FRED Optical Engineering Software

An Introductory FRED Tutorial

This course is a hands-on tutorial covering Photon Engineering’s FRED Optical Engineering Software and is intended to provide new users with an understanding of how to construct optical models, execute raytraces, and analyze results. In so doing, many of FRED’s extensive features and capabilities as an analysis tool will be demonstrated. Examples will be constructed in real time and will include discussions of both imaging and non-imaging (illumination) applications. This tutorial has an optional 4th day that teaches the FRED scripting language, opening the doors for fully customizable and advanced raytracing and analyses.

Download the FRED Tutorial registration form (Tucson)
Contact Laser 2000 (Germany)

Topics Covered in the 3-day tutorial

  • The FRED philosophy – Visualization is key to understanding optical engineering problems
  • Navigating the graphical user interface (GUI) and customization
  • Using the visualization features to create meaningful, technical and visually stunning graphics
  • Building and modifying geometry using the GUI
  • Importing geometry from lens design and CAD programs
  • Exporting geometry and rays to CAD programs
  • Working with material, coating, scatter and raytrace control surface attributes
  • Creating coherent and incoherent sources
  • Using raytrace tools: single, targeted, sequential and non-sequential
  • Constructing analysis surfaces and applying ray filtering
  • Analysis computations: irradiance, intensity, power, polarization, ghosting, stray light and thermal radiometry
  • Digitizing data for coatings, geometry, refractive index and spectral data
  • Extending functionality with the BASIC scripting language
  • Using FRED in client/server automationTopics Covered in the optional 4th day (scripting)Relationship between FRED and the BASIC language
  • Accessing data with nodes and structures
  • Reading and manipulating data
  • Basic and advanced raytracing
  • Using ray buffers
  • Performing energy calculations
  • Pre-update and post-update scripts
  • Mastering automation through COM
  • Source rastering and looped raytracing with calculations
  • Scripted entities


This tutorial assumes no knowledge of FRED on behalf of the attendee prior to attending the course. Additionally, there is no requirement that the attendee be a current FRED user. A general knowledge of optics is helpful but not required. Knowledge of the BASIC programming language or general familiarity with computer programming is helpful but not required.