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Drafting

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by disc2slick, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. disc2slick

    disc2slick Active Member

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    I was wondering if there were any good tips on hand drafting technique anybody had that they'd care to share with me. I imagine most of you use AutoCAD or some such program but we kick it old school here at first year BU, so we're doing hand drafting.

    particularly, does anyone know how I would represent the following: On a section view of a light plot I have fixtures on the same batten that point both upstage and fixtures that point down stage, how would I draw this?

    thanks,
    dan
     
  2. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    I have to do all my drafting by hand. (Don't knock a pencil and an eraser – look around, most of the things you see were built that way.)

    Assuming that your projects are small and relatively informal, consider the following (and please excuse the rambling.):

    Get a good architect's scale/ruler. It's marked for feet and inches. (You can also use an engineer's scale, but all the markings are in tens, but its good for metric, I suppose.)

    Use graph paper, if you can. Its easier to lay things out and line them up. If possible, use graph paper that "matches" your scale. For example, paper with ¼ inch spacing work well with 1 inch = 4 feet, or 1 inch = 1 foot. On the other hand, much of the more expensive graph paper is lined in units of 10, which can be tedious if you are drawing in feet and inches. Also, graph paper is useful if you only have a standard ruler. It also eliminates the need for other drafting tools like triangles.

    Don't try to cram too much on a sheet, but make the figure as large as possible with a normal scale. Remember to leave room for notes and labels. If it takes more than one sheet for one project, try to use the same scale on all the sheets.

    Write the scale on the drawing, and draw a scale bar, in case the drawing is ever reduced or enlarged.

    If you need larger paper, use 11 x 17.

    Although an architects scale will do the job "automatically", always use "normal" scales, like 1/8 inch = 1 foot, or ½" = a foot, if all you have is a standard ruler. (In my regular job, I've occasionally come across beasts like 1" = 75 feet – drives me nuts.)

    Put a title and date on the drawing. If you revise it, add the revision date, and may be a note about what was revised. The latter detail really depends on who is using the drawing and how often it is copied and distributed.

    Check a theater text book – I think there are standard symbols for lights. I think there are templates for them too. (Also, I believe there are a few drafting conventions that the theater uses.)


    I'm not sure I understood your specific question. It sounds like your view is perpendicular to the pipe at the same elevation as the pipe, viewed either from the audience or the upstage wall. (Note, there may be a standard theater convention for this type of view – my gut feeling is that it should be from the upstage wall so that stage right is on the right side of the paper….regardless, write "view from upstage wall" on the drawing.) Anyway, for the lights facing the view, use a solid line (circle, or oval if at an angle) for the end opening, and for those facing away, show the opening in phantom line (dashed) (or no line at all). Although it adds a little more work, you could go as far as to label each light as "points upstage" or "points downstage". (But if things are changed, its an extra item that you have to remember to revise.)



    Joe
     
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The section view is a view that you would see if you cut the theater in half right down the middle. The view is usually drawn with the audience chamber on the left side of the paper, thus the section view is to SR.

    If the first fixture you see on the electric just SR of C/L points US, that fixture is drawn in full, shown oriented US.

    You do not draw any other fixtures that focus US, unless there's a big honker 5kw fresnel somewhere down the pipe.

    If the next fixture on the electric focuses DS, you show only enough of the symbol that you would actually see, I.E. perhaps only part of the lense tube on an ellipsoidal to indicate a fixture pointing DS. The idea is to use the section to look for conflicts with scenery and to gain an idea as to what the beam will do.

    A very good book describing all this:

    The New Handbook Of Stage Lighting Graphics, by William Warfel.

    Available thru Barnes and Noble.

    I've only seen the original, which was pre-CAD, so can't speak as well for the new version. The old version pretty much became the USITT standards.

    Steve B.
     
  4. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The section view is a view that you would see if you cut the theater in half right down the middle. The view is usually drawn with the audience chamber on the left side of the paper, thus the section view is to SR.

    If the first fixture you see on the electric just SR of C/L points US, that fixture is drawn in full, shown oriented US.

    You do not draw any other fixtures that focus US, unless there's a big honker 5kw fresnel somewhere down the pipe.

    If the next fixture on the electric focuses DS, you show only enough of the symbol that you would actually see, I.E. perhaps only part of the lense tube on an ellipsoidal to indicate a fixture pointing DS. The idea is to use the section to look for conflicts with scenery and to gain an idea as to what the beam will do.

    A very good book describing all this:

    The New Handbook Of Stage Lighting Graphics, by William Warfel.

    Available thru Barnes and Noble.

    I've only seen the original, which was pre-CAD, so can't speak as well for the new version. The old version pretty much became the USITT standards.

    Steve B.
     
  5. disc2slick

    disc2slick Active Member

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    Awesome, thanks guys. Heck, you got back to me faster than my proffesor did...

    -dan
     
  6. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    In section view the only light you need to draw is the one that determines the trim height for the position. I use the Field Template and it is great for lining up things. USITT has RP-2 light plot standards.

    As far as tips:
    If you are doing the plot on vellum, rag paper, or tracing paper, draw the instruments then everything else to leave the middle open for numbers etc. Keep the template in place to erase anything inside a light. I don't actually do any of this, but it's a tip I've heard. I reccomend finding the RP-2 on http://usitt.org
    It's hard to spot, but it's there.
     
  7. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    As a follow up to my first reply:

    My original reply was aimed more for construction type drawings. If you are doing plans and sections that will be used as base drawings, take the time to do them on mylar or vellum or plain paper. (Also, it sounds like you're in an academic setting where presentation counts, so the plain paper/vellum/mylar route may be necessary.)

    That being said, always consider who will be using your drawings. If you are creating a base drawing to be used again and again, use the plain paper and provide a detailed title block/ etc. If you are making a drawing to show someone how to build something, then, to a certain extent, it only needs to be functional and the graph paper lines if visible should not be a problem.

    You may want to consider "preserving" some of your base drawings by scanning them into pdf format. This format is not meant to be revised electronically, so it provides a record of what was done. And if you need to email the information to some one, anyone can read it. (Scanning though, can make for relatively large files.)

    One other thought about your original post – If your view is down the length of the batten, you may also want to include the arc of the full range of positions of some or all of the lights.

    Finally, it sounds like you are in lighting and may be doing lighting plots – if so, I defer to those with more experience in that specialized type of drawing.

    Joe
     
  8. Catwalker

    Catwalker Member

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    One way to show where the fixtures are supposed to be pointing is to draw one plot with all the positions of the fixtures represented in their places, labelling each with a number. Then, draw a second view of the stage, this time with the numbers onstage. The number on the fixture in the first plot will correspond with a number onstage, showing where to point the instrument.
     

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