What's the difference between Finale 3D and FWsim Pro?

What is Finale Fireworks?

Finale Fireworks (now called Finale 3D, or Finale 3D Pro) is a fireworks choreography and inventory management software. Its strength lies in its comprehensive inventory and collaboration features, which makes it well-suited for large fireworks companies. Finale Fireworks is available only as an annual subscription.

Finale 3D requires at least 8GB of RAM and a graphics card made in 2018 or newer. This means you might need to upgrade your computer before you can use Finale.

What is FWsim Pro?

FWsim Pro is a fireworks simulation software originally released in 2010 to an audience of fireworks enthusiasts. Soon thereafter, the professional edition was developed and rapidly was adopted by fireworks companies in Germany and worldwide. It’s currently used by professionals in 40 countries. The software is made by a small company in Austria.

FWsim Pro users like that it’s easy to use and produces beautiful animations. Other advantages of FWsim are the super-realistic effects, a very flexible effects editor and the performance. The license for FWsim Pro is permanent, meaning there are no annual fees. One year of free upgrades is included in the price. FWsim Pro is used mostly by small and medium-sized fireworks companies (less than 10 employees). It has also been used on large projects - for example, Royal Fireworks (Netherlands) used FWsim to plan their display for the Philippines International Pyromusical Championship.

FWsim runs great even on old computers. 4GB of RAM are enough to make it run quite well. Any graphics card released in 2012 or later will work with FWsim. FWsim even supports some computers without a graphics card (so-called onboard graphics), although we don’t recommend that. Most of our customers find they do not need to buy a new computer when using FWsim, and it even works on most laptops.

Finale Fireworks Inventory vs FWsim Pro

Finale Fireworks provides comprehensive fireworks inventory management functionality under the brand name “Finale Fireworks Inventory”.

FWsim Pro currently does not provide functionality for that. However, it does support the creation of a fireworks database with custom metadata. That means you can store all the effects in your inventory with price and article numbers. You can also calculate the price of a show. However, you cannot count how many items are remaining in the inventory.

How can I try out FWsim?

If you’re a professional, download a free trial of the professional edition. If fireworks are your hobby, try the game edition free trial.