Announcing FWsim 3.5: The Entire World in 3D

Dear FWsim Community,

we are working on an exciting new beta update with the following features:

Loading the entire World in 3D

FWsim could load 3D models in the past. But if you wanted to simulate a real place, you might face challenges. You’d either have to make your own 3D models or try to find the desired building models online. Yet, typically, you’d only find isolated buildings, not the entire landscape.

The latest version, FWsim 3.5, solves this problem. Now, you can launch fireworks anywhere in the world, in 3D. It not only provides the location you want, but also includes the entire surrounding area.

Our data is provided by Google and consists of 3D terrain (hills and mountains) for the entire surface of the earth. It also includes 3D buildings for thousands of cities. The data is downloaded on request. Please note, since we rely on an external data provider, there is a risk this feature might stop working in the future.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Find the geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) in decimal degrees, for example 51,503° / 0.00° for a location in London. To get coordinates, simply open Google Maps and right-click on the point you want:

  2. Open an existing show in FWsim or create a new show.

  3. Click Show → Scenery, and select the “Real Location” option.

  4. Enter your coordinates and click “Load”. Please make sure to use the right decimal separators. For example, if your Windows is set to German number format, you need to enter “51,50178” whereas on an English computer you would type “51.50178”.

  5. Depending on the location you load, your camera might be below the terrain. If you don’t see anything, move your camera upwards.

If you would like to preview interesting locations, or find out how good the data is at certain places, use Google Earth. You can download Google Earth, use it online or get it on your mobile device.

Better placement of Fireworks on Buildings
In previous versions of FWsim, it was difficult to place fireworks on buildings. In this version, this is much easier and more intuitive.

Beta Download
Please note, this is an early beta and there are many problems remaining. Known problems include:

  • It’s quite slow
  • The light on the environment sometimes looks wrong
  • If you select a real location, and later go back to the location selection window and change the distance setting, things will look wrong until you reload the show
  • In the 3D world editor, it is currently not possible to insert the same model multiple times (only the first one will be displayed)

If you get crashes or other problems, please post below.

Download here (FWsim Basic & Creative Edition):
The version number still starts with “3.4”, this is intentional. A separate beta for FWsim Pro is available below.

Beta version on Steam

If you are using FWsim on Steam, please right-click FWsim in your Steam Library, and select “Properties”. There you can choose to participate in the beta:

Beta version for FWsim Pro

With this update, FWsim Pro receives the following improvements:

  • Custom ordering of cues for channel assignment and PDF export
  • Rack Management: FWsim now allows you to define a list of racks in your inventory, and print a plan listing all the racks that are required for the show. This feature is in beta, please let us know how it works for you.
  • In the effect editor, it is now possible to change the caliber for an effect (without affecting the simulation). To do that, use the Effect Editor, click “File” and then “Change Type”.
  • Label Export “per cue”: This now includes all stepper shots, even when a stepper is exported as “one channel”.
  • When exporting labels and using the option “Per cue”, there is now an option to omit pyrotechnically connected stepper shots. This affects all steppers that are configured to use “one channel”.

Download link:


I couldn’t help but try it out immediately.
For me, the best feature is that having a real space to work with, it’s possible to grasp the real size of the fireworks you make - With the already existing feature it was good - but now it got a step further.
Albeit edited, here’s my first attempt to work with this new feature.
Note that the shell size is 230mm at best, so even the small ones look incredibly good with the size reference!

1 Like

I tried this feature and it’s way impressive!
Maybe you can add an option to enable/disable the Google logo on the bottom left of the screen
also the intensity of models polygons details

1 Like

For me it’s totally bugged! No matter what coordinates I put, it never loads correctly!

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback. The Google logo must remain, that’s a requirement to get access to the data.

What happens? Does it load correctly but look wrong? Or does it crash while loading? If it crashes, please let me know which error message you get.

1 Like

It works very nice! Now I can finally working on my beta test show in Montreal!

1 Like

While this is impressive, you know what would be even more practical?

CTRL+Z in creative.

We get all of this cool stuff, but you won’t add undo outside of pro? That’s such a simple feature that you could enable literally right now. We shouldn’t have to pay $1000 for it. Paying that much money should be for actual companies trying to create a physical real-life show. Not hobbyists just doing this for fun on a computer screen.

Apologies if this sounds harsh, and I’m not ungrateful for the cool updates, but you’ve been given so much feedback about the undo feature and it’s frustrating that something so mainstream in other software is STILL locked behind a $1000 pay wall while something like 3.5 is available to all of us.

1 Like

I followed all the steps but i see this lol

1 Like

Thanks, your feedback is appreciated.

Which location is this? Could you share the specific coordinates?

1 Like

43.549285, 7.027088

Also if i put the coordinates more land inwards i have the same world.

1 Like

Actually, I think I might hide this by myself by creating a backup file of the Google logo image and replace it with an empty image.

1 Like

Thanks. That’s strange, for me it works fine:

Please check:

  1. Maybe your camera is below ground? What happens when you move the camera upwards a long way?
  2. Have you entered the coordinates correctly? See my screenshot below:


(please note, the screenshot was made on German windows where the decimal separator is “,” instead of “.”)

1 Like

Sorry for taking so long to answer! It is not crashing, but it is not loading correctly!

Have you followed the instructions yet?

1 Like

It is not crashing, but it is not loading correctly!

Thanks for your feedback. I’ll continue the conversation in a private message, so we keep the thread tidy here.

edit: We discussed the problem in private conversation and it has resolved itself.

1 Like

The update is now also available for FWsim Pro. The download link has been appended to the first post in this thread.