Forced Perspective

BillySerious

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Joined
May 18, 2004
Forced perspective is a process of tricking the eye, and nearly impossible to pull off from any more than a singular point of view.

Do you have a fixed point of view for the look?
 

zac850

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Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Location
New York
I was thinking about this for an old show that I was designing. The problem I realized that if you use force prospective, then if you have an actor in the back of the stage you are going to through off the entire thing--or make the actor look 100 feet tall.

If you really want to do it, I think you need to make things smaller at the back of the stage. With windows and stuff, I don't know. However, I don't think it would work on stage well because you would have the actors in the back of the stage looking like there 100 feet tall or completely killing the look of the force perspective (im not sure which, more likely the second)
 

techie_stg

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Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Location
Fayetteville, Georgia
I guess what I'm talking about is almost like a "Roger Rabbit" look to house interiors, etc. where set walls seem to have and exaggerated perspective to them, not necessarily the whole stage look. I guess the perspective would start at the set wall and go upstage from there giving a sort of characature look. Of course- the actors would need to stay in front of the wall-plane for it to look ok.
 

techie_stg

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Jun 8, 2004
Location
Fayetteville, Georgia
I guess what I'm talking about is almost like a "Roger Rabbit" look to house interiors, etc. where set walls seem to have and exaggerated perspective to them, not necessarily the whole stage look. I guess the perspective would start at the set wall and go upstage from there giving a sort of characature look. Of course- the actors would need to stay in front of the wall-plane for it to look ok.
 

bcfcst4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
I know this is from way back, but i figure if i'm looking at these now, maybe someone else is for reference too.

I would suggest using only elements of forced perspective. Each element by it's self would help to create the idea that every element is in the same perspective. Keep it subtle enough that actors aren't completely limited. I designed a set for my school (The Crucible) where we had the act three table set center stage. We raked it 5 degrees up and curved the back from three feet to six feet. The effect was impressive, especially from the back of the house. It served it's purpose well, even though only one other element of that set had any forced perspective.
 

Van

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Jul 27, 2006
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Portland, Or.
Good dredge ! I thought it was pretty interesting reading the original posts. I'd have to take exception with one of the early post saying that forced perspective only works from one point in the audience. I've seen Ballet sets that you would swear took up 40 feet of the deck when in reality it was only about 15. it's all in the details and staging.
 

Van

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icewolf08

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Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
"Ragtime" on Boradway was done with a force perspective set. We just did a show here at my theatre in forced perspective as well. Our set was a very subtle idea where the upstage wall was a normal height and the side walls got taller as they came downstage (duh definition of forced perspective). All of the elements like doors were made standard size, though the windows in the side walls followed the angle of the wall.

I think if the walls don't grow to obscene heights or get really short upstage, forced perspective can work very well. It certainly isn't for every show, but it is interesting.
 

Chris Chapman

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Location
Greenville, Michigan, United States
A great Forced Perspective set that works from a zillion different angles are the Main Street USA sections of Disney Land and Disney World. Base floor level is normal scale, but as the buildings push up, the scale changes. First floor is 12 foot, second floor 10 feet, third floor is 8 feet.


Disney Imagineers used Forced Perspective all of the time in their design work. The great thing about Main Street is that there is a ton of photo reference if you are working on a design for, say, River City in Music Man.

-Chris Chapman
TD, Greenville Performing Arts Center