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How to plot?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jerekb, May 15, 2009.

  1. jerekb

    jerekb Member

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    I'm using VW and I feel kinda dumb but I was wondering how to plot if I could just get some basic tips I don't really have anyone here to teach me and I just not sure do I just show where the fixture goes and what it hits or do I show the angle? If i could just get some insight on how to do it that would be wonderful. I can figure out how to use VW and I understand it for the most part. How many layers do I need on my CAD file I am importing drawings from Auto CAD. So yeah I feel a little dumb about this.
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I would recommend picking up a book on drafting for theatre, as it seems what you really need is a lesson in the basics of drafting and not how to use VW.

    There are a couple standards for orientation of instruments on a plot.
    •One standard is to have every fixture drawn pointing upstage. This makes the plot look very clean and usually leaves good space for accessories and channel and unit numbers.
    •Another standard is to draw your fixtures at 90˚ angles to the lighting position. So fixtures will either be drawn pointing directly US, DS, SL, or SR. This can leave you less space to draw unit information and accessories but it gives your electricians more of a sense of where units point.
    •The third "standard" is to draw your fixtures oriented relative to where they point. This is the least clean looking way to daw your plot but it gives the most information as to where units point.

    In general, the actual angle that the fixture is at is not important on the plot. While you might know it in theory, the final focused light will probably not be what you drew. Remember that the plot is a tool to help get the show hung, so you don't want to crowd it with too much information. As an ME, I don't really like to get plots with things like lighting areas and area numbers attached to units. It is information that I don't need to hang the show.

    To tell the truth, I usually use the paperwork more than the plot to get information about each fixture. Having all the info laid out in the paperwork makes is a lot easier for tasks like building hang tapes or walking down a positions and dropping color. In reality, I mostly use the plot for position information and to keep track of where we are working during focus.
     
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  3. 030366

    030366 Member

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  4. jerekb

    jerekb Member

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    Ok well now that I got some basics and I know where to go to learn I was wondering if anyone could upload some plots or maybe E-Mail them to me at [email protected]. VW files are fine same with most any format. Thank you.
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I have a couple plots that I can provide here on CB. As with all such material, the copyright remains with the original lighting designers (that means you can't use their plots for your shows). I have more plots in my archives, and I could probably dig up some that I have done, but I do have a couple LDs who have given me permission to use their plots for educational purposes.

    First is the plot for "My Fair Lady" produced by the Pioneer Theatre Company. Lighting design by Phil Monat.
    View attachment MFL Plot.pdf

    Second is the plot for "Miss Saigon" produced by the Pioneer Theatre Company. Lighting design by Karl Haas.
    View attachment plot_saigon090324-2.pdf

    If you have questions about the shows and plots, please don't hesitate to ask.
     
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  6. jerekb

    jerekb Member

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    Haha Those excite me maybe a little more than they should :) And thank you those are wonderful they really help me understand. At my school we have tons of money but not a whole lot of help in the tech area and I'm a bit ok a huge Overachiever in the Tech world but we are pretty much on our own when it comes to learning. Any ways I do have some questions:

    On the Saigon plot what are the lines connecting the lights? does that mean they are on the same circuit or cover same area?

    (This makes me feel dumb for asking) Who uses these other than the LD who all is going to need this? Basically wondering how specific does it need to be> Does it have to be actor proof kinda thing?

    What is WFL MFL and ACL?

    And heres another dumb one but why is the AE and BE? I understand E is for electric i think but why the A and B why not just another number?
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The lines connecting units are marks for ganging. It is used to indicate which lights are on the same channel. Many LDs don't include this on the plot and I just do it myself. I have a trusty blue colored pencil that I use to do twofering when i have to.

    You will also notice on that plot that the units don't have channel numbers attached to them. In this case, it doesn't bother me as I have all that information in the paperwork.

    As I said before, the ganging marks are really for the electricians who have to hang the plot. If an LD doesn't put that information on, I do it myself. Sometimes I even prefer to do it myself as people have personal ways to notate things.

    I use the plot to create hang tapes, which is a pretty idiot proof way to get shows in the air. There is a wiki on it, so I won't go into detail here again.

    All types of PAR lamps:
    WFL= Wide Flood
    MFL= Medium Flood
    ACL= AirCraft Landing Lights (very narrow tight and bright beam)

    We use the letters to indicate electrics that are not on house electrics. So, if an LD puts lights on a pipe between the 1E and the 2E it is the 1AE. This is a "standard" for houses with dedicated electrics (i.e. battens with raceways).
     
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  8. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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    Here's a plot of mine from a few months ago. Think of it as an example from a person who normally isn't a designer and is in a huge rush to get a show done in a few hours (found out the person who was supposed to design it dropped out the week before and as board op it fell to me. Plus we had decided to rent some cool toys for this particular fund raising event.)
    View attachment LHS NATM 09.pdf
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have a few of my shows on my website. I am not clean draftsman but the info is there. WYG Plots are not the cleanest things in the world but they can get a show up.
     
  10. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    The line weights aren't showing up the greatest but this should give you an idea.
     

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