Drafting on paper

DJErik07

Active Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Location
MA/ NC
What is the proper way to draft a lighting plot on paper. I have a template, but what information do you put with the plot (gel, lamp, position)? I am not sure. I have never really done a plot on paper before.
 

lights11964

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Location
Indiana
Plotting

Well when u are plotting on paper. u will want to do every thing that u do with a ploting program on the computer. every fixture will need and instrument # a channel #, a dimmer #, gel color, um u will need do go to ur theatrical supply story to buy a lighting template. also u will need ur velum or u can draw it right on to ur template of the theatre. every thing needs to be taken into consideration. it needs to be easy to read so that u give it to ur master electricion and the lights crew can hang it with out any problems. also along with the plot u will need to make a channel hook up, instrument schedual or any other paperwork that would be help ful. i hope this helps
 

squigish

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
What exactly is velum? And how does one use it? I'm taking a theater lighting design class right now, and I really don't know anything about drafting.
 

cutlunch

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Vellum is a parchment type paper often made from the skins of animals such as calf, kid etc. Can be used in books . Old scrolls from Medieval times were probably made of vellum. Vellum is also translucent so you could lay it over the theatre plan and mark where your lights go. Vellum is also used as the covering on drums, timbrels etc. Although of course now quite often drum skins will be made of synthetic material.

I think for your lighting course, plain paper or tracing paper would be acceptable.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
And people say I know way too much. Kudo's cutlunch on the background info on this and other things.

Vellum amongst a few types of drafting paper is a type that when sent thru a sort of photo copy for architecture blue line machine, will have sufficient transparent qualities to it that a very accurate copy of this page can be made. This as opposed to just large format photo copies that while fairly accurate, that 1 or 2% in accuracy difference can spell a large problem.

What level of lighting plot you do, depends very much upon what level of show you are doing. As said, there are certain types of things you want to tell such as fixture location on a pipe that's in a specific location. Perhaps focus area, special details about the fixture such as if it has a top hat or iris that would be useful to know when you install the fixture. Than gel, lens type and how you patch or hook up the fixture be it channel number and circuit number or what ever gets you from fixture to dimmer pack or light board. This can be a plot on computer, inked, or in pencil be it rough sketch or archival in quality. All a question of the necessity.

As for symbols, a good USITT standard template will make life easier but for a simple plot, the intent is the same in having some symbol for a specific type of fixture that when you go to hang it, lets you know the above info and type of fixture as opposed to another. If you only have three types of fixture, a circle, square and triangle will suffice certainly just as well. In cases like this and when you don't have to make copies that are accurate to the mm in accuracy also just a simple photo copy grade plot or rough plot will often do even if not to scale.

Intent is to show where fixtures go, what details about them are needed to know and it's sufficient that you and perhaps those working for you can figure out your intent. A real drafted plot is useful even for a small show, but not always necessary.
 

squigish

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
ship said:
Vellum amongst a few types of drafting paper is a type that when sent thru a sort of photo copy for architecture blue line machine, will have sufficient transparent qualities to it that a very accurate copy of this page can be made. This as opposed to just large format photo copies that while fairly accurate, that 1 or 2% in accuracy difference can spell a large problem.
Ahh, so the point of using vellum is so that it can go through the blueprint machine?
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Yes for the most point as opposed to just drafting on news print, that's the general concept of drafting on velum beyond the training aspect of doing so.

Really, if a photo copy is good enough and there is no blue line machine for copies in your production's necessity, some of the best of theories on set building have been presented on napken with Sharpee. All a question of the accuracy necessary and need for others to understand and scale your thoughts to reality. The drafting paper other than velum is way more expensive than it, yet in drafting in ink as long as I did the erasing within say the first hour, was a much better media choice for me. - Very important term this media term, the velum that would allow for erasing one's lines in pencil did not allow for doing this with ink, much less the ink alternative media did not deal well with pencil even in erasing it's layout lines. All a question of media in some forms being better or not for some purposes. If at least going velum, get the stuff that has a non-blue line re-producing grid to it in making it easier to lay out your drawings. Little lines printed on the velum that make it easier to draft with. Lots of media out there to draft with.

To some extent even if it's a bunch of 8.1/2x11 sheets of paper taped together by way of Auto Cadd printing on a normal printer, or you just taping than drafting, as long as it is sufficient for the necessity of you using it, there is no reason not to. Perhaps for a better thing, one can photo copy what one when they lack real large paper whip out one day in than presenting a drawing still.

This given the Velum and other form of it media has a dual purpose in that you can lay it over say a blue line for the stage and trace what is already drawn as opposed to normal paper. Such velum at very least when drafting can be useful in doing other views. Say you need to copy something into another area of the design say in an elevation of the set as the same as a plan view of a piece of equipment. When drafting on something that's translucient, you can trace, install it behind your media and trace it a second time. But than you also get into drafting on clear media and if not using carbon paper and transfer media. Lots of big budget solutions to experiment with. Need a brick wall, there is stickers out there that you can burnish to the velum and it will than transfer to blue line copies.

Media is the question here. If say doing a painted or colored story board or sketch for the set, why does one need a white paper, much less if texture is of the intent, why would one use photo copy paper when say a what was it elephant texture paper or skin while more expensive might have been more of use. As with all drafting and art, it is a cost thing in balancing your art and expression of idea with what media is necessary to get the intent shown than as the case reproduced.

Velum will go thru a large format photo copier, that inking film I used that would also go thru a blue line machine on the other hand really pissed off the Kinko's guy when it melted within the machine. It's a media thing and if you don't have to blue line, you don't have to velum.
 

disc2slick

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2004
Location
Key West, FL
there's a ton of stuff to be taken into account when drafting on paper. I just finished a semester of hand drafting here at BU and the thing it taught me the most is that truly correct drafting is ridiculously anal and complicated, and I have no idea how to "really" do it.

I'd really recommend grabbing yourself a drafting book (they're available on amazon) and looking through it, its pretty neat and its cool to look at a plot you've drafted by hand. it gives you a feeling of accomplishment, also when you're doing ti by hand it forces you to think very hard about where you are placing each unit.

-dan
 

Users who are viewing this thread