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Does size really matter?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by willbb123, May 2, 2009.

  1. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I work at at theater that maintains a REP plot. I design and run lights for 90% of the shows that come in. When groups bring there own LD, they either use our board, or bring there own. When they bring there own, they either use both our board and there own (for movers), or take my instrument schedule and repatch there own board.

    I have access to a few different size printers, my printer (Letter 8.5"x11", or legal 8.5"x14"), a Poster printer (11"x14"), and a plotter printer (24"x26").

    Before I realized that the theater owned a poster printer I used my printer at home (both letter and legal size). Now I use the poster printer, which I really like.

    Last week one group came in for two weeks and took down our REP plot. They are going to re-hang it, so I went upstairs and printed my plot on 24"x26" paper. I still can't believe how huge it is.

    This got me wondering, What size do you print out your plots?

    Really I am the only one that needs to know our plot. If a LD comes in, all he wants is a Instrument Schedule. When I need to refer to my plot, I like my poster size plot. It prints on two sheets, FOH catwalk and boxes on one page, then the stage on the other. I prefer this because it is small enough to always sit on my table below the board. If I was re-hanging and refocusing every few weeks, I would love the large plots. But my plot stays up for a year, so a large plot is cumbersome. I will probably print a good one just to have though.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    This has been discussed before... but heres my opinion because your title is good.

    When I am P.E. I want at least a plot in 1/4" scale. Whatever size the plot needs to be, it needs to be in 1/4". USITT standard is 1/2" scale. I think this is a bit big for me. Most theatres end up on an E sized sheet if you are working in 1/2" scale (thats 36"x48"). Right now all my plots are on 8.5x11 because of the lack of a plotter. When I can, I prefer to plot on D sized sheets (24x36). Then again, after I pull my measurements off the plot and drop in into lightwright the plot is hardly ever looked at again.
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
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    Our theatre fits reasonably well on one ArchD (24"x36") in 1/4" scale. Most light plots that I get are laid out like that. If I am sent a VW file, I print in that format as it is the biggest our plotter can handle.
     
  4. lighttech11

    lighttech11 Member

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    Personally, I love the E size (36" x 48") and 1/2" scale when I ME and for hanging a show. It makes things so easy and simple to read. I like to get like a rolling chalkboard or whiteboard and tape the plot to that and then just roll the plot around wherever we need it. Nice and big and easy to write on.
    But for your application, where it sounds like you only need the plot for yourself, then any size that you like is great. the 24x26 sounds like its a nice size for just your own personal use. Heck, I used to hand draw my plots on 8.5" x 11" sheets of paper, and those worked fine for me. I could understand them fine. I still hand draw many of my simple rep plots on 8.5x11. hehe. But whatever is comfortable for you to work with, I think...
     
  5. LightingPenguin

    LightingPenguin Active Member

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    I've always liked a 1/2" scale, instrument details are clearer. But at the same time a 1/4" is a lot easier to handle around the theatre. Personally I don't care which it is, as long as I can understand it easily
     
  6. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    In reality, it all comes down to the size of your space. If you are in an arena, you'll probably want the larger formats (Arch D & E), but if you're a 20'x20' blackbox, you'll probably never need more than an 11x17, or even just Legal size.

    I agree with most that it should at least be 1/4" to be able to see everything, and, in my opinion, 1/2" scale is a bit much. But in terms of what size paper that requires depends on your space, and, more importantly, what is the most clear and works.

    Personally, most of my jobs end up with 1/4" on 24x36 prints. But when I can, I try to get away from that since I don't own a plotter printer, and I get quite angry at Kinkos for wanting over $60 for a single 24x36 color print, regardless of how much color the plot requires.
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I like plots in 1/2" scale, and ideally on 24x36" paper (or smaller). I would rather two or three plates in 1/2" scale than one plate in 1/4" or 1/8" scale. Industry standard is 1/2" scale, so for a road house like yours, it seems like having a copy of the plot in 1/2" scale is the way to go.

    Of course, a plot is to convey information. However you can convey that information easiest, with the least confusion, is the way to go.

    Also, I assume you mean 24x36, not 24x26? 98% of plots I see are in 1/2" scale on one or more 24x36" piece of paper, which really isn't that large if you know how to fold it correctly.
     
  8. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    My current scale is 1/4", which works pretty well on 2 11x14 sheets.

    I can definlitly see the point to print a larger scale. When they are doing the reHang, it will make it alot easier to look at the larger sheet, which is why I printed it.

    With my REP plot, the only time I need to look at the paperwork is when I need to know the dimmer number of a special. Which is why I like the 1/4" inch scale. Two poster size pieces of paper is a lot easier to deal with then a large print that takes over my desk.
     
  9. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Your personal paperwork should be set-up however you find it easier. IMHO, paperwork that is for a tour that comes in or paperwork that you give to others should be as close to the USITT standards as possible so as to minimize confusion.


    Also, its not the size of the paper, its how the plot is used.
    Its not the scale that counts, its the line weight.
     
  10. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    We have a 24"x36" in the booth for reference (even though we don't really use a rep plot). The only time I've printed a plot was for a presentation for which I used the plotter we have in robotics to get a 60"x80" plot. The printer will do 60" x however long your roll of paper is.
     
  11. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I like 3/8" = 1' - 0" scale. Best of both worlds for my millage. If I do two sheets one for FOH and one for the overstage electrics it ends up being pretty manageable.
     
  12. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Footer, have you checked your local copy center? A Black and White Blueprint-style plot 24x36 on engineering bond paper should only be around $1.50 each, $2 tops. Should take ten minutes (probably less) to print from a pdf on a flash drive.

    I don't really have a plot... just a chart which I print on legal sized paper... oops... If someone would teach me how to use Vectorworks, I would make a plot...
     
  13. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Vectorworks isnt a fun program to teach yourself. I think I've managed to learn the basics but things probably take me twice as long as they should...
     

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