conventions.

The Pro version has additional features like graphical rack layout, 3D models, and custom reports that tend to be more important for professional use, as display companies often need more customization capabilities and support for stage or structure-based shows that require 3D models.

The main three differences between the versions are,

  1. Rack layout.  Pro supports graphical drag-and-drop editing of the rack layout, whereas Hobbyist only produces the basic, non-graphical reports of the number of required racks, and doesn’t support graphically laying out the the rack or editing pin assignments.
  2. Simulation videos.  Pro includes a “commercial license” to do whatever you want with the simulation videos, whereas Hobbyist only includes a “personal use license” to use the simulation videos for non-commercial purposes, and the videos have a “Hobbyist Version” watermark on them.
  3. 3D models. Pro supports importing 3D models of buildings, stages, towers, and other structures, whereas Hobbyist does not support 3D models (although you can still raise positions to different heights).

There are a few other differences, mainly relating to custom reports and addressing features that pertain more to professional use.  The details of all differences are explained in the table below.

Table 1Hobbyist and Pro version capabilities

Feature Hobbyist Pro
Rack layout Limited. Create custom racks and print basic reports of rack requirements, but the Hobbyist version does not include the capability of laying out and editing racks visually, and does not include graphical rack layout reports (details) Full. Create custom racks; layout racks graphically for the show; edit pin assignments with drag-and-drop user interface; print basic, advanced, or custom reports and graphical rack layout diagrams (details)
Simulation video license Personal use license. Uploading videos to Youtube, Facebook, and other social media sites is okay; license does not allow commercial use, such as for bidding a show or creating promotional materials for a business; videos have a “Hobbyist version” watermark on them. Commercial use license. Unrestricted, world-wide, royalty-free license to use simulation videos for any purpose
3D models Disabled. Supports laying out positions in 3D, including at different heights, but does not include capability of importing 3D models Full. Import free pre-built 3D models of almost anything directly from 3dwarehouse or make your own using the Sketchup 3D modelling software or exporting in the SKP format from any other 3D modelling software
Video quality Limited. Maximum resolution is 720p. Simulation videos include a “Hobbyist Version” text overlay in the lower right to discourage unlicensed use for commercial purposes Full. Maximum resolution of 4K; no required text overlays
Still frame simulated images Disabled. Full. Ultra-high-definition resolution at 4k or beyond. Adjustable exposure time to produce photo-realistic images. Unrestricted, world-wide, royalty-free license to use simulation images for any purpose
Training and support Limited. Web site documentation; email support within 72 hours Full. Free one-on-one training over screen share (limited time offer); priority email response within 24 hours; urgent response with real-time resolution by phone or screen share for time-sensitive issues
Google maps Disabled. Full. Optional shoot site ground image generated automatically from latitude and longitude coordinates
Custom reports and labels Disabled. Customization is disabled, but more than 20 reports (script, cue sheet, pull sheet, chain building report, etc.) and label templates are included standard Full. Create custom reports with adjustable data set, columns, column order, font size, padding, pagination, titles, sorting, etc.
Addressing blueprints Disabled. Unlimited sort/filter/rule settings are still available in the Hobbyist version for automatic assignment of firing system addresses, but Hobbyist does not include the capability of saving the settings as a template Full. Create unlimited custom addressing sort/filter/rule templates (blueprints)